(1) If a child required to attend school under RCW 28A.225.010 fails to attend school without valid justification, the public school in which the child is enrolled shall:
(a) Inform the child's custodial parent, parents, or guardian by a notice in writing or by telephone whenever the child has failed to attend school after one unexcused absence within any month during the current school year. School officials shall inform the parent of the potential consequences of additional unexcused absences. If the custodial parent, parents, or guardian is not fluent in English, the preferred practice is to provide this information in a language in which the custodial parent, parents, or guardian is fluent;
(b) Schedule a conference or conferences with the custodial parent, parents, or guardian and child at a time reasonably convenient for all persons included for the purpose of analyzing the causes of the child's absences after two unexcused absences within any month during the current school year. If a regularly scheduled parent-teacher conference day is to take place within thirty days of the second unexcused absence, then the school district may schedule this conference on that day; and
(c) Take steps to eliminate or reduce the child's absences. These steps shall include, where appropriate, adjusting the child's school program or school or course assignment, providing more individualized or remedial instruction, providing appropriate vocational courses or work experience, referring the child to a community truancy board, if available, requiring the child to attend an alternative school or program, or assisting the parent or child to obtain supplementary services that might eliminate or ameliorate the cause or causes for the absence from school. If the child's parent does not attend the scheduled conference, the conference may be conducted with the student and school official. However, the parent shall be notified of the steps to be taken to eliminate or reduce the child's absence.
(2) For purposes of this chapter, an "unexcused absence" means that a child:
(a) Has failed to attend the majority of hours or periods in an average school day or has failed to comply with a more restrictive school district policy; and
(b) Has failed to meet the school district's policy for excused absences.
(3) If a child transfers from one school district to another during the school year, the receiving school or school district shall include the unexcused absences accumulated at the previous school or from the previous school district for purposes of this section, RCW 28A.225.030, and 28A.225.015.
[2009 c 266 § 1; 1999 c 319 § 1; 1996 c 134 § 2; 1995 c 312 § 67; 1992 c 205 § 202; 1986 c 132 § 2; 1979 ex.s. c 201 § 1. Formerly RCW 28A.27.020.]
| Short title -- 1995 c 312: See note following RCW 13.32A.010.|
Part headings not law -- Severability -- 1992 c 205: See notes following RCW 13.40.010.