School Attendance and Engagement Information for Parents

Getting a great education is everyone’s job! Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) needs parents or guardians, teachers, students, administrators, support personnel, and the community to help ensure that all students have a quality education experience!

Research of effective schools indicates that students who feel connected to the adults in their school setting and who attend regularly have the most academic success. When students are not present, it is essential for school personnel to learn the reason(s) why and follow up as appropriate. Attendance and student engagement truly count!

Students form important habits early, as they begin to develop responsibility to come to school on time and be prepared and ready to learn. Parents or guardians should encourage appropriate habits such as, sleep, eating, and study habits, so that students can participate effectively. School settings provide a unique and supportive environment in which students learn to assume more personal responsibility as they grow academically, socially, and emotionally. Teachers, administrators, counselors, and other support professionals can assist in helping students adjust to routines, learn expectations, and develop academic and social competence.

Students should participate regularly and actively in school and FCPS has developed methods to communicate quickly with parents or guardians when students do not appear at school as expected. Parents or guardians can assist with student accountability by calling the attendance line when necessary; learning about classwork make-up policies; and informing the school about family, health, or other issues that might impact regular student involvement.

Attending School. It's the Law

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that all children between the ages of five and eighteen be enrolled in school and attend on a daily basis.

Any student who fails to report to school for a total of five scheduled school days (unexcused) for the school year may be referred to a school attendance officer for further action. When a referral is received, the school attendance officer will attempt to interview the student, parent, and other relevant parties to develop a plan to resolve the attendance issue.

A student who is absent from school for 15 consecutive days or more is withdrawn from school and must officially register again upon his or her return to school.

FCPS believes that students who regularly attend school and arrive on time for class have the most academic success. You should call your school’s attendance line if your child will not be present when attendance is checked in the morning.

  • For students in elementary school, attendance is checked daily at 9:30 a.m. for early start schools. Parents should receive calls and e-mails within 30 minutes via an automated attendance calling system or by the school. Attendance will be checked daily for period and all-day absences at 4 p.m.
  • For students in middle and high school, attendance is checked daily for period and all-day absences and calls and e-mails are made at 10 a.m. In addition, attendance is reconciled at 4 p.m. Calls and e-mails follow at 7 p.m. via an automated attendance system or by the school.

Attendance Law Information: Arabic | Chinese | English | Farsi | Korean | Spanish | Urdu | Vietnamese

Video Message:



< Play Video

Attending School. It's the Law!

Available in: Arabic | Korean | Spanish | Vietnamese


Contact Information:

Cindy Dickinson
Program Manager,
Crisis Intervention and Dropout Prevention

Upcoming Events

Quick Links


Webpage Curator

Keyanna Williams


Last Updated

August 26, 2015