Telephone: 703-228-6730 or 703-228-6731
Regular attendance to school is directly related to academic achievement. It is important to attend school daily. Excessive absences can negatively impact a student’s ability to be successful in class. Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to avoid taking a student out of school for extended periods of time.
While students are entitled to submit work missed for an excused absence, they do not have the same right for unexcused absences and/or tardiness, which can result in a failing grade. Moreover, the Virginia State Code outlines consequences for excessive unexcused/unverified absences and/or tardies. The attendance office determines if an absence is excused or unexcused according to School Board policy which defines excused absences as:
- Illness, death, quarantine, religious holiday, violent storm, court summons or state emergency, supported by a telephone call and a note from the parent/guardian.
- The note must be received within two days of the student’s return, and contain the student’s full name, date(s) absent, reason for absence, and the parent or guardian’s name and telephone number. College visitations must be approved in advance to be excused. It is the student’s responsibility to make up missed work.
Late arrivals: Students who arrive after the 8:19 am bell should report to the Attendance Office, room 111/112, to obtain a late pass. Students who arrive late to school two times in a two-week period of time will be assigned lunch detention for the second tardy.
Early departure: must be supported by a written or emailed note from the parent/guardian and presented to the attendance office at the time of departure. If the student returns that day, he/she reports to the attendance office before returning to class. One day’s absence means a double class missed, except for 3rd period.
Tardy to class: Students are given 5 minutes between classes to move from one class to the next. Teachers monitor students who arrive after each class period has begun. Those students who arrive late without a pass indicating that they are late due to a valid reason are marked as unexcused tardy. Consequences for arriving late to class may include lunch detention, loss of the a.m. or p.m. break time, or after-school detention. Calls are automatically generated to the parent/guardian of students marked unexcused tardy. Seniors who arrive to class late due to being off-campus for lunch may be assigned lunch detention and/or have their off-campus privilege revoked.
The State Legislature has enacted new laws related to excessive unexcused absences.
- If a student has been absent, unexcused, up to five times, the attendance specialist will arrange a conference with the student and parent or guardian to develop a plan to resolve the unexcused absences.
- If an additional unexcused absence occurs, a meeting will take place with county officials and the family.
- If yet another unexcused absence occurs, a petition will be filed, and a hearing held in the court with the parent and student.
The attendance specialist works with students who have excessive absences.The attendance specialist will meet regularly with these students and their parents/guardians to ensure consistent school attendance.