Yelm Community Schools places a high priority on school attendance. Students are expected to be to class on time. When a student’s tardiness becomes frequent (after 5 per semester), the student shall be referred to the school administrator for support. In addition, excessive tardiness may result in the school requiring an attendance agreement. 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. State law and district policy contain provisions regarding mandatory attendance of students and excused absences. An explanation of these provisions (BECCA Bill State Law Regulations for Unexcused Absences) will be sent home with each Mill Pond student at the beginning of the school year. Further information is available in the Yelm School Board Policy Manual, available for public review at the District Office or any school office.
Mill Pond Elementary School 24 Hour Attendance Line: 360.458.8071. When your student is TARDY or ABSENT, please leave a message on our attendance line, send a written note or email the attendance line, firstname.lastname@example.org. All late students must be signed in on the roster in the vestibule (by a parent or guardian) prior to going to the classroom. Please keep in mind if we do not receive notification, you may receive an autodialer from our attendance secretary letting you know your student is absent.
DEFINITION OF “EXCUSED ABSENCES”
Students are expected to attend ALL assigned classes each day unless excused by the parent/guardian for valid reasons below.
- 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)
- Illness, Health Condition, Health Care Appointments, Family Emergency, Or Religious/Cultural Purpose: We encourage parents/guardians 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 encouraged to acquire a health professional’s written note whenever possible and submit a copy to the Attendance Office.
- 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, has an adverse effect on the student’s education or the student has already reached 10 absences for the school year or 10% of the current year. The Pre-Arranged Absence Form is available at each school office.
- Court, judicial proceedings, court-ordered activity, or absences related to homeless or foster care status.
- 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 is absent from school, you can notify the school in two ways:
Send an email to: email@example.com and provide a reason.
Call the attendance line at 360-458-8071 and provide a reason.
If your student has not arrived at school or the school hasn’t been notified of the absence by 10:30 AM, an automated phone call, email and/or text will be sent to parent/guardian.
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.
- 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
- 4 Unexcused Absences/Excessive Excused Absences or 10% of the school year: Students will be placed on attendance contract
- 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 filing a contempt and progress report in Thurston County Juvenile Court.
- Monitor and review the expiration date. Attendance – Policy 3122