Attendance Policy and Procedures
In order to report an absence, please contact the school attendance secretary. If you reach the recording, please leave a detailed, clear message to ensure accurate records for your student.
Students and their parents have the responsibility for maintaining prompt and regular attendance as prescribed in the Compulsory Attendance Law RCW 28A.27.01. Daily attendance and active participation in each class is a critical part of the learning process. Students and parents must accept full responsibility for regular school attendance. The school best serves all students and the learning process by establishing clear attendance expectations, consistent consequences, and a timely reporting of student’s attendance patterns.
How to excuse absences:
- Contact the attendance office by email, phone call/voicemail, or ParentSquare message sent within 5 school-days since the absence occurred. Any absence outside of the 5 days will not be excused.
- If you are calling in to excuse an absence, please directly call the attendance office, NOT the main office. The number for the attendance line is 206-393-4378.
- Voicemails can be left at any time and are checked regularly.
- Message to excuse an absence must include:
- The full name of the student (first AND LAST) as found on file. (No nicknames/alternative names unless already changed in Skyward).
- Reason for absence. This is necessary for auditing and coding purposes - we will not excuse without a reason. (See list of reasons below).
- Date(s) to excuse and period(s) to excuse.
- Example: “Hi, my name is Jane. I am John Smith's mother and would like to excuse him for today. He is sick.”
- Students who are 18 years or older can excuse their own absences ONLY if they pick up a form from the attendance office and return it with a parent/guardian signature.
When you excuse, please tell us the reason for the absence:
According to district policy #3122, the following are valid excuses for absences:
- Physical health or mental health symptoms, illness, health condition or medical appointment (including, but not limited to, medical, counseling, mental health wellness, dental, optometry, pregnancy, and behavioral health treatment (which can include 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 purposes 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 RCW28A.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.
The school principal (or designee) has the authority to determine if an absence meets the above criteria for an excused absence. A parent/guardian not satisfied with the principal determination may appeal to the superintendent/designee for further consideration.
How to request an early dismissal:
If you need your student dismissed during the school day (7:50-2:35, or 7:50-12:55 on early release days) you can send a dismissal note with your student or you can contact the attendance office by phone, (206) 393-4378, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, if you need a dismissal within the first hour or 2 of school it is best to send a physical note with your student so they can get their dismissal pass directly. The attendance office is a busy place with 1600 students in the building. It takes some time to get through all the emails and voicemails.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING!
- Message to request an early dismissal must include:
- The full name of the student (first AND LAST) as found on file. (No nicknames/alternative names unless already changed in Skyward).
- Time you would like them to be dismissed.
- Reason for the early dismissal - for auditing and coding purposes.
- Inform us if your student will be returning that day, and what time they plan on doing so.
- This way, we can excuse periods they will not attend, and be counted present in the ones they will attend. For athletes, this is important for them to be eligible to participate in their sport for the day.
- Example: “Hi, my name is Jane. I am John Smith's mother. He is needing an early dismissal at 12pm, and will not return for the rest of the day due to a doctor's appointment.”
- If your student misses more than 50% of class, it is counted as an absence.
- Campus is closed during all classes and passing periods, with the exception of lunch. Students will not be permitted to leave campus without contact from a parent/guardian during closed campus time.
I have sent the message - now what?
Early dismissal: Once you have sent a message to the attendance secretary at email@example.com or called in to (206) 393-4378 with all the information needed, your student should pick up their dismissal pass from the Attendance Office prior to the period that they are leaving.
NOTE: Students returning to school from an early dismissal while a period is already in session must check in with the attendance office. They will receive a late pass upon returning (this is excused). If you receive a message on ParentSquare about a tardy upon returning from an early dismissal, please note this is excused and does not negatively impact their attendance.
How to excuse an extended absence in advance:
- Students should pick up an Advanced Notice of Absence Form from the attendance office. Once the form is completed and signed by the student's teachers and parent/guardian, the student returns the form to the attendance office BEFORE their extended absence.
What happens if an absence is Unexcused:
- Each time your student has an unexcused absence, we notify you via automated phone calls and emails on the day your student is absent.
- We notify twice a day — a robo call and email go out at 11:15am. A robo email is sent out at 5:15pm.
- Parents are expected to contact the Attendance Office with any questions, concerns, or excuses within 2 school days.
- Consequences for accumulating absences:
- If a student accumulates 2, 5, 7, or 10 days of unexcused absences in an academic school year, a Truancy letter will be sent home. See the Truancy section below for more details.
- Letters will be mailed home at intervals of 2, 5, 7, and 10 days of unexcused absences from school. These absences do not have to be consecutive and are counted throughout the school year.
- A day is counted if the student misses the majority of the school day.
- According to Washington State truancy laws (RCW 28A.225) after seven (7) unexcused absences in one month, or fifteen (15) in one year, school districts must file a “truancy petition” alleging a violation of the law by the student, by the parent, or by both.
- According to the State of Washington, an unexcused absence is student nonattendance for more than 50% of the student’s school day. This nonattendance has not been approved by a parent/guardian through the attendance office within 2 school days.
- We strongly encourage the parent/guardian to contact the attendance office to schedule a conference with an administrator to develop strategies to eliminate student absences when a student has reached two (2) unexcused absences in a one-month period.
