New Attendance Laws in Effect
New House Bill 1170 has gone into effect requiring school districts to adopt stricter guidelines for school attendance. Effective 7/23/2017 HB 1170 defines changes to maintaining and facilitating court-based and school-based efforts to promote attendance and reduce truancy. Here are the statewide definitions of excused and unexcused absences.
Excused daily absences
The following are valid excuses for absences from school:
(1) Participation in a district or school approved activity or instructional program
(2) Illness, health condition or medical appointment
(3) Family emergency including but not limited to, a death or illness in the family
(4) Religious or cultural purpose
(5) Court, judicial proceeding or serving on a jury
(6) Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation or scholarship interview
(7) State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28Z.225.055
(8) Absence directly related to the students homeless status
(9) Absences related to deployment activities of a person or legal guardian who is an active duty member
(10) Absences resulting from disciplinary/corrective action
(11) Principal and parent, guardian mutually agreed upon approved activity (e.g. vacations) *limited to 5 days per year*
Unexcused daily absences
Any absence from school is unexcused unless it meets one of the criteria above.
**Examples of reasons that are NOT excusable might be, missing the bus or your ride, if a parent is running late, sleeping through your alarm, staying up too late the night before, taking a sibling to school, or just plain old running late.**
Thanks for helping your student to understand the importance of good attendance, arriving on time, and being prepared for school. This will help transition your student to high school and beyond.