Attendance Procedures

Attendance Form

Please let us know when your child is absent. You may leave a recorded message on our 24-hour attendance line at 703-426-5702 or by using our online attendance form. Be sure to leave the student's name, your name and the date of the absence. If we do not receive a call, we will contact you at home or at work to verify your child's absence. Written excuses are required only when phone contact has not been made with the parent/guardian. Without written or telephone contact, the absence will be considered unexcused.

Regular attendance is key to academic success. While some absences are unavoidable, it is not possible to duplicate the actual instruction or activity missed in the classroom. Students bear the responsibility for obtaining their assignments when they are absent from school. Absences and tardies are classified as either excused or unexcused.


Excused Absences

  • Illness, medical visits, religious holidays or a death in the family are all excused.  Family trips must be prearranged through the office. Missing the bus is not considered an excused absence.

  • Be specific about the reason why your child will not be attending school today
  • Please indicate whether your child has any of the following symptoms:
    • Feeling feverish or chills
    • Fever greater than or equal to 100.4 F
    • Headache (not due to another health condition, hunger, menstrual cramps stress, or injury)
    • A new cough (not due to another health condition)
    • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties (not due to diagnosed respiratory condition or if different than normal pattern of chronic condition)
    • A new sore throat (not due to another health condition)
    • Congestion or runny nose (not related to allergies or health condition)
    • Fatigue (more tired than normal or sudden onset)
    • New muscle pain (not due to another health condition or that may have been caused by a specific activity such as physical exercise))
    • New loss of taste, smell, or appetite
    • Abdominal pain (not due to hunger, constipation, injury, or stress)
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • FCPS staff will be responsible for contacting those parents/guardians who have not provided information as to why their student is absent. FCPS staff will also provide the school health team with information regarding any student that has remained home due to the above COVID like illness symptoms.


  • Parents should notify the school of a student’s absence by calling the office at 703-426-5702 and leave a message. If phone contact is impossible, students must bring a written note when they return to school.  Any absence without prompt notification will be considered unexcused.

Pre-Arranged Absences

  • Requests for pre-arranged absence should be submitted in writing to the attendance secretary at least one week prior to the trip. The student will be given a form to show all teachers informing them of the planned absence. Satisfactory academic performance is the criteria used to judge whether or not this type of absence is excused. The student must complete all assignments missed during this period.

Unexcused Absences

  • An unexcused absence or unexcused tardy is assigned for reasons such as oversleeping, missing the bus, traffic conditions, and truancy.  On the fifth unexcused absence, the school will refer the student to the county attendance officer, who will contact the parent.  If the student is absent an additional day after contact with the parent, a conference will be scheduled.  If a further unexcused absence occurs, the attendance officer will file a complaint with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court or initiate proceedings against the parent.

Early Checkout

  • Early checkouts require that students bring a note signed by their parents to the office at the beginning of the day and that they meet their parents in the office at the assigned time. Students who become ill during the day must check out through the clinic. Students must have a teacher pass to enter the clinicParents must come into the school building to sign out their child, and parents must show photo identification to school staff. Students picked up by someone other than the person on the student’s emergency care card must have written or oral permission from the parent. 

Homework Requests

  • Parents can request homework from the Student Services office when the student has been absent for 3 or more consecutive days. Please call the Student Services office at 703-426-5026 and request homework. Our Student Services Assistant will contact the teachers for homework. Homework can be picked up in the Student Services office after 2:30 p.m.

Tardy Policy

School begins at 7:25 a.m. Students are expected to arrive on time for school and all classes. A student is on-time if he or she is in the classroom when the bell rings.  If a student is late to school, whether excused or unexcused, the parent should notify the attendance office by phone (703-426-5702) or in writing. The current policy for unexcused tardy arrival is as follows:

  • 1st  & 2nd  tardy - verbal warning/policy review between teacher and student

  • 3rd  tardy – parent contacted by the teacher

  • 4 or more - referral to the school counselor and/or administration