Please remember to call the Attendance Office (540-561-8155) if your child is absent from school and make sure to send in a note when they return to school. Sending me an email also counts as a note from you. Also, please send in a note any time they will be tardy.
If you know that your child will miss school due to an out of town trip, please send in a note to the Attendance Office listing the days and the reason for the absence IN ADVANCE. There is a form that needs to be filled out for pre-excused absences. Out of town absences must be PRE-APPROVED by the grade level principal or they are UN-excused. After the principal approves the absence, your child must have all of their teachers sign it, and then return it to the Attendance Office.
Thank you very much for your help!!
ATTENDANCE POLICY PER STUDENT HANDBOOK:
Absence from School
Parents of students who are absent or tardy must inform the school in writing of the reason for the absence or tardy no later than upon the student’s return to school. School staff records the student’s absence or tardy for each day as “excused” or “unexcused. Please be aware that, if absences and tardies that are excused solely by parent explanation become excessive, the school will require additional documentation in order to ensure compliance with the compulsory school attendance law.
- Absences and tardies are excused for the following reasons with written explanation from the parent:
- illness of the student
- approval from administration prior to the absence
- death in family/funeral and
- school-sponsored activities
- observance of a nationally recognized religious holiday is verified and the school is notified in advance
- absences and tardies are excused for the following reasons with appropriate written documentation:
- hospitalization or extended illness (with documentation from physician)
- doctor or dental appointment (with documentation from physician’s or dentist’s office)
- mandatory court appearance (with court documentation)
- A student whose absence is excused due to the observance of a nationally recognized religious holiday is not deprived of an award or of eligibility or opportunity to compete for any award, or of the right to take an alternate test or examination, which the student missed by reason of such absence.
- Absences and tardies that do not meet the criteria for being excused absences or tardies are considered unexcused absences or tardies. Students in grades 9-12 may be denied full credit for assignments missed due to an unexcused absence or tardy.
- Nothing in this policy shall be construed to limit in any way the authority of any attendance officer or the division superintendent to seek immediate compliance with the compulsory school attendance law.
Legitimate excuses for absence, tardy, and early dismissal include, but are not limited to: personal illness or illness in the family which requires the student to miss school, death in the family, court appearance, and dental/doctor appointments. Examples of reasons for being tardy or absent from school not deemed “excused” include, but are not limited to: oversleeping, failing to ensure the vehicle used for transport has sufficient fuel, picking up friends for school, and waiting on a slow-moving sibling who is being transported to school. Students who are absent from school, leave early due to illness, or arrive after 11:10am, may not participate in an after-school function on that date unless they have received prior approval.
Students should submit requests for prior approval, at least five days in advance, for the following: any absences due to family vacations or any out-of-town functions involving an absence of a day or more
If a student becomes ill at school, he/she should go to the school nurse. If the nurse is not available, the attendance office will contact a parent/ guardian or someone on the emergency card. All students must check out through the attendance office.
Students who leave school, due to illness, should not return on the same school day. Students should be free of fever for 24 hours before returning to school after an illness. Students should bring a doctor’s note for absences for three or more days due to illness.
Students and, ultimately, parents should not schedule appointments, etc. during final assessment and/or SOL testing time frames. Students are expected to remain in the testing area for the duration of the final assessment or SOL test.
Attendance of Students
Virginia Law requires all persons between the ages of five and eighteen to attend school. Other attendance regulations include:
- When a student reaches the age of eighteen he/she is eligible to legally withdraw from school.
- All students in grades 9-12 shall maintain a full-day schedule of classes unless a waiver is granted by the superintendent of schools. Students are required to stay in school the entire day. Students are not allowed to leave on a regular basis (even from a study hall or lunch period).
- Regular attendance is essential in maximizing academic progress. Schools will make every effort to encourage regular attendance. The following procedures will be followed:
- On a daily basis, attempts are made to contact parents when students are not present at school.
- When a student’s accumulated absences reach a concerning level, the school shall notify parent(s)/guardian(s), via letter(s) or other appropriate means, regarding the absences.
- Student absent fifteen consecutive days are withdrawn.
- Truancy from school or “skipping” school is not acceptable. Public school students are expected to attend daily unless a valid excuse is presented and must follow the assigned student schedule if the school is to assume the responsibility for their education.
- Where applicable, the truancy/intervention specialist will work with the school, parent(s)/guardian(s), and students, to address attendance concerns.
