Attendance and Truancy
We know that there are a wide range of reasons that students are absent from school, from health concerns to transportation challenges. Whatever the reason, our building staff are prepared to help with the challenges and getting your student to school regularly and on-time.
State Law requires that we track attendance daily, to notice when your student is missing from class, communicate with you to understand why they were absent, and to identify barriers and supports available to overcome challenges facing you and your student.
School Policies and State Laws
It is important that you understand our school policies and procedures, as well as Washington State Law, to ensure your child is successful in school. State law for mandatory attendance, called 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 that 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.
Did You Know?
- 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.
- Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
- Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
- By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
- By being present at school, your child learns valuable social skills and has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with other students and school staff.
- 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.
- By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
What Can You Do?
- Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
- Prepare for school the night before, finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
- Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required immunizations.
- Don’t let your student stay home unless they are truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomachache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
- Avoid appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
- Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
- Keep track of your student’s attendance. Missing more than 9 days could put your student at risk of falling behind.
- Talk to your student about the importance of attendance.
- Talk to your student’s teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.
- Encourage meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs
Community Engagement Board
What is the Community Engagement Board?
- A board of awesome community members that have received specific training, that meets with students and families to identify barriers to attendance and recommend resources and services for improving attendance
- The Community Engagement Board (CEB) acts as a bridge between student success and the community
- Provide a supportive space for students with ongoing truancy issues to openly discuss and identify the reasons behind their truancy
- The CEB works in partnership with local community partners, volunteers, district staff and the local juvenile court to intervene with students’ ongoing attendance barriers
- Boards are highlighted as a key intervention in the truancy process. According to our State Legislature, the CEB is a preferred means of intervention
The Community Engagement Board are held at the school district administration office. They typically occur twice a month between the hours of 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. The CEB are held both virtually and in-person.
The purpose of the Community Engagement Board is to provide an opportunity for the student and parent/guardian to meet with concerned community members and to be introduced to new ideas and resources with the purpose of improving student school engagement.
If you have questions about your specific truancy board time and date, please contact the Community Engagement Board Specialist via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are always seeking volunteers for our Community Engagement Boards; if you are interested, please contact us!