Procedures and policies regarding student attendance including information about prearranged absences, excused and unexcused absences, later arrivals, early dismissals, and more

Attendance Policies and Procedures

Please report absences in one of the following ways:

  • Call the Attendance Line 703-802-5419 on the day of the absence or within 48 school hours of the absence to excuse. After 48 hours, an absence is considered unexcused. The Attendance Line voice mail system is available 24/7.  OR

  • Parents may send in a note when the student returns to school explaining the nature of the absence. OR

  • Parents may send an email to @email

The following information should be included when reporting an absence or late arrival.

  • Student’s first and last name (include spelling on voice mail)
  • Student ID number (optional)
  • Grade
  • Date of Absence 
  • Reason for Absence 
  • Parent Name and Relationship
  • Parent Phone Number for verification
  • 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.

Arriving Late/Check-In

  • Call the Attendance Line 703-802-5419, send a note to school with the student, OR send an email to @email.  

Early Dismissal/Check-Out

When a student has to leave early due to illness, the student must go to the clinic. Parent will be notified regarding dismissal.

When a student has to leave school early for a reason other than illness,  

  • He/She must bring in a note to the Attendance Office before the start of the school day. Notes received after the start of the student’s school day will not be accepted. The student will receive a pass for dismissal. OR

  • Parents may come to the Attendance Office to check-out their student before 2:30 PM. ID will be requested and verified.  

  • Verbal requests by phone or email for early dismissal are not accepted.  

Verbal dismissals are not accepted for early releases. Students must bring in a note to the attendance office before the start of the school day.

Pre Arranged Absences

When a student is going to be absent due to a medical procedure, a college visit, or other valid reason, please complete a Prearranged Absence form and submit for approval.  

[Pre Arranged Absence Form]

Excused Reasons for Absences, Late Arrivals, Early Dismissals, and Pre Arranged Absences

  • Medical reasons or illness

  • Death in the family

  • Religious holiday

  • Legal appointment

  • Approved Prearranged Absence (medical, etc.)

Unexcused Reasons for Absences, Late Arrivals,  Early Dismissals, and Pre Arranged Absences

  • Oversleeping

  • Missing bus or ride

  • Vehicle or traffic problems

  • Failing to check-in or check-out

  • Failing to acquire approval for Prearranged Absence

Other Important Information

  • Misrepresentation – Students who misrepresent attendance-related information in written or verbal form will be subject to disciplinary action.

  • Extra-Curricular Activity Eligibility - Students must be in school the entire day to be eligible to participate in any student activity scheduled on that day. Exceptions to this standard may be made with the prior approval of the Director of Student Activities or his/her designee.

  • Disciplinary Consequences for Attendance Infractions

    • Lunch detention, after-school detention, alternate instructional arrangement (AIA), or in-school suspension (ISS)

    • Revoked school parking privilege

    • Community service

    • Exclusion from extracurricular activities and school trip privileges

    • Formal Attendance Referral submitted to the Attendance Officer for further action and possible Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court sanctions.

  • Excessive Absences - FCPS Regulation 2234 states that “the principal or his or her designee may require a physician’s note in cases of chronic or long-term illness.” Five (5) consecutive and/or twelve (12) cumulative absences are considered “excessive.” A doctor’s note/official documentation is required to excuse any future absences. Any future absences without proper documentation will become unexcused. This includes check-outs from the clinic.

  • Truancy - Truancy is a violation of state law. Per FCPS Regulation 2234, the school is required to submit an attendance referral to the Fairfax County truancy officer whenever a student accrues five unexcused absences. Truancy can result in legal action for both the student and the parent.

image of roar letters