Attendance Policy Summary

View Policy 3122

Regular and punctual attendance is vital to your child’s progress. Washington State law requires that children attend school. We are required, by law, to track absences and identify them as excused and unexcused.

ATTENDANCE REPORTING:  If a student is going to be absent, the parent/guardian must notify the Attendance office prior to the absence or on the morning of the absence by phone or email or written note and provide an excuse for the absence. The notification should include:

  • Student Full Name
  • Date and Time of Absence
  • Periods Missed
  • Reason for Absence

If no excuse is provided with the notification, or no notification is provided, the parent/guardian will be asked to provide an excuse for the absence upon the student’s return to school. If no excuse is received within 2 days of the return to school, the absence will be considered unexcused.

LATE ARRIVAL/EARLY DISMISSAL:  Student arriving late or leaving early must sign in/out at the Attendance office.  Late arrivals must bring a note from their parent or guardian or have their parent or guardian call or email with an excuse for the tardy or absence.  If no excuse is received from the parent that absence/tardy will be deemed unexcused.  Students leaving early or leaving for a portion of the day must be signed out by a parent or their authorized representatives.  Please call/email in advance to arrange for your student to be in the front office.

EXCUSED ABSENCES include illness; health condition; quarantine for exposure or travel; medical appointment; family emergency; religious purposes; court, judicial proceeding, court-ordered activity or serving on a jury; post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview; State recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055; directly related to the student’s homeless status, or foster care/dependency status; disciplinary/corrective action; safety concerns; and migrant status..

FAMILY VACATIONS/PARENT REQUESTED ABSENCES: may be considered excused absences provided the following provisions are met.  Vacations should be planned for non-school days. Under state law and district policy, five (5) school day absences for special reasons (e.g. family trip/competition/ special event), may be excused if approved by the administration and if the absence will not adversely affect learning. In order to excuse such absence, the following procedure must be followed:

  • Pick up a Prearranged Absence Form from the Attendance Office or fill out the form online at least one week prior to the absence.
  • Have the form signed by each of the student’s teachers.
  • Return the form to the Attendance Office at least 2 days before the trip to be reviewed by the Principal/Assistant Principal to determine whether the absence will be excused or unexcused.

Failure to turn in the Pre-Arranged Absence Form will result in an unexcused absence.

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES: State law requires that we follow specific steps for unexcused student absences, including parent conferences, school refusal assessment and other interventions. Students who have seven (7) unexcused absences in a month or fifteen (15) unexcused absences in a year must be referred to the courts for truancy action.

EXCESSIVE ABSENCES (EXCUSED OR UNEXCUSED):  If a student has excessive absences, whether excused or unexcused, a doctor’s note may be required.  After 20 absences, a truancy petition may be filed.

MAKE-UP ASSIGNMENTS: When your child returns from an excused absence, the teacher will provide make-up assignments, as appropriate. Make-up assignments are not provided in advance.


The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.