As a school, we want students to know and learn the value of being on time, the expectation of being ready to engage, and of honoring the professional relationship between teacher and student. It is critical that students practice and learn the habits and life lessons of punctuality and commitment because they are essential as students move onto college, a career, and life as a part of a larger community. As a school dedicated to educating young people, students deserve a clear, consistent practice.
Parent Square Attendance notifications:
- If you suspect there is an error within your student’s attendance, please have your student contact their teacher. The attendance office can only rely on data reports. If you are looking to confirm a student’s attendance, please reach out to their teacher directly. Their teacher will then need to inform attendance if an error made needs to be adjusted.
- Confirmation from a staff member who was present in the class during the attendance in question is necessary for any attendance adjustments.
- Attendance is taken within the first 10 minutes of class. If a student is running more than 10 minutes late, they must check into the tardy kiosk to receive a late pass or they will continue to be marked absent. Checking into the kiosk will override the attendance taken by their teacher, as well as give us a time stamp of their arrival for staff and parent/guardian reference.
Parent Square notification adjustments:
- Notifications can be turned off and are adjustable on the user’s end (immediate, digest, or off) through your profile settings. You will still receive emergency notifications. These are for safety reasons and are not able to be turned off.
20 Consecutive Absences:
Washington State law states that school districts cannot claim a student for funding if they have not attended at least one full day in the last 20 consecutive school days. At 20 consecutive days of absence, we are required to withdraw your student for non-attendance.
At this time, Shoreline School District only offers in-person learning. If your student is not able to regularly attend classes in-person at Shorewood High School and is interested in an online/remote learning option, please see the list of OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Instruction) approved programs at the following website: https://www.k12.wa.us/student-success/learning-alternatives/online-learning/approved-online-school-programs
For additional support in enrolling in one of these options, please contact your student’s school counselor.
Documentation must include: 1) Student number; 2) Student name; 3) Exact date and periods absent; 4) Reason for absence; 5) Parent/guardian signature for minor students.
STATE TRUANCY LAWS
According to Washington State truancy laws (RCW 28.A.225) after ten (10) unexcused absences in file a “truancy petition” alleging a violation of the law by the student, by the parent or by both. According to the State of Washington, an unexcused absence is student nonattendance for more than 50% of the student’s school day. This nonattendance has not been approved by a parent/guardian through the attendance office within three (3) school days. We strongly encourage the parent/guardian to contact the attendance office to schedule a conference with an administrator to develop strategies to eliminate student absences when a student has reached two (2) unexcused absences in a one-month period.
According to district policy #3122 the following are valid excuses for absences and tardies:
1) Illness, health condition, family emergency or religious purposes;
2) Parental approved activities;
3) Absence resulting from disciplinary actions or short-term suspension;
4) Extended illness or health condition.
School related activities that require a student to miss class time would not be counted as part of the absence total for the quarter/semester. The student shall be permitted to make up missed assignments under reasonable conditions and timelines set forth by the teacher in the course expectations. A student’s grade may be affected because of the student’s inability to make up specific activities conducted during a class period (see individual course expectations). District Policy #3122 allows a student a minimum of one make-up day for each day of unexcused absence.
Consequences of Absence
Absence Action Taken
1st Automated Phone Call
When a student is marked absent from any class an automated phone call will be made to the student’s home.
2nd Automated Phone Call
Following the 2nd un-excused absence in any class a letter will be sent to the parent/guardian.
3rd Automated Phone Call
4th Automated Phone Call
5th Parent/Guardian Letter
Following the fifth un-excused absence in any class a second letter will be sent to the parent/ guardian. We strongly recommend that you call the attendance office to schedule a conference with an administrator to develop strategies to prevent loss of credit in individual class
6th Automated Phone call
7th Parent/Guardian Conference
Following the seventh absence in any class a third letter will be sent to the parent/guardian. Again, parents are strongly encouraged to schedule a conference with an administrator through the attendance office to develop strategies to prevent credit loss in individual classes. Please call 393-4378.
8th Automated phone call
9th Possible Loss of Credit
At the 9th absence in any class a letter will be sent to the parent/guardian informing them that their student may lose credit. Questions regarding loss of credit are referred to an Assistant Principal. Students may apply for credit restoration if they have no more than one unexcused absence and are passing in the affected class.
Policy for Appointments During School Hours
1. Parents should call or send a note to attendance office.
2. Students get pass from attendance office for late arrival to or dismissal from class.
3. Go to appointment.
4. Upon return, check in with attendance office before class
Shorewood High School’s Tardy Policy is detailed below. Teachers have the authority to institute and enforce a tardy policy for their respective classroom that is stricter than what is stated below:
- A student will be considered and designated as “Absent” after 10 minutes of class time has elapsed.
- Upon a student’s third tardy to the same class, the student will receive a classroom-based detention to be served with their teacher during a mutually agreed upon time (i.e. break, after school, etc). The teacher should also contact parents by email, telephone, or mailed discipline referral form. If a student fails to attend classroom-based detention, teacher will submit an appropriate discipline referral form to the Dean of Students or an Administrator for appropriate follow-up corrective action.
- A student’s grade may be affected by an increasing number of tardies, which would begin accruing at the time of the third tardy.
- Upon a student’s fourth tardy to the same class, teacher should submit a discipline referral form to the Dean of Students or an Administrator for appropriate follow-up corrective action.