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Additional handbook guidelines specific to Beaver Lake Middle School, created to supplement district regulations, can be found on the BLMS Supplemental Guidelines handbook page.

Attendance

Washington state law requires that all students between 8 and 18 years of age attend school full-time, unless the student is excused from full-time attendance or meets certain exceptions. Parents are expected to ensure regular school attendance by their children. As provided in Regulation 3122, regular school attendance is necessary for mastery of the educational program provided to students. Daily attendance and active participation in each class are critical parts of the learning process. Excessive absenteeism, whether excused or unexcused, has a negative impact on academic achievement.

Students are expected to attend all classes each day. Teachers shall keep an accurate record of absences and tardiness. Students will be marked absent when they have an absence for any full class period. As used in this handbook, an “absence” means a student is (a) not physically present on school grounds, and (b) not participating in the following activities at an approved location: instruction, any instruction-related activity, or any other district or school approved activity that is regulated by an instructional/academic accountability system, such as participation in District-sponsored sports. A “full-day absence” is when a student is marked absent for fifty-percent or more of their scheduled day. A “tardy” is non-attendance for less than a full class period.

Parents will be informed when their student(s) misses one or more periods. Students participating in a co/extra-curricular activity must be in attendance in all periods, as assigned, to be eligible for participation in the activity or event.

Excused Absences

Excused absences are absences due to:

  • 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;
  • Family emergency, including, but not limited to, a death or illness in the family;
  • Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction;
  • Court, judicial proceeding or serving on a jury;
  • Post-secondary, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, or scholarship interview;
  • State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 225.055;
  • Absence directly related to the student’s homeless or foster care/dependency status;
  • Absences related to deployment activities of a parent or legal guardian who is an active duty member consistent with RCW 28A.705.010;
  • 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 a qualifying “course of study” activities as defined in WAC 392-121-107;
  • Absences due to student safety concerns, including absences related to threats, assault, or bullying;
  • Absences due to a student’s migrant status;
  • An activity that is consistent with District policy and is mutually agreed upon by the principal (or designee) and a parent or emancipated youth; and
  • Absences due to the student's lack of necessary instructional tools, including internet access or connectivity.

In the event of emergency school facility closure due to COVID-19, other communicable disease outbreak, natural disaster, or other event when the District is required to provide synchronous and asynchronous instruction, absences due to the following reasons must be excused:

  • Absences related to the student's illness, health condition, or medical appointments due to COVID-19 or other communicable disease;
  • Absences related to caring for a family member who has an illness, health condition, or medical appointment due to COVID-19, other communicable disease, or other emergency health condition related to school facility closures;
  • Absences related to the student's family obligations during regularly scheduled school hours that are temporarily necessary because of school facility closures, until other arrangements can be made; and
  • Absences due to the student's parent's work schedule or other obligations during regularly scheduled school hours, until other arrangements can be made.

A school principal or designee has the authority to determine if any absence meets the above criteria for an excused absence. The principal or designee may only grant permission for a student’s absence providing such absence does not adversely affect the student’s educational process.

Verification

Parents are expected to notify the school office by 8:00 AM of the day following the absence or send a signed note of explanation with the student upon the student’s return to school. Adult students or emancipated students must notify the school office of their absences with a signed note of explanation. If attendance is taken electronically, either for a course conducted online or for students physically within the District, an absence defaults to unexcused until such time as an excused absence may be verified by a parent or emancipated or adult student. See Procedure 3122P for additional information regarding the procedures governing excused absences. 

Unexcused Absences are any absence from school that does not meet one of the criteria above for an excused absence.

  • Each full-day unexcused absence shall be followed by a warning letter or telephone call to the parent.
  • At some point after the second full-day unexcused absence and before the seventh full-day unexcused absence, the District will take data-informed steps to eliminate or reduce the student’s absences as specifically set forth in RCW 28A.225.020(1)(c), including all subsections.
  • After three full-day unexcused absences within any month, a conference with the parent, student, and principal/designee. If the parent does not attend the conference, the conference may be conducted with the student and principal/designee. If the parent does not attend, he/she will be notified of the steps taken to eliminate or reduce the student’s absences.
  • Not later than the student’s fifth full-day unexcused absence within any month, the District will enter into an agreement with the student and parents that establishes school attendance requirements, refer the student to a community engagement board as defined in RCW 28A.225.025, or file a petition and affidavit with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010.
  • After the student’s seventh full-day unexcused absence within any month and no later than the student’s fifteenth full-day unexcused absence during the current school year, the District shall file a petition and affidavit with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010 by the parent, student, or parent and student.

Generally, a student’s grade shall not be affected if no graded activity is missed during an unexcused absence. However, any work due or assigned during an unexcused absence cannot be made up for credit. 

