Attendance is compulsory in all classes unless a student is participating in a school-authorized activity. Should a student be absent from school, the following procedures must be followed.
Absence notes must contain the following information:
- Student Name
- Student ID Number
- Date of the absence(s)
- Reason for the absence(s)
- Parent/Guardian signature
- Parent/Guardian Telephone number for home, work, cell, etc.
The State of Maryland regards the following as lawful absences from school:
- Student Illness
- Death in immediate family
- Religious observances
- Violent/hazardous weather
- School Emergency (As declared by the Superintendent)
- State Emergency (As declared by the Governor)
- Work/activity accepted by the local school authorities
The following are not accepted as excused absences:
- Caring for younger sibling/relative
- Vacationing/Trips out of town
- Caring for an ill relative
- Traffic/Broken down car
- Family Emergency (This excuse must be clarified in the note and fit into the excused absences identified by the state before the school can excuse the absence.
Absence From School
Follow these procedures if an absence occurs:
- A note from the parent/guardian is necessary to excuse any absence. The note is required within three (3) days of returning to school.
- A physician’s note is required for any absence of five (5) or more consecutive days due to illness.
- Notes for absences should be given to the Attendance Secretary.
- The Attendance Office will verify notes excusing absences, tardies, and early departures by contacting parents/guardians. All notes must include the information listed in the box. Only lawful absences will be considered excused. All notes will remain unexcused until verified by the attendance office.
Vacations: Absences for vacations are unexcused. Contact the attendance office if you have any questions.
Truancy: A student who is absent from school without lawful cause is considered truant. A referral to the Truancy Board will be made for students whose absences exceed 20%.
Should an absence from school be necessary:
- The parent/guardian should notify the school attendance office at least five (5) days in advance, stating the reason for the absence. Ex: college visits, orientation, etc.
- Medical, dental, and other appointments are to be made outside of school hours, that is, after 2:10pm.
- If the student is ill or expects to be absent for more than four weeks, home instruction may be arranged. Contact the appropriate guidance counselor.
- Student absent for more than one hour will be counted as absent for a half day.
- Students not in their assigned classrooms at the sound of the bell are tardy.
- Missing twenty (20) minutes of any class is an absence from that class.
- Any student arriving to school after 7:45 am must sign in at the Attendance Office.
- All late arrivals must be explained in a legitimate signed note in order to be excused
- For security and safety reasons, students may not be excused without a legitimate signed note.
- Notes for early departure from school must be received in the attendance office by 7:25 am that morning.
- Upon returning, the student must sign in at the Attendance Office.
- The student is responsible for making up all class work and assignment.
Truancy and Cutting Classes
- Truancy (illegal absence from school) and cutting class are serious infractions of State, MCPS, and local school policy.
- The Attendance Office carefully tracks patterns of student attendance,
- The Attendance Office verifies excuses for absences, late arrivals, and early departures.
Loss of Credit Policy
In compliance with new Montgomery County Public Schools Attendance Policies and Procedures, if a student is in danger of receiving a failing grade because of five (5) or more unlawful absences, he/she may appeal for grade restoration. To do this, your child must schedule a meeting with his/her counselor and/or administrator to complete an Attendance Intervention Plan as soon as possible. Additionally you are encouraged to schedule a conference to discuss possible approaches to correct your child’s pattern of unlawful absences. Students with five (5) or more unlawful absences who make no attempt to address the problem will fail the course, regardless of the earned grade.
More information about student attendance can be found on the MCPS website.
Please Note: If a student has 3 absences, they are considered "at risk" of failing that particular class for the semester. If a student has 5 absences, they will receive a failing grade for that particular class for the semester. For students who already have 5 absences, in order to have the possibility of getting the credit, the student, parent, teacher, counselor, and administrator must agree to the terms and conditions on the attached Attendance Intervention Plan. This plan can be turned in to your counselor. If there are any discrepancies on the attendance reporting, please see the attached Attendance Appeal Form. This appeal can be turned in to the Main Office.