Attendance Procedures

Procedures and policies regarding student attendance

Use the COVID attendance form to report a COVID related absence. Use the regular attendance form for all other absences.

Please be specific about the reason why your child will not be attending school today. If reporting an ill student, include symptoms, especially if they have fever, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, and/or cough. If your student has a diagnosis from a healthcare provider, please include that information.

Attendance Procedures

Partial-Day Absences:          Late Arrival / Early Check-Out

  • If a student needs to arrive late to class, leave a class early, or miss class(es) completely but not miss the whole day, the parent should leave a voicemail message on the Longfellow Attendance Line at 703-533-2626

The message should include:

    • the student’s NAME, with spelling
    • the student’s ID number, if possible
    • the REASON for missing class(es)
    • the TIME the student will JOIN class (if arriving late)
    • the TIME the student will LEAVE class (if leaving early)
    • the TIME the student expects to RETURN to class (if applicable)
  • Parents/Guardians will receive an automated attendance message when their student has an unverified absence from a class.
  • The parent/guardian can leave a voicemail message on the Longfellow Attendance Line (703-533-2626) with the information listed above to clarify a known absence.
  • If the parent/guardian believes the absence was marked in error, the parent/guardian should contact the teacher of the class in which the absence was marked. 
  • Attendance errors will be corrected by the teacher, or by the Attendance Secretary (with the teacher’s permission).

Full Day Absences

  • When a student is absent for 1 or more full days, it is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian to give the reason for the absence, either by leaving a message on the Longfellow Attendance Line at 703-533-2626 or by completing the online attendance form located on the Longfellow MS website: ( 
  • Students who are absent 3 or more consecutive days because of illness or medical problems should provide a doctor’s note to have these absences excused.
  • If a student accrues 10 absences in any one class (excused and/or unexcused) throughout the year, the administration may require medical verification for any future absences to be excused. Proof or verification of absences and tardies may be required by an administrator for an unusual pattern of absences or tardies.

Did you know?

  • Regular school attendance in elementary school improves the chances that you will read on grade level.
  • Chronic absenteeism (missing 18 or more school days per year) is a primary cause of lower academic achievement even when the absences are "excused" or understandable.
  • Students who attend 90% or more of the school year are more likely to graduate from high school on time.
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with peer conflicts or facing some other potentially serious difficulty, and help is available.


Some Virginia Attendance Policies

  • Virginia requires that all children between the ages of five and eighteen be enrolled in school and attend on a daily basis.
  • Any student who fails to report to school for a total of five scheduled school days (unexcused) for the school year may be referred to a school attendance officer for further action.
  • When a referral is received, the school attendance officer will attempt to interview the student, parent, and other relevant parties to develop a plan to resolve the attendance issue.
  • A student who is absent from school for 15 consecutive days or more is withdrawn from school and must officially register again upon his or her return to school.

Here is a link to the FCPS “Encouraging School Attendance” Page: Encouraging School Attendance