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ATTENDANCE

 

It is important that you understand our school policies and procedures, as well as Washington State Law, to ensure your child is successful in school. State law for mandatory attendance (RCW 28A.225) requires children from age 8 to 17 to attend a public school, private school, or a district-approved home school program. Children that are 6- or 7-years-old are not required to be enrolled in school. However, if parents enroll their 6- or 7-year- old, the student must attend full-time. Youth who are 16 or older may be excused from attending public school if they meet certain requirements.

All students are expected to be regular in attendance.

At the elementary level an absence is defined as missing more than 75 minutes of either an a.m. or p.m. session.

At the secondary level an absence is defined as missing three or more periods. Any secondary student who misses ten (10) minutes or more of a class period is considered absent for that period.

Absenteeism may adversely affect the student’s academic performance (report card, student assessments, etc.), regardless of whether the absences are excused or not pursuant to PSD Board Policy 3122.  A pattern of absenteeism is cause for progressive interventions.

 

WAC 392-401-020

EXCUSED ABSENCES.

Absences due to the following reasons must be excused:

(1) Illness, health condition or medical appointment (including, but not limited to, medical, counseling, dental, optometry, pregnancy, and in-patient or out-patient treatment for chemical dependency or mental health) for the student or person for whom the student is legally responsible;

(2) Family emergency including, but not limited to, a death or illness in the family;

(3) Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction;

(4) Court, judicial proceeding, court-ordered activity, or jury service;

(5) Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview;

(6) State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055;

(7) Absence directly related to the student's homeless or foster care/dependency status;

(8) Absences related to deployment activities of a parent or legal guardian who is an active duty member consistent with RCW 28A.705.010;

(9) Absences due to suspensions, expulsions or emergency expulsions imposed pursuant to chapter 392-400 WAC if the student is not receiving educational services and is not enrolled in qualifying "course of study" activities as defined in WAC 392-121-107;

(10) Absences due to student safety concerns, including absences related to threats, assaults, or bullying;

(11) Absences due to a student's migrant status; and

(12) An approved activity that is consistent with district policy and is mutually agreed upon by the principal or designee and a parent, guardian, or emancipated youth.

A school principal or designee has the authority to determine if an absence meets the above criteria for an excused absence.

Upon returning to school following an absence, students must clear their absence with either a note or phone call by a parent/guardian stating the date and reason for the absence. Failure to clear this absence will result in a documented unexcused absence.  These excuses become a part of the student's attendance record. School officials may request additional verification for an absence whenever they have reasonable grounds to believe the reasons stated in an excuse are not legitimate or a pattern of chronic absenteeism exists. A doctor’s note or other official documentation may be required. Failure to provide such documentation would result in an unexcused absence.

A student must arrange for all make-up work following an absence.

 

Elementary Excused Absences:

In the event a child in an elementary school has five (5) or more excused absences in a 30-day period during the current school year, or ten (10) or more excused absences in the current school year, the school district shall schedule a conference or conferences with the parent and child.  The conference shall be scheduled at a time reasonably convenient for all persons included for the purpose of identifying the barriers to the child’s regular attendance, and the supports and resources that may be made available to the family so that the child is able to regularly attend school.  If a regularly scheduled parent-teacher conference day is to take place within 30 days of the absences, the school district may schedule this conference on that day. The conference must include at least one school district employee such as a nurse, counselor, social worker, teacher, or community human services provider, except in those instances regarding the attendance of a child who has an IEP or Section 504 plan, in which case the reconvening of the team that created the program or plan is required.

A conference pursuant to the preceding paragraph is not required in the event of excused absences for which prior notice has been given to the school or a doctor’s note has been provided and an academic plan is put in place so that the child does not fall behind.

 
PLANNED ABSENCE:

Students who are aware that they will be absent from school due to non-school related activities, or a parent/guardian request, need to complete a Planned Absence Form which is available in the Attendance Office. If the absence is longer than three (3) days, the school office will assist in obtaining assignments. If this service is necessary, a request should be made to the office. Please allow at least 24 hours for teachers to prepare materials.

Any student excused for a personal planned absence must make up all work missed as determined by his/her teacher.


WAC 392-401-030

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES.

Any absence from school is unexcused unless it meets one of the criteria provided in WAC 392-401-020 Excused Absences.

