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Attendance Regulations

Garfield Attendance Regulations

School attendance is mandatory, and students will attend all scheduled classes daily.

The depth of coverage of material in our courses requires active student engagement and participation. The failure to attend class prevents active student engagement. Because active student engagement is a necessary component of our classes, attendance and class participation will be considered as a basis for grading in our courses. Students’ grades will be affected if they do not attend and participate in class.

Each student’s attendance record at school is very important. Academic achievement is difficult to attain with poor attendance habits. The State Board of Education and Garfield High School identify the following as excused absences:

  • Participation in a district or school approved activity or instructional program;
  • Illness, health condition or medical appointment (including, but not limited to, medical, counseling, dental or optometry) for the student or person for who the student is legally responsible;
  • Family emergency including, but not limited to, a death or illness in the family;
  • Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction;
  • 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;
  • Absence directly related to the student’s homeless status;
  • Absences related to deployment activities of a parent or legal guardian who is an active duty member consistent with RCW 28A.705.010;
  • Absence resulting from a disciplinary/corrective action (e.g., short-term or long-term suspension, emergency expulsion); and
  • Principal (or designee) and parent, guardian, or emancipated youth mutually agreed upon approved activity.
    The school principal (or designee) has the authority to determine if an absence meets the above criteria for an excused absence.

Any absence from school is unexcused unless it meets one of the criteria above for an excused absence.

Upon the student’s return to school from a full day’s absence, a written note prepared by the parent or guardian explaining the absence must be submitted to the Attendance Office.

This note must be received within two days of returning to school. Otherwise, the absence will be unexcused.

The absence note must contain the following:

  • Date of note
  • Student’s full name, grade level and ID number (printed)
  • Date(s) and reason for absence
  • Signature of parent/guardian
  • Parent/guardian daytime phone numbers

College visits are for 11th and 12th graders only. A Pre-planned form must be signed by all teachers prior to college visit. When visiting a college, student must bring a letter of visitation back from the college.

The fully completed form must be submitted to the Attendance Office within 3 days upon return from college visit.

College visits should not exceed 7 days total in a school year. The Principal will determine whether the absence is excused or unexcused.

Signing in and out. Students should make appointments outside of the school day. A student who needs to leave school for a doctor or dentist appointment must have a note from parent/guardian stating the reason for leaving and the time of departure.

The student must take the note to the Attendance Office before school begins. He/she must sign out at the Attendance Office when leaving. A doctor’s or dentist’s note may be required if there is an attendance question or concern.

If the early departure is for part of the day and the student returns to school, he/she must sign in at the Attendance Office when returning. Students are responsible for making up all class work and assignments missed as a result of the early departures.

Signing in. When a student arrives after 8:55 a.m. due to a doctor or dentist appointment, he/she must sign in at the Attendance Office and provide a note from parent/guardian stating the time and the reason for the late arrival.

NOTE: If a student arrives at school after 8:55 a.m. with an excused note, he/she must sign in at the attendance office. If a student arrives after 8:45 a.m. without an excused note, he/she should report directly to class. Anytime a student leaves before 3:45 p.m., he/she must sign out at the attendance office; otherwise, he/she will incur an unexcused absence.

Students dismissed from school by the Nurse or the Health Room Technician must sign out at the Attendance Office. Upon departing, students must present the Health Room Dismissal slip to the Attendance Office and sign out. Any additional days of absence will be excused only with a note from the student’s parent or guardian.

For extended illness of five days or more, parents/guardians should call the counseling office at 206-252-2304 for assignments. Please allow 24 hours for assignments to be gathered from teachers.

A physician’s note is required for five or more consecutive days.

It is the student’s responsibility to meet with each teacher to arrange to make up missed work. Teachers allow a limited number of days to make up missed assignments, usually equal to the number of days of the legitimate absence.

Teachers monitor attendance during exams. Students who miss an exam must present a written note verifying the reason for the absence to the attendance secretary. Once the absence has been excused, then the student will work with the teacher to schedule a make-up.

Upon returning from an absence, students are responsible for determining what work was missed and making arrangements with the teacher for its completion. The time for completion of make-up work is determined by the individual teacher, but make-up work should be completed as promptly as possible.

If the assignment was known in advance of the absence and was due the day of the absence, it is due immediately upon the student’s return.

Teachers are obligated to help students in making up work when the absence is excused; no such obligation exists when the absence is unexcused. Students should make arrangements to make up missed work before school, during lunch or immediately after school.

Missing four or more periods is considered a truant day.

(The depth of coverage of material in our courses requires active student engagement and participation. The failure to attend class prevents active student engagement. Because active student engagement is a necessary component of our classes, attendance and class participation will be considered as a basis for grading in our courses.)

Tardiness to class is one of the major reasons students fail. If a student arrives to school late, he/she should report to the Attendance Office.

Late arrivals will be considered unexcused, unless the student presents a note consistent with the reasons for excused absences. Administrators will work with the Attendance Secretary to monitor students for whom tardiness becomes an issue.

Note: Upon request, the Attendance Office will provide printouts of student’s attendance histories during lunch, before school, and after school.

No hall passes will be permitted during the first and last 10 minutes of class. If students are in the hall during these times, they will be referred to their administrator.