Report an Absence
Due to the high volume of absences and other attendance requests, we are no longer using the Forms portal for a pre-planned absence. To report an absence, late arrival or request an early dismissal, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of the high volume of emails being received it is very difficult to acknowledge receipt of the email or respond back to general questions. But, sending an email is preferred to receiving a phone call unless it is a very last minute notification. Please do not do both as it creates extra work.
It is not necessary to send a follow-up email or phone call. If you receive a School Messenger phone call because we have not been able to get to your email know that we will be processing it as soon as possible. Your emails will be processed as soon as humanly possible and we appreciate your patience as staff work through the mountains of emails that are being received on a daily basis.
Attendance by the Numbers
2 days: How much time you have to provide a valid excuse in writing or electronic message after an absence has occurred or it will remain unexcused.
3 days: When a planned absence form is due prior to the start of an absence.
5 days: Illness keeping you out 5 days in a row or longer? You must provide a doctor’s verification note for it to be excused.
7 days: Seven unexcused absences in a month (or ten in a school year) will prompt attendance intervention and possibly require the district to file a truancy petition if absences continue.
8 days: If you miss the first 8 days of the start of school, you will no longer be enrolled in the Seattle Public Schools.
10 minutes: If you miss more than 10 minutes of instruction time in a period, you will be marked absent for that period.
10 days: Your sick days will no longer be excused without a doctor’s note if you have already had 10 sick days in that school year. (This does not pertain to students with chronic conditions and have communicated with the school nurse.)
10 days: If you miss more than 20 consecutive days (unexcused or excused), you will cease to be enrolled in Seattle Public Schools.
Seattle Public Schools Attendance Policies
Frequently Asked Questions
A: Just email email@example.com to report your student’s absence.
Q: My student was marked absent by mistake; how do I correct it?
A: It is your student’s responsibility to discuss this absence with their teacher. The teacher will then contact attendance to have it corrected.
Q: When should students stop by the attendance office?
A: If a student has a note excusing their absence or if the student needs to leave early, they should stop by the attendance office.
Q: Do students sign in at the attendance office when late (any period)?
A: Yes, please have the student stop and sign at attendance and obtain a pass to class.
Q: What do students do if they were in class but incorrectly marked late or absent?
A: Students should speak to their teachers to clear attendance errors; parents & guardians cannot clear/excuse these period-only absences on the student’s behalf.
Q: What about recurring medical appointments requiring a student to leave early at the same time, same day, each week?
A: Contact the attendance office, so we can record the recurring absence and provide a class dismissal pass if necessary. In some cases, a doctor’s note confirming the standing appointment may be required. Each semester, standing/recurring appointment excusals will need to be reviewed and renewed, even if the appointment details don’t change.
Q: How do students get excused early or leave school temporarily for appointments?
A: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any early dismissals required. The update will be made within 24 to 48 hours. Parents should NOT drop by unannounced to pick up students.
Q: What if I forget or get a last minute appointment?
A: Please email email@example.com for any early dismissals required. The update will be made within 24 to 48 hours. It is up to students’ guardians to communicate to their student that they have an appointment.”
Q: What if a student is feeling sick at school and wants to go home?
A: They must see the nurse and get a release to leave. If they leave without the pass from the nurse, the absence will be unexcused.
Q: Can a parent call to request their student leave early when they feel sick?
A: So long as it meets the early dismissal guidelines…must be in advance (at least an hour); otherwise the student needs to be seen by the nurse first for a more immediate dismissal.
Q: What if parents can’t pick their student up; can someone else?
A:, It is up to the guardian’s discretion who picks up a student once a student leaves the building.
Q: What if a student walks out of class or goes to the bathroom and stays out too long?
A: Teachers may record the student left early or mark them unexcused absent depending on how long the student was gone from the classroom. If a student misses more than 10 minutes of class, they are technically absent.
Q: How is attendance updated for in-school participation/events (assembly prep, counselor meetings, PSAT, College/Career day,etc.)?
A: Attendance is taken at the meeting or event, verified, then submitted to attendance for entry. Allow 48 hours for these attendance updates to be made (check your SOURCE account to verify completion within 48 hours).
Q: How is early dismissal for sports handled?
A: The coach submits a list to the attendance office; the list is distributed to teachers; the teachers dismiss the student; attendance will be updated by next day. Parents cannot excuse students for sports early dismissals.