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Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

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Laws and Policies

Absence Rules | Chapter 392-401 WAC

Permanent Rules Adopted
OSPI adopted permanent absence rules on May 3, 2018. The rules will become effective on August 1, 2018. This rule contains a new definition of absence and reasons for excused absences.

WEBINAR: “Absence Rules: Changes & Support” on August 14, 9:00 am
Register to learn more about:

  • The recent changes to the absence rules (chapter 392-401 WAC)
  • Interpretation of rules and guidance on tardies and suspensions
  • Changes and supports for migrant students and students in foster care

Summary and Public Comments
Changes to the rules are summarized here. A more detailed explanation and response to public comments can be found in the Concise Explanatory Statement.

Guidance on Rule Changes
Guidance on the new rules was provided in an OSPI bulletin on June 26, 2018.

For assistance or questions, please contact Krissy Johnson at or (360) 725-6045.



  • Washington State Compulsory Attendance Laws - RCW 28A.225
  • Elementary parent conference requirement after 5 excused absences – RCW.28A.225.018
  • School’s duties if a child fails to attend school without excuse – RCW 28A.225.020

OSPI Bulletins & Guidance

CEDARS Data Collection Requirement and Guidance

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   Updated 8/30/2018

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