No one under 8 ever goes on the DofI

Posted by Jen Garrison Stuber

In case you (or someone you know) needs this, here’s a more detailed explanation of why you don’t have to file a Declaration of Intent for a child under the age of 8, even if they’ve been enrolled in public school, and even if some random school administrator is insisting the do (and possibly threatening you with a BECCA Bill (truancy) charge if you don’t:

RCW 28A.225.010 sets the age from compulsory attendance at “eight years of age and under eighteen years of age.”
RCW 28A.225.015(1) then also includes 6 and 7 year old students who are enrolled in school: “(1) If a parent enrolls a child who is six or seven years of age in a public school, the child is required to attend and that parent has the responsibility to ensure the child attends for the full time that school is in session.”

RCW 28A.225.015(1) then CONTINUES: “An exception shall be made to this requirement for children whose parents formally remove them from enrollment if the child is less than eight years old and a petition has not been filed against the parent under subsection (3) of this section.”

This is very clear: a child who is 6 or 7 and is formally withdrawn is no longer subject to compulsory attendance. And a child who is not subject to compulsory attendance does not need to be included on the Declaration of Intent.

But Jen, what about if my 5-7yo is going part time? Surely I need one then? No.
The VERY NEXT SENTENCE of RCW 28A.225.015(1): “The requirement to attend school under this subsection does not apply to a child enrolled in a public school part-time for the purpose of receiving ancillary services. ”

In sum:

NO ONE UNDER 8 EVER GOES ON THE DofI.

I’m not yelling at you, dear reader. I love you dearly. Have a great holiday weekend.

~Jen