Attendance/Tardy Policies

Research indicates students achieve higher scores and retain more information when they attend school.  Some absences are unavoidable such as illness, death in the family and certain emergencies.  These absences can be excused with a note signed by the parent /guardian. This note needs to be turned into the attendance secretary. The note needs to include student name, grade level, date of absence/tardy, reason for absence/tardy, a parent signature and phone number where a parent or guardian can be reached during the day. Students have the right to make up work for excused absences only. School work for unexcused absences may not be accepted. Prolonged absences of three days or more require, by state law, a physician’s excuse.  Vacations are not excused absences.

Students are marked tardy if they are not in their first period class by 7:55 a.m. Three unexcused tardiness in each quarter will result in an after-school detention assigned by the grade level administrator. Students are to sign in with the attendance secretary in the main office when arriving late to school.

Early Departures

When students need to leave school during the day, a written request must be presented to the attendance secretary before first period (7:55 a.m.). This note should include the reason for the early dismissal and a phone number of the parent or guardian. Students will be given an early dismissal pass to report to the main office at the requested time.  In order to maintain the instructional environment, no calls will be made into classrooms.  Students must sign out with the attendance secretary upon leaving. The responsible adult on the Student Emergency Information Form must provide a current photo ID.  Students returning before the end of the day must also sign in upon their return.

Attendance Summary for Students and Parents/Guardians

Student attendance in all classes is critically important to maximize student learning, attain good grades, and earn credits in high school.  Below is important information for students and parents/guardians:

Determining Whether an Absence Is Lawful (Excused) or Unlawful (Unexcused)

  • A written explanation of each absence is required from the parent/guardian within three days of the student’s return to school (email is acceptable).
  • Requests for late arrivals or early dismissals must be authorized by the parent/guardian.
  • Students are considered lawfully (excused) absent from school for the following reasons:
    1. Work approved or sponsored by the school, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), or the Maryland State Department of Education
    2. Death in the immediate family
    3. Illness of the student (The principal may require a physician’s certificate.)
    4. Court summons
    5. Hazardous weather conditions which would endanger the health or safety of the student when in transit to and from school
    6. Observance of religious holiday
    7. State emergency
    8. Suspension
    9. Failure to provide MCPS authorized transportation to eligible students
    10. Other emergency or set of circumstances determined by the principal
  • Any absence for reasons other than those specified above may be considered either lawful or unlawful by the principal/designee. Normally, requests for family travel are not lawful absences.
  • A student’s absence may be deemed lawful at the discretion of the principal/designee with prior request based on the following:
    1. Recommendations from the student’s teacher(s) concerning the possible effect of the anticipated absence on the student’s academic progress and the options available for make-up work before making a decision to approve the absence.
    2. Number of lawful and unlawful absences student has accumulated to date.
    3. Purpose or special significance of the absences.
    4. Duration of the absence.
  • In unique and specific circumstances, absences can be considered authorized and should not be reported as either lawful or unlawful and students are considered to be present. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. Sports participation
    2. Student government
    3. Field trips
    4. Health room visit
    5. Home and hospital teaching
    6. In-school suspension/In-school intervention

See Montgomery County Public Schools Regulation, JEA-RA, Student Attendance for more information.