Attendance Policy

Regular school attendance is critical for academic success. Our goal is to ensure that every student attends school regularly and on time. Daily presence in school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success, starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families can continue to play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and in life.

What are the attendance expectations for students?
on time to school and to class each day.
-Bring your books and materials to class.
-Ask your teacher for missed work or make-up assignments for days you were absent.
-Ask school staff for help if you have academic or other concerns (e.g. safety or lack of transportation) preventing you from coming to school.

What are excused and unexcused absences?

Excused Absences
are when school-aged students are absent from school with a valid excuse and parental approval.  Examples of excused absences include:
Unexcused Absence
are when school-aged students are absent from school without a valid excuse, with or without parental approval. Examples of unexcused absences include:
  • Student illness (a doctor’s note is required for a student absent more than five days
  • Medical reasons such as a doctor or dental appointments for the student
  • Death in the student’s immediate family
  • Observance of a religious holiday
  • Temporary school closings due to weather, unsafe conditions or other emergencies
  • Necessity for a student to attend a judicial proceeding, or court-ordered activity, as a party to the action or under subpoena
  • Absences to allow students to visit their parent/guardian who is in the military, immediately before, during, or after deployment
  • School visits for students in kindergarten through 8th grade (one day)
  • Absences of expectant or parenting students for a time period specified by their doctor and any accommodations mandated by law
  • Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day; and
  • Exclusion by direction of the authorities of the District of Columbia, due to quarantine, contagious disease, infection, infestation, or other condition requiring separation from other students for medical or health reasons
  • An emergency or other circumstance approved by DCPS.
  • Babysitting
  • Doing errands
  • Extended travel (domestic or international)
  • Oversleeping
  • Cutting classes 

When a 
student returns to school after an absence, a note should be sent to the main office or the teacher. The note should include the date(s) of the absence and the reason. A doctor’s note should be provided if required. Student absences without notes will be marked unexcused. If absences are due to chronic health issues, i.e. asthma, the school nurse will develop an Individual Health Plan.

To find out more about DCPS's attendance policy, click here.