Asst. Superintendent, Student Support Services
Program Coordinator II
School Attendance Review Board (SARB)
Intervention and Prevention Programs (IPP) offer and provide countywide School Attendance Review Board (SARB) services as per legislation (Education Code (EC) 48320 to 48325). The focus is intensive guidance and coordinated community services that may be provided to meet the special needs of pupils with school attendance or behavior problems. We also propose and promote the use of alternatives to the juvenile court systems. IPP administers, organizes, and coordinates the countywide SARB program.
Foundation of the SARB Process:
Assistance from SARB may be requested when attendance or behavior problems have not been resolved through existing school and community resources.
SARB’s multi-agency partnership board recognizes the extensive costs to students, families and communities that truancy incurs. SARB goals are to empower individual school districts to effectively respond to the issue of truancy; to provide intervention recommendations to families of truant students; to enforce the California mandatory school attendance regulations through the court process; and to reduce truancy in the schools of Sutter County.
Our SARB membership includes:
- Children’s System of Care
- Sutter County Probation Department
- Yuba City Unified School District
- Sutter County Children Protective Services
- Sutter County One Stop
- Sutter County Sheriff’s Department
- Yuba City Police Department
- Sutter-Yuba Mental Health Services
SARB coordinates three elements of work:
- Prevention efforts to motivate good attendance and behavior;
- Early identification of irregular attendance and/or behavior issues for school-level strategies, and;
- Interventions with pupils and families when attendance or behavior issues are severe or entrenched.
All three elements work together strategically to reinforce the importance of regular attendance and proper school behavior.
The SARB process begins with prevention, the most cost-effective way to increase school attendance. Prevention activities also create the connections to school, promote school safety, and set high expectations with accountability, which are essential to high academic outcomes.
Prevention starts with the adoption of an effective school board policy on attendance well before the first formal SARB meeting with a pupil and his or her family. Such policy must reflect the philosophy that regular school attendance is critical. The policy and accompanying administrative regulations must include a formal means by which good attendance is recognized and holds schools accountable for attendance rates.
Central to prevention in the SARB process is school leadership. School site and district leaders must commit to creating a culture of positive attendance. The following culture should be about the overall welfare and success of the pupils rather than just focusing on school revenue and average daily attendance (ADA) and school leadership:
- Welcomes pupils, staff, and the community to school
- Requires staff to take accurate daily attendance
- Holds staff accountable for classroom attendance
- Encourages staff to call absent pupils with “we missed you” and “we care” messages
- Expects staff to have positive attendance
- Praises regular attendance of pupils and staff
- Arranges for trainings related to bullying and harassment
- Intervenes immediately when any bullying, harassment, or other violations of discipline policy and procedures occur
The schools are in a key position to identify children with behavior and/or attendance concerns. Because early symptoms can lead to more serious problems later on, it is important that prevention strategies be implemented early in the pupil’s schooling. A system should be in place for preventive work to begin immediately upon enrollment and should include intensive case work for irregular attendance and/or noticeable behavior issues. School-site attendance and administrative personnel should monitor pupils’ records and behavior frequently and should initiate appropriate intervention strategies if attendance or behavior patterns warrant intervention. Any intervention should be tailored to the pupil and family strengths and assist them to assume responsibility for their behaviors.
Schools and SARBs have many options for addressing attendance or behavior problems. Collectively, they can find the most appropriate solution for each student and family. Schools need to explore their possible options prior to involving SARB, but SARB is an invaluable aid in suggesting or enforcing one or more of the following strategies:
- Use developmental assets assessment of student and parent or guardian.
- Conduct staff conferences to discuss the pupil’s specific needs.
- Change the student’s schedule and/or instructor.
- Request an intra-district transfer.
- Suggest that the parent or guardian obtain a medical evaluation of the pupil to rule out any physical reasons that might be a barrier to the pupil’s education. Be sure to obtain a medical exchange of information form signed by the parent or guardian or person in charge.
- Refer the pupil to a school psychologist or to resources in the community that can assist the pupil and family, when appropriate.
- Use alternative educational programs such as flexible class scheduling (early/late classes), career technical education (work experience), opportunity classes and pregnant-minor classes for pupils, when needed.
- Provide the parent with necessary information for possible placement in specialized programs, which may include AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), magnet schools, school-within-a-school, or special education, or for developing a Section 504 accommodation plans.
Referral to the SARB panel meeting:
- School completes and submits SARB Referral Form to either IPP – SARB chairperson (see participating schools list – hyperlink school list) or for Yuba City Unified School District schools – the Director of Child Welfare and Attendance office.
- If SARB considers the documentation and verification actions to be inadequate, it will remand the case to the school and district for further research. If the referral case is adequate, the local SARB will schedule a meeting that includes SARB members, the pupil, pupil’s parent or guardian, and school-site and district representatives.
- Prior to the panel meeting, the IPP staff completes all required forms and notifies the parent or guardian in writing that a SARB referral has been made. The letter identifies the reasons for the referral, explains the SARB process, and invites the parent or guardian to participate in a SARB panel meeting on a specific date and at a specific location. The chairperson also sends a copy of the letter to the pupil and appropriate personnel in the school district.
For further information, please contact our office.