Attendance Policy

Attendance Line

703-824-3920 or for Spanish 703-824-8970 (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 (FCPS) requires that students be punctual and regular in school class attendance.

Parents are expected to support and encourage their children’s school attendance and to communicate regularly with schools when their children must be absent for any reason.

Students are expected to report to class on time and remain for the entire instructional period. The teacher, not the bell, will dismiss students each period. Attendance is taken daily before the end of each period. An Excused absence is one for which parents or guardians have prior knowledge, consent, and/or legitimate reason.

School begins promptly at 8:10 a.m. and ends at 2:55 p.m. Students arriving to school tardy between 8:10 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. should go directly to their first block class. Students who arrive to school after 8:30 a.m. should report to the Main Office immediately upon arrival to obtain a check-in pass. A note or telephone call from a parent/guardian must be provided for a student’s absence or tardy to be considered excused.

Examples of Excused Absences/Tardies

  • Student Illness  

  • Medical Appointment - at your return to school please bring a doctor's note       

  • Death in the family  

  • Observance of a Religious Holiday    

  • Prearranged Excused Absence

  • Court Appearances

Examples of Unexcused Absences/Tardies

  • Family vacations

  • All day truancy, skipped classes, senior skip days

  • Oversleeping/Power outages

  • Missing the bus or ride

  • Car trouble or traffic problems

  • Failure to check-in or check-out

  • Other reasons unacceptable to administrator

Notification of an Absence 

When it is necessary for a student to be absent from school, the parent must notify the school and explain the absence within 48 hours. The school will classify the absence as excused or unexcused.  There is a TWO DAY limit to clear absences after which the absences remain unexcused. Parents can send an email to JusticeHSAttendance@fcps.edu with the following information:

  • Student name

  • Student ID# (very important)

  • Grade level of the student

  • Date(s) of absence

  • Reason for the absence

  • Parent/legal guardian’s daytime telephone

*Please note that the email must come from the listed parent in SIS.

Parents can also call the automated attendance line to report a student’s absence before 9:30 am (703-824-3920 or for Spanish 703-824-8970). Parents must leave a voicemail and please include student's ID#. Messages without student ID#’s will be deleted. If a call is not made to the attendance line on the date of the absence, a note must be brought from the parent/guardian stating the reason for the absence within 48 hours of the date of return. Please include the following information:

  • Correct spelling of student’s legal name

  • Student ID# (very important)

  • Grade level of the student

  • Date(s) of absence

  • Reason for the absence

  • Parent/legal guardian’s daytime telephone

  • Parent/legal guardian’s signature (note only)

*Students who have accumulated 5 full-day unexcused absences are referred to Fairfax County’s Truancy Officer. Parents may be requested to attend a meeting with the truancy officer, their student, and the student’s dean.

*In accordance with state law and school board policy, any student who is absent for fifteen (15) consecutive school days must be withdrawn from school.

Early Departures From School

Students must bring a parent’s note to the main office before 8:00 a.m. on the day of the check out. The note should give the time and the reason for leaving, phone number for verification, and parent/guardian signature. Students must always sign out with parent/guardian permission before leaving school grounds. There are no exceptions to this rule. Leaving school without checking out will result in an unexcused absence in the classes missed. Parents can also call the automated attendance line to request an early check-out before 9:30 am. Parents must leave a voicemail and please include student's ID#. Messages without student ID#’s will be deleted.

Check-Out for Early Dismissal Due to Illness

Students are to report to the clinic with a pass from their teacher if they are ill during the school day. If the student needs to check-out due to illness, the clinic aide will contact the parents for permission.  If the parents/guardians are unavailable, the emergency contacts designated on the emergency care card will be contacted. Only parents/guardians and the emergency contacts may pick up students or authorize clinic staff to release students.

Pre-Arranged Absences 

Students who know that they will be absent for three or more consecutive days must notify their administrator at least 48 hours in advance of the absence with a written note from parent/guardian identifying the specific reason for the absence. If approved, a pre-arranged absence form will be given to the student and they will take this form to all of their teachers for signatures and comments. Once completed, the form must be submitted to the main office. If a student fails to follow this procedure, the absence(s) will be recorded as unexcused.