Absences are considered unexcused if no parent/guardian or caregiver phone call or written note is received by the office within a reasonable time and the reason given does not meet the condition of an excused absence. Unexcused absences will result in progressive disciplinary action.

Every effort must be made to get students to school who missed their transportation. Arriving to school on time is a student/guardian responsibility. Missed transportation, missed ride, traffic conditions, weather conditions or car problems may not always be a valid excuse for an absence or tardy.

LEAVING THE SCHOOL GROUNDS:

All Puyallup School District campuses are closed campuses. Permission in writing from the office must be obtained to leave the campus at any time after arriving on school grounds. No student may leave during the day without parent/guardian permission and office approval. Students who fail to check out through the office will be considered unexcused and subject to progressive discipline.

After school, students are expected to leave school grounds upon dismissal unless attending a school activity and to go home promptly unless parent/guardian has given permission otherwise.

CONSEQUENCES FOR UNEXCUSED ABSENCES:

Washington State's truancy law, known as the Becca Bill, requires the school/district and the juvenile court to take specific actions when youth are truant. (RCW 28A.225.030)

School/District Requirements

Action Steps

(1) After each unexcused absence, the school will inform the parent in writing or by phone.

(2) After three (3) unexcused absences in a month (within a 30-day period), the school is required to send a letter inviting the parent/guardian to a conference to improve the student's attendance through addressing barriers to attendance and identifying and implementing appropriate interventions.

(3) Upon seven (7) unexcused absences in a 30 day period, or ten (10) unexcused absences in an academic year, a Truancy Petition may be filed with the juvenile court and the student may be referred to the Puyallup School District Community Truancy Board.

(4) A Truancy Petition will be filed with the court and stayed to allow the attendance issue to be resolved at the school level through the implementation of appropriate interventions to address barriers and improve attendance. Updates during the term of the Petition will be provided to the courts.If a student’s attendance does not substantially improve the student and family will have to appear in court. School and district based intervention plans will continue to be implemented and monitored.

All attendance violations are cumulative for one (1) school year, unless otherwise determined by the court.

TARDIES:

Students are considered tardy when they are not in their classrooms when the bell rings for the beginning of the school session/class period.

Tardies are considered unexcused If they do not meet one of the criteria in WAC 392-401-020.

Tardies will be excused for reasons such as student illness, medical/dental appointments, bereavement, religious observance, family emergency, a student’s pregnancy /parenting needs, court appearances, and delayed district transportation.

Circumstances such as over-sleeping, missing the bus, traffic conditions, weather conditions, or car problems may not be considered excused tardiness. Secondary:  Any student who arrives up  to  ten minutes late to a class without a legitimate reason, as determined by the principal/designee, is considered tardy for that period.

Elementary: Any student who arrives up to 20% of the day late, is considered tardy. Students who demonstrate a pattern of tardies are subject to progressive intervention.


EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
AND ATHLETICS:

Any student participating in an extra-curricular activity/contest shall be expected to attend and participate in all classes on the day of the scheduled activity/contest. In cases of weekday scheduled activities, attendance in all classes the following day shall also be expected. In cases of weekend scheduled activities, attendance in all classes the previous Friday shall be expected. Failure to comply with these attendance regulations may result in a student being declared ineligible to participate in the next scheduled activity.

Secondary: On any school day a student must be in attendance at least one-half (1/2) of the school day to be eligible to participate in a practice.

Exceptions to these rules may be made by the building principal/designee.

EARLY DISMISSAL AND RE-ADMITTANCE:

Students will be excused for early dismissal for reasons such as, student illness, medical/dental appointments, bereavement, religious observance, family emergency, a student’s pregnancy /parenting needs, court appearances, or if the student has received approval by the school for a personal planned absence. Verification of appointments may be required if the student has a pattern of absenteeism. Whenever possible, students are expected to be in school before or after medical/dental appointments.

The parent/guardian is asked to make written requests for early dismissal of students. Parents of elementary and junior high students are expected to make arrangements through the school office and to physically sign out or sign in their child(ren); secondary students are to come to the Attendance Office to check out and an early dismissal slip will be issued. Upon re-entering school on the same day as an early dismissal, the student must report to the office to sign in.

Students will be expected to make up all class work missed as determined by his/her teacher.