Our attendance policy here at West Valley High School is that after 15 missed days in any one class period, we no longer excuse absences without a doctor’s note or clearance from Mr. McMurry (Principal). 9 days out of class in a semester is considered “Chronically Absent” by the state of Washington.

ESSA Defines Chronic Absenteeism
WVSD making effort to curb casual absences 

The Elementary and Secondary Schools Act (ESSA) Accountability Index, which serves as a rating system for schools has chosen Chronic Absenteeism as the figure that would count in the determination for overall school standing. Chronic Absenteeism is defined as missing 10% of the school year. Since a school year consists of 180 days, this would be missing 18 or more days in a school year. Since the school year consists of 36 weeks, this means that a student who is defined as Chronically Absent is missing one day of school every two weeks. We do not want students to come to school who are sick as they would impact the health of others, but we do need the "casual absences" to stop. These are absences of convenience from the parent's perspective and will eventually negatively impact the academic success of a child. Remember that a day of missing school is a day of missing out on learning. Please do everything you can to reinforce the habit of getting up and going to school every day!

Attendance, Responsibility, And School Success
Research shows us that prompt and regular school attendance is an important key to student success in school. Each student in the West Valley School District according to his/her level of maturity, is expected to demonstrate respect, concern, and caring for all staff, students, and community...follow the school and District rules...and to conduct him/herself in a responsible manner as a member of the school community. An important part of this goal is prompt and regular school attendance by all students.
With this in mind, we understand there are sometimes illnesses and emergencies, which may cause your child to miss school. However, please pre-arrange all other absences with the school office and plan on having your child collect work from his or her teacher(s) so that they will miss as little classroom instruction as possible.
Student Attendance Laws
Washington law holds students ages eight through 18 years of age and their parent(s)/guardian(s) accountable for the student's attendance. Students ages six through eight, when enrolled in school, also fall under this law. Under state law RCW 28A.225, school districts are required to petition the Juvenile Court for legal action after a student has SEVEN unexcused absences in a calendar month OR TEN unexcused absences in a school year. Jail time may be imposed on students by the Court. Also, parents can be fined up to $25 a day for their child's unexcused absences.
District Guidelines for Excused Absences:
  1. Participation in a district or school approved activity or instructional program;
  2. Illness, health condition or medical appointment (including but not limited to medical, counseling, dental or optometry) - a doctor's note/appointment card may be required;
  3. Family emergency, including but not limited to a death or illness in the family;
  4. Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction;
  5. Court, judicial proceeding or serving on a jury;
  6. Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview;
  7. State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055;
  8. Absence directly related to the student's homeless status;
  9. Absence resulting from a disciplinary/corrective action (e.g., short-term or long-term suspension, emergency expulsion); and
  10. Principal (or designee) and parent, guardian, or emancipated youth mutually agreed upon approved activity.
District Guidelines for Unexcused Absences
Please call the school any day your child will be absent.
Parent(s)/guardian(s) must submit excuses within 48 hours of the absence. Only absences, which meet District standards, will be excused. School staff will communicate (e.g., conferences, letters, telephone calls) with parents/guardian(s) regarding student absences. An absence which does not fit the above definitions will be considered a truancy even though an excuse is submitted.
Daily Attendance Counts!
Please help us show your child that daily attendance is important and that you are willing to help him/her be successful by planning vacations and other appointments around the school district instructional calendar.
Tardy Policy
Tardies are disruptive to your child's education, and the District strongly encourages students to be at school on time. Tardies are counted by fractions of the school day. Throughout the District, if a student misses more than 10 minutes of a period in secondary schools or one half of either the morning or afternoon in elementary schools, such a tardy will be counted as an absence.
Definition of an Excused Tardy
An excused tardy, like an excused absence, must fall into one of the following four categories:
  • Student illness or health condition;
  • School initiated;
  • Religious observance; or
  • Emergency.
To verify an excused tardy, parent(s)/ guardian(s) must notify the school either by phone, written note or in person when the student arrives at school.
Examples of Possible Unexcused Tardiness
  • Frequent car trouble;
  • Oversleeping;
  • Babysitting;
  • Missing school bus.

Parent(s)/guardian(s) are strongly encouraged to make appointments (doctor, dentist, etc.) for their child outside of school hours to avoid interruption of the school day. If a student's tardiness becomes excessive, a parent conference with the principal or designee will be required in order to implement a plan to reduce tardiness.
Did You Know…
  • Area employers are looking for workers that are prompt and regular in their attendance. Will your child be prepared for the world of work? Please help us prepare our students for life after school by encouraging prompt and regular school attendance!
  • The number of days absent from school, the number of hours spent watching TV, and number of pages read for homework are important factors in determining school success.