Attendance or Tardiness

  • Attendance

    Yelm Community Schools places a high priority on school attendance.  Studies prove that daily attendance has a direct impact on student achievement. Our goal is to have every student arrive on time and attend a full day of school.

    Attendance at school is critical for students to make progress in their learning.  Every day missed is a lost learning opportunity.  We work hard to fill in those gaps during the school year, but if there are too many holes to fill then students will begin to struggle academically.  When students begin to struggle, they may begin to engage in behaviors that are not productive and therefore fall even farther behind.  Washington State has identified that a student who misses 18 days in a school year for any reason is “chronically absent.”  This designation is one of the metrics that schools are evaluated on.  As a result, the staff looks very closely at student attendance and designs programs meant to reduce the number of absences.  The first is monthly recognition for those who meet their attendance goal (1 or less absence in any month).  We also design specific interventions when we see a student developing an attendance trend that will result in them being labeled chronically absent.

    Regular School Day Attendance

    First Bell Rings                   8:35            

    School Begins                     8:40            

    Students arriving between    8:41-10:10     wll be marked tardy

    Students arriving between    10:11-11:55   will be marked absent for the AM portion of the day

    Students leaving between     11:56-2:24     will be marked absent for the PM portion of the day

    Students leaving between     2:25-3:09      will be marked PM tardy

    School Ends                       3:10           


    Late Start Wednesday

    First Bell Rings                   9:35            

    School Begins                     9:40            

    Students arriving between    9:41-10:55     will be marked tardy

    Students arriving between    10:56-11:55   will be marked absent for the AM portion of the day

    Students leaving between     11:56-2:24     will be marked absent for the PM portion of the day

    Students leaving between      2:25-3:09      will be marked PM tardy

    School Ends                       3:10            


    School Hours and Supervision

    School hours are 8:40-3:10.  The safety of students is of utmost importance to us.  Before school supervision is provided from 8:20-8:35 for your convenience.  Students should not arrive on campus before 8:20. We have no regular after school supervision available.


    Arrival at School

    Students may arrive at school NO EARLIER than 8:20 a.m. as this is when supervision is available in the bus loop, playground, and breakfast areas. Upon arrival at school, all students are to move to the playground area or to the gym to purchase breakfast. The bell rings at 8:35 a.m. at which time students should line up in their assigned area.  On a late start Wednesday, arrival is 9:20 a.m. and the first bell rings at 9:35 a.m. To ensure student safety, all students must be picked up by 3:15 p.m.  Individual after school activities will be communicated by a supervising teacher.


    Students are expected to be in class on time.  When a student’s tardiness becomes frequent (after 5 in a semester), the student shall be referred to the school counselor and/or Dean of Students for support.  In addition, excessive tardiness may result in the school requiring an Attendance Agreement.

    Definition of “Excused Absences”

    Students are expected to attend ALL assigned classes each day unless excused by the parent/guardian for valid reasons below.
    1. Participation in a school-approved activity: This absence must be authorized by a staff member and prior notification must be provided to parent/guardian for approval. (IE., field trips)
    2. Illness, health condition, health care appointments, family emergency, or religious/cultural purpose: We encourage parent/guardian to schedule appointments during non-school hours whenever possible. School officials may require a health professional’s written note when a student has more than 3 consecutive absences. Families are encourage to acquire a health professional’s written note whenever possible and submit a copy to the Attendance Office.
    3. Parental/Family Pre-Arranged Absence: Parents/Guardians are to notify the school if there will be a pre-arranged absence from school. The absence may be classified as unexcused if the student is under an Attendance Agreement, BECCA order, or has an adverse effect on the student’s education or student has already reach 10 absences for the school year or 10% of the current year. The Pre-Arranged Absence Form is available at each school office.
    4. Court, judicial proceedings court-ordered activity or absences related to homeless or foster care status.
    5. Suspensions from school

    Definition of “Unexcused Absences”

    Unexcused absences are defined as “failure on the part of the parent/guardian to notify the school in a timely manner.”

    Reporting Absence Procedures

    When your child will be absent from school, you can notify the school in two ways:

    1. Send an email to LK_attendance@ycs.wednet.eduand provide reason
    2. Call attendance line at(360)894-6012 and provide reason

    If your student has not arrived to school or the school has not been notified of the absence by 9:45 (10:45 on late start) an automated phone call, email and/or text will be sent to parent/guardian. 

    Chronic Absenteeism

    Chronic absenteeism incorporates all absences: excused, unexcused and suspensions. The focus is on the academic consequences due to the loss of instructional time and preventing absences before students fall behind. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing more than 10% of the school year.

    Process for Truancy

    The following truancy procedures will be followed prior to filing a full petition.

    Tier 1

    1-2 Unexcused Absences: Parent/Guardian will be contacted via School Messenger, E-mail, letter or phone call
    3 Unexcused Absences: Schedule a meeting with school personnel to find solutions
    IEP/504 Accruing Students: Case manager will convene an IEP meeting to develop a plan

    Tier 2
    4 Unexcused Absences/Excessive Excused Absences or 10% of the school year: Students will be placed on attendance contract

    Tier 3
    5 Unexcused Absences/Excessive Excused Absences or 10% of the school year: The school will file a stay petition with Thurston county Juvenile court and schedule community Truancy Board Meeting
    Students not attending school as court ordered results in school filling a contempt and progress report Thurston County Juvenile court
    Monitor and review expiration date

    Attendance – Policy 3122

    Dismissal Policies

    * Any student leaving the building early must be checked out through the office. Parents/Guardians wishing to meet their child after school should do so at the gym where you will be asked to sign out your child. This is for protection of the student, parent/guardian, and school district. If someone other than those previously listed on the enrollment card will be picking up your child, there must be a written note sent to the teacher or office or the child WILL NOT be released.

    * Students going home in a way that is not the usual routine (a different bus, different bus stop, with a friend, etc) MUST bring a note giving permission to do so. Students WILL NOT be permitted to use the phone to make last minute arrangements unless it is an emergency situation.

    * All end of the day transportation changes must be called in before 2:15 so we may send a note to your student and not disrupt the classroom.  All long term transportation changes must be made with a written note which will be kept on file in the office.  A new note needs to be written each school year.  Students without notes will be sent home by the normal means.