• Importance of Regular Attendance
    Attendance Policy
    Tips to Improve Attendance
    Independent Study
    Tardies and Early Pick Ups
    District Notices, SART, and SARB
    Inter-District Permits

    Importance of Regular Attendance

    • On-time, daily attendance helps foster a strong classroom community.  Daily shared experiences help students build relationships with each other and their teacher.
    • Each day’s learning builds on what was learned the previous day.  When students miss too many days, it’s difficult for them to catch up and they start falling behind.
    • Research shows that attendance has an immense impact on student achievement and success.
    • Students who attend school are more likely to have higher self-esteem, have more friends, get better grades and are more likely to attend college and earn higher salaries.
    • Students with high rates of absenteeism miss lessons and fall behind, struggle in classes and need intervention, often have lower grades and are more likely to drop out of school.
    • There are only 180 school days and 185 non-school days during the year, so each and every school day is crucial.

    Please make every effort to ensure that your child attends school each day. Avoid scheduling family trips or scheduling appointments while school is in session. If you are taking your child for a medical, dental, court appointment, etc., please do not keep your child out of school all day; bring your child in late or pick your child up early so that they can, at least, receive partial instruction.

    Attendance Policy

    School begins at 8:25 a.m. each day.  Students are expected to be with their class at that time.

    The teachers, administrators and staff of Will Rogers Learning Community care about your child's social-emotional and academic well-being. We believe that every child deserves a complete education, so we expect all students to attend school every day and on time. To ensure this, we monitor absences and tardies very closely.


    If your child is absent,

    • email or
    • call the absence line (not the teacher) at 310-452-2364 ext. 67300 and leave a message and
    • include the following information:
      • Student Name
      • Teacher Name
      • Date of Absence
      • Reason for Absence (be specific and detailed)
      • Parent Name

    absences excused and not excused

    Tips to Improve Attendance

    • Discuss with your child the importance of going to school every day and on time
    • Develop a daily schedule with your child (like going to bed 10 minutes earlier and waking up 10 minutes earlier)
    • Encourage and help your child prepare for school each evening (choose clothes, prepare lunch etc.) so the morning is less stressful.
    • Teach your child to set and use their own alarm clock
    • When your child is ready for school on time, remember to let them know how much this helps the whole family.
    • Don’t plan family vacations and non-emergency doctor/dentist appointments for times when your child should be in school.

    Independent Study

    If a student is going to be absent for 3+ consecutive days, they might qualify for Independent Study (IS). Independent Study essentially means that the student will be learning/studying independently; i.e the student will need to complete the same amount of work they would have been doing if the student were at school receiving instruction. Therefore, a student would have about 6 hours of classwork/independent-learning for each day they are absent. So, 3 days X 6 hours daily = 18 hours of classwork to be completed for 3 days of IS.

    • The parent must request IS from the teacher at least 2 weeks before the absences.
    • It is completely at the school’s discretion as to whether or not to approve an IS request. Students with poor attendance and/or behavior/academic concerns will not have IS approved. 
    • If the teacher and principal approve the IS, the parent must pick up an IS Contract/Agreement Form from the office, complete it, and submit it to the teacher at least 1 week before the start of the absences.
    • Assigned IS work is due to the teacher by 8:25 am the day of the student’s return to school. If the work is not turned in at this time, the IS Contract/Agreement will be deemed void, and the absences will be considered “Unexcused."
    • If the work is not completed in its entirety, then the student will not receive full credit for the days missed. For example, if a student only completed 2 days of work, the rest of the IS days will be considered “Unexcused Absences".

    Remember, it is at the school’s discretion as to whether or not to approve an IS request. Typically, IS is only granted for families who have a catastrophic family situation, emergency, severe health issue, or other emergency or special circumstance. We encourage parents to take vacations or other long trips during Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks.

    Tardies and Early Pick Ups

    • Students should be in line, ready for their teacher, by 8:22 a.m.
    • Instruction begins at 8:25 a.m.
    • Any students arriving after 8:25 a.m. will be marked tardy.
    • Three tardies (or early pick-ups) equal an absence.

    It is essential to your child’s success that they arrive to school early or on time. It is disruptive to your child, the teacher, and the rest of the class when a child arrives late. We use every available minute for instruction and late students miss valuable information. Arriving late also prevents students from comfortably settling into the routine of the school day, and it can negatively impact behavior and learning for the rest of the day. Please be considerate of the other students and the teacher, and help your own child get a good start to the day, by being in the line-up area by 8:22 a.m.

    Students arriving after 8:25 a.m. must come to the office, sign in, and receive a tardy slip to be admitted to class. 

    When students have appointments and need to leave early, parents may come to the office to pick up and sign their child out. The office will call students down to the office once the parent arrives; students should not wait in the office to be picked up, and similarly, parents will not be permitted to go to the classroom.

    District Notices, SART, and SARB

    SMMUSD and Will Rogers regularly inform parents about their child's attendance and express the importance of attendance.

    Attendance and tardy information will be listed on students’ report cards, emails and phone calls will go home asking for reasons for absences, parents will receive letters from the district office and conferences with the principal/assistant principal will occur as needed (see below). Unexcused absences, excessive absences, and excessive tardies/early pick-ups violate the state’s compulsory attendance laws for school-age children. You will receive letters notifying you that you are not in compliance. Failure to demonstrate improved attendance will result in a possible referral to the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB). For families on permit, this may mean revocation of an inter-district permit. 

    Unexcused Absences

    • Letter 1: 3+ Unexcused Absences (considered Truant)
    • Letter 2: 6+ Unexcused Absences (referred to the assistant principal and Attendance Office Specialist for a Student Attendance Review Team (SART) Conference to discuss attendance)
    • Letter 3: 9+ Unexcused Absences (considered Habitual Truant- referred to the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) for a meeting at the SMMUSD office with school district personnel and a Santa Monica District Attorney).

    Excused Absences

    • Letter 1: 7+ Excused Absences (considered Excessively Excused)
    • Letter 2: 14+ Excused Absences (may be referred to a SART and/or SARB conference)

    Please be aware that 3 tardies over 30 minutes or 3 early outs will equal 1 absence.

    Inter-District Permits

    • Not adhering to the attendance policy can lead to the revocation of an inter-district permit.
    • Families will only receive one “Permit in Danger” letter in their child’s school history.  Once this letter has been sent out, families are expected to maintain good attendance habits or the permit will be revoked.