Build the Habit of Good Attendance
Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school on time every day.
Did you Know?
- Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation.
- Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
- By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three warning signs that a student may drop out of high school.
- By 9th grade, regular attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
- Missing 10 percent or about 18 days, of the school year can drastically affect a student’s academic success.
- Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
- Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.
What You Can Do
- Make school attendance a priority: Create the expectation that your child will show up, schedule doctor or dental appointments after school, do not let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of stomach aches or headaches may be signs of anxiety leading to attendance problems. If you notice a pattern of complaints, please contact your child’s school counselor.
- Help your teen stay engaged: Extra-curricular activities help your teen feel a sense of belonging.
- Stay on top of your child’s social contacts: This puts a damper on potential peer pressure issues.
- Communicate with the school: Ensure teachers know how to contact you. Talk to teachers if you see a sudden change in behavior. Keep an eye on attendance through PowerSchool.
Excused and Unexcused Absences
Parents of students who are absent must inform the school of the reason for the absence within 24 hours of the student’s absence.
Per policy JED, absences are excused for the following reasons:
- medical procedures
- legal obligations
- death in the family
- religious holidays
- extenuating circumstances determined by the school administration
The principal, principal’s designee, or other school personnel may implement a plan of attendance improvement upon a student’s tenth (10th) absence, whether excused or unexcused, including, but not limited to, the requirement to provide a note from a professional (e.g. doctor, lawyer) no later than the student’s return to school.
Every parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday shall cause such child to attend a public school or otherwise provide the child with an education in accordance with state law unless the child is exempt from the state’s compulsory attendance requirement.
—Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-254.
Compulsory Attendance Procedures
Whenever a student fails to report to school on a regularly scheduled school day and no information has been received by school personnel that the student’s parent is aware of and supports the absence, the school principal, principal’s designee, attendance officer or other school personnel or volunteer notifies the parent by phone, email or other electronic means to obtain an explanation. School staff records the student’s absence for each day as “excused” or “unexcused”. Early intervention with the student and the parent or parents takes place for repeated unexcused absences.
Upon Fifth Absence Without Parental Awareness and Support
If (1) a student fails to report to school for a total of five scheduled school days for the school year, and (2) there is no indication that the student’s parent is aware of and supports the absence; and (3) reasonable efforts to notify the parent of the absences have failed, then the Principal or principal’s designee shall make a reasonable effort to ensure that direct contact is made with the parent in person, or through telephone conversation, or through the use of other communication devices to obtain an explanation for the student’s absence and to explain to the parent the consequences of continued nonattendance. The school principal or principal’s designee, the student, and the student’s parent shall jointly develop a plan to resolve the student’s nonattendance. Such plan shall include documentation of the reasons for the student’s nonattendance.
Upon Additional Absences Without Parental Awareness and Support
If the student is absent for more than one additional day after direct contact with the student’s parent and school personnel have received no indication that the student’s parent is aware of and supports the student’s absence, the school principal or principal’s designee shall schedule a conference with the student, the student’s parent and school personnel. Such conference may include the attendance officer and other community service providers to resolve issues related to the student’s nonattendance. The conference shall be held no later than 10 school days after the tenth absence of the student, regardless of whether his parent approves of the conference. The conference team shall monitor the student’s attendance and may meet again as necessary to address concerns and plan additional interventions if attendance does not improve. In circumstances in which the parent is intentionally noncompliant with compulsory attendance requirements or the student is resisting parental efforts to comply with compulsory attendance requirements, the principal or principal’s designee shall make a referral to the attendance officer. The attendance officer shall schedule a conference with the student and student’s parent within 10 school days and may (i) file a complaint with the juvenile and domestic relations district court alleging the student is a child in need of supervision as defined in Va. Code § 16.1-228 or (ii) institute proceedings against the parent pursuant to Va. Code § 18.2-371 or § 22.1-262. In filing a complaint against the student, the attendance officer shall provide written documentation of the efforts to comply with the provisions of this policy. In the event that both parents have been awarded joint physical custody pursuant to Va. Code § 20-124.2 and the school has received notice of such order, both parents shall be notified at the last known addresses of the parents.
Illness and School Attendance
KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME IF:
- your child has a temperature of 100F or greater. Children must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
- your child has the flu, is vomiting, has diarrhea, impetigo, conjunctivitis (pink eye), chicken pox, or Strep throat.
- your child has lice. Please notify the school if your child contracts lice. Children must not return to school until treated. Proof of treatment must be brought to school on date of return.
Parents or guardians are required to call the school when their child is going to be absent. A note is required when the child returns to school stating the reason for the absence. When a child is absent due to illness and a parent or guardian wishes to pick up homework for that day, please notify the office by 9 a.m. to give teachers time to assemble work during their planning times and send it to the office.
Please call your child’s school.
- Goochland Middle School 804-556-5320
- Goochland High School 804-556-5322