Absence Reporting


The District employs nearly 400 certificated substitutes and 300 classified substitutes. These employees provide a valuable service to VUSD; these employees also work for other San Diego County School Districts. Planning is key to success when securing a substitute in your absence. The District utilizes a web and phone based system,SmartFindExpress , that allows employees to manage their absences and obtain a substitute.

In addition to the use of the automated system, employees are required to report their absences to their immediate supervisor.


Effective July 1, 2018, all Vista Unified School District certificated, classified, confidential, supervisory, and management employees (except Bus Drivers and Transportation Assistants) are required to report their absences from work into the SmartFind Express Absence Management system, whether or not a substitute is needed. This will ensure uniform procedures for absence reporting.

Due to the unique nature of their positions, Bus Drivers and Transportation Assistants will continue to follow the procedures established by the Director of Transportation to report their absences.

If you do not know if you have registered before OR if you have never registered, please follow the steps below to register with SmartFind Express:

  1. To start the registration process, access SmartFind Express by calling (760) 726-1379.

  2. Enter your Access ID (which is the same as your Employee ID number), followed by the star (*) key

  3. When the system asks for your PIN, enter the default PIN, followed by the star (*) key. If you do not know the default PIN, please contact the secretary at your site/department.

    1. If this is incorrect, the system will tell you that your PIN is invalid. If this occurs, contact the secretary at your site/department to look up your PIN.

  4. The system will ask you to record your name. Record your name and when you have finished recording, press the star (*) key

  5. Next, you will hear the primary location and classification that has been set up in your profile. If this information is incorrect, please call (760) 726-2170 x92207 for certificated and (760) 726-2170 x92200 for classified.

  6. You will be able to create a new personalized PIN using option 4. PIN must be numeric, at least 6 digits but not more than 9.

If you don't remember your PIN:

Your site/department secretary can look up your Access ID and PIN.

Once you have a PIN and have registered by phone as stated above, you may access SmartFind Express either by phone or online:

Phone: (760) 726-1379

Website: vistausd.eschoolsolutions.com

You can access the complete SmartFind Express Employee User Guide on the Vista Unified School District website here: www.vistausd.org/employees. Once you are logged into the SmartFind Express website, you can view tutorial videos by clicking the Help button.

Thank you for your support as we implement these procedures. If you need further assistance, please call (760) 726-2170 x92207 for certificated and (760) 726-2170 x92214 for classified.


The Certificated Substitute Handbook for Administrators is a guide for management employees and school office staff in working with, obtaining and managing substitute employees.

The Individual Teacher Evaluation of Substitute Teaching Performance form should be used to report outstanding performance or performance concerns regarding substitute employees. These reports are received by the Human Resources Department for follow up if needed. A School Secretary can provide a teacher with this form.