The Need For Expanded Instruction: Saturday Academies at NUSD

From the start of the school year in August to when school lets out in June, students in the Novato Unified School District will miss aproximately 20,000 instruction days in the classroom.  Though Marin County has one of the reasonably lower rates of truancy and absenteeism in California, these statistics can still have a startling impact on our schools, students, and greater community.


Those most impacted by absenteeism are students, who miss opportunities to engage with classroom learning and ground their learning in the normal sequence of curricular concepts.  Having a safe, engaging environment available for students to rededicate themselves to their studies is an important goal of the Saturday Academy.  Not only will students have access to exciting new curriculum, but access to instruction at the Saturday Academy will give them an opportunity to catch up on missed work, connect with teachers outside the weekday classroom, and get remedial practice in skill areas vital to their continuing success in school.  Read more about the negative effects of chronic absenteeism in this report from the Attorney General, Kamala Harris’ office.


California funds the operating costs for its many school districts based on the number of students in a district and the daily attendance rates of those students.  That means that every absence, excused or unexcused, chronic or unexpected, impacts the school of enrollment at a loss of $62.23 per student per day!  This quickly adds up to tremendous losses for the district, compounded by the fact that NUSD is limited in how it can procure funds for operational expenses as mandated by state law.  The good news is that these losses are not necessarily permanent; students with absences who attend their school’s Saturday Academy help to recover these vital funds!  For more information about how absenteeism impacts School Districts in California, read the report by Attorney General, Kamala Harris, below

How Important Are ADA Funds To NUSD?

Every year, the Novato Unified School District loses a little over two million dollars of ADA funding due to student absences.

The Saturday Academy can help to recover these funds, with 60% of the recovered revenue going directly to the schools as unrestricted funds!

Saturday Academy at NUSD: Program Details

Program Highlights

The focus of each Saturday Academy will be on supporting the instructional learning on school site through creative expanded coursework available to all students.  Students will be engaged in a variety of related work to their in-class studies, with expanded time to explore projects and concepts in more depth.

Students who attend their school’s Saturday Academy will have the opportunity to make up missed work, absences, and restore their eligibility for the perfect attendance award.

Lunch will be available to students (Free and Reduced Lunch will be honored or funds deducted from the student’s Meal Account—No cash!)

The Saturday Academy program will be held on scheduled Saturdays at your child’s school site from 8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Students should arrive on time and are expected to cooperate and follow all regular school rules including dress code.

Saturday Academy Programs may offer but are not limited to:

  • Theater / Drama
  • AP/Honors projects
  • Language Arts Remediation or Enrichment
  • World Languages  
  • Photography / Multimedia
  • Writers’ Workshops
  • Dance / PE
  • Yearbook
  • Art: Painting, Clay, Paper Mache
  • SBAC Test Prep and Review
  • Science Labs/Experiments/Projects
  • Community Outreach/ Service Activities
  • Math Centers or Math Clinics
  • Tutorials
  • Band/Jazz Ensemble/Music
  • Soccer/Basketball/Volleyball Clinics
  • Project Based Learning
  • Technology and MORE!

Current District Attendance Rates


District Goal


Hamilton K-5


Loma Verde


Lu Sutton






Pleasant Valley




San Ramon


Hamilton 6-8


San Jose




Novato HS