Procedures and policies regarding student attendance
Excused vs. Unexcused Absences
Our policy on whether an absence is excused or unexcused is based on the law of the State of Virginia. Absences are excused ONLY for the following reasons: illness, medical appointment, death in the family, observance of a religious obligation, and suspension from school. Reasons such as missing a bus, traffic, and family trips are not valid and are not excused. On rare occasions, we will excuse travel if you present a verifiable itinerary that includes experiences that are truly educational based on the curriculum of FCPS (e.g., guided tour of a national park, including learning about plant and animal species and geology). Travel, in general, though possibly educational, will not be excused. Family trips should be planned during the roughly ten weeks of vacation your child has each year.
Parents who wish to check out students during school hours should send a note stating the time and reason. Students should take early check-out notes to the main office prior to 7:30 a.m. Please do not call the attendance line to arrange an early check-out. If a student is to walk, ride a bike, or take a cab, the parent-signed note must so state. If a person other than the parent is to pick up a student, a note must state the person's name. Students will come to the main office at the appropriate time and will only be released when the adult comes into the office to sign them out. Students who later return to school must sign back in at the main office and receive a pass to class.
Tardiness to School & Classes
All students who report to school after the 7:30 a.m. bell must sign in at the main office and bring a note from home explaining the reason for tardiness. Tardies are excused or unexcused based on the criteria stated above. Repeated tardiness is disruptive to the educational process and will result in disciplinary action.
Unplanned All-Day Absences
If some emergency requires absence from school, the parent should inform the school by calling the 24-Hour Attendance Line before 9:00 a.m. If the student is absent due to illness, the parent should include a description of the symptoms in the message. If the parent does not contact the school, the Keep in Touch system will attempt to contact the parent by automatic phone call and by email. If the Keep in Touch system is unsuccessful in contacting the parent, the student must bring a note from home to the main office specifying the reason for and the date of the absence. Parents also may leave a message on the 24-Hour Attendance Line.
Parents may sometimes request in advance that their child(ren) be excused from school for reasons listed above. When these occasions occur, students must bring a note from home to the main office or send the Grade Level Administrator (Check the Team List for your administrator) an email with a copy to the Attendance Secretary (Juana Perrault). The note or email should explain the circumstances and include dates of the departure and return, if known. If the absence is approved, the student will receive a prearranged absence form to take to all teachers. Requests for prearranged absences should be sent one week in advance of departure date. This may not be accomplished by calling the attendance line.
Please use our prearranged absence form for prearranged absences.