Antietam Attendance Policy

According to Virginia Law Code 22.1-256 and Prince William County Public School regulation 724-1, all children of compulsory attendance age shall be expected to attend school each day that school is in session. Parents/Guardians are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school regularly. The following attendance plan has been established to make the stakeholders (teachers, parents, students, and staff) aware of the procedures that will be followed in maintaining Virginia Law and Prince William County Public School regulations regarding attendance, tardies, and early dismissals. 

A. General Information 
a. School begins daily at 8:10 am and ends at 2:50 pm. 
b. Students are expected to be in their classrooms and ready to begin their instructional day at 8:10 am. 

B. Attendance Policy Absences 
If a student does not come to school, they are considered absent. Absences are considered excused for the following reasons based on the Prince William County Regulation 724-1: 

1. Personal illness of the student. A written note signed by the student’s medical provider certifying that the student has a bonafide medical reason for his/her absence, may be required by the school principal or his/her designee after a student has accrued 10 or more absences for the school year, and for every additional absence thereafter. 

2. Medical and dental examination and/or treatment of the student when such appointments cannot be scheduled other than during school hours. 

3. Death in the student’s immediate family (defined as father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister, spouse, son, daughter, or grandparent), not to exceed five consecutive days. 

4. Religious, faith, or commemorative observances. Students will be allowed to make up any missed work and complete any missed assessments. Students will not be required to take missed assessments or turn in missed work the day after the absence for religious, faith, or commemorative observances. Teachers will work with students on a case-by-case basis to ensure that timely access is granted to missed assessments.
5. Parents/guardians retain the option of not permitting their child to attend school in circumstances when, in the judgment of the parent/guardian, the roads or walkways in their neighborhood are too hazardous to use. The parent/guardian shall give the school prior notice of such absence by electronic or telephone communication. In such cases, the student shall be given an excused absence, but shall be required to make up the work missed.
6. Students may be granted up to five days excused absence for the purpose of visiting with a parent/guardian who has been called to active duty, is on leave from this duty, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting. The student must satisfy the requirements for an excused preapproved absence as set forth below. 

7. Preapproved absences are discouraged and will only be granted on a case-by-case basis by the principal. We encourage family trips to be scheduled during school holidays and over summer break. Absences for family trips will not be excused unless accompanied by extraordinary circumstances. A determination of whether extraordinary circumstances exist lies in the discretion of the principal, in collaboration with the Office of Student Services. Preapproved absences which become excessive in length may result in the absences being marked unexcused and a referral made to the attendance officer for compliance with the compulsory education laws. Preapproved absences that are extended by the student/parent/guardian beyond 15 school days will result in the withdrawal of the student from school in accordance with Virginia Department of Education regulation. In order for any preapproved absences to be classified as excused, the principal must be notified in writing of the request for preapproval, of the reason for the absence, and the duration of the absence within a reasonable time prior to the absence; Grades; and Attendance records. 

8. Students experiencing homelessness, as defined in Regulation 718-1, “Students Experiencing Homelessness,” who are awaiting processing of a transportation request shall be considered excused. All other absences are considered unexcused. All unverified absences will become unexcused absences after three days if no written communication is received.

Parent Responsibilities: 

  • Call the Absentee Line (703-496-9176) and state the name of the student that will be absent, his/her homeroom teacher’s name, and reason for the absence.
  • Upon the student’s return to school, send a written notice regarding the student’s absence within 3 days.
  • Once your student has missed 5 unexcused days, meet with the Principal for an Initial conference to develop a plan to promote regular school attendance.
  • Once your student has missed 6 unexcused days, Inter-agency Team Meeting. Parent, student, administrator/counselor, attendance officer, school personnel familiar with student meet.
  • Once your student has missed 7+ unexcused days, parent and student will meet with the Attendance Officer in consultation with principal and his/her designee. Attendance Officer shall enforce the provisions of the compulsory attendance laws. 

Teacher Responsibilities: 

  • Mark the student’s absence in Student Information System (SMS).
  • Contact parent about 3 unexcused absences within a school year and document contact in SMS.
  • Teacher discretion shall determine whether students shall make up work for approved prearranged absences.

Attendance Secretary Responsibilities:

  • Review messages on absentee line.
  • Mark all students excused or unexcused in SMS based on reason given for absence by 10 AM. 
  • SMS will call the number the parent/guardian provided as main number of contact as well as an email.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Sign attendance referrals for unexcused absences as needed.
  • Establish initial conference to discuss attendance issues. 
  • The principal MAY require a doctor’s note after the student has accrued ten or more absences for the school year. 

C. Tardiness 

All students that arrive to school after 8:10 AM are considered tardy and must be accompanied by an adult to the office to be signed in. The student will be given a tardy pass and sent to their class, only kindergartners will be escorted to his/her classroom.

An excused tardy is one for the following reasons as it states in Prince William County Regulation 724-1: 

        1. All items for excusing absences as listed above. 
        2. Emergency situations arising from unusual weather conditions. 
        3. All tardiness resulting from late buses shall be excused. Tardiness to school due to the late arrival of a bus shall be recorded separately from tardies for other reasons. 

Parent Responsibilities:

  • Escort child into the building.
  • Sign the tardy binder giving child’s name, teacher, reason for tardy and time in. 

Teacher Responsibilities:

  • Accept student into class and help student to get into the class routine. 

Attendance Secretary Responsibilities:

  • Give out tardy pass.
  • Change the absence to the specified tardy in SMS (Excused Tardy, Unexcused Tardy, or Bus Tardy)

D. Early Dismissal 

Students leaving school early need to contact the teacher via email, Seesaw or note explaining the reason for early dismissal. The parent or guardian must come in to the office, provide the proper ID, and sign-out their child. Please leave ample time for student to be retrieved from the classroom. Students will not be called down to wait for a parent. If the student returns to school before the end of the day, the parent or guardian must escort the student into the building and sign the student in.

E. Parent Notification
Parents will be notified of their child’s absences through automatic communication. Teacher may also communicate by phone or email regarding absence.