Attendance Policies

WESTGATE ATTENDANCE AND TARDINESS POLICY

The Compulsory Attendance Law of the State of Washington demands a great deal of accountability from schools and parents on student attendance. This legal code is a section of what is known as “The Becca Bill,” named after the case of a runaway teen. The law helps schools achieve the goal of improved school attendance and the reduction of unexcused absences and tardies.

The law does not require 6 or 7 year old children to be enrolled in school. However, if they are enrolled, the child's parent must insure that the child attends the school for the full time school is in session.

PARENT/GUARDIAN PROCEDURES:

Having excellent & prompt attendance should be a personal goal for each student.  We want students to be at school on time every day they are healthy!  Our hope is that with your understanding of our attendance policies, we will be able to work as partners in maximizing each day for learning. 

If your child is going to be tardy or absent from school, please:

1. Call the 24-hour Attendance Line, 425-431-7470, option 1. Please leave a message including your name, your child’s name, your child’s teacher or room number, and the reason for the tardy or absence.

2.  Send a written note when your child returns to school. The note must be received within two days of the absence or tardy. The note should include the date or dates of the absence or tardy, the reason, and the parent/guardian signature.

If your child is ill, or has had a fever in the past 24 hours, please keep your child home. We appreciate your child’s attendance when healthy, but we are not equipped to care for sick children at school.

Please note:  Absences and tardies are coded in our Skyward data system as excused or unexcused.  

EXCUSED ABSENCE/TARDY

We recognize the following reasons as valid excuses for an absence:

·         Illness, medical or dental appointments

·         Serious illness or death in family

·         Emergency medical or dental needs

·         Absences approved in advance by the school principal

Note:  We will excuse up to ten absences with a simple parent phone call or note.  Absences beyond ten for illness or other matters may only be approved with a doctor’s note and a conference with Ms. Jung Lathrop.  Should a situation arise and you anticipate it affecting your child’s school attendance, please request a meeting with our principal.  

UNEXCUSED ABSENCE/TARDY

We will not recognize the following as excuses for an absence from school:

·         Truancy

·         Oversleeping

·         Missing the bus or car malfunction

·         Shopping/haircut appointments

·         Family vacation, hunting or fishing excursions not approved in advance (see form below)

·         Birthdays, family visiting or other celebrations

Accumulated unexcused absences may result in the initiation of the BECCA Compulsory Attendance Law and its consequences. 

TAKING a VACATION?

 

We understand that some family vacations may not coincide with school breaks.  It is our policy to code vacations as unexcused unless we receive and approve this request form.  We will excuse most absences due to vacation unless the student has accumulated excessive absences or is performing poorly academically. here to view. 


 
TARDINESS

 

Frequent tardiness of even a few minutes interferes with an individual student's performance. Arriving late may also disrupt other students. Students who are tardy without parental excuse will be required to make up class time at their recesses. Students who take advantage of our school's breakfast program will be allowed to bring their meals to the classroom so they will not be late.

To be “excused,” a tardy must meet the same general criteria as an excused absence (see previous section). Again, it is important to note that a parent simply excusing a child's tardy does not make it “excused” under district policy and state law. Not included are tardies for reasons that may be detrimental to student learning. Tardiness clearly due to circumstances beyond a parent or student's control, such as a late bus, will be excused.

EARLY DISMISSALS

We discourage early dismissals during school hours, but understand that sometimes a child may have a doctor, dental or other appointment that cannot be scheduled outside of school hours. In the event it is absolutely necessary, please send a note to your child's teacher indicating when you want your child to meet you at the office. Please come to the office, not the classroom, to collect your child and sign him or her out. Children will be released only to the parent, guardian, family member, or adults who are designated as emergency contacts on the registration forms sent home at the start of every school year. Children may not leave school grounds until an authorized person has signed them out at the school office.

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