Procedures and policies regarding student attendance

Attendance Office Staff

Linda Szabo | Nancy Rush

Procedures and Policies

Virginia State Law requires students to attend school until age 18.  James Madison High School students are expected to be in every class on time every day. 

telephone imageHow to report an absence or late arrival:

  • Call 703-319-2319. Para español oprima tres.
  • Parents must contact the school within five days to excuse an absence. Students whose parent/guardian does not call or send in a note receive an unexcused (UNX) absence.


Early Check-Out and Late Arrival:image

  • A written note is required. Include the time, reason for check-out, parent/guardian signature, and parent daytime phone number.
  • No note? Parent/guardian must come in to the school and check students out in person.
  • If a student gets sick during the day, the clinic aide will contact a parent/guardian.
  • When arriving late, students must check back into school through the Attendance Office.

Pre-Arranged or Extended Absences:

  • Pre-Arranged Absences require five days written notice. Students should submit form se289 to the Attendance Office. Please include the student's name, dates of absences, and reason for the absence. 
  • Extended Absences: If a student requires long-term medical care, parents should contact their child's school counselor. To find out who your child's counselor is, check the Student Services staff list.

Chronic Absenteeism:image representing chronic absenteeism

  • Students who attend 90% or more of the school year are more likely to graduate from high school on time. Parents/guardians will receive communication when a student is chronically absent more than 10%. Chronic absences include excused and unexcused full-day absences.
  • When a student accrues 20 full-day absences, excused or unexcused, parents must provide a doctor's note for future absences of more than three days, indicating that your child has been evaluated and/or treated for a specific medial concern.
  • If a student accumulates 7 or more unexcused all-day absences, the school will initiate a conference with the School Attendance Officer to develop a plan for addressing attendance concerns.

Make-Up Policy for All Absences:

  • Students are expected to make-up assignments in a timely manner. For example, if a student is out for one day, they will have one day to make-up the assignment. If a student is absent two days in a row, they have two class periods to make up the work.
  • Students should coordinate missing assignments directly with their teachers. Please refer to course syllabi and/or the course Blackboard/Google site for assignment due dates and details.


FCPS Attendance Policy

FCPS Attendance Policy