Seattle School District Policy
It is the policy of the Seattle School Board that consistent attendance is essential to the Seattle Public Schools mission of academic achievement for every student in every school. Absent students miss critical instruction in key concepts, quickly fall behind in school, and are less likely to achieve academic success. Accordingly, school attendance is mandatory, and unexcused absences and truancy are prohibited within Seattle Public Schools. Students who have an excessive number of excused absences (10 or more in a semester) may fall under the truancy law as well, and schools that fail to comply with the Compulsory Attendance law may lose state monies or support.
What should I do if my student is late or absent?
If a student misses school or is late due to an excused absence, a parent/guardian needs to call the Hamilton Attendance Office at (206) 252-5814 on the morning of each missed day or late arrival. Upon returning to school, your student needs to bring a note signed by a parent/guardian with the student’s full name, the date(s) and the reason(s) for absence or tardiness. The student must take the note to the Attendance Office before going to class. If you know ahead of time that your child will have an excused absence lasting three days or more, you need to send a letter to the Attendance Office before your child is absent. For more information, please see Hamilton's attendance forms at right.
Family Trip Planning
Seattle Public Schools wants to ensure that absences like this are planned ahead and excused. The feeling is that this will prevent students from falling behind academically due to taking a family trip during the regular school year. There are two forms that are now to be used in order to make Pre-Planned absences excused. Links to these forms are provided on this web page.
On the Educational Trip Plan form you need to check with each of your student’s teachers to find out what assignments will be given while he or she is gone (left hand column) and find out when they need to be turned in (right hand column). You can decide as a family what “educational activity” you want to incorporate into the trip – to be OK’ed by the Principal or whichever teacher would be the appropriate one to evaluate it – or you can ask a teacher for ideas. (This goes in the top left box.) It could be as simple as writing an essay about or keeping a log of his or her experiences during the trip, or describing an historical site or cultural event you attend. The possibilities are endless, and I’m sure you will find one that will be both beneficial and enjoyable for your student to complete.