Report an Absence
Students are expected to attend all assigned classes each day. It is important that you call the office whenever your student will be absent from school.
Northshore School District Attendance Policy
Regular school attendance is required and necessary if students are to succeed academically. Fernwood Elementary School is committed to working with parents to ensure students regularly attend school.
Northshore School District, in compliance with Board Policy and Washington State Law, requires parents/guardians to inform the school of student absences. Please report your child's absence and reason for absence before 8:30 a.m. at 425-408-4510. Student absences need to be reported to the office in writing, by phone, or in person. Teachers are not able to properly document planned absences in our student information system; therefore, report those absences to the office as well.
Absences not excused within 2 weeks of the absence are automatically considered "unexcused." This status cannot be changed after this 2-week period.
Fernwood Elementary will adhere to state law by following the Becca Bill and its provisions for unexcused absences.
The Becca Bill requires unexcused absences to be processed in the following manner:
- Inform parents in writing after one unexcused absence in one month.
- Schedule a parent conference after three unexcused absences in one month, or five excused absences without a doctor's note.
- Enter into a formal agreement with the student and parent regarding attendance or file a truancy petition with Juvenile Court if a student has five unexcused absences in a month.
- File a truancy petition with Juvenile Court if a student has seven unexcused absences in a month or ten unexcused absences in a year.
- File a contempt motion if a student is not in compliance with a court order resulting from a truancy petition.
Request for Excused Absences
If you are planning a trip and your student will be absent for 3 or more school days, a Request for Excused Absence Form (download link below) can be found at the bottom of the page) must be completed and turned in to the office 2 weeks prior to the planned absence. This form must then be approved by the student’s teacher and principal, prior to the planned absence. Absences will only be excused for the following reasons:
- 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);
- 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;
- Absence from a disciplinary/corrective action (e.g., short-term or long-term suspension, emergency expulsion); and
- Principal/designee and parent, guardian, or emancipated youth mutually agreed upon approved activity.
Request for Excused Absences and Homework
We recognize that some families choose to take vacations outside our scheduled vacation dates. Much of the learning that takes place cannot be duplicated outside of the classroom setting. In most cases, it is not possible for the teacher to give the child or the parent all the information required for that child to understand the lesson and/or participate in the learning. Without having participated in the learning, the student would have difficulty doing the related follow-up assignment. With that said, teachers should not be asked for homework in advance.
Below is the request form used for absences longer than three days. It should be filled out and given to the office staff for Principal approval. You also can get a copy in the office.
If a student arrives after the 8:50am bell has rung, they MUST check in at the office and obtain a tardy slip before going to class. Tardies will only be excused for the following reasons:
- llness, health condition or medical appointment (including, but not limited to, medical, counseling, dental or optometry).
- 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