A written explanation of each absence is required from the parent/guardian within three days of the student's return to school (e-mail is acceptable).  E-mail notes to Jennifer_Hicks@mcpsmd.org.


Students with three unlawful absences in a class will be warned of the possibility of failure and referred to their counselors and administrators.  The counselor/administrative team will consult with each student and parent/guardian, verify reasons for the absences, and determine appropriate attendance interventions.


Students who are unlawfully absent from class five times will automatically be required to submit an academic intervention plan or appeal the absences. Students and parents may appeal the recording of their absences if they or their parents/guardians believe that any absences were recorded incorrectly. The counselor/administrative team will assist the student and consult with the teacher regarding requirements for make-up work and the administrator for any behavioral issues.  This information will be shared with the student and the student’s parents/guardians.


If the student does not complete either an appeal of attendance recording or an attendance intervention plan and/or continues to be further unlawfully absent, the student may fail the course.


Attendance appeal and intervention forms will be available in the counseling and administrative offices and on the school’s website.


Unexcused tardies will be recorded and three unexcused tardies will equal one unexcused/unlawful absence.  A tardy is defined as “late to class.”


The attendance program is part of the MCPS current grade book program (Pinnacle). If warranted, MCPS will automatically generate:

  • A warning letter or an email if your student has three unlawful absences.
  • A letter or email if your student has five unlawful absences to inform you that your student may fail the class unless an appeal or an attendance intervention plan is completed.
  • Please be sure our main office has current home and email addresses.  

The attendance program will—

  • Automatically send an email informing the student’s counselor and administrator when notices are generated.
  • Identify students who are in danger of failing, to assist counselors and administrators in the development of attendance intervention plans.
  • Provide period-by-period attendance reports accessible by teachers, counselors, and administrators.
  • Provide an automatic notice to administrators of teachers not taking attendance.

Excused Absences

Students may miss school for the following reasons only:

  • Death in the immediate family
  • Illness (The principal may require a physician’s certificate from the parent/guardian in cases of chronic or extended absences for an illness.
  • Court summons
  • Religious holiday
  • State emergency
  • Suspension
  • Hazardous weather conditions (weather conditions that would endanger a student on the way to or from school)
  • Lack of authorized transportation (for example, if the bus does not show up)
  • Permission from the principal.

The principal also may allow a student to miss school for work or another activity if his/her parent/guardian (or the student, if the student has reached the age of majority) has asked permission five school days in advance.  The principal usually will excuse a student if he/she misses school to do one of the following:

  • Visit a college campus (student must bring proof from the college of the visit)
  • Participate in a college orientation program
  • Interview for a job
  • Work as part of an approved cooperative education program
  • Participate in short-term, full-time work

Students who reach age of majority and write their own notes must get an application from an assistant principal, whose confirmed approval and clearance are required before their notes will be accepted.  They should also be advised that doctor's notes may be requested to verify excused absences due to illness.  Also, a student's parent(s) or guardian(s) may be informed of tardies, absences, and academic progress (interim reports and report cards) if a student is dependent on them for financial support.


When students return to school after an absence they must present a written excuse, signed by the parent or legal guardian, to the attendance office.  The excuse must contain:

     - the student's full name & ID Number

     - the student's grade

     - the date(s) of the absence(s) or tardy

     - the date upon which the note was written

     - explanation of reason for absence/tardy

     - a phone number where the note can be verified

     - a signature of the parent or guardian


Parents must call or email the attendance office when their student is absent AND submit an excusal note within 3 days of the absence.    Phone:  301-924-3206; Email:  Jennifer_Hicks@mcpsmd.org


Students requesting early dismissal must present notes from a parent explaining the reason for leaving to the attendance secretary between 7:30 and 7:45 am. in order to receive authorization.  Upon leaving, students must sign out at the attendance office, even if they are being excused from the health room to go home.  Students who do not obtain permission to leave early or who fail to sign out are violating attendance procedures and will be charged an unexcused absence.


Students who leave school grounds illegally will be charged with an unexcused absence for each class missed.  Parents will be notified, disciplinary action will be taken, and parking privileges may be revoked. Leaving class without permission will count as a class cut regardless of how much time remained when the student left class.


Edison Students Before departure and upon return are assigned to the cafeteria under the supervision of a security team member.


Truancy is illegal absence from school.  Parents and teachers will be notified and disciplinary action may be taken for each class missed.  Continued truancy can lead to suspension, and referral to the truancy review board.