Student Absence Rules. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) must adopt rules establishing a standard definition of student absence from school. When developing the rules, OSPI must review current practices in school districts, definitions used in other states, and any other national standards or definitions. OSPI must also consult with the Graduation: A Team Effort Partnership Advisory Committee formerly known as the Building Bridges Work Group.
OSPI rule establishes when absences must be excused, which includes a number of reasons, including 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.
Graduation: A Team Effort Partnership Advisory Committee. State law requires OSPI to establish this state-level advisory committee. The committee must include K-12 and state agencies that work with youth who have dropped out, or are at risk of dropping out of school.
Legislative Youth Advisory Council. This council was established to examine issues of importance to youth. Subject to the supervision of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, this council has certain duties including advising the Legislature on proposed and pending legislation related to youth.
By the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, OSPI rules must categorize an absence for a mental health reason as an excused absence due to illness, health condition, or medical appointment.
Before filing notice of student absence rules, OSPI must consult with a student advisory group in addition to the Graduation: A Team Effort Partnership Advisory Committee.
The student advisory group must have members who are directly impacted by student absence rules and policies and who represent the diversity of the public school population in gender identity, family income, race and ethnicity, and geography among other characteristics. The group must also include a member of the Legislative Youth Advisory Council appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.
OSPI must also develop and publish guidelines for public schools to implement the definition of student absence. OSPI must consider including guidance for schools to integrate their responses to student excused absences for physical and mental health in their support systems for student well-being. In developing these guidelines, OSPI must consult with the student advisory group.