Washington Elementary Attendance Line
One of the goals of health services is to assure a healthy environment. Many students and families are frequently concerned about when students should stay home or attend school. The following information is intended to help with this decision.
- If student has a fever of 100 degrees or more, the student should stay home for 24 hours after the temperature returns to normal (without fever reducing medicine).
- If the student has vomited or had diarrhea, the student should stay home until 24 hours after the last episode.
- If student has any rash that may be disease-related or the cause is unknown, check with the family physician before sending the student to school.
- If student is ill at home, please call the school attendance line daily to report the reason for the absence. It is helpful to report specific symptoms and/or diagnoses.
To be considered an excused absence, the student’s parent or legal guardian must contact the school and indicate the reason for the student’s absence from school within 24 hours of the absence. If extenuating circumstances exist, please contact the school's administrator.
The following are examples of absences will be considered excused and count towards a student’s excused absences per year.
- Serious illness in the student’s immediate family.
- Family vacation
The following types of absences are excused, but do not count toward the absence total for attendance procedures.
- Court appearances occasioned by family or personal action. Student/parent must provide paperwork to school to verify court appearance.
- Religious holiday.
- Removal of a student pursuant to a suspension. Suspensions are to be handled as excused absences, and students will be permitted to complete make-up work.
- Funeral-death of an immediate family member
- Medical, dental, or orthodontic treatment, or counseling appointment when doctor’s note is provided or approved by the school nurse.
Consequences of Excused Absences
- Students whose absences are excused are required to make up all assignments missed or to complete alternative assignments as deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher.
- The typical student misses 5-7 days per school year.
- When students reach 5 excused days, families will receive a letter informing them of how many days their student has missed.
- When students reach 7 excused days, families will receive a letter informing them of how many days their student has missed. A conference or phone call may be arranged with the student and family to discuss the student’s attendance.
- When students reach 10 excused days, families will receive a letter of concern informing them that if their student misses more than 10 days the absences will be required to be excused by a doctor or the school nurse.
- If a doctor or school nurse excuse is required but not provided, the absence will be considered unexcused.
The following are examples of absences which will not be excused.
- Absences that are in the excused category, but are beyond the student’s 10 days of allowed excused absences per year.
- An absence which was not approved by the parent and/or the school district.
- Any absence in which the parent failed to comply with any reporting requirement of the school district’s attendance procedures.
- Includes days missed for illness where the absence is required to be excused by a doctor or the school nurse and no documentation is provided.
- Student needed at home (i.e. babysitting, etc.).
- Student late due to oversleeping, missed bus, etc.
- Any other absence not included under the excused absence attendance procedures.
Consequences of Unexcused Absences
- After each unexcused absence, the school will notify parents indicating concern regarding school attendance. A letter from the county attorney’s office explaining the importance of attendance and the consequences of educational neglect may be sent.
- After 1 unexcused absence, families will receive a letter informing them of their student’s unexcused absence.
- After 3 unexcused absences, families will receive a letter informing them of their student’s unexcused absence.
- A letter will be filed with the county under state guidelines indicating the child is considered a “continual truant”.
- A phone call or conference may be arranged with school administration, social worker, or counselor with the parent/guardian and the student.
- After 5 unexcused absences, families will receive a letter requiring parents/guardians to attend a meeting with the county attorney’s office, representatives from Human Services and the school district. At this meeting a plan for regular attendance will be developed.
- If a student accumulates 7 unexcused absences, the student will be considered “habitually truant”. A letter will be sent to families and a copy sent to Child Protective Services and the county attorney.
- Student may be referred to Truancy Court.
- Absences resulting from official suspension will be handled in accordance with the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, MN Stat. 121A.40-121A.56.
Tardies - Students are expected to be at school when the day begins and in class when the bell rings.
In the event that a student is tardy 3 times, the student will receive an unexcused absence in their attendance record.
Please see the School Attendance & Attendance Review Board Pamphlet for more information.