What can you do to help?
  • Schedule appointments to occur before or after school.
  • Allow your student to stay home only when they are truly sick.
  • Develop a back-up plan for getting to school.
  • Talk to your student about the importance of attendance.
  • Talk to your student's teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. This could be something tied to something going on at school.
  • Update information if your address or phone number changes.
  • If your student is going to be absent, please contact your school's attendance office. The attendance voicemail system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • If prior notice is not possible, you may call, send and e-mail or written note upon return to school. Please include:
    • Name of student
    • Name and contact information of the individual proving the excuse, and their relationship to the student.
    • Dates of absence
    • Reason for absence
Please contact the office manager or attendance office at your school for more information.

All About Attendance

What happens if my student misses school?

  • Contact your students's school to communicate the reason for the absence. If there is a valid excuse for the absence, it will be excused. The school principal (or designee) has the authority to determine if an absence meets the criteria for an excused absence.
  • If a student has missed 7 day of school during a school year, our district requires 3rd party documentation to excuse all future absences and early dismissals. Qualified 3rd party documentation includes note from a doctor, dentist, therapist, etc. which lists the specific dates of absence to be excused. If you cannot take your child to the doctor, you may bring your child to the school health room. If the school nurse determines that your student is too ill to stay at school, the absence will be excused.
  • All late arrivals/tardies are considered unexcused without 3rd party documentation.
  • After 20 consecutive days of non attendance, excused or unexcused, we are required to withdraw your student from school.

Excused Absences

Unexcused Absences

  • After 3 unexcused absences in a 30-day period a conference will be scheduled with you and your student to identify the barriers and supports available to ensure regular attendance.
  • After 7 unexcused absences in a 30-day period or 10 unexcused absences within the school year, we are required to file a petition with juvenile court, alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010.  The petition will automatically be stayed in order to continue to try and improve attendance. 
  • Community Truancy Boards and Attendance Summits are district level interventions that you may be referred to in effort to improve attendance.
  • If above actions are not successful, the district will file a petition with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010 by the parent, student or parent and student. The parent and student will be required to appear in the Pierce County Juvenile Court.

Elementary Absences

After five excused absences in a 30 day period, or ten or more excused absences in the school year, the school is required* to schedule a conference to discuss the barriers to attendance and create a plan to support improved attendance. If your student has an Individualized Education Plan or a 504 Plan the team that created the plan needs to reconvene. 

*A conference is not required if your student has provided a doctor's note, or the absences are due to an approved planned excused absence.

Community Truancy Board

Did you know?

  • Starting in kindergarten, too many absences (excused or unexcused) can cause a child to fall behind?
  • Missing 10% of the school year is considered chronically absent. That's only 2 days a month!
  • Being late to school may lead to both poor attendance and lack of academic profess.
  • Setting a regular bedtime and morning routine can reduce tardies and absences.
  • By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of the three signs a student may drop out of high school
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.

State Law and Attendance Policies

The Becca Bill requires children from age 8 to 17 to attend a public school, private school, or a district-approved home school program. Children who 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.