Regular and punctual attendance is extremely important to your child’s success in school. We encourage you to help your child develop these good habits. However, when absences or late arrivals are necessary, please do the following:
Call the attendance line (425-204-4560) before 9:00 a.m. to let us know of the absence or late arrival. This line is available to take your messages 24 hours a day. Please give your child’s name, the date(s) of the absence and the reason. You may also excuse the absence via e-mail. Please send your child’s name, teacher, date and reason for absence to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are unable to call the attendance line or send an e-mail, please send a note with your child when he/she returns to school. Be sure to include your child’s name, the date(s) of the absence and the reason.
If we do not receive a morning call or e-mail, you will receive an automated call from School Messenger to verify your child’s whereabouts; this verification call is for your child’s protection. If a scholar is absent 50% of the day, they are absent the entire day.
Statewide Definition of Excused and Unexcused Absences – From WSSDA
In the 2011-13 biennial state operating budget, the Superintendent of Public Instruction was directed to establish a standard statewide definition of an “excused” absence. The budget also requires that school districts report “unexcused” absences data by school based on the new definition.
Excused Absences – the following are valid excuses for absences, to be verified through appropriate documentation:
- Participation in a state, district or school approved activity or instructional program;
- Illness, health condition or medical appointment (including medical, dental, or optometry);
- Family emergency, including a death or illness in the family;
- Religious purpose including observance of a religious holiday or participation in religious instruction;
- Court, judicial proceeding or serving on a jury;
- College visitation or scholarship interview;
- Principal and parent, guardian, or emancipated youth mutually agreed upon approved activity; and
- Absence resulting from a disciplinary action (e.g., short-term or long-term suspension, emergency expulsion).
Unexcused Absences - Any absence from school for an entire scheduled school day or a majority of a scheduled school day is unexcused unless it meets one of the criteria above for excused absences. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Oversleeping (parent or child)
- Missing the bus or no transportation
- Staying with friends or family
- Family Vacations
- Hair appointments
Pre-arranged Absences Policy
A Pre-arranged Absence Form must be completed by the parent/guardian and signed by Administrator at least 48 hours prior to any student’s extended absence. If you know that a student and family has an upcoming absence, please refer them to the office to complete a Pre-arranged Absence Permission form to be signed by the parent and administrator.
The Renton School District policy allows up to 48 hours after a scholar has returned from an absence to excuse the absence. An absence cannot be excused after this 48 hour period and will remain on your child’s record as an unexcused absence.
To request approval of a leave of absence for any other reason, you must complete the Hazelwood Leave of Absence Request form available in our office.
Leave of Absence requests are considered on a case by case basis and will not be approved if your child has missed more than 2 days in a given trimester (excused or unexcused).
Truancy is prohibited by Law
In Washington State, it is the law that all children between the ages of 6 and 18 must attend school unless they attend a private school, are home schooled, have graduated, or acquired a GED. *
Washington’s Truancy Law, often termed “the BECCA Bill,” is intended to stop truancy before it becomes a problem. The law requires only one thing of scholars: Attend school. If a scholar does not attend school, the law requires the school district to take action.
RCW 28A.225 States
- One (1) or Two (2) Unexcused Absences- After a single unexcused absence the school must contact the parents. This is generally done by a phone call or letter. After the second absence the school is required to schedule a conference with the parent and scholar to discuss solutions to the truancy problem.
- Five (5) Unexcused Absences- After five (5) unexcused absences in a month, the school may take stronger steps to end the truancy problem. The school may file a petition with the King County Superior Court, enter into a written truancy agreement (Stipulated Agreement) with the family, or take other reasonable action.
- Seven (7) and Ten (10) unexcused absences- Court action is required when a scholar has seven (7) absences in a month or ten (10) in a year. The truancy law requires that the school district files a petition in Superior Court against the scholar, parent, or both. After a petition is filed several things may happen with a scholar’s case. Depending on the circumstances of each individual case, a scholar’s petition may not be immediately heard in Juvenile Court.
Parents may contact the district’s Attendance Liaison, Marsha Linn at 425-204-2359 for further information.