Attendance Policy


General Policy

Every student is responsible for attending all sessions of each class in which he/she is enrolled. Unexcused absences or tardies can result in loss of credit or failure. Students may make up class work when the absence is excused. Parents should call the attendance office at 301-321-3400 when their child is absent. An attendance note must be completed and signed by the parent/guardian and be submitted to the attendance office within three school days after an absence. Attendance forms are available in the Attendance Office. Any absence, early departure, or late arrival due to a medical or dental appointment will be excused with a medical note.


Required Information for Notes (absence, tardy, early dismissal)

  • Date of note
  • Student name and ID number
  • Date(s) of absence/tardy/early dismissal
  • Reason for absence/tardy/early dismissal
  • Parent/guardian’s name and parent/guardian’s signature
  • Current work and home telephone numbers of Parent/Guardian

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Excused Absences

You may miss school for the following reasons only:

  • Death in your immediate family
  • Illness
  • Court summons
  • Religious holiday
  • State emergency
  • Hazardous weather conditions (that is, weather conditions that would endanger you on your way to or from school; the superintendent decides whether the weather is hazardous)
  • Lack of authorized transportation (for example, if your bus does not show up)
  • Permission from your principal

If you miss school for one of these reasons, you must bring a note from your parent or guardian within three school days after your return to school. For example, if you miss school Wednesday and Thursday and then return Friday, you must hand in a note explaining your absence by the following Tuesday. Otherwise, the absence will be considered unexcused.

The principal also may allow you to miss school for work or another activity if your parent has asked permission five school days in advance. The principal usually will excuse you if you miss school to do one of the following:

  • Visit a college campus
  • 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
  • Participate in a school-sponsored activity
  • Family vacations usually are not excused. If unusual circumstances arise, however, the principal may excuse the absence.

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Early Dismissal Procedures

Students requesting early dismissal must present a note to the attendance office before 7:45 a.m. No student will be excused without a written note from a parent/guardian with the departure time, reason for departure, and a daytime phone number. Telephone calls requesting early dismissal will not be honored. Students must sign out at the attendance office when they leave and sign in when they return. Students who fail to sign out will have the classes missed counted as unexcused. In case of an emergency, a student should contact an administrator before leaving school.

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Late Arrival Procedures

If you arrive:

  • after 7:45 a.m. with an excused note, go to the attendance office where you will be issued an excused late pass.
  • before 8:05 a.m. and do not have an excused note, go straight to class, where your teacher will mark you unexcused tardy.
  • after 8:05 a.m., you MUST sign in immediately upon entering the building and obtain a pass from the attendance office.

You will be considered unexcused unless you have an excused note signed by a parent/guardian. This note MUST include a telephone number where a parent/guardian can be reached. If a student is unable to obtain a note, he/she may bring a valid note the next day.

  • For late arrivals due to illness, a student must bring a note with date, daytime phone number, and reason, signed by a parent/guardian. All notes must be verified before they will be considered excused.
  • Excessive late arrivals (tardies) may require a doctor’s note and/or a parent conference.
  • Failure to sign in could result in detention.
  • Three unexcused late arrivals (tardies) will equal one unexcused absence, which may lead to a loss of credit in that course.

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Dismissal from Health Room Procedures

Students dismissed from school by the Health Room technician or nurse must sign out in the Attendance Office. Upon departing, student must present the Health Room dismissal slip to the Attendance Office. In return, the Attendance Office will make note in the attendance program. Students who feel ill during the day must report to the Health Room in order to be excused for early departure.

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Work Missed During an Absence

Upon returning from an absence, students have three days to make-up work missed during the period of absence. Teachers are obligated to assist students in making up work when the absence is excused; however, they are not obligated to accept missed work when the absence is unexcused, give you a retest, or give you an extension on work that was due. It is the students’ responsibility to find out what work they missed and to arrange for completion within the three-day time period following their return to school. If a student is absent (excused) for three or more days, the counseling office should be contacted at 301-321-3400 for make-up assignments. Please allow 24 hours to collect assignments.

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Unexcused Absences

An absence for any reason other than those cited as lawful are presumed as unlawful and may constitute truancy. Missing the bus, experiencing car trouble, or oversleeping is not considered an excused absence or excused late arrival (tardy). If you are late to class three times without valid excuses, that counts as one unexcused absence in the class. If you miss a day of school and are not excused, you will have an unexcused absence in each class you miss.

* NOTE: Requests for family travel are NOT excused absences. In cases of very unusual family circumstances, a parent/guardian must contact the principal at least 5 days prior to the absence.

Three unexcused instances of tardiness equal one unexcused absence.

For each class...

  • After one unexcused absence or three unexcused tardies, the teacher warns you.
  • After two unexcused absences (or a combination of absences and tardies), the teacher warns you again
  • After three unexcused absence (or a combination of absences and tardies), the teacher calls your parent/guardian, the principal sends a warning letter to your parent/guardian at the home address requesting a parent conference..
  • After four unexcused absence (or a combination of absences and tardies), the teacher warns you again, indicating that one more unexcused absence will result in loss of credit for the class. When feasible, the school contacts your home again.
  • After five unexcused absences (or a combination of absences and tardies), the school informs you and your parents that you will lose credit for the semester. You will receive an LC (Loss of Credit) and will get no credit for the semester.

The principal may not allow you to participate in extracurricular activities on a day that you have an unexcused absence.

The above actions are minimums. Individual schools may have additional rules about unexcused absences.

Anyone involved may ask for a conference to talk about particular absences or loss of credit. The conference will include you, your parents, and appropriate school staff. It will focus on why you have unexcused absences.

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Participation in Extracurricular Activities

Any student wishing to participate in an athletic or non-athletic extracurricular activity (e.g. sports, SGA, talent show, drama production, etc.) must be in school for the entire day and attend their classes unless:

  • They have received prior approval at least one day before from an administrator. Students should bring their note signed by the administrator to the Attendance Office at least the day before and inform the attendance secretary of the extracurricular activity involved. OR
  • The student has brought a note to the administrator that morning and/or the parent has called the school before 7:45 am in the case of an emergency. The administrator will then make a decision based on the facts of the case. OR
  • The administrator has decided that an extraordinary circumstance exists and has granted an exemption.

Any student who misses classes due to truancy or class cutting will miss the activity (practice/contest, meeting, game, rehearsal, etc.) for that day or the first day it is "discovered.” Additional disciplinary action may be imposed by the moderator, coach or administrator.

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