Connect every day.
Daily attendance and engagement of students is expected whether students are participating in classes in-person or remotely through distance learning. All students are required to connect with remote learning every day, both synchronously and asynchronously.
Attendance is taken daily.
If your child needs to be absent from their scheduled learning time, contact your school to report the absence. Every absence, tardy and/or early dismissal needs to be reported to your child’s school. In alignment with Franklin Pierce Schools Policy 3122 and OSPI’s Emergency rule for 2020-21 school year, office personnel will determine if the absence is excused or unexcused.
The number of days missed matters!
Whether excused or unexcused, the number of days your student misses can greatly impact their academic success. Families should strive for regular attendance. Regular attendance means having, on average, less than two absences per month. An absence is defined as missing 50% or more of their scheduled day.
- Starting in kindergarten, too many absences (excused and unexcused) can cause children to fall behind in school.
- Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) increases the chance that your student will not read or master math at the same level as their peers.
- Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
- By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
- By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
- Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with schoolwork, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
- Unexcused absences are an early warning sign for unaddressed problems with school and future dropout.
Each school has an attendance team that regularly meets to review students who are struggling with attendance or may be having a hard time connecting. The purpose of these teams is to work with students and families to help address concerns and work together to resolve challenges that are impacting a student's learning. If your student needs support from your school's attendance team, please reach out to your student's counselor.
Sometimes when a student is really struggling, they may be invited to attend a Community Engagement Board meeting. The Community Engagement Board seeks to address the problem of truancy through the collaboration of school, court, and community resource providers. The Engagement Board makes recommendations to students, parents, and the school district with the goal of improving a student’s attendance record. Students who are on a Becca petition may be referred to a Community Engagement Board.
- Student is not present in a LIVE class conference (including advisory) AND/OR
- Student did not log in to Canvas that day. Students who log in to Canvas but do not join their class session are marked with a special code: V for Virtual Presence. This will also trigger the automatic phone call because the student was not actually "in class."
- 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;
- Family emergency including, but not limited to, a death or illness in the family;
- Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction;
- Court, judicial proceeding, court-ordered activity, or jury service;
- Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview;
- State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055;
- Absence directly related to the student's homeless or foster care/dependency status;
- Absences related to deployment activities of a parent or legal guardian who is an active duty member consistent with RCW 28A.705.010;
- 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;
- Absences due to student safety concerns, including absences related to threats, assaults, or bullying;
- Absences due to a student's migrant status; and
- 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.
- Absences related to the student’s illness, health condition, or medical appointments due to COVID-19;
- Absences related to caring for a family member who has an illness, health condition, or medical appointment due to COVID-19;
- Absences related to the student’s employment or other family obligations* during regularly 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;
- Absences due to the student’s parent’s work schedule or other obligations during regularly scheduled school hours, until other arrangements can be made;
- Absences due to the student’s lack of necessary instructional tools, including internet broadband access or connectivity, stability, reliability, outages, etc.
- Other COVID-19 related circumstances as determined between school and parent or emancipated youth.
FPS attendance policies are developed based upon Washington State’s Compulsory Attendance Law RCW 28A.225.
The law states the following:
- 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.
- If above actions are not successful, the district will file a truancy 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.
State law 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.
Set expectations for good attendance.
Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success—both in school and in life. When you make school attendance a priority, you help your child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, avoid dangerous behavior, and have a better chance of graduating from high school.
Reach out for support.
We are here to help! If you need support and resources to address the barriers to school attendance, please connect with your child’s front office staff, teacher, or counselor.
|Hewins Early Learning Center||253-298-4675|
|Central Avenue Elementary||253-298-3200|
|James Sales Elementary||253-298-4200|
|Ford Middle School||253-298-3606|
|Keithley Middle School||253-298-4313|
|Franklin Pierce High School||253-298-3813|
|Washington High School||253-298-4714|
|GATES High School||253-298-4070|
You may also reach out to our Attendance Intervention Specialist, Andi Sledge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-298-3011.