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    Attendance for the 2020-2021 School Year


    We are starting the 2020-2021 school year under unusual circumstances.  We understand that students will be absent at times from participating in Remote Learning for various reasons because of this.  Communication with the school will be key if you are facing barriers in your child participating in Remote Learning.  We will provide support to you by making our best effort in addressing and trying to remove some of these barriers. 


    Report an Absence:  Please notify Dunlap Elementary of your child's absence from school. An absence can be reported with the phone number or email listed below.  If the school has not received information of a child's absence after the teacher has taken attendance (thirty minutes after the start of the school day) then communication will take place to the parent/guardian in regards to the absence.  If an absence is reported to your child's teacher then please notify the school office as well.  A phone call will not take place to the parent/guardian if an absence has been reported ahead of time to the school.   It is important that the school has your current contact information so please keep the school informed of this information.  Please read the Attendance Policy Letter for the 2020-2021 school year below in regards to the importance of school attendance.

     Dunlap Elementary School Office:  (206) 252-7000 (please leave a voice mail) or


    For schools that are fully remote or where remote learning days are planned as part of a hybrid model, absences from remote learning will be considered non-truancy remote learning through October 4, 2020. This means absences from remote learning, until October 4, are neither excused nor unexcused and therefore do not contribute to the accumulation of unexcused absences which require action under RCW 28A.225.020 or 28A.225.030.  The purpose of these absences is to create flexibility at the beginning of the school year as students, families, and schools adjust to remote learning settings.   

    Beginning October 5, Seattle Public Schools will begin differentiating between excused and unexcused remote absences by verifying student attendance and these absences count toward Truancy.


    An absence from remote learning is when a student is not participating in planned instructional activities on a scheduled remote learning day.  Student presence or participation may be asynchronous or synchronous.  For the purposes of taking daily attendance, examples of what student participation could look like include, but are not limited to:

    • Daily logins to learning management systems (MS Teams, Seesaw);
    • Daily interactions with educators to acknowledge attendance (including messages, emails, phone calls, video chats, office hours);
    • Evidence of participation in a task or assignment;
    • Participation in one-on-one or small group interventions;
    • Participating in activities planned by specialists: P.E., library, music, computer lab, counselor/behavior specialists;
    • Social/emotional learning programs

    Absences due to the following will be considered excused including for Covid-19:

    • Student or family illness;
    • Medical, dental, counseling appointment;  
    • Lack of necessary instructional tools (e.g., internet connectivity);
    • Court activity;
    • Religious observance;
    • Parent work schedule;
    • Homeless status;
    • Family emergency;
    • Death




    Dear Parent/Guardian,

    Attendance is one of the most powerful predictors of academic achievement and having your student participating, ready to learn for the school day will benefit them, their classmates, and our whole school community. Let’s work together to make sure your child has great attendance and can get the most out of their learning opportunities this school year.


    • Starting in kindergarten, too many absences (excused and unexcused) can cause children to fall behind in school.
    • By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
    • By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
    • By being present at school, your child learns valuable skills and has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with other students and school staff in person and in remote learning.


    We know that there are a wide variety of reasons that students are absent from school, from health concerns to the very unusual circumstances that have taken place in 2020.  There are many people in our school community prepared to help you if you or your student face challenges in participating in school regularly.  We promise to track attendance daily, to notice when your student is missing from class, communicate with you to understand why they were absent, and to identify barriers and supports available to overcome challenges you may face in helping your student participate in school.


    We miss your student when they are not participating and we value their contributions to their school.  We would like you to help ensure that your student participates regularly and is successful in school.  If your student is going to be absent, please contact the school in advance.  If an absence was unplanned, please contact the school within two school days.  


    • If your child has three unexcused absences in one month, state law(RCW 28A.225.020) requires we schedule a conference with you and your child.
    • If your child is in elementary school and has five excused absences in any month, or ten or more excused absences in the school year, we are required to contact you to schedule a conference.  A conference is not required if you have provided a doctor's note or pre-arranged the absence, and a plan is in place so your child does not fall behind academically.
    • If your child has seven unexcused absences in any month or ten unexcused absences within the school year and our supports and interventions haven't helped get your student to participate consistently, we are required to file a petition with the Juvenile court, alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010, Washington's mandatory attendance law.

    Our attendance procedure, which includes reasons why an absence may be excused , can be found at  under School Board>>Policies and Procedures>>Series 3000 - Students or at 


    • Please let your child participate unless they are truly sick, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea.
    • Avoid appointments and travel when school is in session.
    • Keep track of your child's attendance using the Source or another method.
    • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine (including limiting how late your child can use electronic devices) and finish home the night before.
    • Communicate with the school about how we can work together to support your child's attendance.

    Thank you and have a great school year!


    Portions of this letter are attributable to Attendance Works (  Additional SPS attendance information, including District contacts, can be found at