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Oakland Unified School District

Student Support & Safety

Chronic absences and truancy open the door to deeper trouble. Students who do not attend school are at risk for dropping out, falling behind academically, and getting involved with the Juvenile Justice System. These absences also cost Oakland schools millions of dollars per year, depriving all students of needed programs – not just the ones who skip school.

When students attend school regularly, their performance improves, appreciation for learning grows, conduct improves, and prospects brighten. Additionally, schools receive more money to pay for teachers and educational programs, crime falls, and neighborhoods blossom – all of Oakland benefits.

Increasing student attendance is one of the primary focus areas for the Attendance and Discipline Support Services unit. In addition to working to help reduce chronic absences, the Attendance and Discipline Support Services unit provides support to students and families that have been referred to the Pupil Disciplinary Hearing Panel (PDHP), which facilitates expulsion hearings, and works with the Student Attendance Review Team (SART) and School Attendance Review Board (SARB) processes.


Please refer to the individual sub-unit's web pages on the left menu bar for their goals and priorities:

  • Pupil Disciplinary Hearing Panel (PDHP)
  • Student Attendance Review Team (SART)
  • School Attendance Review Board (SARB)

How Our Work is a Part of the Strategic Plan

Boosting attendance is a critical component of OUSD’s Strategic Plan. We want our students to reach their academic goals and help them fulfill their potential. In order to do that, we have to look critically at why children are absent and develop personal, targeted approaches to reach them. These strategies include working together with school administrators to identify and support at-risk children, developing partnerships with the broader Oakland community to address the problem of chronic absences, providing incentives for students with great attendance histories, and building public awareness about the link between attendance and student achievement.

Programs and Services

  • Build school staff capacity by assisting them in identifying and supporting at-risk students
  • Support and train school staff to utilize strategies that promote good behavior and attendance
  • Provide parent notification, education, and outreach around chronic absenteeism, truancy, and disciplinary issues and referrals
  • Send Notification of Truancy (NOT) letters
  • Facilitate School Attendance Review Board (SARB) and expulsion hearings
  • Facilitate the placement of truant and/or expelled students in the appropriate education program
  • Hold admission hearings for students returning from expulsion
  • Establish and maintain relationships with community partners to promote positive attendance and alternatives for suspension

Contact Us

8521 A Street, #47
Oakland, CA 94621

(510) 879-2411

Email Us

For More Information on OUSD Student Support & Safety Services

For Pupil Disciplinary Hearing Panel (PDHP) Information

Misha Karigaca

Director, Student Support & Safety

Office: (510) 879-2483

Rene Garcia

Program Manager, DHP

Office: (510) 879-2504

Brenda Mendieta

Administrative Assistant III, Community Schools & Student Services

Office: (510) 879-2411

For School Attendance Review Board (SARB) Information

Kenya Latimore

School Attendance Review Board (SARB) Facilitator

Office: (510) 879-2435