In addition to Mercer Island School District Board Policy 3122 A, it is the position of the Mercer Island High School community that regular attendance leads to optimum academic progress, prepares students for college and career readiness, and prepares students for active participation in our society. The purpose of this policy is to maximize instructional time and encourage student responsibility. Overall, contact with teachers, students, and the wider community is an irreplaceable and necessary aspect of the learning process.
It takes the partnership of parents and school faculty and staff to keep students safe and regularly in school. With the cooperation of parents scheduling family vacations around the school year calendar, students are able to avoid non-attendance on regularly scheduled school days. If you know that your child will miss school for any reason, please notify the school office as soon as possible. After an unplanned absence, it is important for your student to bring a written and signed excuse to school.
We have a heavily revised Attendance Code for the 2022-2023 academic year! If you have not already, please review the full updated code here.
Please also consult the MIHS Resource Guide for more information on attendance policies, mental health resources, and technology support.
Per RCW, no student shall be denied access to graduation nor advancement solely on the basis of absenteeism.
- Absenteeism: student absences from classes or school for any reason
- Truancy: student absences from classes or school without excuse(s)
- Full-day absence: a student will be counted for a full-day absence when they are absent for half or more of their classes on the given day.
- Chronically absent: a student is considered chronically absent when their attendance rate is below 90%
- Tardy/Absent: attendance code for students who are 10 or more minutes tardy to class. This is a tardy code.
Please feel free to contact Kate Halter with questions, comments, or concerns.Kate Halter - Attendance Manager, email@example.com
- My child is going to have an absence or partial absence from class...
- My child had an unexpected absence or partial absence from class...
- My child is feeling unwell and wishes to return home...
- My child was tardy to class...
- My child's attendance record has an error...
All planned or pre-arranged absences should be announced to teachers and the school via Whammo or our pre-arranged absence form. This form can be found just left of the Athletics Window in the main campus. This form should be initialed by all teachers effected by the absence and signed by a parent or guardian before the absence. Students should not use class time to complete Whammos, but rather find or arrange a time when their teacher can outline their expectations. If time does not allow for this before the absence, please complete and submit the Whammo after the fact. A note cannot and should not replace the student's responsibility to complete the Whammo.
If it has a been a reasonable time since the absence (within a few weeks), please send an Attendance Slip to our Attendance Manger Kate Halter in person or electronically (preferred) or call 206.236.3346. Notes received within 5 days of the absence will fully excuse the absence so long as the excuse meets state guidelines. Emails and/or calls submitted more than five days after the absence will be recorded as "U-LN" or unexcused, late note.
Students feeling unwell should report to the Counseling Center. Depending on the nature of their ailment, they will find our nurse or one of our counselors who will help them determine whether to stay or remain on campus. All students who excuse themselves from class without checking in with staff will be unexcused and are ineligible from having their absences excused.
My question wasn't answered or I have additional questions...
Please contact our Attendance Liaison, DJ Mims.
- I'm going to have an absence or partial absence from class...
- I had an unexpected absence or partial absence from class...
- I'm feeling unwell and wish to return home...
- What if I have an unexcused absence...
- I was tardy to class...
- My attendance record has an error...
All planned or pre-arranged absences should be announced your teachers and the school via Whammo, our pre-arranged absence form. This form can be found just left of the Athletics Window in the main campus. This form should be initialed by all of your teachers effected by the absence and signed by your parent or guardian before the absence. Students should not use class time to complete Whammos, but rather find or arrange a time when their teacher can outline their expectations. If time does not allow for this before the absence, please complete and submit the Whammo after the fact. A note cannot and should not replace your responsibility to complete your Whammo.
If it has been a reasonable time since the absence (within a few weeks), please call our Attendance Manger Kate Halter at 206.236.3346. Emails or calls received within 5 days of the absence will fully excuse the absence so long as the excuse meets our criteria. Emails or calls submitted more than five days after the absence will be recorded as "U-LN" or unexcused, late note.