Attendance Procedures

  • Upon returning to school from an absence, students must obtain an admit slip at the main office and present it to each teacher that
  • Students who become ill at school must check out with the attendance office even if the health attendant speaks with a Failure to do so could result in an unexcused absence and disciplinary action, however, a student may not be suspended or expelled for absences or tardies.
  • Students who leave class during the school day must be properly checked out through the Attendance Office (see 3124 and 3124P). An absence that results from a student leaving class during the school day will be deemed excused or unexcused based on the criteria set forth in Regulation 3122. Leaving class without prior approval and without properly signing out may be cause for disciplinary action.
  • Procedures outlined in the BECCA Bill will be followed as unexcused absences See Procedure 3122P.
  • Disciplinary action may be assessed for truancy, however, a student may not be suspended or expelled for absences or tardies.
  • Students are encouraged to contact their teachers via email and class websites to get make up work. Arrangements can be made with teachers to pick up work through the attendance office. Homework/make up work will not be gathered for students missing school because of personal choice or
  • Students are expected to take care of attendance business during their own time such as before school, during break, at lunch or after

Additional information regarding excused and unexcused absences is provided in District Regulation 3122 and Procedure 3122P.

Check Acceptance Policy

The District has established the following protocol for accepting checks and collecting bad checks: For a check to be an acceptable form of payment, it must include the current, full, accurate name, address and telephone number. If a check is returned for non-payment, the face value may be recovered electronically along with a state allowed recovery fee. In the event a check is returned for non-payment, checks will not be an acceptable form of payment for the rest of the school year.

Distribution of Printed Materials on School Grounds 

In respect for the rights and beliefs of all of our students, you must obtain prior approval from the Communications Department before you or your student attempt to hand out any printed information, including invitations, to students or staff on school grounds. If you wish to post information on the school’s community bulletin board or other area set aside for this purpose, please contact your principal for approval. Guidelines for distribution of material on school grounds are included in Regulations 2340 and 4320. A complete copy of these Regulations may be obtained at any school or on the district website.

Drug Free Zones

Schools in the Issaquah School District are protected as drug free zones, as established by the City of Issaquah and King County. Drug free zones provide for possible double penalties for anyone caught trafficking controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a designated school, school bus stop or public park.

Family Access

Family Access provides parents and students on-line access to student information including attendance. Parents and students are encouraged to monitor attendance records regularly using Family Access and contact the attendance office for discrepancies. Family Access Logon and Passwords may be obtained in person from the school registrar.

Fines

School fines are issued when a student fails to pay a class fee in the first three weeks of the trimester and/or when a student damages or fails to return any property of the school including, but not limited to, textbooks, items checked out from the library, athletic uniforms, rental instruments, technology support items, etc. All fines are due by the end of the trimester in which they are issued. Once the trimester passes, even if the item is found and submitted, the fine is still due and payable because the school will have purchased a replacement item in order to maintain the inventory for student use. You are encouraged to pay your fees & fines online. You can access the “Pay Online” button from the School home page using the same user name as Family Access. The password is the last name of your student.

Good Neighbor Policy  

The District wishes to maintain positive relationships with our neighbors. Students are to avoid trespassing on neighbors’ property, littering and loitering in the street near their homes.

Identification Cards 

All students are provided with a student identification card, featuring their name, grade and a photo. Students are expected to carry their card at all times during the school day.

Lunch Accounts

Purchasing a Meal

Students will be assigned a lunch account that can be used to purchase standard program meals from the school kitchen. Students will be given access to a standard program meal regardless of lunch account balance. Charges to the student’s lunch account will continue to accrue until reconciled. A student’s lunch account must have sufficient funds to purchase a la carte items (chips, cookies, vendor pizza, bottled beverages, etc.).

Financial Assistance

Online applications for meal assistance are available on the lunch program webpage. Paper copies are available on the webpage or can be obtained by contacting the Food Service Office at 425-837-5060. They are also available in the front office of each school building.

MySchoolBucks

Food Services partners with MySchoolBucks.com, a service that allows the use of credit cards to make payments for a student’s lunch account. Parents may select an auto-pay feature as well by visiting the website. There is a $2.75 fee per credit card transaction charged by MySchoolBucks.com however the use of their website to monitor a student’s lunch balance and account activity is free. Log on instructions and link to myschoolbucks.com can be found on the district website by clicking here.

Balance Notification

Food Services recently implemented an automated balance notification service that will notify parents via e-mail when the student’s lunch balance is low and again when the lunch balance is in arrears. The negative balance notification e-mails will continue to be sent weekly until the unpaid meal charges have been resolved.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    833-256-1665 or 202-690-7442; or
  3. email:
    Program.Intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Visitors 

During the school day, only parents, adult relatives, volunteers and invited guests are allowed to visit District schools. Parents, adult relatives, volunteers and invited guests will continue to have access to all District schools before and after the school day in order to confer with and directly assist teachers, staff and students, provide support for District programs and observe or participate in school sponsored activities.

Parents, adult relatives, volunteers and invited guests visiting a school during the school day must register at the school’s office upon arrival, must comply with any safety procedures and directives indicated by the principal, and must not engage in any activity or behavior which is disruptive to the educational process. Additional information and requirements related to visitors at school are in Regulation 4311 and Procedure 4311P.