Attendance Office

Telephone: 240-740-6951

Ms. Elizabeth Potts
Attendance Secretary


According to Maryland law, every child between the ages of 5 and 16 must attend school.

Students are expected to attend classes unless they have an excused absence. Attendance will be reported to parents on report cards.

According to Northwood's procedures, if a student is absent from school, the school will follow up on the absence through an automated calling system that contacts parents to alert them about the absence.

Excused Absences

Students may miss school for the following reasons:

  • Death in the immediate family
  • Certified illness of the student
  • Court summons
  • Observance of religious holiday
  • Hazardous weather conditions (Conditions that would endanger students on the way to or from school; the Superintendent decides whether the weather is hazardous.)
  • State emergency
  • Lack of authorized transportation (i.e. a student's bus doesn't show up)
  • Permission from your principal

If a student misses school for any of the reasons listed above, he or she must bring a note from his or her parent or guardian within three school days after the student's return to school. Otherwise, the absence will be considered unexcused. If a student is 18 or older or married, he or she may write the note.

The principal may allow students to miss school for work or another activity if the student's parent (or the student, if the student has reached the age of majority) has asked permission five school days in advance.

The principal will usually excuse students if they miss school due to one of the following reasons:

  • Visiting a college campus
  • Participating in a college orientation program
  • Interviewing for a job
  • Working as part of an approved cooperative education program
  • Participating in short-term, full-time work
  • Participating in a school-sponsored activity

Family vacations are not usually excused. lf unusual circumstances arise, however, the principal may excuse the absence.

Download the information needed for the attendance note.

Unexcused Absences

An absence that is not excused according to the above conditions is an unexcused absence. 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.

  • 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 absences, and determine appropriate attendance interventions.
  • Students who are unlawfully absent from class five times will automatically be required to submit an appeal of the recording of their absences if they or their parents/guardians believe that any absences were recorded incorrectly, or an attendance intervention plan. 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 will be considered in danger of failing the course.

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

Appeal of Attendance Form

If you believe an error occurred and that the attendance reported for your child by e-mail or on Edline is inaccurate, you can submit an Appeal of Attendance Recording Form that asks for the attendance record to be changed. Please download and complete the form and submit any additional documentation that supports the change.