Attendance

Procedures and policies regarding student attendance

Attendance Office Staff

Attendance 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, unless special circumstances warrant their absence from school.  Period-by-period attendance will be reported to the Attendance Office.

Absent Students:

  • Parents/guardians should call the Attendance Office to report the absence before 9:50 a.m.

  • Attendance number: 703-319-2319.

  • Parent/guardian could also send in a note or call by 3:10 p.m. the following school day to excuse the absence.

  • Absent students whose parent/guardian does not call or send in a note receive an unexcused (UNX) absence.

  • Unexcused absences will be addressed with progressive disciplinary consequences for students. New to the 2018-19 school year, these absences are accumulated throughout the school day, not per class period. 

    • 2 UNX – Student receives a warning notification.
    • 3 UNX – Student is assigned a lunch detention.
      • If student fails to show, SOSA meets with student and reassigns lunch detention
    • 6 UNX – Students meets with AP and is assigned lunch or after-school detention.
    • 9 UNX—Student is assigned a full day of ISS after meeting with AP

Tardy Students:

  • Tardy is defined as not being in the classroom when the bell rings.

  • In addition to administrative consequences, teachers have the authority to assign disciplinary consequences for tardiness in their classrooms. New to the 2018-19 school year, these absences are accumulated throughout the school day, not per class period.                                                                               

    • 3 UNT – Student receives a warning notification.

    • 5 UNT – Student is assigned a lunch detention.

      • If student fails to show, SOSA meets with student and reassigns lunch detention

    • 10 UNT – Students meets with AP and is assigned lunch or after-school detention.  
    • 15 UNT --Student is assigned a full day of ISS after meeting with AP.

Pre-Arranged or Extended Absences:

  • Absences for specified reasons, i.e., business and family trips, college visits, medical treatments, funerals, or religious holidays should be prearranged.  To prearrange absences, a written note should be sent to the Attendance Office.  Five days notice is necessary to allow teachers to produce the assignments.  The Attendance Office will issue a prearranged absence form, which the student will share with his/her teachers to obtain their signatures & the assignments for the absence period.

  • If a student requires long-term medical care parents should contact the school counselor to make arrangements for homebound instruction. 

  • The last day of school is June 13, 2019; students are expected to be in attendance through this date.

Early Check-Out:

  • A written note is required.

  • Note must contain the time and reason for check-out along with a parent/guardian signature and daytime phone number.

  • The parent or guardian must come to the Attendance Office and check the student out in person in lieu of a written note.

  • If a student becomes ill during the school day he/she must go to the school health room/clinic. The clinic aide will contact a parent and release the student to the parent if it is necessary for the student to go home.

  • Students returning from an appointment must check back into school via the Attendance Office.

Excessive Absenteeism:

  • If a student accrues 20 absences in any one class, excused or unexcused, throughout the entire school year, the administration requires a medical verification for any future absences to be excused. Medical verifications must be renewed annually.  Year-to-year carryovers are not permitted. 

  • If a student accumulates 5 or more unexcused all-day absences, the truant officer assigned to the school will contact the parent/guardian. The truant officer will pursue legal action if a student does not come to school.

Make-Up Policy: Excused Absences

  • If a student is excused absent, he/she has one class period to make up the work.

  • If a student is excused absent two days in a row he/she has two class periods to make up the work. 

  • Blackboard sites that are updated weekly can eliminate the student /teacher meeting.

  • Reasons for excused absences include illness, medical/dental appointments, religious observances, death in the family, court, suspension, and approved pre-arranged absences.

Unexcused Absences  Unexcused absences will be treated the same as excused absences.  Students will be required to make up assignments in the same manner as an excused absence.

  • Reasons for unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, oversleeping, missing the bus, ride was late, car trouble, traffic, weather conditions, working on homework, studying for a test, and parent’s fault.