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    Decatur Elementary takes attendance seriously.  If you have questions about whether an absence may be excused, please refer to the Seattle Public Schools Attendance page on the matter.

    Please note the following in particular:

    • Any student arriving after 8:55 a.m. must stop by the office to check-in and get a late dot before going to class. All late students will be marked UNEXCUSED LATE, unless they have a note from their doctor, dentist or therapist. Students arriving on late buses will not be marked late.
    • If your child needs to leave school early for any reason, the teacher must be notified by either a written note or email. Please come into the office to sign your child out and we will call them to the office. Only adults listed on your emergency form will be allowed to take your child out of school. All students leaving before 3:25 p.m. (or 2:10 on Wednesdays) will be marked UNEXCUSED LEFT EARLY, unless they have a note from their doctor, dentist or therapist (which they can bring to the office the following school day).


    The following are valid excuses for an absence:

    1. Participation in a district or school approved activity or instructional program;
    2. Illness, health condition or medical appointment (including, but not limited to, medical, counseling, dental or optometry);
    3. Family emergency, including, but not limited to, a death or illness in the family;
    4. Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction;
    5. Court, judicial proceeding or serving on a jury;
    6. Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview;
    7. State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055;
    8. Absence directly related to the student’s homeless status, such as a house fire, moving, lack of new District transportation set up, a required agency visit, or similar emergency situation;
    9. Absences related to deployment activities of a parent or legal guardian who is an active duty member consistent with RCW 28A.705.010;
    10. Absence resulting from a disciplinary/corrective action (e.g., short-term or long-term suspension, emergency expulsion); and
    11. Principal (or designee) and parent/guardian or emancipated youth mutually agreed upon approved activity, such as attending a youth conference or other one-time special event, or serving as a counselor at a school-sanctioned outdoor education program.
    The school principal (or designee) has the authority to determine if an absence meets the above criteria for an excused absence.

    Information about when to keep your child home for illness:
    • APPEARANCE/ BEHAVIOR – unusually tired, pale, no appetite, hard to wake, or confused.
    • EYES – If there is drainage, vision change, and/or redness of the eyelid, itching, pain or sensitivity to light. This may be a sign of “pink eye” (conjunctivitis) and the student should be checked by a health care provider.
    • FEVER – temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees C) or higher. Students need to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school WITHOUT medications to reduce the fever.
    • BAD COLD AND/OR COUGH – Students need to be able to cover their cough to be at school. If a cough or cold persists for more than 2 weeks, the student may need to be seen by a health care provider.
    • DIARRHEA – 2 or more watery stools in 24 hours, especially if the student acts or looks ill. Students should stay home for 24 hours after the last watery stool.
    • VOMITING – vomiting 2 or more times in 24 hours. Student should stay home for 24 hours after the last time they vomited.
    • RASH – Bothersome body rash, especially with fever or itching. Some rashes may spread to others and should be checked by a health care provider.
    • INJURY/SURGERY – if students are unable to concentrate due to pain or pain medication, they should stay home. Please have your health care provider contact the school nurse to help your child safely return to school. Letting the school nurse know in advance of any planned surgery will be helpful.
    • STILL HAVE QUESTIONS about whether or not your student is healthy enough to come to school? Contact the school nurse or your child’s health care provider. Keeping ill students at home, encouraging frequent hand washing, and covering coughs protects everyone, including those with fragile immune systems. Students are expected to participate in all parts of the school day including recess or PE. If your doctor has restricted activity please send a doctor’s note, for example: “No contact sports x 1 week.”

    Planned Absences of Two or More Days:

    If you know that your child will be absent from school, please fill out the following form and return it to the office, or via email at decatur.attendance@seattleschools.org

    Pre-planned Absence Form PDF
    Pre-planned Absence Form Word