(703) 802-5419 - ABSENCE LINE (Available 24 hours a day)

Attendance Policy
Regular attendance is necessary for maximum student achievement in school. In addition, punctuality and dependability in meeting assigned responsibilities are personal behavior habits valued in our society. To help students develop desirable behavior patterns, as well as maximize their classroom learning, Fairfax County Public Schools requires that students be punctual and regular in school class attendance.
• Students attending professional appointments should bring documentation from the appointment to the attendance office. 
• Parents may only excuse 10 day long absences in one school year. Professional documentation will be required after the parent has reached this limit.

Student Absence
Call (703) 802-5419 on the day of the absence or within 48 school hours of the absence and enter 1,2,3, or 4 for the appropriate subschool listed below

Blue Ridge (A - Fa), press 1

Commonwealth (Fb - Lea), press 2

Chesapeake (Leb - Rio), press 3

Dominion (Rip - Z), press 4

Be prepared to leave the following information:
• Student’s first and last name (include spelling)/grade
• Date of absence/reason
• Your name/relationship/work or home number for verification

• The voice mail system is available twenty-four hours a day.
• A call must be made or a note brought in within 48 hours of the student’s return to school in order for the attendance office to excuse the absence or late arrival.
• Absences and late arrivals will be unexcused if contact is not made with the attendance office within two days (48 hours) following the student’s first day of return to school.
• If an absence is classified as unexcused, a student will forfeit any grade assigned on the day of his/her absence. Make-up work is encouraged so that the student will profit from the missed work and from future/related instruction. The responsibility for initiating make-up work rests solely with the student.

Excused Absences
• Student illness
• Medical appointment
• Death in the family
• Religious holiday
• Prearranged absence

Unexcused Absences
• Oversleeping
• Missing bus or ride
• Vehicle or traffic problems
• Failing to check-in or check-out
• Failing to prearrange required absence (trips, medical procedures)

What are the consequences for unexcused absences and tardies?
The teacher will contact the parent/guardian if absences affect student progress or if it is deemed that the absence is a class cut. Students with unexcused abscences will receive a 0 for whatever activity/assignment was worked on in class or due for that day. Whenever any student accumulates a total of five unexcused days of absence in a school year, the school will refer the student to the attendance officer. If unexcused absences continue to occur the attendance officer will file a complaint with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court as described in Section 22.1-258 of the Code of Virginia. A students must get a pass from the attendance office or a subschool if he/she arrives late to class. If a student misses more than ten minutes of a class period, the tardy becomes an absence and is recorded as unexcused unless the student has a valid excuse. There will be random tardy sweeps throughout the year. If a student is not in class during this tardy sleep and does not have an excused pass with them, they will receive a Saturday detention. Students who drive to school and accumulate 5 tardies (whether the tardy is excused or unexcused), they will lose their right to park in the student parking lot for 10 days.

How long do I have to call in an absence before the absence becomes unexcused?
A call must be made or a note brought in within 48 hours of the student’s return to school in order for the attendance office to excuse the absence or late arrival. Absences and late arrivals will be unexcused if contact is not made with the attendance office within two days (48 hours) following the student’s first day of return to school. The voice mail system is available twenty-four hours a day.

Student Arriving Late
Call (703) 802-5419 or send a note in with the student.  The following information is necessary:
• Student’s first and last name/grade
• Date of late arrival/REASON
• Your name/signature/relationship/work or home number for verification.

Student Leaving Early
Verbal dismissals are not accepted - Student must bring in a note to the attendance office BEFORE the start of the school day.  The following information is necessary:
Student’s first and last name/grade
DISMISSAL TIME ONLY/REASON
Your name/signature/relationship/work or home number for verification *If you must take your child out of school for an unexpected reason, please fax a note with the above information to (703) 802-5540. *If you cannot fax a note, you must come to the school and provide a picture ID in order to check your student out.  If you will be sending someone in your place, they must be listed on the Emergency Care Form or we must have written permission to release your student to someone not listed on the Emergency Care form.  Students will not be released without parent/guardian note even if student is 18 years old.  ****FAILURE TO CHECK IN OR CHECK OUT WITH THE ATTENDANCE OFFICE WILL RESULT IN AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE FOR ALL MISSED CLASSES****

Prearranged Absence
Whenever possible, students are encouraged to prearrange absences at least 48 hours before the absence occurs. All trips including school field trips and college visits are to be prearranged. Medical procedures, except for emergencies, are to be prearranged. Approval for prearranged absences provides students time to complete the missed assignments while they are away and the opportunity to keep pace with the class, while avoiding the requirement to complete make-up and regular work at the same time after the absence. All assignments assigned by a teacher before an approved prearranged absence begins will be due upon the student’s return. Students can obtain a prearranged absence form in their subschool or from the attendance office. Detailed instructions are on the form. Parents and the student’s teachers sign the form and the student must return the form to the attendance office at least 48 hours prior to the date of the absence for approval.

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