Navigation

Longview School District

Container

Longview, WA, USA

Policy No. 3122

Students

 

EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

The District recognizes that good scholarship and citizenship are dependent upon regular and punctual class attendance. Attending assigned classes provides students contact with educators and opportunities for interactive participation that are vital to the progression of learning and the mastery of the educational program. Attending class also provides opportunities for acquiring and practicing group skills and responsibilities through interaction with other students. The District further recognizes that promptness and reliability are necessary skills for lifelong success. Therefore, all District students are expected to punctually attend all assigned classes each day.

Students who do not attend assigned courses may be subject to discipline reasonably calculated to modify their conduct as allowed by state law.

School staff will keep a record of absence and tardiness, including a call log and/or a record of excuse statements submitted by a parent/guardian, or in certain cases, students, to document a studentʼs excused absences.

The superintendent will issue procedures governing the consequences for unexcused absences or tardiness consistent with state law.

 

Definition of Absence

A student is absent when he or she is not physically present on school grounds and not participating in the following activities at an approved location: instruction; any instruction-related activity; or any other District- or school-approved activity that is regulated by an instructional/academic accountability system, such as participation in District-sponsored sports. A student will be considered absent if he or she is on school grounds but not in the assigned setting.

A student will not be considered absent when he or she has been suspended, expelled, or emergency expelled pursuant to Chapter 392-400 WAC; is receiving educational services as required by RCW 28A.600.015 and Chapter 392-400 WAC; and is enrolled in qualifying “course of study” activities as defined in WAC 392-121-107.

A full-day absence is when a student is absent for 50 percent or more of his or her scheduled day. The District will not convert or combine tardies into absences that contribute to a truancy petition.

 

Excused Absences

At times, students may be appropriately absent from class. The following principles will govern the development and administration of attendance procedures within the District. Absences due to the following reasons will 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. Absences 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 in 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;
  12. An approved activity that is consistent with District policy and is mutually agreed upon by the principal or designee and a parent, guardian, adult student, or emancipated minor.

The school principal or designee has the authority to determine if an absence meets the above criteria for an excused absence. The superintendent or designee may define additional categories or criteria for excused absences.

If an absence is excused, the student will be permitted to make up all missed assignments outside of class under reasonable conditions and time limits established by the appropriate teacher. However, in participation-type classes, a student’s grade may be affected because of the student's inability to make up the activities conducted during a class period.

An excused absence will be verified by the parent/guardian; the adult, emancipated, or appropriately aged student; or the school authority responsible for the absence. If attendance is taken electronically, either for a course conducted online or for students physically within the District, an absence will default to unexcused until such time as an excused absence may be verified by a parent/guardian or other responsible person. If a student is to be released for family planning and/or related medical purposes, the student may require that the District keep the information confidential. Students 13 and older have the right to keep information about drug, alcohol, or certain mental health treatment confidential. Students 14 and older have the same confidentiality rights regarding testing or treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS).

 

Unexcused Absences

Any absence from school is unexcused unless it meets one of the criteria above for an excused absence. As a means of instilling values of responsibility and personal accountability, a student whose absence is not excused will experience the consequences of his or her absence in accordance with Procedure 3122.

 

Information for Students and Parents/Guardians

The District will inform students and parents/guardians about: the benefits of regular school attendance; the potential effects of excessive absenteeism, whether excused or unexcused, on academic achievement and graduation and dropout rates; school expectations of parents/guardians to ensure regular school attendance by students; the resources available to assist the child and parents/guardians; the role and responsibilities of the school; and the consequences of truancy, including the compulsory education requirements under Chapter 28A.225 RCW. Each school will provide access to such information before or at the time of enrollment of a child at a new school and at the beginning of each school year. The school may provide online access to this information if it regularly and ordinarily communicates most other information to parents/guardians online, unless a parent/guardian specifically requests information to be provided in paper form. The District will make reasonable efforts to enable parents/guardians to request and receive this information in a language in which they are fluent. A parent/guardian must date and acknowledge review of this information online or in writing before or at the time of enrollment of the child at a new school and at the beginning of each school year.

 

Review of Unexpected or Excessive Absences by Dependent Youth

A District representative or school employee will review unexpected or excessive absences with a student who is dependent under Chapter 13.34 RCW and adults involved with that youth, to include the youth’s caseworker, educational liaison, attorney if one is appointed, parent(s) or guardian(s), and foster parents or the person providing placement for the youth. The purpose of the review is to determine the cause of the absences, taking into account: unplanned school transitions, periods of running from care, in-patient treatment, incarceration, school adjustment, educational gaps, psychosocial issues, and unavoidable appointments during the school day. A District representative or school employee will proactively support the youth’s schoolwork so that the student does not fall behind.

 

Cross References:

3120 Enrollment
3121 Compulsory Attendance
3240 Student Conduct Expectations and Reasonable Sanctions
3241 Discipline for Student Misconduct
2161 Special Education and Related Services for Eligible Students
2162 Education of Students with Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
2165 Home or Hospital Instruction

 

Legal References:

RCW 13.34.300 Relevance of failure to cause juvenile to attend school to neglect petition
Chapter 28A.225 RCW Compulsory School Attendance and Admission
Chapter 392-401 WAC Statewide Definition of Absence, Excused and Unexcused

 

Adopted: February 8, 2010

Amended: April 11, 2016

Amended: February 27, 2017

Amended: October 23, 2017

Amended: July 22, 2019