Attendance Procedures

Cameron ES Attendance Policies and Procedures

  • In the event of an absence or tardy please call 703-329-2129 or use our online attendance form, or send handwritten notes with a student to school to report the absence of a student.  Please be specific as to a physician’s diagnosis such as strep throat or pinkeye. If your child has not seen a physician, please be specific about the symptoms your child is having such as fever, cough sore throat headache, diarrhea, vomiting. This information is needed by the Public Health Nurse.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA; 2015) requires states to broaden school accountability beyond achievement on standardized tests and high school graduation rates by requiring at least one measure of “school quality or student success.” The state of Virginia chose chronic absenteeism as a measure of accountability and improvement. Students who are absent 10% or more of the school year (18 days or more, regardless of if they are excused or une) are considered chronically absent. 

Excused Absences Check-ins, and Check-outs

  • Acceptable Excuses – Illness, Doctor/Dentist Appointment, Religious Holiday, Death in the Family, and Suspension are examples of reasons an absence can be marked as excused.
  • Excusing Absences – Phone calls/written notes/faxes to excuse absences are due no later than three days after the absence. Please include student’s name, teacher’s name, the reason for absence, and parent contact information on all notes.
  • Excusing Check-ins – Written notes are required at the time of check-in. If they are not provided, students are signed in as unexcused and have three days to bring in a note from the parents or guardian. Students who fail to check in to the office upon late arrival will not have their tardies excused.
  • Excusing Checkout – Written notes are required to be sent to your child’s teacher informing them of the approximate time of checkout.  Parents picking up students for a checkout must sign them out in the Office and wait there as office personnel call to dismiss students from class.  If the student returns to school that same day, he or she must report to the Office and check back in before returning to class. The school is legally responsible for students during the school day and we need to know when and with whom students are leaving. Students are not to contact their parents via cell phone/text messaging. Students are to use the school landlines during the day to contact parents, and the parent must come to the Office to properly sign out the student.
  • Out of Town Parents – Whenever a parent or guardian is out of town or otherwise unavailable for the school to contact (due to travel, etc.), the parent/guardian must inform the Office in advance of the name, address, phone numbers (home & work) of the adult(s) in charge of the child during the parent’s absence, who is/are authorized to excuse absences occurring during this period of time.

Prearranged Absences

  • Prearranged absences such as trips should be communicated to the school as soon as possible, and at least 3 days before the absence, to arrange for work from the teachers. Approval can be given by the school administration to mark the absence as excused in situations such as trips for religious observation, military deployment, death, illness or medical treatment in the family.  Administration may ask for documentation before marking a prearranged trip as excused.
  • Trips for vacation, visiting relatives, or work will be marked as unexcused absences.
  • For prearranged absences, students are expected to complete missed work including independent reading and writing each day.

Excessive Absences

  • FCPS Regulation 2234 states that “the principal or his or her designee may require a physician’s note in cases of chronic or long-term illness.” According to our truancy officer, fifteen (15) excused absences are considered “excessive” and give the school reasonable cause to ask for a doctor’s note/official documentation in order to excuse any future absences. This includes requests for travel and check-outs from the clinic.

Unexcused absences or tardies

  • Truancy – Truancy is against state law. Per FCPS Regulation 2234, the school is required to submit an attendance referral to the Fairfax County truancy officer whenever a student accrues five unexcused absences. Truancy can result in legal action for both the student and the parent.
  • Tardies – Students are considered late to class if they arrive after the bell rings. 

Attendance Information

Learn more about school attendance on the FCPS website.

Encouraging Attendance in Elementary School

Data about how attendance impacts performance, and ways families can support attendance.