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Attend Regularly

The number of days missed matters!

Whether excused or unexcused, the number of days your student misses can greatly impact their academic success. Families should strive for regular attendance. Regular attendance means having, on average, less than two absences per month. An absence is defined as missing 50% or more of their scheduled day.


  • Starting in kindergarten, 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 not read or master math at the same level as their peers. 
  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
  • By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.   
  • By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with schoolwork, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
  • Unexcused absences are an early warning sign for unaddressed problems with school and future dropout.

Attendance Support

Each school has an attendance team that regularly meets to review students who are struggling with attendance or may be having a hard time connecting. The purpose of these teams is to work with students and families to help address concerns and work together to resolve challenges that are impacting a student's learning. If your student needs support from your school's attendance team, please reach out to your student's counselor or attendance coordinator. 

Sometimes when a student is really struggling, they may be invited to attend a Community Engagement Board meeting. The Community Engagement Board seeks to address the problem of truancy through the collaboration of school, court and community resource providers. The Engagement Board makes recommendations to students, parents and the school district with the goal of improving a student’s attendance record. Students who are on a Becca petition may be referred to a Community Engagement Board.

Automated Attendance Calls

If your student has missed their teacher-led instruction, you may receive an automated call from your student’s school indicating that they have missed scheduled learning time. These calls go out to ensure that parents are aware of absences during live instruction and can serve as a reminder that parents need to report absences to the school.

 Making Sense of the Attendance Auto Dialer  

Parents receive the auto dialer when:

  1. Student is not present in a LIVE class conference (including advisory)  AND/OR
  2. Student did not log in to Canvas that day. This will also trigger the automatic phone call because the student was not actually "in class." 
  3. If you have called and left a message on the attendance line, please understand the office is extremely busy and will mark your student as soon as the message can be heard.  Also, if your child was simply tardy to class, they will have to speak to their teacher to remove that absence.

State Law and Attendance Policies

NSD attendance policies are developed based upon Washington State’s Compulsory Attendance Law RCW 28A.225. 

The law states the following:

  • After 1 unexcused absence the school will Inform the student’s parent/guardian by a notice in writing or by telephone, in a language the parent is fluent, whenever the student has failed to attend school after one unexcused absence.
  • After 3 unexcused absences in a 30-day period a conference will be scheduled with you and your student for the purpose of identifying barriers to the student’s regular attendance and the supports and resources that may be made available to the family and the steps to be taken to support the student to attend.
  • Between 2 and 7 unexcused cumulative absences in a school year the District will take data-informed steps to eliminate or reduce student’s absences, consistent with the WARNS or other assessment results.
  • No later than  7 unexcused absences in a 30-day period the District shall do one of the following: 
    • • Enter into an agreement with the student and parent establishing attendance requirements, OR 
    • • Refer student to a Community Engagement Board (CEB), OR 
    • • File petition under subsection (1) of RCW 28A.225.030
  • After 7 unexcused absences in a month and not later than 15 cumulative unexcused absences in a school year RCW 28A.225.035 the District is required to file a truancy petition with Juvenile Court. Court must ‘stay’ the petition. The District will refer the parent and child to a community engagement board (CEB) or other coordinated means of intervention if referral did not take place before the petition. The CEB meeting must take place within twenty days of the referral. The community engagement board must meet with the child, a parent, and school district representative and enter into an agreement. 
  • If the above actions are not successful, the district will file a truancy petition with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010 by the parent, student or parent and student. The parent and student will be required to appear in the Pend Oreille County District Court.

State law requires children from age 8 to 17 to attend a public school, private school, or a district-approved home school program. Children who are 6 or 7 years old are not required to be enrolled in school. However, if parents enroll their 6 or 7 year old, the student must attend full-time. Youth who are 16 or older may be excused from attending public school if they meet certain requirements.