A. Attendance will be taken each period in each class. The Automated Phone Messaging System will attempt to call daily to advise parents of same day absences. An absence is defined as ANY TIME a student misses class or when a student misses more than 10 minutes of any class.
B. When a student accumulates: 1. Five (5) absences in a class, the appropriate teachers will conference with the student and contact the parents/guardian by telephone. (Please document phone attempts or contact.)
2. *Eleven (11) absences, the student will be referred to the Student Concern Team (SCT) for intervention. Possible action may include monitoring, parent contact, a formal intervention meeting, or referral to juvenile court for intervention under RCW 28A.225.015 (the Becca law).
*NOTE: Students who are absent often and miss required assignments or activities may ultimately earn a failing grade. Students failing three (3) or more classes during the semester may be dropped from EHS. Parents or administrators may request a conference at any time during this process. The purpose of the conference will be to eliminate or reduce the student's absences.
Responsibility for Attendance
Student and parents must accept full responsibility for regular school attendance. Failure to do so may result in loss of credit and grades, removal from class or referral to Juvenile Court. Teachers are required by law to have accurate attendance records. The teachers' grade book is the document that will be audited. Teachers are not to have teacher assistants take roll. It is part of the teacher’s duty to maintain accurate attendance records by law.
Students are expected to attend all classes. Parents or guardians should call the school when their student will be absent for all or part of a school day to report the reason for the absence. Students returning to school after an absence must report directly to the Attendance Office to pick up an admit slip back to class. If a parent/guardian has not phoned the Attendance Office, the student must bring a note from parent/guardian explaining the nature of the absence, date of absence, student’s name, and signature of parent. Failure to phone in or bring a note within 48 hours of the absence may result in the absence being considered truancy. Failure to complete missed assignments will result in loss of credit for those assignments. Students will be given a minimum of one day for every day of absence to make up work assigned DURING the absence. Teachers may choose to extend the time at their discretion.
A student is considered truant anytime an absence has not been cleared by a parent or teacher.
Authorized Reasons for Being Absent
Per Elma School District policy 3122, the following are valid excuses for absences or tardiness:
• Participation in school-approved activities
• Disciplinary suspensions
• Doctor’s appointment (please schedule after school if
• Chronic or extended illness or health condition (medical
• Family emergency or bereavement
• Religious observance
Please note that it is NOT okay to be absent from school for special events such as skiing, hunting, shopping, tanning, family vacations, etc. Such activities are not considered excused under district policy or compulsory attendance law and should be scheduled outside of school hours. Numerous non-conforming (NC) absences may result in referral to juvenile court under RCW 28A.225.015 (the Becca law). In the event a student must be absent from school for reasons other than those identified above, approval must be requested from the principal or assistant principal at least one week in advance. Approval of non-conforming absences is at the reasonable discretion of the administrator EXCEPT that no approval shall be granted in any case where a student is earning a D or F in one or more classes at the time of the request.
Partial Day Absence
Students who must leave the school during the day MUST checkout through the Attendance Office prior to leaving school. A telephone call or note from the parent is required to leave during the day. If students leave without signing out, disciplinary action will follow.
Pre-arranged, approved absences are included in the total accumulation of student absences. Disciplinary suspensions and competitive school related activities in which the student participates directly and is required to miss class do not count as one of the 11 absences. These absences will be identified with an “SB” or “SP” in the attendance record. Pre-Arranged absences for religious observance will also not count as one of the 11 absences. Prearranged absences will be noted with “PT”, “SB”, or “OT” in the student’s attendance record. A class that lasts for more than one period will count as one absence for each
period missed. In other words, missing a two period block class for one day will count as two (2) absences in that particular class. Dialogue between teachers/advisors/coaches is encouraged for students in danger of failing. Teachers/advisors/coaches are expected to use the process detailed below for pre-arranged student absences under their direct supervision in order to facilitate communication and ensure students’ academic success. The supervising teacher/advisor/coach must generate a tentative list of all students who will be participating in an activity/sporting event/field trip and make this list available to staff members five (5) school days in advance of the event. Staff members who have concerns regarding the academic performance/failing grades of any student participant must notify the advisor/coach within 48 hours of the event/activity. A final list of all participants must be made available to staff 24 hours in advance of the event. Following the activity/event, the supervising teacher/advisor/coach will submit to the Attendance Office the next school business day by 8:00 a.m. a list of all students who participated. The Attendance secretary will make any needed changes in a student’s attendance profile. NOTE: Students leaving the school district for any activity must have prior parent approval. A signed parent permission form for each activity must be submitted to the supervising teacher/advisor 48 hours in advance of the event. Sporting events that occur after school hours require a seasonal parent permission slip. For all other pre-arranged absences (medical appointments, family trips, out of state travel), the following procedure must be complied with. The student must: A. Bring a written note from home explaining the reason for the pre-arranged absence, the date(s) the student will absent, the student’s name and the signature of the parent, or
B. Obtain a pre-arranged absence form from the Attendance Office Circulate it among his/her teachers who will sign it and indicate to what extent the student's grade will be affected.
Return it to the attendance office no later than 24 hours before the absence is to occur.
Teacher to Teacher Absences
Immediate prior approval in writing from both teachers will be adequate for this absence. It is the student's responsibility to obtain such verification. Missing a class to study for a test or completing an assignment for another class is not appropriate. For in-building events involving a few students, such as lunchtime sales, activity setups, the requesting teacher will confer with the sending teacher prior to having students circulate pre-arranged absence forms.
[EHS Student Handbook, 2011-12, pgs. 19-21]