This year, Walla Walla Public Schools is making a special effort to ensure that all students fully benefit from their education by attending school regularly. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school--and themselves. Your student can start building this habit in elementary school so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day, is important. Consistent attendance will help children do well in high school college, and at work.
WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU
A Pre-Trip Request Form (available at the Green Park office) is required for absences longer than 2 days for reasons other than illness. Absences longer than 5 days require a parent-teacher conference and must be approved by the school principal.
SCHOOL POLICIES AND STATE LAWS
It is important that you understand our school policies and procedures, as well as Washinton State Law, to ensure your child is successful in school. State law for mandatory attendance, called the Becca Bill, requires children from age 8 to 17 to attend a public school, private school, or a district-approved home school program. Children that are 6 or 7-years-old are not required to be enrolled in school. However, if prents enroll their 6 or 7-year-old, the student must attend full-time.
If your student has three unexcused absences in one month, state law (RCW 28A.225.020) requires we schedule a conference with you and your student to identify the barriers and supports available to ensure regular attendance. In elementary school, after five excused absences in any month, or ten or more excused absences in the school year, the school district is required to contact you to schedule a conference at a mutually agreeable, reasonable time with at least one district employee, to identify the barriers and supports available to you and your student. A conference is not required if your student has provided a doctor's note, or pre-arranged the absence in writing, and the parent, student and school have made a plan so your student does not fall behind academically. If your student has an Individualized Education Plan or a 504 Plan, the team that created the plan needs to reconvene.
If your student has seven unexcused absences in any month or ten unexcused absences within the school year we are required to file a petition with the Juvenile court, alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010, the mandatory attendance law. The petition will be automatically stayed and your student and family may be referred to a Community Truancy Board or other coordinated means of intervention. If your student continues to be truant, you may be required to appear in court.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
- Prepare for school the night before, finishing homework and getting a good night's sleep.
- Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required immunizations.
- Do not let your student stay home unless they are truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomachache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
- Avoid appointments and extended trips when school in in session.
- Develop back-up plans fo rgetting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
- Keep track of your student's attendance. Missing more than 9 days could put your student at trisk of falling behind.
- Talk to your student about the importance of attendance.
- Talk to your students' teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.
- Encourage meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs.