Gateway Middle School Family Vacations and Attendance Policy
Everett Public Schools' attendance policy (P3122) states that "...students are expected to attend all assigned classes each day on time. It is recognized that there are rare occasions that necessitate a late arrival, early departure or legitimate excused student absence...Determination as to whether an absence is a tardy, excused or unexcused absence is made by the school in accordance with law and policy. The role of the parent or guardian is to ensure that his/her children attend school and to verify that the student's absence was for an excusable reason." In summary, the district policy does not indicate that a family vacation is a valid reason for an excused absence.
Families are discouraged from scheduling trips while school is in session. We of course, understand there are exceptional circumstances that, on rare occasion, preclude families from being able to avoid pulling students out of class (a family event that you do not have control over, like a wedding, etc.) and we take this into consideration when reviewing absences to determine if it will be considered excused.
If you must take your student out of class for more than 4 days, you may contact your student's teachers and request any assignments or materials that they will have developed by the time your student leaves on his or her trip. However, teachers will not be creating supplemental instructional activities to compensate for the time your student is away from classes. Most likely, your student will have to catch up when he or she returns to school.
Additionally, the length of the absence and the potential impact that it would have on the student's academic progress is reviewed. When a student misses a day of school, they are missing seven periods of instruction, each of them 46 minutes, delivered by a teacher and other instructional staff. A packet of work to take home can help a student complete some of the tasks that they will miss in the classroom, but a packet of work cannot make up for lost instructional time. Upon his or her return to class, a student will inevitably be behind in the course because they have missed instructional experiences that cannot be replicated outside of the classroom setting.
Please refer to your student's school planner to review the absence qualification and reporting process.
When a student is absent from school, in order to be considered excused, we expect a call from a parent or legal guardian as soon as possible on the morning of the absence, to verify the reason for the absence. An administrator will determine if the absence will be excused. If we do not receive a phone call, you may provide a note from a parent within 24 hours of return to school.
If a student is absent 3 or more days due to illness they are expected to return to school with a note from a doctor in order to be considered excused. According to state law, any student with 5 unexcused absences in a month or 10 unexcused absences in a year will receive a BECCA petition from the juvenile court.
We appreciate you understanding that your student's education is our highest priority, and we would like him or her to attend regularly, every day, in order to maximize his or her learning opportunities at Gateway.