Student Absences

  • A key focus for the school this year will be timely student arrivals and minimizing student absences. As a school, we believe that student attendance and tardiness issues are barriers to student achievement. We believe that strong school to home relationships can support students in maximizing their educational experience.
     
    In the case of an absent student, unless the student's parent/guardian has already contacted the school informing them that their child will be out that day, the school will contact the parent/guardian to let them know that their child did not arrive at school. Once contact with the parent/guardian is made the parent/guardian will have two (2) weeks to contact the school with an explanation for the absence. It is expected that normally the reason provided for the student's absence would be illness. In all cases, if communication is not received from the parent/guardian explaining the absence within a two (2) week window it will be considered an unexcused absence.
     
    Washington State Law requires parents/guardians to inform the school of student absences. Please report your child's absence and reason for absence before 9:30 a.m. at 425-408-5510. Student absences need to be reported in writing, by phone, or in person to the school office. Teachers will not be able to properly document planned absences; therefore, report those absences to the office as well. In addition, due to new district guidelines, absences may not be reported by email.
     
    Westhill Elementary will strictly adhere to provisions of Washington State's "Becca Bill". In brief, Becca truancy laws require schools to: • Inform parents in writing or by phone after one unexcused absence in one month.
    • Schedule a parent conference after two unexcused absences in one month.
    • Enter into a formal agreement with the student and parent regarding attendance; or, referral to a Community Truancy Board; or, file a truancy petition, if a student has five unexcused absences in a month.
    • File a truancy petition with the juvenile court if a student has seven unexcused absences in a month, or ten unexcused absences in a year.
    • File a contempt motion if a student is not in compliance with a court order resulting from a truancy petition.
     
    Student illness presents many difficulties for families. We want to support the home in ensuring students are at school as much as possible. Please contact Diane Hutchison or Judy Harkess, our school nurse, if there are any confidential concerns or issues that we can support you with.