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Student Attendance & Reporting Absences

When to Stay Home

If your child is ill, should they go to school? School-aged children may be exposed to a variety of communicable diseases. At times it is difficult to decide whether or not to send your child to school. MPCSD families should follow these Stay at Home Guidelines.

Reporting an Absence

What is SafeArrival?

SafeArrival is an absence management system that improves student safety and makes it easy for you to let the school know about your student's absence. You are asked to report your student’s absence in advance whenever possible using one of three convenient methods (listed below).

Why do I need a SchoolMessenger app account?

A SchoolMessenger app account is not required to use the toll-free phone line to report absences. However, we strongly recommend that you provide your email address to the school and set up your SchoolMessenger app account. This allows you to review and update absences, review your contact information and communication preferences and more.

Please see related SchoolMessenger app documentation for setting up your account, resetting your password, reviewing contact information, and specifying communication preferences. Once you have set up your account, choose ATTENDANCE from the menu.

If you cannot set up your account, you do not see the ATTENDANCE option, or you do not see your student(s) listed in your account, please contact the school directly to check that your correct email address is associated with your student(s).

Ways to Report an Absence:

Already have a SchoolMessenger account? Log in here:

SchoolMessenger app (free)
  1. Provide your email address to the school.
  2. Get the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store (or from the links at
  3. Tap Sign Up to create your account.
  4. Select Attendance from the menu, and then select Report an Absence
Web and Mobile Web:
  1. Provide your email address to the school.
  2. Go to the website.
  3. Click Sign Up to create your account.
  4. Select Attendance from the menu, then Select Report an Absence
Interactive Toll-free Phone: 
  1. Call the toll-free, interactive telephone system (844-290-7698) using a phone number you have on record with the district to identify you as a parent/guardian. 
  2. Follow the instructions to report an absence.

SafeArrival for Families FAQ (Adobe Acrobat File)


Attendance Guidelines

Menlo Park City School District is committed to ensuring that all students engage, achieve, and thrive. When students come to school regularly, they can build connections that lead to a sense of belonging that will help them engage, achieve, and thrive in school. Family partnership around student attendance is crucial to your child's success.

Absences will be marked "excused" or "unexcused." The only excused absences are for student illness, including for the benefit of the student's mental or behavioral health, student medical appointments, exclusion for failing to meet immunization requirements, student attendance at a funeral of one’s immediate family, religious observance, participating in a cultural ceremony or event, court appearance, and shadow days. See California Education Code regarding absences. All other absences will be marked “unexcused.” We realize that many families take their students out of school for other experiences, and therefore, in the past parents had the option of reporting a parent excused (P) for their child’s absence. This is no longer the case.

Menlo Park City School District schools currently offer an Independent Study Program. Students in Independent Study will only have an "unexcused" absence should they not complete the assigned Independent Study Program assignments. To arrange an Independent Study Program for your child, please contact the school office 5 days prior to your child's absence.
Thank you in advance for supporting our schools and continuing to make education your child’s number one priority.