Royal High School General Attendance Philosophy

The process of education requires continuity of instruction and student participation in order to reach the goal of maximum educational benefits for each individual.  This is a well-established principle of education which underlies and gives purpose to the requirement of compulsory education. When a student is aware that they are going to be absent, it is his/her responsibility to ask for assignments before the absence occurs. Requests for make-up work/assignments must be made within two days after returning to school and must be completed within reasonable limits set by that individual teacher.  If assignments are given prior to the student leaving, the assignments may be due upon the student’s return to school.  With excused absences, students will have two days for each day out to make up work. If students do not make a request within two days, it is no longer the teacher’s obligation to allow the students to make up the work.  It is also understood that make-up work does not substitute for classroom participation and grades may be negatively impacted due to an inability to participate if a student is not present.  Make-up work will not be allowed for any unexcused or truant absence. All absences, in accordance with State Law and District Policy, require a written excuse from a parent or legal guardian stating the reason for the absence within two (2) school days.  Absences will be classified as two main types:  EXCUSED or UNEXCUSED.

Excused and Unexcused Absences

Students are expected to attend all assigned classes each day. School staff will keep a record of absence and tardiness, including a call log and/or a record of excuse statements submitted by a parent/guardian, or in certain cases, students, to document a student’s excused absences.

Royal High School Policies and Procedures

Royal High School’s focus is on student learning and our school will focus on minimizing the impact of disruptions during class time.  

Attendance (R.C.W. 28A.225.010)

Attendance at Royal High School is mandatory and of special concern to all members of the Royal School District and to our community.  All students who are enrolled from grades 9-12 are required to attend regularly.  It is the responsibility of the parent(s) or guardian(s) to cause the student to attend.  It is the responsibility of the student to attend for the full time when school is in session unless the student is enrolled in an outside program. 

Attendance Procedure (per SB Policy 3122P)

Students are expected to attend all assigned classes each day. Teachers/school staff will keep a record of absence and tardiness, including documentation of students’ excused absences.

The following are valid excuses for absences and tardiness. Assignments and/or activities not completed because of an excused absence or tardiness may be made up in the manner provided by the teacher.

  1. Participation in a school-approved activity or instructional program. To be excused this absence must be authorized by a staff member and the affected teacher must be notified prior to the absence unless it is clearly impossible to do so.
  2. Absence due to illness: health condition; medical appointment; family emergency: religious purposes; court, judicial proceeding 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; and directly related to the student’s homeless status.

    When possible, the parent/guardian is expected to notify the school office on the morning of the absence by phone, e-mail or written note of explanation with the student. If no excuse is provided with the notification, or no notification is provided, the parent/guardian will submit an excuse via phone, e-mail or written note upon the student’s return to school. Adult students (those over eighteen) and emancipated students (those over sixteen who have been emancipated by court action) shall notify the school office of their absences with a signed note of explanation. Students fourteen years old or older who are absent from school due to testing or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease shall notify the school of their absence with a signed note of explanation, which will be kept confidential. Students thirteen years and older may do the same for mental health, drug or alcohol treatment; and all students have that right for family planning and abortion.

    A parent may request that a student be excused from attending school in observance of a religious holiday. In addition, a student, upon the request of his/her parent/guardian, may be excused for a portion of a school day to participate in religious instruction provided such is not conducted on school property. A student shall be allowed one makeup day for each day of absence.
  3. Absence for parental-controlled activities.  This category of absence shall be counted as excused for purposes agreed to by the principal and the parent/guardian. An absence may not be approved if it causes a serious adverse effect on the student's educational progress. In participation-type classes (e.g., certain music and physical education classes) the student may not be able to achieve the objectives of the unit of instruction as a result of absence from class. In such a case, a parent parent/guardian-approved absence would have an adverse effect on the student's educational progress, which would ultimately be reflected in the grade for such a course. A student, upon the request of his/her parent/guardian, may be excused for a portion of a school day to participate in religious instruction provided such is not conducted on school property or otherwise involves the school to any degree.
  4. Absence resulting from disciplinary actions--or short term suspension. As required by law, students who are removed from a class or classes as a disciplinary measure or students who have been placed on short-term suspension shall have the right to make up assignments or exams missed during the time they were denied entry to the classroom if the effect of the missed assignments shall be a substantial lowering of the course grade.
  5. Extended illness or health condition. If a student is confined to home or hospital for an extended period, the school shall arrange for the accomplishment of assignments at the place of confinement whenever practical. If the student is unable to do his/her schoolwork, or if there are major requirements of a particular course which cannot be accomplished outside of class the student may be required to take an incomplete or withdraw from the class without penalty.
  6. Excused absence for chronic health condition. Students with a chronic health condition which interrupts regular attendance may qualify for placement in a limited attendance and participation program. The student and his/her parent/guardian shall apply to the principal or counselor, and a limited program shall be written following the advice and recommendations of the student's medical advisor. The recommended limited program shall be approved by the principal. Staff shall be informed of the student's needs, though the confidentiality of medical information shall be respected at the parent's request.

Unexcused absences fall into two categories:

  1. Submitting a signed excuse which does not constitute an excused absence as defined above; or
  2. Failing to submit any type of excuse statement by the parent/guardian or adult student, whether by phone, e-mail or in writing, for an absence.
  3. The truancy process graphic demonstrates RSD’s responses to unexcused absences.

Washington State Truancy (BECCA Bill) and Compulsory Attendance Laws - Royal School District

  • Step 1: In response to one (1) unexcused absence. Inform parent by phone or by letter.
  • Step 2: In response to three (3) unexcused absences. The school will schedule a parent conference to improve the student's attendance. For students who are in middle and high school, the school must apply WARNS and take data-informing steps to eliminate or reduce student's absences (parent permission not required).
  • Step 3: In response to five (5) unexcused absences in a month. Parent and school must enter into a contract to improve the student's attendance. If contract is not followed or student and/or parent refuses to enter a contract, see Step 4.
  • Step 4: In response to seven (7) unexcused absences in a month or ten (10) unexcused absences in a school year. School will file a truancy petition as a STAY to Grant County Juvenile Court and refer to Community Truancy Board (CTB). If agreement is not followed or student and/or parent refuses to attend CTB, see Step 5.
  • Step 5: File a CTB return-of-case and a case declaration with GCJC. Parents and student will attend a truancy hearing at GCJC. School will receive a notice for court requirements. If non-compliant with court's requirements, see Step 6.
  • Step 6: File IN CONTEMPT with Grant County Juvenile Court. New hearing date will be set. Sanctions will be imposed.