School attendance is important to academic achievement; Students who attend school regularly have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance.
Regular school attendance is more than “best practice,” the Commonwealth of Virginia Attendance Code requires that all children between the ages of five and eighteen attend school every day, all day. The law also requires schools to record student attendance every day school is in session.
Students may be absent for identified reasons, such as the following:
- Medical/dental appointments which cannot be scheduled outside of school hours
- Religious and cultural observances
- Military deployment
- Family emergency and/or funeral of an immediate family member
Families should report their student’s absences to the school any day students are unable to attend.
Students who miss 10% of the school year whether the absences are excused or unexcused, are considered chronically absent. For students enrolled the entire school year, that means approximately 18 days per year or 2 to 3 days per month.
The school will send families written notification when a student has accumulated five unexcused and ten total absences. An accumulation of five unexcused absences will result in a referral to the school division attendance officer, and if any additional unexcused absences occur, the attendance officer and parents/ guardians will be required to participate in the development of a plan to improve the student’s attendance.
School Action Steps for Student Absences
|5 Unexcused Absences
|6 Unexcused Absences
|10 Unexcused Absences
An attendance letter is sent home and an attendance plan is developed.
The school truancy team will meet to review the plan and consider additional interventions.
The division truancy officer will meet with the family and school-based truancy team to discuss the attendance improvement plan and a court referral may be submitted.