Attendance Information

Schools are required to take daily attendance for students both in a remote learning setting as well as an in-person setting. The information below outlines criteria for attendance for both in-person and remote learning for the 2020-2021 school year.

ABSENCES

Absence from in-person learning
   
 1. WAC 392-401-015A states the definition of an absence:
     2. A student is absent when they are:
               a. Not physically present on school grounds; and
               b. Not participating in the following activities at an approved location:
                       i. Instruction;
                       ii. Any instruction-related activity; or
                       iii. Any other district or school approved activity that is regulated by
                            an instructional/academic accountability system, such as participation in
                            district-sponsored sports.
                       iv. On school grounds and not in assigned seating.

Absence from remote learning
     
1. A student is absent when they are:
              a. A student is absent from remote learning when the student is not participating in
                  planned instructional activities on a scheduled remote learning day. Evidence of
                  student participation in remote learning may include, but is not limited to:
                        i. Daily logins to learning management systems;
                        ii. Daily interactions with the teacher to acknowledge attendance
                            (including messages, emails, phone calls or video chats); or
                        iii. Evidence of participation in a task or assignment. 

Enter Absence Requests in Family Access
Parents/Guardians may now add an Absence Request in Family Access. This is possible
for any family associated with a student not just Family 1. Each entry requested by a parent
or guardian must be processed by the school’s attendance secretary. Once processed, the
attendance will show in the student’s attendance history for the 20-21 school year. To add
an absence request, follow these steps:
     1. Log into Family Access; also accessible in the mobile app.
     2. Select the Attendance tab.
                a. For the browser version, click on Absence Requests, then Add Request next to the
                    desired student.
                b. For the mobile app, first select a student and then click Add Absence Request.
     3. Complete the screen adding the date(s), unselect the All Day box to enter specific times.
          For example: late arrival, early, release, or an appointment in the middle of the day.
     4. Required - Select the absence reason your student will miss school from the drop down.
     5. Required - Enter a comment with additional information for the attendance office.
     6. Optional - Copy this absence request to other students within your family.
     7. Click Save or Submit.

Each day the attendance office will process absence requests entered by parents/
guardians. If they have any questions the office will contact you either by phone or email. If
not, the absence will be approved and recorded to your student’s attendance record.

EXCUSED ABSENCES

The parent will be notified, on the documented primary phone number, by the Auto Dialer
on the day of an unexcused absence. Attendance letters will be sent to parent/guardians at
three, five, seven and fifteen unexcused absences.

EXCUSED ABSENCES FROM IN-PERSON LEARNING OR REMOTE LEARNING.

     (1) Absences due to the following reasons must be excused:
              (a) 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;
              (b) Family emergency, including, but not limited to, a death or illness in the family;
              (c) Religious or cultural purpose, including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or
                   participation in religious or cultural instruction;
              (d) Court, judicial proceeding, court-ordered activity, or jury service;
              (e) Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship
                    interview;
              (f) State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055;
              (g) Absence directly related to the student’s homeless or foster care/dependency status;
              (h) Absences related to deployment activities of a parent who is an active duty member
                    consistent with RCW 28A.705.010;
               (i) 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;
               (j) Absences due to student safety concerns, including absences related to threats, as-
                    saults, or bullying;
               (k) Absences due to a student’s migrant status;
                (l) An approved activity that is consistent with district policy and is mutually agreed upon by
                     the principal or designee and a parent or emancipated youth;
                (m) Absences related to the student’s illness, health condition, or medical appointments due
                        to COVID-19;
                 (n) Absences related to caring for a family member who has an illness, health condition, or
                       medical appointment due to COVID-19;
                 (o) Absences related to the student’s employment or other family obligations during regular-
                       ly scheduled school hours that are temporarily necessary due to COVID-19 until other
                       arrangements can be made, including placement in a more flexible education program;
                  (p) Absences due to the student’s parent’s work schedule or other obligations during regu-
                        larly scheduled school hours, until other arrangements can be made;
                  (q) Absences due to the student’s lack of necessary instructional tools, including internet
                        broadband access or connectivity;
                  (r) Other COVID-19 related circumstances as determined between school and parent or
                        emancipated youth.
     (2) A school principal or designee has the authority to determine if an absence meets the
           above criteria for an excused absence.
     (3) School districts may define additional categories or criteria for excused absences.

A school principal or designee has the authority to determine if an absence meets the
above criteria for an excused absence. As required by law, absences due to disciplinary ac-
tions or short-term suspensions will be excused. In addition, the principal may, upon re-
quest by a parent and/or guardian, grant permission in advance for a student's absence
providing such absence does not adversely affect the student’s educational pro-
gress. These absences and absences for vacation purposes are strongly discouraged and
a planned absence form must be completed and submitted to the Attendance Office prior to
absence.


ILLNESS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY

Students may not leave the school because of illness without parent/guardian authorization

AND permission from either the school nurse, health room supervisor or school administra-
tor. Students must check in at the health room before requesting to leave school due to ill-
ness.

EARLY DISMISSAL

Parents may call the Attendance Office at 1005 to request an early dismissal. Students
missing any/all class time will be expected to make up any school work missed as a result
of the dismissal.

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

Any absence from school for the majority of hours or periods in an average school day is
unexcused unless it meets one of the criteria above for an excused absence.

Unexcused absences occur when:
    1. The parent, guardian, or adult student submits an excuse that does not meet the def-
        inition of an excused absence as defined above; or
    2. The parent, guardian, or adult student fails to submit any type of excuse statement,
         whether by phone, e-mail or in writing, for an absence.

Unexcused absences from remote learning.
Beginning October 5, 2020, any absence from remote learning is unexcused unless it
meets one of the criteria in WAC 392-401A-020.

TRUANCY/SKIPPING

Truancy is a violation of State Law. A student who misses class without excuse or leaves campus
without proper authorization will be considered truant from school. Students who skip class are sub-
ject to disciplinary action.

Truant students may not be allowed to make up work. Habitual truancies are subject to disciplinary
action. In such cases, a parent/guardian will be notified of continued truancy, and a conference held
with an administrator.

THE BECCA BILL

The Becca Bill addresses the issue of unexcused student absences from school. In compliance with
that legislation, the following steps are followed:
      1. Parents will be informed by either phone or written correspondence after one (1) unexcused
          absence for a student within any month during the current school year.
      2. After three (3) unexcused absences in any month during the school year, a parent/guardian
          conference will be required.
      3. Between the second (2) and seventh (7) unexcused absence, in a year, the school will admin-
           ister a screener and take data informed steps to reduce the student’s absences.
      4. On or after the seventh (7) unexcused absences in a month, the school shall enter into an
           agreement with the student and parent/guardian that establishes school attendance requirements,
           refer student to a Community Engagement Board, or File a petition under subsection 1 of RCW
           28A.225.030.
      5. After a student has accumulated seven (7) unexcused absences in a month, and not later than
          fifteen (15) cumulative unexcused absences in a school year, the district is required to file a tru-
          ancy petition with the court. The respondent to the petition will be the student if 12 years of age
          or older. (RCW 28A.225.010)



As in previous years, there are times when students need to be absent from class due to illness or other reasons. Parents can excuse their student’s absence either by submitting the reason for the absence into Family Access or calling their student’s school.

Please call the CJH Attendance Office at 566-5618, or email our attendance secretary, Molly McConaghy, at mmcconaghy@upsd83.org.