Procedures and policies regarding student attendance

It is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian to report student absences.   

IF STUDENT IS ABSENT DUE TO ILLNESS, MEDICAL/DENTAL APPOINTMENT, RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY, ETC: Please call the 24/7 Attendance Hot Line (703) 690-5555 prior to 8:45 am to report the student absence.  This line is monitored throughout the school day. FCPS sends automated messages to parents each morning, based on electronic attendance information at that time.  If your child is absent and you did not call the SCMS attendance line (703) 690-5555 before 8:45 am, you will receive an automated call/email/text.  If you still have not called to report the absence by the end of the school day, you will receive a second notification from FCPS.

HOW TO PICK UP YOUR STUDENT BEFORE THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY: Parent/legal Guardian must come to the Main Office with a Photo ID - (Driver's License Preferred), in order for the student to be released. Before class begins in the morning, the student should come to the attendance desk with a note from parent/legal guardian, indicating the time and reason for early departure.  The student will be issued a check-out pass and given departure instructions at that time.  This process saves you valuable time by enabling the student to be ready for departure when you arrive.  It also minimizes class disruptions during tests, presentations, and instructional time.  Last minute appointment?  Call the attendance line (703) 690-5555 as soon as possible.  We will do our best to notify to your student in a timely manner.

IF STUDENT IS LATE DUE TO ILLNESS, MEDICAL/DENTAL APPOINTMENT, RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY, ETC:  Please call the attendance line (703) 690-5555 by 8:45 am to report the late arrival.  If you forget to call, you may send a note with your student stating the reason for the late arrival.  Student should report to the attendance desk in the Main Office to receive a pass to class. If you have already notified the school regarding a student’s late arrival, you do not need to accompany the student to the Main Office.

IF STUDENT WILL MISS TWO OR MORE DAYS IN A ROW (other than illness or Death in Family): Please have your student pick up a PRE-ARRANGED ABSENCE FORM from the attendance secretary, in the Main Office.  The student will collect signatures from all teachers whose class will be missed during the absence.  Teachers may also include comments regarding work to be done prior to the absence or make-up date for tests/projects after the absence.   After all teachers have signed, student will bring the form home for required parent/legal guardian signature.  The form must be returned to attendance desk a minimum of two school days prior to the first day of absence.  It will be reviewed by the grade level administrator, who will determine whether the absence will be excused or unexcused based on FCPS guidelines. Adhering to these guidelines ensures the accuracy of attendance information, minimizes class disruption, and/or delays in releasing students to parent/legal guardian.

FCPS Excused Absences:

  • Illness of the student
  • Death in family
  • Medical/dental appointment
  • Religious Holiday
  • An administrator may also excuse a Pre-Arranged absence if above procedures are followed.

FCPS Unexcused Absences:  

  • Family vacation
  • Child care issues
  • Non-school related activities
  • Missed school bus
  • Traffic/car problem
  • Overslept