A student can achieve academic success by attending school every day. With regular attendance, students are more likely to keep up with daily assignments, and receive the instruction they need to do well on tests and quizzes. They are also more likely to meet new friends and get involved with sports or a school club/activity.
DOHS asks that parents and students make school a priority by attending school every day and on time. If possible, schedule medical appointments after school and only stay home in the case of a contagious or severe illness. Students absent even a day or two of school have a difficult time making up missed work. Students with excessive absences, excused or unexcused, will be subject to discipline according to District Policy and the Becca Bill, Washington State’s truancy law. If you child misses more 5 days or more in a month, they will be subject to attend our Community Truancy Board Intervention.
- Students are prepared and ready to learn by attending every class period, on time, and every day
- Teachers record attendance every class, every day
- Parent/guardian(s) to contact the office by phone or in writing within 48 hours when a student is absent
- Students sign-out at the office with parent permission PRIOR to leaving campus for any reason and for any length of time; failure to do so will result in our school’s discipline.
- Students who do not live with a parent/guardian will need to contact the Principal to establish check-out procedures.
- Students manage time wisely during passing and off-campus lunch privileges
If a student enters class after the bell rings and before the first 10 minutes of class, the student will be considered tardy. DOHS Teachers will close and lock their doors after the tardy bell rings. Teachers are expected to update their attendance on skyward marking the student tardy. If a student is tardy more than 10 minutes after class has started they will not be allowed to attend the class. They must check into our computer lab until the beginning of the next class period.
- Tardy 5 - Detention/Parent notification
- Tardy 8 - Detention/Refocus Area/Parent Meeting
- Tardy 11 - Refocus Area
- Tardy 14 - Refocus Area
- Tardy 17 - Refocus Area
Loss of Credit & Appeal Process/Attendance Retrieval
Credit Loss: All classes at DOHS require regular participation in order to obtain an adequate level of content learning and skills development. As such, students who exceed 10 absences in a particular class period over a semester (including excused and unexcused absences, excluding School Related, Religious, Suspensions, and Expulsions) will increase the likelihood of receiving an F for the class and no credit on the student’s recorded transcript at the end of the Semester.
Attendance Retrieval: After 5 absences in a particular class period, a student will be eligible to retrieve attendance for excused absences and up to 3 unexcused absences, if approved by teacher. Attendance Retrieval will take place during Evening School and must be prearranged with the Principal prior to retrieval.
The BECCA Bill
In Washington, the compulsory attendance law (known as the Becca Bill) requires children ages 6 to 18 who are enrolled in public schools, attend school every day, unless there is a good reason for being absent. In this case, the parent or legal guardian must excuse the absence by notifying the school. When students miss school and parents have not excused the absence, students can be considered truant. Truancy is defined as being absent from school for the majority of the day (4 class periods or more) without parent permission.
The “BECCA Bill” (SB 5439) is Washington State’s truancy law. It is intended to stop truancy before it becomes a problem. If a student has unexcused absences, this law requires that DOHS takes the following actions:
- DOHS notifies parents of all absences via blackboard messenger, email, and/or telephone. Student must keep the office informed of new phone numbers, address changes or any change in the parent/guardian living environment.
- After the second day of truancy, DOHS staff can issue an office referral and parents are notified.
- After four days of truancy, DOHS enters a second office referral and makes verbal or face to face contact with the parents/guardians to discuss our truancy concerns and steps we can take to resolve this issue.
- If a student reaches five truancies in a month we will refer student and family to our Community Truancy Boards intervention.
- If the school is unsuccessful in finding a solution for the student after two visits to the Community Truancy Boards or if a student reaches 10 unexcused absences within a school year, DOHS will file a formal BECCA petition in juvenile court to order the student to attend school. If this court order is violated, the court calls for a Contempt Hearing and the student could be ordered to do community service or spend time in juvenile detention. The parent may be fined up to $25.00 for each day of unexcused absence. DOHS may also refer the family to a “Community Truancy Board.” The Board is a group of citizens whose goal is successful school re engagement and renewed progress toward school completion and graduation for students struggling with attendance.
- After the 10th unexcused absence, students will be required to provide a doctor’s note to excuse any further absences.
- Students with current (prior school year) Becca petitions in the juvenile court, will continue on the petition in the current school year without the thresholds above being applicable.
- Students struggling with attendance are encouraged to reach out to school counselor for help to identify resources and strategies to help the student attend school on a regular basis.