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.
OHS 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.
- Students are prepared and ready to learn by attending every class period, on time, 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 to excuse and absences.
- Students sign-out at the office with parent permission prior to leaving campus for any reason and for any length of time; students who do not live with a parent/guardian will need to contact the Principal to establish check-out procedures.
- Students with an open period are in the Corridor, in a supervised classroom during non-instructional time (prep), or leave campus during that period. Loitering in unsupervised areas is not allowed.
- Students manage time wisely during passing and off-campus lunch privileges.
- Students are not out in the hallways for the first and last 10 minutes of any class. All students must have a hall pass to be out during instructional time.
- Teacher’s Assistants are to be in a classroom unless required to leave for a specific duty. Any TA outside of the classroom must have a badge indicating they are a TA.
If a student enters class after the bell rings and before the first 10 minutes of each period, the student will be considered tardy. OHS Teachers will close their doors after the tardy bell rings. Teachers are expected to update their attendance on skyward marking the student tardy.
- Tardy 1 – Teacher conferences with the student about the tardy
- Tardy 2 – Teacher conferences with the student about the tardy.
- Tardy 3 – Teacher conferences with the student about the tardy.
- Tardy 4 – Teacher conferences with the student about the tardy.
- Tardy 5 – Teacher writes referral to administration. Student assigned 30 minutes of evening school and parent contacted.
- Tardy 8 – Teacher writes referral to administration. Student assigned 30 minutes of evening school and parent contacted.
- Tardy 11– Teacher writes referral to administration. Student assigned 30 minutes of evening school and parent contacted.
- Tardy 14 – Teacher writes referral to administration. Student assigned 30 minutes of evening school and parent contacted.
- Tardy 17 – Teacher writes referral to administration. Student assigned 30 minutes of evening school and parent contacted.
Loss of Credit & Appeal Process /Attendance Retrieval:
Credit Loss: All classes at OHS 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 or extended medically related absences with approved documentation) will be subject to loss of credit and result in an F for the class on the student’s recorded transcript at the end of the Semester.
Credit Loss Appeal Process: Students who have been notified of a loss of credit will have opportunity to appeal to regain credit. The student, parent, counselor, and an Assistant Principal or Principal will discuss and sign a plan of action for the student to regain credit. As part of that agreement, the student will miss no more than 1 day for the remainder of the term. If no appeal is made, the grade will remain as an F.
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 pre-arranged with the Assistant Principal in charge of attendance, prior to retrieval.
The Becca Bill
In Washington, the compulsory attendance law ‘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 the entire day or from the majority of a student’s classes without parent excusal. At OHS, the majority of the day is defined as 4 or more class periods.
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 OHS takes the following actions:
- OHS informs the parent when there is an unexcused absence. OHS notifies parents of all absences via school messenger, email, and/or telephone.
- After the second day of truancy, OHS schedules a meeting with the parent/legal guardian and student to discuss the causes of the unexcused absences and find solutions to prevent further absences.
- After five days of truancy, OHS enters into a written truancy agreement with the family, where the parent, student and school agree on the necessary steps to resolve the student’s attendance problem. Students may also be placed on an Attendance Tracker (Huskie Tracker) after the 5th absence.
- After the tenth (10th) unexcused absence within a school year, OHS files a 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. OHS 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 excused 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 counselors for help to identify resources and strategies to help the student attend school on a regular basis.