Policy Concerning Extended Absences/Vacations
The State of Washington and the Olympia School District have identified 10 valid reasons for excusing absences from school. Parents and guardians are charged to ensure that students arrive on time and miss school only under special circumstances; i.e. participation in the district approved activity or instructional program, illness, health condition or medical appointment, family emergencies (including but not limited to a death or illness in the family), religious or cultural purpose, court appearances or jury duty, post secondary program visitations or interviews, military dependent activities, and absences resulting from disciplinary action.
The school administrators have the authority to determine if an absence meets the criteria for an excused absence. The OHS administration recognizes that there are times when family travel/vacation conflict with the state and district policy. When vacation or travel cause a student to miss three or more days, an Absence Approval Form must be completed, submitted to an administrator for approval, and signed by the student’s teachers prior to the planned absence. If the vacation or travel absence is two days or less in length, calling the attendance office before leaving is all that is necessary to clear it.
An administrator will consider the student’s attendance and academic performance when making his/her decision. Our goal is to limit the number of absences that result from vacations.
Please remember to consider possible snow days and their impact on the school year before planning travel in June. We appreciate your continued support and compliance with our policies.
Olympia High School Attendance Policy
Attendance Office: 360-596-7003
This Attendance Information Details the Responsibilities of Students and Parents.
To Excuse a student:
A parent or guardian must call the attendance office to excuse a student’s absence or tardy. Calls must be received within 48 hours of a student’s absence or tardy. The voice mail is available at any time of day to leave a message. For attendance purposes a note will not be accepted.
When arriving at voice mail, please speak clearly and slowly. Include the following information in your message:
- Student name (please spell last name)
- Parent or guardian name
- Reason for the absence/Specific Type of Appointment (it will not be excused without a reason)
- A phone number where the parent or guardian can be reached
If a student arrives at school after 7:45 a.m., they must sign-in at the attendance office and receive a pass to enter class. If a student arrives more than 10 minutes after the beginning of a class period or leaves more than 10 minutes before the end of a class period, they will be recorded as absent for that period.
After an Absence:
After an absence and upon the student’s return to school, the student or parent should check their Skyward attendance record to make sure the absence was excused. If the student is not excused, then it is his or her responsibility to get the absence cleared within 24 hours.
Acceptable Excused Absences:
Religious reason, family emergencies, illness, bereavement, pre-approved extended absences and professional appointments (Appointments considered professional in nature are: doctor, dentist, orthodontist, legal matters and other licensed practitioners. Appointments not considered professional are: drivers testing, senior pictures, hair appointment or long lunches).
If a student will be absent 3 or more days due to vacation, etc. an extended absence form must be completed and approved by an administrator prior to the absence.
To facilitate a student who needs to leave for an appointment during the school day, please call before 9:00 a.m. The student must sign out at the attendance office BEFORE leaving campus and sign in UPON RETURN to school. Students who do not sign out and/or receive prior approval are deemed unexcused.
In an effort to keep parents informed, a computer generated call will be made to the parent of every student who misses one or more periods of any school day. This phone call will be made the same day of the absence. If a student believes that an absence was recorded in error, the student is responsible to contact the teacher and bring a written note from the teacher to the attendance office to verify that an error was made.
Olympia High School 1302 North Street, Olympia, WA 98501 (360) 596-7000