Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ahs attendance office

Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Ruby O'Dell, Attendance Secretary

360.618.6301 fAX 360.618.6310


At AHS, we want your student to be successful!  Please help your student by promoting and encouraging regular, punctual attendance. Being in class daily and to class on time and ready to learn at the bell every class period is very important and leads to a positive learning environment for all students and staff. 


Excused Absence Procedures


When a student has been absent from class, he/she is required to have it excused by a parent or guardian forty-eight (48) hours (2 days) after the student's return to school.  Absences can be excused in three ways:


1) Online in Family Access (click here)*; or

2) By a phone call to the Attendance Office at 360.618.6301; or

3) By parent/guardian note


It is the student's responsibility to fulfill this requirement. The note from the parent should include the date(s) of the absence, the specific reason for the absence and the signature of the parent/guardian with the date the note was written. Students who use or attempt to use forged or invalid notes for what would be a truancy will be subject to disciplinary action.


Excused absences are as follows:

  1. Personal illness
  2. Medical/Dental appointments.  (Parents are strongly encouraged to schedule medical and dental appointments outside of school hours when at all possible.)
  3. Court appearances
  4. A death in one’s family or a close friend
  5. An emergency family situation which requires the student to be absent for a reasonable period of time. (The definition of “emergency” and “reasonable period of time” will be determined by the principal in discussion with the student's parents

IMPORTANT: A late note or phone call is better than no note or call. Late notes will still be unexcused but the absence is not considered truant for appeal purposes.


*Further details about excusing attendance in Family Access can be found below.

Prearranged Absences

Parents and students are strongly encouraged to review the school calendar, and when at all possible, schedule activities such as appointments, vacations, shopping, hunting trips, work, etc., on days that would not require missing school. When it is not possible to plan a family vacation during these times, a two-week advance prearranged absence must be completed, and the student must have the work completed when they return.


The student should prearrange absences by completing a Prearranged Personal Absence form. A verbal or written request from the parent/guardian is required before a student will be allowed to complete a Prearranged Personal Absence form for a non-school-related absence.



Students must be in attendance for at least four (4) class periods on that day or the preceding day if the activity occurs on a non-school day to be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities (practice and/or games/activities) unless they had completed a Prearranged Personal Absence form for the absence.



Prearranged Personal Absence forms are available at the Attendance Office or click on the attachment below to download the form.



Bus passes are only issued with a written note from a parent or guardian.  Notes may be faxed or emailed to our Attendance Office at 360.618.6310 or Written permission is needed before 1:00 p.m. for a bus pass to be issued for that school day.




Upon arriving at school students must bring a written note signed by a parent or guardian to the Attendance Office indicating why the student was tardy.  Failure to bring an excuse is considered a truancy.  Late arrivals will only be considered excused per the excused absence procedures.  Oversleeping, for example, does not constitute an excused absence even with a signed parent or guardian note.



A signed note from the parent or guardian must be brought to the Attendance Office before school the morning of a student's early release.  The student will be given a pass to leave class at the appropriate time.  Students must meet their parent or guardian at the Attendance Office before leaving.  Any student who leaves campus without prior arrangements being made and does not check out with the Attendance Office will be marked unexcused even if a parent or guardian contacts the Attendance Office to excuse the absence later. 


When there is a valid reason a student must leave during the school day without a prior signed signed note from a parent or guardian, they must come to the Attendance Office and verbal contact must be made with the parent or guardian by the Attendance Office before the student leaves campus.


Early release absences will be marked excused only if they meet the definition of an excused absence outlined above under "Excused Absence Procedures".



In order to minimize the disruptions to the learning environment parents must come into the building and sign their student out at the Attendance Office when it is necessary to pick up their student before the end of the school day. This is particularly important during 6th period when we have many parents calling from their vehicles asking that their student be released early.  For safety purposes, parents may be asked for photo identification when picking up their student.

We ask for your understanding and request that every effort be made to keep your student in class the entire school day so the best possible learning environment can be preserved for all our students and our teachers.

Any student who leaves campus without prior arrangements being made and does not check out with the Attendance Office will be marked unexcused even if a parent or guardian contacts the Attendance Office to excuse the absence later.


(Early release absences will be marked excused only if they meet the definition of an excused absence outlined above under "Excused Absence Procedures".)





Students who are not feeling well should let his or her teacher know and go directly to the Health Room.  Our nurse will assist students in those instances when a parent or guardian must be contacted.  Any student who leaves campus without checking out with the Health Room or the Attendance Office will be marked unexcused even if a parent or guardian contacts the Attendance Office later to excuse the absence.



Missing a class without a valid excuse will be considered a truancy.  Coming to class more than ten (10) minutes late or leaving class and not returning for more than ten (10) minutes is considered an absence without a verified excuse.

  • Unexcused absences will result in disciplinary consequences ranging from Detention to Friday/Saturday School.




Arlington High School abides with the requirements of the 1992 Compulsory School Attendance Law (Becca Law) and daily attendance is required for all Arlington School District students. If a student has eight (8) or more periods of unexcused absences in the course of a year a warning letter will be sent home to apprise you of the situation. At twenty (20) unexcused period absences a conference will be scheduled to discuss possible Becca Law implications and at forty (40) unexcused period absences we are required to notify the Juvenile Court as required by RCW 28A.225.

Questions concerning compulsory attendance and the Becca Law should be directed to Chaney Varelas at 360.618.6300, Ext. 3015.



An upper limit of 12 (twelve) absences for each class will be put into effect each semester.  The student will lose semester credit for the class in excess of these limits. See the AHS Attendance Policy for further details.



Parents using Family Access to excuse their student’s absence online are still subject to the same practices outlined in the AHS Attendance Policy found in the Student Handbook.  Procedures for excusing a medical or dental appointment, or for a student who has been instructed to stay home by the doctor, still need to follow up with medical excuse paperwork and still must excuse the absence within forty-eight (48) hours (2 days) after the student's return to school.


Clicking on the “Notification” button on the attendance viewing screen in Family Access will send a message to the attendance secretary, Mrs. O’Dell.  The attendance notification must go through Mrs. O’Dell in order for it to be posted.  There is a message section within that “Notification” button where a parent can ask a question or give a reason for an absence.  Clicking on the “Contact” button on the AHS attendance screen in Family Access will open up email that will go directly to Mrs. O’Dell.