Attendance, Responsibility, and School Success

Research shows us that prompt and regular school attendance is an important key to student success in school. Each student in the West Valley School District is expected to demonstrate respect, concern, and caring for all staff, students, and community by being prompt and regularly attending classes.

With this in mind, we understand there are sometimes illnesses and emergencies which may cause your child to miss school. However, please pre-arrange all other absences with the school office and plan on having your child collect work from his or her teacher(s) so that they will miss as little classroom instruction as possible.

Student Attendance Laws require schools to petition the juvenile court for legal action after a student has SEVEN unexcused absences in a calendar month OR TEN unexcused absences in a school year. Jail time may be imposed on students by the Court. Also, parents can be fined up to $25 a day for their child’s unexcused absences. Please review our attendance policy for a full review of District Attendance requirements.

District Guidelines for Excused Absences:

  1. Participation in a district or school approved activity or instructional program;
  2. Illness, health condition, or medical appointment (including but not limited to medical, counseling, dental, or optometry) - a doctor’s note/appointment card may be required;
  3. Family emergency, including but not limited to a death or illness in the family;
  4. Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction;
  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 28A.225.055;
  8. Absence directly related to the student’s homeless status;
  9. Absence resulting from a disciplinary/corrective action (e.g., short-term or long-term suspension, emergency expulsion); or
  10. Principal (or designee) and parent, guardian, or emancipated youth mutually agreed upon approved activity.

District Guidelines for Unexcused Absences:

  1. Please call the school any day your child will be absent.
  2. Parent(s)/guardian(s) must submit excuses within 48 hours of the absence. Only absences which meet District standards will be excused. School staff will communicate (e.g., conferences, letters, telephone calls) with parents/guardian(s) regarding student absences. An absence which does not fit the above definitions will be considered a truancy even though an excuse is submitted.

District Tardy Policy

Tardy arrivals are disruptive to your child’s education, and the District strongly encourages students to be at school on time. Tardies are counted by fractions of the school day. Throughout the District, if a student misses more than 10 minutes of a period in secondary schools or one half of either the morning or afternoon in elementary schools, such a tardy will be counted as an absence.

Definition of an Excused Tardy

An excused tardy, like an excused absence, must fall into one of the following four categories:

  • Student illness or health condition;
  • School-initiated;
  • Religious observance; or
  • Emergency.

To verify an excused tardy, parent(s)/guardian(s) must notify the school either by phone, written note, or in person when the student arrives at school.

Parent(s)/guardian(s) are strongly encouraged to make appointments (doctor, dentist, etc.) for their child outside of school hours to avoid interruption of the school day. If a student’s tardiness becomes excessive, a parent conference with the principal or designee will be required in order to implement a plan to reduce tardiness.