HMS Attendance Procedures
Attendance is critical to success in school. Missing 10 percent of school for any reason is considered chronic. Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school--and themselves.
FCPS uses a computerized attendance system which records absences and tardies for each period of the school day. The attendance record of each child is considered a legal document, and schools must ensure that accurate records are kept. FCPS sends automated calls in the morning and evening to parents/guardians of students who have unexcused absences for that day. When a student is absent, it is the responsibility of the parent to call the attendance line each day the child is absent to report the absence: 703-904-4848. To avoid receiving an automated call-out in the morning, please report absences prior to 8:00 a.m.
Excused and Unexcused Absences
Examples of excused absences include:
- death in the family
- medical and dental appointments
- observance of religious holidays
- family obligations
A parent must call the attendance line or send in a written note to excuse an absence. Absences that are not reported by a parent/guardian will remain unexcused until the office receives a phone call or written notice.
Examples of unexcused absences and tardies include:
- missing the bus
- excessive traffic
- not wanting to go to school
- Unexcused absences that total 5 or more may result in an attendance referral to the FCPS truant officer.
- Excessive excused absences may be addressed by an administrator on an individual basis. In some cases, a doctor's note may be required in order to excuse future absences.
Students arriving to school after 7:30 a.m. must report to the main office and check in immediately upon arrival. This includes arrival during class changes. A parent may accompany a student to provide an explanation, or the student may bring in a signed note from a parent/guardian. Parents may also use the attendance line to report tardies.
We understand that there may be times when a student needs to leave early for an appointment, travel, or other obligation. Students should bring in a written note to the main office in the morning of the early check-out day to receive a pink check-out pass. This pass will allow them to leave class, pack up, and be ready in the main office for parent pick-up at the specified time. Students must be signed out by a parent/guardian with valid identification. Please be sure to bring your ID with you each time.
Please avoid requesting a student for last minute pick-up after 2:00 p.m. School dismisses at 2:15 p.m. and depending on which class a student is in and how busy office staff are, it can be difficult to pull a student before the dismissal bell.
For students who want to go home together on the bus after school:
Bus Notes: a hand-written bus note, with parent’s signature, is required from both parents of the students making the request. A temporary bus pass will not be issued without the hand written notes from both families. These policies are in place for your child’s safety. Thank you for cooperation and understanding. Notes must be submitted to the office before the last block of the day.