The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has created the new Chapter 392-401 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) that contains substantial changes to the absence rules. This chapter defines an absence and reasons for excused absences.
OSPI adopted the absence rules on May 3, 2018. The rules will become effective on August 1, 2018.
Review the adopted absence rules here. We strongly encourage school districts to review the final rules in detail.
Further guidance on the new rules will be forthcoming in an official OSPI bulletin and on the OSPI Attendance Laws & Policies webpage.
SUMMARY OF RULE CHANGES
Definition of absence. The new proposed Chapter 392-401 WAC defines an absence as when a student is:
(a) Not physically present on school grounds; and (b) Not participating in the following activities at an approved location:
(i) Instruction; (ii) Any instruction-related activity; or (iii) Any other district or school approved activity that is regulated by an instructional/academic accountability system, such as participation in district-sponsored sports.
Absences during Suspensions and Expulsions. A student should be considered excused absent while they are suspended or expelled pursuant to chapter 392-400 WAC, unless they are receiving educational services as required by RCW 28A.600.015 and chapter 392-400 WAC and the student is enrolled in qualifying “course of study” activities as defined in WAC 392-121-107.
Full Day Absence. A full day absence is defined as a student missing fifty percent or more of their scheduled day.
Accumulation of Tardies for Truancy Petition. The permanent rule language states that a school or district shall not convert or combine tardies into absences that contribute to a truancy petition.
Additional Categories of Excused Absences. The permanent rule has several additional categories of excused absences, including:
- Medical appointments or absences due to: counseling, in-patient, out-patient for mental health or chemical dependency, or pregnancy
- Court-ordered activities
- Foster care or dependency status
- Migrant status
- Safety concerns including bullying
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To view the new Absence Rules, please visit this link: Permanent rule language
A detailed summary of the changes, as well as OSPI’s justification for changes and response to commenters is available in the Concise Explanatory Statement by request.
For assistance or questions, please contact Krissy Johnson at email@example.com or (360) 725-6045.
Washingtonians will now have a chance to influence OSPI’s budget requests to the governor and legislature.
OLYMPIA — April 25, 2018 — Today, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released a survey that asks the public to determine how important they find additional public K-12 education investments.
“This will be OSPI’s first biennial budget request since I took office,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “It’s important to me that it is created with input from educators, families, students, and community members across the state.”
“Even as the Legislature has added new resources to shore up ‘basic’ education, we are still a state that invests less in our schools than the national average,” Reykdal continued. “We must do better! Future investments need to increase student achievement, and we want Washingtonians to help shape that future.”
The survey asks participants to decide how important they find things like student support services such as counseling and mental health, family engagement and outreach, school safety enhancements, programs that specifically address racial disparities in learning and discipline, and more.
“The Legislature worked hard on solving the McCleary math problem,” Reykdal said. “Now it’s time to build a budget we can take to Governor Inslee and the Legislature that transforms our system to better reflect the innovations that will be necessary to close opportunity gaps, increase graduation rates, and move more students to post-secondary training and career development.”
“It’s time to focus on the additional investments that ensure our public schools are among the best in the nation,” he continued. ”We are in a global competition and it will take additional investments by our Legislature to redesign our system to better support our students and our educators.”
The survey will remain open until Friday, June 8 and is available in 10 languages. Reykdal plans to release a second survey in mid-summer that will provide Washingtonians an opportunity to prioritize budget request items that emerge from this survey.
For more information
- Survey: Public K-12 Education Priorities
The School of Distinction award is the only one in the state entirely focused on combined improvement in ELA and math for Elementary and Middle Schools, and Graduation Rate for High Schools, sustained over a five-year period. Achieving this award requires continued, intentional effort from leaders and staff members. It is truly an award that recognizes the accomplishments of a dedicated and focused group of adults doing their best work for their students.