Attendance Matters

Students attending school regularly is the first indicator of success in school.  Your child’s attendance is important to us, and we know it is important to you as a family as well! 

 Students who attend school regularly are more likely to graduate on time, go to post-secondary school and/or find good jobs.  In fact, a high school graduate makes, on an average, $1 million more than a school dropout over a lifetime.  By 9th grade, good attendance is a better predictor that your child will graduate on time than their 8th grade test scores.  When your child is not at school, we notice because we care about your child and their future.

 Students who do not show up for school regularly miss out on fundamental reading and math skills and the chance to build a habit of good attendance that will carry them into college or careers of their choice.  Studies have found that children who were chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade, were far less likely to read proficiently at the end of 3rd grade.  Postiive attendance is vital to your child’s school success.      

 We know there are a wide variety of reasons that students are absent from school.  There are many people in our schools prepared to support our students and families in strong positive school attendance.  We promise to track attendance daily, notify you when your child is absent from class, communicate with you and understand why your child is absent, and to identify barriers and offer support available to help your child overcome challenges they are facing to ensure they are able to attend school regularly. 

 There are 3 types of absences:

  1. Excused Absences

  2. Unexcused Absences

  3. Chronic Absenteeism

 An Excused Absence is when a parent/guardian contacts the school to verify their child’s absence from school for the following reasons:

  • Illness (physical or mental health)

  • Family emergency

  • Religious or cultural purpose

  • Court

  • Absence directly related to homelessness

  • Military deployment

  • Suspension/expulsion

  • Safety concern

  • Migrant status

  • Administrator approved absence (athletics and other)

  • Postsecondary program visit state-recognized search/rescue activity

 An Unexcused Absence is any absence from school that does not meet the qualifying reasons from the Excused Absence list.

 Chronic Absenteeism is when a child is absent 10 percent of the time (both excused and unexcused absences).  Having 18 or more absences in one school year is considered Chronic Absenteeism.

 In the event a student becomins Chronically Absent, missing 10% or more of the school year for excused and/or unexcused absences, the student and parent/guardian will be invited to a meeting to develop an attendance contract to ensure the students learning needs are being met and tschool attendance is prioritized. 

 What communication might you expect from our school to you as a parent/guardian regarding attendance? 

  • When your child has 1 unexcused absence, you will be contacted either by phone or in writing regarding the nature of the absence. 

  • When your child has accumulated 3 unexcused absences, you will be invited to a conference to identify barriers to positive attendance and discuss steps to improve your child’s attendance at school. 

  • If your child accumulates 7 unexcused absences in a month, you and your child will enter an agreement with the school district that outlines expectations for attendance and offers support in meeting those expectations.  You will also be invited to a ReEngagment Board meeting to discuss more in-depth supports and plans that may be put in place to improve your child’s attendance.  If your child is in middle or high school, the school district will administer a Washington Assessment of Risks and Needs Assessment to determine what support your child needs to attend school. 

  • If your child reaches 15 unexcused absences during the school year, the school district will file a truancy petition with the Juvenile Court. 

 Prearranged Absences or Educational Family Trips

The Glenwood School District recognizes the importance of family trips that can be beneficial for overall child development and educational opportunities that do not occur within the classroom walls.  Families are required to communicate with the school office 7 days in advance of a preplanned trip and complete a preplanned absence form.  Parent/guardian will meet with the attendance secretary and principal/superintendent to discuss the intention of the trip and the student’s current attendance and grade standing.  The principal/superintendent will approve the prearranged excused absence on an individual basis.  While students are absent, they will be required to adhere to the makeup work policy.  Prearranged absences will be counted towards their excused absence count that will affect their overall chronic absenteeism total. 

 Attendance Incentives

Students who demonstrate positive attendance will have the opportunity to earn field trips, early release, monthy celebrations and off campus lunch privileges.  If a student struggles with positive attendance, he/she may not have the opportunity to earn the attenacne incentives. 

 The Glenwood Attendance Team and Glenwood School District, through partnership with families and students, is committed to a holistic approach to positive attendance so students of all backgrounds and circumstances attend school regularly, engage in learning, and thrive.  Together, we are dedicated to identifying and removing barriers to support student success.

 We challenge each student to strive for LESS THAN 5 Excused ABSENCES and ZERO Unexcused ABSENCES during this school year!  Together, let’s keep our children in school and set each child up for success.