Attendance Policy

Procedures and policies regarding student attendance


School begins promptly at 8:10 AM (warning bell at 8:05 AM) and ends at 2:55 PM. Students are expected to attend every class or activity for which they are scheduled each school day. Specifically, this means that students must attend all classes; report to the cafeteria during their assigned lunch; go to the designated area of the school for assemblies, pep rallies, and other special events; and be punctual. FCPS requires that a call or note be received from a parent or guardian within 48 hours of an absence. 


What To Do When Student Is or Will Be Absent From School:

  • Call the Attendance Line at 703-446-1625 by 8:30 AM on morning of the absence (please leave a message if we miss your call, as the voicemails are checked routinely throughout the day), or send an email to @email. Emails received from an email other than what we have in SIS for the parent, will result in a phone call to the parent or guardian for verification.
  • Provide name, caller’s name/relationship to student and reason for absence. If you know your students ID #, please provide that as well.  
  • If the student will be absent for more than one day, a call must be made each day. 
  • Students are responsible for checking Schoology for assignments missed.


What To Do When Student Arrives Late To School:

  • Students arriving to the first block class of the school day, after the 8:10 AM bell, must report directly to class. Students arriving after 8:30 AM, must report to the Attendance Office for a tardy pass, even if it’s during class change.  
  • A note or phone call from a parent or legal guardian is required for an excused/unexcused (determined by reason) pass to class.  
  • Students must make contact with all teachers for any classes missed.


What To Do When Student Needs To Leave School Early:

  • Prior to 8:10 AM, the student must present a note from the parent or guardian to the Attendance Office to obtain a check-out pass. The note must include the reason for leaving school and a contact number for the person writing the note.  This procedure allows your child to be ready and waiting for you at the designated time and minimizes interruptions during instructional time.
  • If the student does not have a note, then the parent or guardian must call the attendance office prior to 8:10 AM. Please give as much notice as possible. Unscheduled early releases may take up to 15 minutes to have the student dismissed. 
  • Only a parent/guardian is authorized to sign a student out during the school day. An adult listed on the Emergency Contact List may check a student out as long as we have a note or phone call from the parent/guardian authorizing that person to sign out the student in that particular instance. In all cases the authorized adult must appear in person to sign out the student and present a photo ID.
  • Students must check out at the Attendance Office when leaving school and must check back in at the Attendance Office upon their return.  
  • Students who leave school without checking out properly will be marked unexcused and may face disciplinary action.  
  • Students must contact all teachers for any classes to be missed.


Classifying Excused and Unexcused Absences


  • Illness of the student
  • Death in the family
  • Doctor or dentist appointment
  • Observance of a religious holiday
  • Suspension (except for certain violations as provided in Regulation 2601)
  • Another reason acceptable to the principal or his/her designee


  • Family and/or student vacations (even on exam days)
  • Childcare situations, non-school related activities
  • Missed school bus, traffic or car problems
  • Any absence for which the parent or guardian does not have prior knowledge, consent and/or legitimate reason
  • Other reasons unacceptable to the principal or his/her designee  


Pre-Arranged Absences: 

Arrangements for a pre-arranged absence must be made at least 72 hours (3 days) before the absence occurs. A note or email stating the dates and reason for the absence must be presented to the Attendance Office. The student will receive a pre-arranged absence form outlining the conditions related to a pre-arranged absence. The form must be presented to all teachers and the student’s administrator for approval and then returned to the Sub School office. If the absence is not approved and the student does not attend school, then the absences will be unexcused. Be aware that a student with a prearranged absence is expected to be fully prepared on the day of her/his return (i.e. homework and tests) and will assume the responsibility for requesting assignments before leaving. 


Attendance and Academy:

  • The parent or guardian must notify both SCHS and the academy school for absences.  
  • Delayed Opening- morning classes canceled; mid-day and afternoon classes meet.  
  • Early Closing- morning and midday classes meet; afternoon classes canceled.  
  • Bell Schedule Change- students will be expected to attend academy classes. 


Attendance and Participation in Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs: 

Students must be in school the entire day to be eligible to participate in any student activities scheduled on that day. Exceptions to this standard may be made with the prior approval of the principal or her/his designee. 


Chronic Absences: 

In those cases of students who are chronically absent from or late to school, a note from a medical professional may be required in order to excuse an absence/tardy. In addition, students with five or more full-day unexcused absences will be referred to the FCPS Attendance Officer as provided under the Code of Virginia. 


Make-Up Work Due to Absence:

  • All students should check their teacher’s sites for assignments.  
  • Students who are absent one day will take previously announced quizzes and tests and hand in previously assigned work the day they return to class. Assignments made and/or quizzes/tests given in their absence should be made up upon returning to school.  
  • Students who are absent for multiple days are afforded one day of makeup for each day a class is missed. The student is responsible for conferring with the teacher to arrange a make-up schedule. Again, work previously assigned is due the day of the student's return. (If long-term assignments carry a deadline, as opposed to a due date, students are expected to send the assignment to school if they are absent.)  
  • In the case of pre-arranged absences, students will deliver to teachers all previously assigned work due during their absence the day they return.  
  • A student who is absent from class (e.g. for a field trip, medical appointment, excused tardy, or clinic visit) but who is in attendance for any part of the day, is required to hand in assigned work and make up quizzes/tests on that day.  
  • Under extenuating circumstances, at the discretion of the teacher, an extension may be granted for any of these different conditions. Students have the responsibility for discussing these extenuating circumstances with the teacher.  
  • For unexcused absences, students are fully responsible for completing any missed assignments. Teachers may assist the student and parent or guardian in identifying missed work, but are not obligated to provide make-up assignments.


Tardy to Class: 

Students are to be in their seats when the bell rings to begin the class period. Tardiness may result in a detention with the teacher. Habitual tardiness may also result in other disciplinary action. All school personnel follow Fairfax County Public School regulations for attendance. Please refer to the document Student Responsibilities and Rights Grades K-12 -2601.23P (Page 9) for reference.