Excusing an Absence

-  Absences must be excused within 72 hours from date of absence.
-  Only the legal parent/guardian may excuse a student’s absence or tardy
-  If your student is “on campus” at the time of an absence, they will require a staff 
   member to excuse them.
-  If your student is ill and cannot attend class, they need to report to the Health Office.

Excused Absence

Health, bereavement, pre-arranged college visits, family emergency, religious holidays and warranted absences are the only absences that are considered excused absences.

Warranted Absence

    • Obtain a “Warranted Absence Formhere or from the Gunn Main Office or Attendance Office
    • The student and a parent/guardian need to sign the form
    • Return the form, with a letter from home, at least 3 days in advance of the requested absence
    • Obtain a tentative approval signature from an administrator
    • Obtain parent and teacher signatures, along with class assignments
    • Return the form to the Main Office for final administrator approval at least 24 hours in advance of the absence.

College Visits

Seniors and second semester juniors, with written prior approval, may take five (5) days of Independent Study to visit college campuses. Students who do not complete a Warranted Absence form prior to the visit, will be excused  with a “red other unexcused” code for classes/days missed and may lose the opportunity to make up assignments/tests. 

Students are required to complete a Warranted Absence form following the process above with 3 added steps, as follows : 

After final administrator approval has been received :

    • Take the form to Attendance Office so they can document the absence with “red other unexcused” code. 
    • Secure college admission’s office signature while on the visit.
    • Turn form into the Attendance Office on the first day of return from the visit.  The “red other unexcused” code will be changed to an excused “college visit” code.

The teacher of any class from which a student is absent shall determine what assignments the student shall make up and in what period of time the student shall complete such assignments.  Upon satisfactory completion, full credit shall be granted.  The tests and assignments shall be equivalent to, but not necessarily identical t those which the student missed during the absence.

Other Absences

When referring to your student’s attendance record on line, a personal excuse code will either have a red background or a green background. 

Other Excused:  OTE, green background

The OTE code, (Personal Excused absence) code (green background), results from the student filling out a Warranted Absence form PRIOR to the absence.  This code is used for warranted personal absences or absences at the discretion of the Administration.  A Warranted Absence is an absence that is educationally based.

Other Unexcused:   OTU, red background

The OTU code, (Personal Unexcused absence), (red background), is used to excuse personal commitment absences such as non-health related appointments that cannot be scheduled outside of school hours or when no Warranted Absence form has been completed.

Gunn High School complies with the State of California Education Code and, as such, this OTU code is not recognized by the State of California as an excused absence. Once a student has 3 OTU codes on their attendance record, they will be considered truant and a truancy letter will automatically be generated by the system and sent home.  Also, with this OTU code, teachers are not obligated to grant credit for assignments, nor permit a student to make up tests they may miss while absent for this personal reason.

Unexcused Absence


Absences without parent, guardian or school approval shall be marked as cuts.  Consequences for cuts (per semester):

  • One, two, and three cuts:  If possible, parents shall be notified via auto dialer for each absence.  Truancy Letter #1 will also be sent home after the third cut.
  • Six cuts:  At the sixth cut, the student will be assigned to Tuesday/Thursday School.  It is the student’s responsibility to clear any absences before the Tuesday/Thursday School date.  Truancy letter #2 will be sent home at the sixth cut.
  • Ten cuts:  Truancy Letter #3 will be sent home.

Questionable/Excessive Absenteeism

In cases of questionable or excessive absenteeism, the school district may require a variety of reasonable methods for verification of illness, such as written excuses from parents or documentation from a physician or other health providers.

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