Attendance

Parkside Attendance Policy

It is our hope that paying attention to attendance will help to improve overall school attendance. If we can help in any way, please contact us.

Parkside’s Belief and Highline Public Schools Policy

It is important for students to attend school every day. Regular school attendance is directly related to success in academic work. It benefits students socially, provides opportunities for important communications between teachers and students and establishes regular habits of dependability important to the future of the student. The purpose of this information is to encourage regular school attendance and to explain the policy and procedures. Regular attendance in school is mandatory; absent or late students miss valuable coursework and instruction, and may fall behind in their education. Families are encouraged to avoid scheduling appointments, vacations, or other events at times that would cause students to be absent from school. We believe attendance is so important because data shows that absences of any type (excused or unexcused) dramatically decreases a student’s ability to graduate on time.

More detailed information can be found in Highline Public Schools Board Policy, 3122.

Parkside Attendance Procedures

When a student is going to be absent, the parent/guardian should notify the school by phone at 206-631-4700, email, or provide a written note with the reason for the absence. Failure to communicate about the absence results in an unexcused absence.

The following are valid excuses for absences:   

  • Illness, health condition or medical appointment
  • Family emergency including but not limited to a death or illness in the family
  • Religious or cultural observances
  • Court
  • Participation in district or school instructional program
  • Homeless status
  • Deployment of a parent/guardian who is an active duty member consistent with RCW 28A.705.010
  • Disciplinary action such as suspension or expulsion
  • Principal and parent/guardian mutually agreed upon activity

If a student has five or more excused absences in a single month or ten or more excused absences in the school year, the school will schedule a conference with the parent/guardian to develop a plan for regular attendance. Please note that a conference is not required if prior notice of the excused absence is provided to the school or if a doctor’s note has been provided.

Unexcused Absences

Unexcused absences occur when the absence does not meet the criteria listed under Parkside Attendance Procedures or when no excuse is provided for the absence.

After one unexcused absence the school will notify parents/guardians by phone or in writing.

After two unexcused absences in any month during the school year, the school will contact the parent/guardian either by phone or in writing and may request a conference.

Not later than after the fifth unexcused absence in a month the school will develop an agreement with the student and parent/guardian that establishes school attendance requirements, refers the student to a community truancy board or file a petition with the juvenile court alleging violation of RCW 28A.225.010. (Washington State’s School Attendance Law)

Early Check-out Procedures

If a student must be picked up early from school, a parent, guardian, or named emergency contact must present valid identification and sign them out from the office. Students will not be released ten minutes or less prior to release bell unless there is an emergency, or it has been arranged at least one hour in advance.

Prearranged Absences

Please note that vacations are not listed as an excused absence. While we recognize that time with family is valuable we strongly encourage vacations be scheduled during non-school days. Understanding that sometimes this is not possible and that opportunities present themselves, we ask that vacations be prearranged with the school’s administrators. This would make the vacation excused under the Principal and parent/guardian mutually agreed upon activities.

Tardies

The term “tardy” shall be defined as being late to school with or without permission of parents/guardians. Students are tardy when they are not in the classroom when the bell rings at 9:15. Students who are excessively tardy should expect to meet with the counselor or school administrator to make a plan to be on time. If a student continues to be tardy the school will contact the parent/guardian to address this concern.

Student absences can creep up on a family so on occasion the school or district may send letters home with information about the number of absences the student has accrued.  This communication is intended to provide information and to offer any support that will assist regular attendance.