Attendance Policy

  • 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.


    School hours are 7:25am-1:50pm. The safety of students is of utmost importance to us. We have no regular after school supervision available. Individual after school activities will be communicated by supervising district personnel.

    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, or has an adverse effect on the student’s education or 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.


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


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

    1. Send an email to and provide reason
    2. Call attendance line at 360.458.6211 and provide reason

    If your student has not arrived at school or the school hasn’t been notified of the absence by 8:30am, an automated phone call, email and/or text will be sent to the 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.

    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
    • Students in grades 6-12 need a Risk and Needs Assessment

    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 filing a Contempt and progress report Thurston County Juvenile court.
    • Monitor and review expiration date.

    Parent(s) and/or guardian(s) are asked to make requests for early dismissal of students. To obtain an early dismissal, students are to present a written request from their parent and/or guardian before school on the day they wish to be excused early. This slip is to be presented to the office. An early dismissal slip will then be issued. Parent(s) and/or guardian(s) must come to the office to sign their student out. Students will be expected to make up all class work missed. Verification by a doctor may be required.

    Permission in writing from the office must be obtained in order to leave the campus at any time after arriving on school grounds. No student may leave during the day or at the lunch periods without parent permission and being excused through the office. A student who goes home ill during the day must notify the nurse's office before doing so. Students who fail to check out will be disciplined and may be considered unexcused. After school, a student is expected to go promptly home after the last class, unless attending a school activity. Students are not to loiter on school grounds.

    Any student who misses a portion of class without a pass will earn a Tardy. The only excuse accepted for tardiness to school will be when there has been an unusual circumstance or an emergency (over-sleeping or missing the bus does not constitute an unusual emergency) and the school has been notified by the parent(s) and/or guardian(s).

    Tardies are cumulative throughout the Quarter

    Action Office Response Intervention
     Tardies 1-4 Auto-Dial Home

    Reinforce Expectations
    Inform Next Step

     Tardies 5-9
    1 Day of Lunch Detention Reinforce Expectations
    Inform Next Step
    Call Home
    Minor Behavior
    Tardies 10+ Lunch Detention assigned until pattern of On-Time Behavior (3-5 consecutive days) Reinforce Expectations
    Inform Next Steps
    Call Home
    Minor Behavior

    Attendance for secondary athletics--Students are encouraged to be at school every day to get the most out of their academics and grades. If a student misses more than ½ day school they would be ineligible to compete in that day’s event. The AD can clear an athlete for up to ½ day for a qualified excuse with a note (Example: I had a doctor’s appointment and was gone for 2 hours--Doctor’s note - cleared to play.)

    Athletic Code of Conduct: Available on our Yelm High School website link here.

    WITHDRAWAL FROM SCHOOL: A student withdrawing from school must bring written permission from his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s). This request is to be presented to the main office. The student will then be given a withdrawal slip, which will be used in checking out. The withdrawal slip is to be brought back to the main office. All fees and fines must be paid before a transcript will be forwarded (RCW 28A.635.060).