Procedures and policies regarding student attendance
Students form important habits early, as they begin to develop responsibility to come to school on time and be prepared and ready to learn. Parents or guardians need to encourage good habits like sleep and eating and study habits so that students are ready to learn. Teachers, administrators, counselors, and other support professionals can help students adjust to routines, learn expectations, and develop academic and social competence.
Virginia requires that all children between the ages of five and eighteen be enrolled in school and attend on a daily basis. Any student who fails to report to school for a total of five scheduled school days (unexcused) for the school year may be referred to a school attendance officer for further action. When a referral is received, the school attendance officer will attempt to interview the student, parent, and other relevant parties to develop a plan to resolve the attendance issue. A student who is absent from school for 15 consecutive days or more is withdrawn from school and must officially register again upon his or her return to school.
Parents or guardians should call the attendance line in the morning before attendance is taken, to let the school know of any tardiness or absence. For students in elementary school, attendance is checked daily at 9:30 a.m. for early start schools. FCPS will communicate quickly with parents or guardians when a student does not come to school as expected. Parents should receive calls and emails within 30 minutes via an automated attendance calling system or by the school. Attendance will be checked daily for period and all-day absences at 4 p.m. For middle and high school students, attendance is checked daily for period and all-day absences and calls and emails are made at 10 a.m. In addition, attendance is reconciled at 4 p.m. Calls and emails follow at 7 p.m. via an automated attendance system or by the school.
Absence and Tardy Policy
It is important to have your child in school learning each and every day. The following is Whitman Middle School’s tardy and absence policy, in conjunction with Fairfax County Public Schools’ policies and procedures:
The following reasons are examples of an unexcused tardy:
- Missed bus
- Car trouble
- Sick (without parental note)
- Doctor’s Appointment (without parental note)
If your child is tardy, it is important that you send a note to the Student Services Office excusing your child’s tardiness. Children with unexcused tardies may be given lunch detentions or after school detentions. A letter is sent to you notifying you that your child will need to stay after school for detention.
The following reasons are examples of an unexcused absence:
- Missed bus
- No ride to school
- Sick (without parent phone call or note)
- Appointment (without parent phone call or note)
- Translating for parent(s) at an appointment
- Staying home on a 2 hour delayed opening
Fairfax County Regulation 2234 states that school attendance is required by law, as outlined in the Code of Virginia, Section 22.1-254. Each day you will be notified of your child’s absence through Keep-In-Touch’s e-mail and phone system. If your child is absent from school, it is important that you call the attendance office at 703 660-2424 to inform the school of your child’s absence. If you cannot call the school, please write a note explaining your child’s absence within two days of your child’s return to school.
On the fifth unverified absence, your child will be referred to the Attendance Officer, who will contact you to notify you of your child’s absences and the consequences of continued absences. If further unexcused absences occur, the attendance office will file a complaint with Juvenile and Domestic Relations.
Check Your Child's Attendance
Parents can log into the Student Information System (SIS) Parent Account to view your child's attendance. For additional support with accessing and using the SIS Parent Account visit our SIS Parent Account overview page.