Absence, Tardy, Early Release of Student, or Change of Transportation Arrangement
Parents are requested to contact the school office each time a child is absent or tardy. Please call the attendance hotline at 703-988-8989 between the hours of 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 a.m. and leave a message to report a student absence. After 8:30 a.m., parents should call the school office at 703-988- 8900. Families of students not reported absent by 9:30 a.m. will receive a Keep in Touch (KIT) attendance notification message.
Virginia State Law
Virginia State law requires that each student who is absent from school must be reported each time by a responsible person. An excused absence is one for which parents/guardians have prior knowledge, consent, and a legitimate reason. Legitimate reasons include: illness of the student, death in the family, and observance of a religious holiday. Absences for family and student vacations are unexcused.
According to state law, the following actions need to be taken:
- 5 Unexcused days - parent notification via letter and plan required
- 6 Unexcused days - (one additional day) - conference required
- 7 Unexcused days - attendance officer involved, possible court action
Dental and Medical
Dental and medical appointments are excused; however, we ask that such appointments be kept to a minimum during the instructional day. If a child must leave early for a medical or dental appointment, parents are requested to send a note in advance and must sign the child out in the office at the appropriate time. To protect instructional time, students will not be called to the office until a parent arrives at school to pick them up. Please allow sufficient time for your child to get to the office and for you to arrive on time to your scheduled appointment.
Absences for family and student vacations are unexcused. Students are responsible for completing any missed assignments. Teachers will provide the student and parent or guardian with missed work but are not obligated to provide assignments prior to family or student vacations.
Students arriving at school late must first report to the office for correction of attendance records. Car riders arriving tardy should be brought to the front of the school building and accompanied into the office by a parent/guardian. The first bell rings at 9:00 a.m. The tardy bell rings at 9:15 a.m. Students who arrive in their classroom after 9:15 a.m. will be marked tardy. Students who are tardy eight or more times in a school year will have a letter placed in their school file. If the student continues to be tardy a meeting with the principal, counselor, student, and parent will be held to discuss the situation.
Early Release of Students
If a child must leave early, parents are requested to send a note in advance and must sign the child out in the office at the appropriate time. To protect instructional time, students will not be called to the office until a parent arrives at school to pick them up. Please allow sufficient time for your child to get to the office and for you to arrive on time to your scheduled appointment.
Students will not be released after 3:40 p.m. because the end of the school day is very busy in both the classrooms and in the school office. Teachers are providing homework and end of the day instructions. The office staff is assuring all changes in transportation are processed so every student arrives home safely. Therefore, if you would like your child to be released prior to dismissal you must arrive in the office no later than 20 minutes prior to dismissal at 3:40 p.m.
We will not release any child to any adult other than the parent/guardian or persons listed on the emergency care form. Students may be released to either parent unless prohibited by a court order. If restricted custody has been legally established, a parent must furnish a copy of the custody order to be kept on file in the school office.
Change in Transportation Arrangement
We are unable to process changes in transportation for play dates. Arrangement for play dates and visits to friends should be scheduled after students arrive safely home from school.
However, should an emergency require that a child walk or ride home with a friend, the parent should send a note to the main office on the morning of the day permission is requested. A note is required from the parent/guardian of each student involved. Please send your requests in writing, including the date, the children’s first and last names, the homeroom teacher, what the change is “Riding bus #____”, “Walking home with __________.” The note should be signed by the parent/guardian and include a phone number where you can be reached for questions or further information.
We are unable to process changes in transportation unless both students have a note. In the absence of both students having notes, each student will be instructed to go home as they normally would go home. The students will be allowed to make a phone call to a parent to inform them of the situation. Please note if a bus is filled to capacity, a student not regularly on the bus will not be allowed to ride the bus even just for one day. That is determined by the Office of Transportation Service, not the school. Each family is urged to find a nearby neighbor that your child can go to in the event of an emergency.
Students who ride the bus to school are assigned a bus and a bus stop by the Office of Transportation Services. If you need to make a permanent change to your bus you must fill out a Request for Exception to Ride a School Bus form. This form should be turned into the school office and will be forwarded to the Office of Transportation. If you are changing your bus stop but remaining on the same bus, you need to speak with the bus driver and inform the school of the change. Parents escorting their children to school or picking them up at the end of the day may not walk to the classroom.
Watch the video below in which FCPS Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand talks about the importance of attending school every day.