Chehalis Middle School strives to ensure all students fully benefit from their education by attending school regularly. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Your student can start building this habit early so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Consistent attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.
What we need from you
We miss your student when they are gone and we value their contributions to our school. We would like you to help ensure that your student attends regularly and is successful in school. If your student is going to be absent, please contact Chehalis Middle School at 360-807-7230.
Our promise to you
We know that there are a wide variety of reasons that students are absent from school, from health concerns to transportation challenges. There are many people in our building prepared to help you if you or your student face challenges in getting to school regularly or on time. We promise to track attendance daily, to notice when your student is missing from class, communicate with you to understand why they were absent, and to identify barriers and supports available to overcome challenges you may face in helping your student attend school.
School Policies and State Laws
It is important that you understand our school policies and procedures, as well as Washington State Law, to ensure your child is successful in school. State law for mandatory attendance, called the Becca Bill, requires children from age 8 to 17 to attend a public school, private school, or a state-approved home school program.
We, the school, are required to take daily attendance and notify you when your student has an unexcused absence.
If your student has two unexcused absences in one month, state law (RCW 28A.225.020) requires we schedule a conference with you and your student to identify the barriers and supports available to ensure regular attendance. The district is obligated to develop a plan that may require an assessment to determine how to best meet the needs of your student and reduce absenteeism.
If your student has seven unexcused absences in any month or ten unexcused absences within the school year, we are required to file a petition with the Juvenile court, alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010, the mandatory attendance laws. The petition may be automatically stayed and your student and family may be referred to a Community Truancy Board, or you and your student may need to appear in Juvenile Court.
Did you know?
- At any level, too many absences (excused and unexcused) can cause children to fall behind in school.
- Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) increases the chance that your student will fall behind in basic skills as compared to their peers.
- Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two every few weeks.
- Being late to school contributes to poor attendance.
- Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
- By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
- By being present at school, your child learns valuable social skills and has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with other students and school staff.
- Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
What you can do
- Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
- Prepare for school the night before, finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
- Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required immunizations.
- Don’t let your student stay home unless they are truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
- Avoid appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
- Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
- Keep track of your student’s attendance on Skyward Family Access.
- Talk to your student about the importance of attendance.
- Talk to your students’ teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.
- Encourage meaningful after school activities, including sports and clubs.