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Moses Lake School District
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Chronic Absenteeism/Truancy

A state law in Washington, called the “Becca Bill”, requires all children, from age 8 to 17 to attend school regularly, and it requires their parents or legal guardians to make sure they are in school regularly. This law also applies to 6 and 7 year olds if their parents choose to enroll them in school.

Students can be in public school, private school, or homeschool.

The law requires that students are in school, full-time, every day, unless there is a valid excuse.

If a student misses school without a valid excuse, the student might be considered “truant”. When a student is truant, schools are required to:

Þ Notify the family;

Þ Meet and work with the family and student to figure out why, and

Þ Try different strategies to help improve the student’s attendance.

If that doesn’t work, a student and family can be referred to a Community Truancy Board or to court.

If a student misses school a lot, even with a valid excuse, the law now requires schools to meet and work with the family to figure out why, and make a plan to help the student get to school regularly.  That is because missing school a lot, or “chronic

absenteeism” can make it really hard for a student to keep up. It can also be a sign that a student might not be getting the

supports he/she needs. When we are talking about missing school, “a lot” can seem like “a little” - missing even just 2 days a month can add up to a big impact!

 

If getting your child to school every day has been a challenge, your school can help break down barriers and help your child build a new habit of every day, all day, on time.  If you need more help solving problems with attendance, please call your school today!