Absence Reporting & Tracking
Report Every Absence to the School
If a student is going to be absent, the parent/guardian should notify the school office on the morning of the absence by phone, email, or written note and provide an excuse for the absence.
If no excuse is provided with the notification, or no notification is provided, the parent/guardian will be asked to provide an excuse for the absence upon the student’s return to school.
Learn about excused/unexcused absences and school attendance policy.
Students Can Report Their Absences in Special Circumstances
Parent/guardian reporting is not required in some cases. Students can report their own absences under the following circumstances.
- Student is an adult (18 or older).
- Student is 16 or older and has been emancipated by court action.
- Student is 14 or older and is absent due to testing or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease.
- Student is 13 or older and is absent due to mental health or drug or alcohol treatment.
- Student (any age) is absent for family planning or abortion.
In all cases mentioned above, the absence and note of explanation will be kept confidential (not shared with parent/guardian).
Schools Track Excused & Unexcused Absences
KSD has a responsibility under state law to accurately track unexcused absences and excessive excused absences and to work with the student and parent/guardian to promote good school attendance.
Schools will use the following guidelines to notify parents/guardians prior to referring a student, parent, or student and parent to the King County Juvenile Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for violation of the state mandatory school attendance laws.
All sanctions imposed for failure to comply with the attendance policies and procedures will be implemented in conformance with state and district regulations regarding discipline or corrective action.
One Unexcused Absence
After one unexcused absence in a month, the school is required to inform the parent in writing or by phone.
Between Two & Five Unexcused Absences
Between two and five unexcused absences in a school year, the school is required to initiate a parent conference to improve the student’s attendance. During the conference with the principal or designee, student and parent/guardian the following should be considered:
- Identifying barriers to attendance
- Appropriate connections to Community Based Supports
- Adjusting the student’s program.
- Providing more individualized instruction.
- Assisting the student to obtain supplementary services that may eliminate or ameliorate the causes of the absences.
- Imposing other corrective actions that are deemed appropriate.
Five or More Excused Absences in a month or 10 or More During the School Year at the Elementary Level
Districts shall schedule a conference or conferences with the parent and child for the purpose of identifying barriers to the child’s regular attendance, and the supports and resources that may be made available to the family so the child can regularly attend school.
Seven Unexcused Absences in a Month
Not later than the seventh unexcused absence in a month, the school is required to initiate a written agreement with the parent to improve the student’s attendance. For secondary students, after the second absence and before the seventh absence, the school is required to conduct an assessment with the student to determine barriers to the students’ ability to attend school.
After seven unexcused absences in a month, the school may refer the student to the community truancy board (elementary), re-engagment specialist, or truancy workshops or file a petition to juvenile court.
Seven Unexcused Absences in a Month or Before 15 Unexcused Absences in a School Year
After seven unexcused absences in a month or before 15 unexcused absences in an academic year, the district will file a truancy petition with the juvenile court. The following truancy petition procedures apply only to a student under the age of seventeen at the time the petition is originally filed.
The student has unexcused absences in the current school year. While petitions must be filed if the student has seven or more unexcused absences within any one month, or fifteen or more unexcused absences in the current school year, a petition may be filed earlier. In addition, unexcused absences accumulated in another school or school will be counted when preparing the petition.
Attesting actions taken by the school district have not been successful in substantially reducing the student’s absences from school.
Court intervention and supervision are necessary to assist the school district to reduce the student’s absences from school.