Attendance Policies and Procedures

Submitting an Absence

Student absences can be submitted using one of these three methods:

Absences & Attendance Policies

Virginia state law requires that all school-age children (ages 5 to 18) attend school regularly. Students are expected to attend school every day.

Students who regularly attend school are more successful:

  • Poor or inconsistent attendance can negatively affect academic, social, and emotional growth.
  • Extended absences interrupt learning.

Missing more than 10% of the school year – known as chronic absenteeism – can develop with just two absences per month.

chronic absenteeism graphic

Excused vs. Unexcused Absences

In FCPS, absences are considered either excused or unexcused. Excused absences include the following:

  • Illness of the student
  • A death in the family
  • A medical appointment
  • Observance of a religious holiday.


Unexcused absences include:

  • family vacations
  • child-care problems
  • oversleeping
  • activities not related to school
  • traffic issues
  • a missed school bus.

Unexcused absences are closely monitored. If your child has five or more unexcused absences, you may be asked to attend an attendance conference with an administrator.

Excused absences are monitored as well, because as noted above, poor attendance affects a student’s academic performance.

We strongly recommend that you use the FCPS calendar to plan family travel and other activities around school breaks.


Reporting Absences and Tardies

If your child is going to be late or absent for the entire day, you must report that absence to the school before 10 a.m. using one of the methods listed above.

If you do not report your child’s absence by 10 a.m., you will receive an automated call from FCPS.

Students who are absent for 15 days school days in a row (approximately 3 weeks) will be automatically disenrolled and must be re-enrolled upon return. Placement in the same class is not guaranteed.


Pre-Arranged Absences

If you know in advance that your child will be absent for a period of time, please contact Lane registrar Jami O’Hagan at @email, who will direct you to fill out a Pre-Arranged Absence form. You should also let your child's know. 

Please note that the 15-day withdrawal policy also applies to pre-arranged absences.