Students will be assigned In-School Suspension or Saturday School for the first occurrence of skipping class. Students with multiple occurrences may be assigned consequences including, but not limited to, Saturday School, in-school suspension, loss of driving privileges, and/or referral to the truancy/intervention specialist. Where appropriate, the truancy/intervention specialist and/or child study team/applicable team will be contacted.
Being late to class and/or school frequently impacts the educational progress of many students in a negative manner. The school will take appropriate steps including, but not limited to: detention, Saturday School, in-school suspension, loss of driving privileges, and/or referral to the truancy/intervention specialist in an effort to encourage punctuality.
Excessive Absences or Tardies Without Adequate Written Documentation
If absences or tardies excused solely based on parent explanation become excessive, the school will require additional documentation in order to ensure compliance with the compulsory student attendance law. Such additional documentation may include written documentation from a physician treating the student for a chronic or extended illness or court documentation resulting from student involvement in a legal matter.
School principals and school counselors regularly collaborate with school social workers to monitor student attendance and communicate with students, parents, and families regarding excessive absences unsupported by adequate documentation.
For the purposes of avoiding excessive tardiness to school that results in frequent loss of instructional time, five (5) tardies to school without adequate written documentation will be considered the equivalent of one (1) absence.
The following procedures are followed when a student has been absent excessively without adequate written documentation:
First Notification Letter
1 . Within the first semester, if a student accumulates five absences excused solely based on parent explanation, the school will notify the parent of the student (First Notification Letter) and list the dates the student has been absent.
- During the second semester, if a student accumulated fewer than five (5) absences excused solely based on parent explanation within the first semester, but the student subsequently accumulates ten (10) such absences during the second semester, the school will notify the parent of the student (First Notification Letter) and list the dates the student has been absent.
Second Notification Letter
- Within the first semester, after the First Notification Letter has been sent to a parent as required in section (a)(i), the school will send a Second Notification Letter to the parent if the student accumulates ten (10) absences without adequate documentation. The Second Notification Letter will list the dates the student has been absent and the parent will be advised that the matter may be referred to the 23rd District Court Service Unit / 23rd District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
- During the second semester, after the First Notification Letter has been sent to a parent as required in section (a)(ii), the school will send a Second Notification Letter to the parent if the student accumulates an eleventh (11th) absence without adequate documentation. The Second Notification Letter will list the dates the student has been absent and the parent will be advised that the matter may be referred to the 23rd District Court Service Unit / 23rd District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Student Support Meeting
- Within the first semester, after the school has sent the First and Second Notification Letters and upon the eleventh (11th) absence without adequate documentation, the school will schedule a mandatory Student Support Meeting with the parent to address the excessive number of absences and develop a plan of support. The Student Support Meeting will include the parent, student, school-level administrator, school counselor, and school social worker.
- During the second semester, after the school has sent the First and Second Notification Letters and upon the twelfth (12th) absence without adequate documentation, the school will schedule a mandatory Student Support Meeting with the parent to address the excessive number of absences and develop a plan of support. The Student Support Meeting will include the parent, student, school-level administrator, school counselor, and school social worker.
- If the parent has been adequately notified of the Student Support Meeting but fails to attend the meeting, the meeting will be re-scheduled at the central administrative building with the Director of Administration or the director’s designee.
Complaint filed with 23rd District Court Service Unit / 23rd District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
After conferencing with the parent, if a student accumulates three (3) additional absences without adequate documentation, the school social worker will file a complaint with the 23rd District Court Service Unit / 23rd District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
- Students must bring a dated note from a parent/guardian stating the time and the reason the student is to be dismissed. A parent/guardian must sign the note. If the student is to be picked up by someone other than the parent/guardian, this must be stated in the note. The school may call to verify validity.
- Students must take the note to the Attendance Office upon arrival to school in order to receive an Early Dismissal slip.
- Students must present the early dismissal slip to the teacher of the class from which the students will be dismissed. The teacher will dismiss the student at the appointed time.
- If a note is NOT sent with the student, the parent/guardian must come to the attendance office to check the student out of school. The parent/guardian WILL be required to present an ID and check in using our security monitoring system. If someone other than the parent/guardian plans to check the student out of school, the parent/guardian MUST call to inform the attendance person. ID WILL be required for check in using our security monitoring system. Emergency cards may be reviewed to verify the status of the person picking the student up.