What is Truancy?
A student is considered truant if they miss 5 or more unexcused days in a month or 10 or more unexcused days in a year.
State Law on Attendance & Truancy
Washington state's attendance law, known as the Becca Bill, requires the school/district and the juvenile court to take specific actions when youth are truant, as well as in the elementary when students begin accumulating excused absences.
Local Influence on Truancy Process
In addition to meeting the current requirements laid out in law, districts may create additional procedures. Thus, the truancy process may look different from one district to another.
Juvenile Court Requirements
Community Truancy Board Requirements
In 2017, the Washington State Legislature instituted a new requirement for districts with 300 or more students to enter in to a Memorandum of Understanding with their local court to establish a Community Truancy Board.
Community Truancy Board Resources
Washington Assessment of Risks and Needs of Students (WARNS)
Schools are required to take data-informed steps to ameliorate absences, specifically between the second and the fifth unexcused absences. These steps must include the use of the WARNS or other assessment to inform the appropriate course of action or intervention to support that student.
To access the WARNS, contact:
Brian French or Bruce Austin
Learning and Performance Research Center
Washington State University
Resources for Parents
Parents' Guide to Truancy in Washington (ACLU)
English | Spanish
Tips/Tools for Families - School Attendance, Absences and Truancy (Washington State Office of the Education Ombudsman's)
English | Spanish
Tips for Parents/Guardians & Attendance or Truancy Procedures
2017 Truancy Legislative Report
2016-17 Truancy Report
Prior year(s) truancy reports and data available upon request. Contact Laurie Shannon or Bonnie Zimmerman.