In all cases of unexcused absences, your teacher is not beholden to relaying materials, assessments, assistance, instruction, etc. that you have missed, but it does not preclude them from offering any of it. Depending on the time span in which unexcused absences accumulated, or how many, influences whether or not a student is considered truant. Our response to truancy ranges from emails home, to community truancy board convenings, to court dates but exist to support your learning and educational experience. Habitual skipping may lead to other disciplinary action.
My question wasn't answered or I have additional questions...
Please contact our Attendance Liaison, DJ Mims in room 402A
We have a heavily revised Attendance Code for the 2022-2023 academic year! If you have not already, please review the full updated Student Handbook here.
Please feel free to contact our Attendance Liaison, DJ Mims with questions about attendance or the policy.
Per Board Policy 3122, students are expected to attend all assigned classes each day.
Per RCW 28A.225.020 and Board Policy 3122, students who fail to attend half or more of a day's scheduled classes will be considered absent for the full day.
WHAMMO form found here. Our planned absence form should be used for any absence, tardy, or late arrival to excuse any student who was aware of the absence in a reasonable time in advance.
Notes can be used to excuse a student when their absence was unplanned. Notes must be submitted to the Attendance Window within five days of the student's return to school. Notes must include the student's first and last names, grade, applicable dates, and the excuse or use this form.
Mercer Island School District Wellness: When to Stay Home
Mercer Island School District believes that healthy students engage and learn better in school. In an effort to promote wellness, students, staff and visitors should stay home if they are experiencing the following symptoms of a diagnosed or undiagnosed illness:
- Fever – Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should be kept home from school. In order to return to school, the individual should be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. When a person has a fever they are contagious and can infect others. Do not give a student fever reducing medication and send them to school, as giving fever reducing medication does not make them well.
- Vomiting or Diarrhea – Do not send a child to school if they have vomiting or diarrhea. A student may return to school if it has been 24 hours since the last incident of vomiting or diarrhea. Bathrooms have long been known to be a possible source for transmitting infectious microorganisms due to the aerosolization of biomatter.
- Persistent and/or productive cough unrelated to a known health condition – Coughing spreads illness such as influenza, RSV, whooping cough and COVID-19. Keep students home until the cough has significantly improved and consider having students wear a mask once they return to school until the cough has resolved.
- COVID-19 – If someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, they should follow Washington Department of Health recommendations for schools which includes staying home for 5 days after onset of symptoms or diagnosis, whichever is first. Individuals may return to school on day 6 if they have been fever free for 24 hours, but should wear a mask at school on days 6-10. Click here for guidance from WA DOH on when to return to school. Please notify your school nurse if your student tests positive for COVID-19.
- Strep Throat – A student with a confirmed diagnosis of strep throat may return to school after 24 hours of appropriate treatment.
- Sore Throat – Anyone with a sore throat that is also accompanied by fever, cough, or gastrointestinal symptoms should stay home until they are feeling better, are fever free for 24 hours without medication, cough has improved, and the person has been vomit or diarrhea free for 24 hours. Consider consulting a medical provider if sore throat persists.
- Pink Eye – White or yellow drainage, vision changes, and/or redness of the sclera, eyelid or area around the eye may be an indication that your child has conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. A student with these symptoms should be kept home from school and be evaluated by a medical provider. A student may return to school upon medical provider approval. Minimal redness to the white of the eye with no other symptoms is not grounds for exclusion.
- Rash – Rash illnesses can be difficult to diagnose and itchiness of a rash is not a signal of infectiousness or non-infectiousness. Please contact the school nurse if your child is experiencing a rash so they can determine if your child can attend school.
- Chicken pox – Students are infectious 1-2 days before the rash appears and until blisters (sores) are dry and crusted, typically 5-6 days after the rash appears. Students must stay home until all lesions have crusted over and there are no new lesions in 24 hours. Please contact the school nurse if your child is diagnosed with chicken pox.