What is an “excused” or “unexcused” absence?

Excused absences include: (1) Illness, health condition or medical appointment (including, but not limited to, medical, counseling, dental, optometry, pregnancy, and in-patient or out-patient treatment for chemical dependency or mental health) for the student or person for whom the student is legally responsible; (2) Family emergency including, but not limited to, a death or illness in the family; (3) Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction; (4) Court, judicial proceeding, court-ordered activity, or jury service; (5) Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview; (6) State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055; (7) Absence directly related to the student's homeless or foster care/dependency status; (8) Absences related to deployment activities of a parent or legal guardian who is an active duty member consistent with RCW 28A.705.010; (9) Absences due to suspensions, expulsions or emergency expulsions imposed pursuant to chapter 392-400 WAC if the student is not receiving educational services and is not enrolled in qualifying "course of study" activities as defined in WAC 392-121-107; (10) Absences due to student safety concerns, including absences related to threats, assaults, or bullying; (11) Absences due to a student's migrant status; and (12) An approved activity that is consistent with district policy and is mutually agreed upon by the principal or designee and a parent, guardian, or emancipated youth. A school principal or designee has the authority to determine if an absence meets the above criteria for an excused absence. Districts may define additional categories or criteria for excused absences. These categories of excused absences come from the state rule on excused and unexcused absences in WAC 392-401. Find the rules online, here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=392-401&full=true. If the reason for your child's absence is not in this list, or on a list of excused absences from your district, then it would be “unexcused.”