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Student Services

wenatchee school

Truancy / BECCA Bill

The role of the Truancy department is charged with the oversight of student absenteeism within the district. Wenatchee School District Attendance Policy stipulates that daily attendance is required for all Wenatchee School District students. Regular attendance is the key to completing course work on time.

Parents are encouraged to make school the priority when scheduling appointments during the school day. If a student has a scheduled appointment during the school day, please provide the school with a written note from the person or clinic where the student was seen to excuse that absence.

A state law in Washington, called the “Becca Bill,” requires all children, from age 8 to 17 to attend school regularly, and it requires their parents or legal guardians to make sure they are in school regularly.
Students can be in public school, private school or homeschool.
The law requires that students are in school, full-time, every day, unless there is a valid excuse.
If a student misses school without a valid excuse, the student might be considered “truant.” When a student is truant, schools are required to:
  • Notify the family;
  • Meet and work with the family and student to figure out why, and
  • Try different strategies to help improve the student’s attendance.
If that doesn’t work, a student and family can be referred to a Community Truancy Board or to court.

If a student misses school a lot, even with a valid excuse, the law now requires schools to meet and work with the family to figure out why, and make a plan to help the student get to school regularly.  That is because missing school a lot, or “chronic absenteeism” can make it really hard for a student to keep up. It can also be a sign that a student might not be getting the supports he/she needs. When we are talking about missing school, “a lot” can seem like “a little” – missing even just 2 days a month can add up to a big impact!

If getting your child to school every day has been a challenge, your school can help break down barriers and help your child build a new habit of every day, all day, on time.  Check out OEO’s FAQs to find out what may happen if a student continues to be truant, and ideas for getting back on track with regular attendance.

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