Attendance

ATTENDANCE POLICIES

THE COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE LAW OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON requires students to regularly and punctually attend school and holds parents and schools accountable for attendance. A section of this legal code is known as the "Becca Bill," named after the tragic case of a runaway teen. The goal of this bill is to improve school attendance and reduce unexcused absences and tardiness.

Excused Absence, Tardies and Early Dismissals

Under district policy, an excused absence or tardy is one in which the parent, by phone call or note, presents a reason for non-attendance. Notification must be within two school days of the child's return to school. The acceptable reasons for an excused absence or tardy include:

  • Illness
  • Medical, dental or other appointment that cannot be scheduled before or after school
  • Recognized religious observance
  • Family emergency or event such as a funeral or birth
  • A prearranged absence, early dismissal or tardy which the principal approved in advance.
  • These criteria guide schools in determining what is an excusable absence or tardy.

Note: A parent excusing a child's absence, early dismissal or tardy does not make it "excused" under district policy and state law. The event must meet one of the criteria above. School personnel will determine if an absence is excused (see reasons above) or unexcused (overslept, missed bus, etc.) in accordance with district policy and state law.

Three unexcused tardies equals one unexcused absence.

A note from a physician is required after three consecutive days of absences.

Absence / Illness / Late arrivals

It is very important that you let the school know when your child will be absent or late to school. Please leave a message on the attendance line, 425.431.7374 Option #1. The parents of all children not in attendance and not previously excused will be called by our safe arrival program. This is our way of checking to make sure the child is safe at home if they are not in attendance at school.

How Parents Can Help

Report absences and tardies on the attendance line at 425.431.7374 Option #1 prior to 7:45 am on the morning they occur. This feature is available 24 hours a day. Please record the child's name, teacher's name and the reason for the absence. In the event that our office staff does not hear from a parent concerning an absent student, we will attempt to make contact with the parents at the telephone numbers listed on the student record. This procedure insures the safety of your student if he or she does not arrive at school. If we are unable to contact anyone, the absence is recorded as unexcused unless we receive a note within two days of the child's return to school.

  • Verification of student absences or tardies with a note helps us check on truancy and communicable disease trends. It is the responsibility of individual parents to ensure that your child's absence or tardy is excused within two days of each occurrence.
  • If your child has a doctor, dental, or other appointment that cannot be scheduled outside the school day, please send a note with the child the morning of the appointment. Students receiving an early release must be signed out through the main office.
  • Help your child arrive at the recommended arrival time of 7:50 am. School begins at 8:00 am.
  • Please keep your child at home if he or she has had a fever in the last 24 hours. We appreciate your child's attendance when healthy.

Vacations

Please schedule vacations during school scheduled breaks to minimize disruptions to student learning. Vacations require prior approval of the principal. A Prearranged Absence Form is available on our website or in the main office. This form should be submitted two weeks prior to the absence. Final approval for an excused absence is made by the principal. If the vacation request is not excused, the office will notify parents. Families can then make other arrangements, such as having the student stay with a relative or neighbor, or rescheduling the vacation.

Actions Steps for Unexcused Absences

In accordance with state law, all students will attend and be punctual at regularly scheduled classes unless officially excused. The "Becca Bill" requires the District to:

1. Schedule a conference with parents after the second unexcused absence/truancy.

2. File a petition with the county court after the 7th unexcused absence in a month or 10th unexcused absence in a year. This petition may be filed earlier.

3. Report to the court additional absences, which occur after the first referral.

According to district policy #8130R, absences and tardies are excused for personal illness or injury (may require doctor's confirmation), doctor or dental appointments, participation in religious holidays or other absences deemed appropriate by the principal. School related absences/tardies are also excused.

Families are to complete a "Pre-Arranged Absence" form (available in the office) and submit them to the office prior to vacation absences. The form will be completed by the classroom teacher and attendance secretary. Final decisions for applications will be made by the principal (Policy #8125).

Tardiness and Early Dismissals

Tardiness and early dismissals hurts learning. Frequent tardiness and early dismissals of even a few minutes clearly interferes with an individual student's performance. By interrupting the class, it also disrupts other students as well. Reducing tardiness helps teachers to get morning learning activities underway for all students or eliminates time spent helping late arrivals to "catch up". Early dismissals interfere with instructional time and students may miss important information during the day's wrap-up, including homework assignments. To be excused, a tardy must meet the same general criteria as an excused absence. Tardiness clearly due to circumstances beyond a parent or student's control (such as a late bus) will be automatically excused.

If there is a frequent pattern of unexcused tardies or early dismissals, the school will contact parents detailing the occurrences. The intent is to work together to find possible solutions to maximize attendance and student learning.

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