Spokane Valley High School

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School Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8:00 A.M. - 2:15 P.M. -- Office Hours: 7:00 A.M - 3:30 P.M.

Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy 

Attendance Hotline - 922-5475, extension 3001
Every time you are absent, you lose the educational opportunities planned for that day.  Many times it is impossible to make up the "missed" experience.  Washington State Law specifies that a student shall be regular and punctual in their attendance (BECCA Bill).  We, at SVH, believe that regular and prompt attendance is essential for success.
1.  Arrive at school at your assigned starting time.
2.  If you are going to be late or absent, place call or have your parent call 922-5475.  You can leave a voice message at any time. If you are  leaving a message, please give your name, reason for absence, and a contact phone number.
3.  If you arrive to school late, you need to check in to the attendance office and get a pass before you go to class
4.  If you are 17 or younger, you are required to have telephone or written verification of your absence or late arrival from your parent or guardian.  Students who are 18 or older, living with their parents, need to have their parent call to excuse their absence unless their is an "Adult Status" form on file in the office.
5.  Before you leave campus for an appointment or if you are ill, make sure that you check out in the attendance office.  Failure to do so is considered being truant.
Excused/Unexcused Absences:
Excused Absences
personal illness
family emergency
         prearranged family trips
car trouble
medical and dental appointments
court appointments or Jury duty
suspensions (unless court ordered to attend school)
Unexcused Absences
sleeping late
absent from class
not reporting to class
leaving school without checking out
skipping class
family obligations.
(Note: *When parents phone in an absence/tardy is generally excused and posted as E-PE.  The exception is when a student has a truancy petition.  Students who have a current truancy petition on file must have a doctor's note for any absence or they need to meet with our school nurse or a designated staff member in order for their absence to be excused.) 
WVSD Truancy Policy - Number 5126 - Issued 07-15-87
In 1995 the Washington State Legislation passed a compulsory attendance law known as the "BECCA Bill."  The legislature's intent is to ensure that all students master the educational program provided by the state.  Under the state law, the school district is obligated to take steps to eliminate absences.  According to Washington State law, a petition has to be filed with the Spokane County Court when a student has "five unexcused absences in a given month" or ten unexcused absences in a year."  Students can be referred to the West Valley School District Truancy Board for excessive excused absences.
Excused and Unexcused Absences
Students are expected to attend all assigned classes each day.  Teachers shall keep a record of absence and tardiness.
Regular school attendance is necessary for mastery of the educational program provided to students of the district.  Students at times may appropriately be absent from the class.  The following principles shall govern the development and administration of attendance procedures within the district:
      A.  Absences due to illness or a health condition; a religious observance, when requested by a student's parent(s); school-approved activities; family emergencies; and, as required by law, disciplinary actions or short-term suspensions shall be excused.  The principal may, upon request, grant permission in advance for a student's absence proving such absence does not adversely affect the student's educational progress.  A student, upon request of a parent, may be excused for a portion of a school day to participate in religious instruction provided such is not conducted on school property, or involves the school to any degree.
      B.  If an absence is excused, the student shall be permitted to make up all missed assignments outside of class under reasonable conditions and time limits established by the appropriate teacher except that in participation-type classes a student's grade may be affected because of the student's inability to make up the activities conducted during a class period.
      C.  An excused absence shall be verified by the parent; adult, emancipated or appropriately aged student; or school authority responsible for the absence.  If a student is to be released for health care related to family planning or abortion, the student may require that the district keep the information confidential.  Students thirteen and older have the right to keep information about drug, alcohol, or mental health treatment confidential.  Students fourteen and older have the same confidentiality rights regarding HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
       D.  As a means of instilling values of responsibility and personal accountability, a student whose absence is not excused shall experience the consequences of his/her absence.  A student's grade shall be affected if a graded activity or assignment occurs during the period of time when the student is absent.
       E.  The school shall notify a student's parent or guardian in writing or by telephone whenever the student has failed to attend school after one unexcused absence within any month during the current school year.  The notification shall include the potential consequences of additional unexcused absences.  A conference with the parent or guardian shall be held after two unexcused absences within any month during the current school year.  A student may be suspended or expelled for habitual truancy.  Prior to suspension or expulsion, the parent shall be notified in writing in his/her primary language that the student has unexcused absences.

A conference shall be scheduled to determine what corrective measures should be taken to ameliorate the cause for the student's absences from school. If the parent does not attend the conference, the parent shall be notified of the steps the district has decided to take to reduce the student's absences.

Not later than the student's fifth unexcused absence in a month the district shall enter into an agreement with the student and parents that establishes school attendance requirements, refer the student to a community truancy board or file a petition and affidavit with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010.

If such action is not successful, the district shall file a petition and affidavit with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010 by the parent, student or parent and student not later that the seventh unexcused absence in any month during the current school year or upon the tenth unexcused absence during the current school year.
        F.  All suspensions and/or expulsions shall be reported in writing to the superintendent within 24 hours after imposition.

The superintendent shall enforce the district's attendance policies and procedures.  Because the full knowledge and cooperation of students and parents are necessary for the success of the policies and procedures, procedures shall be disseminated broadly and made available to parents and students annually.

Cross Reference:
Board Policy 3320 - Student Policy
Legal References:
RCW 13.34.300 - Failure to cause juvenile to attend school as evidence of neglect petition
RCW 28A.225  - Compulsory school attendance
WAC 180-1-315 (4) - Minimum 180 school day year - five day flexibility - student graduating from high school
WAC 180-40-235 - Discipline - conditions and limitations
WAC 180-40-260 - Long-term suspension - Conditions and limitations