Attendance Procedures and Policies

Students and the parent/guardian they are living with must “reside” in Fairfax County to be enrolled or maintain enrollment in FCPS. “Reside” is physically present / living here, not just property ownership. Consequently, students cannot go to outside of FCPS and be a student at Herndon HS.

Reporting Attendance

Attendance to virtual sessions is mandatory. Attendance will be taken every period, each day. If your student is ill and cannot attend a synchronous session, please use one of the following options to report a partial or full day excused absence.

Pre-Arranged or Extended Absences

Pre-Arranged Absences of more than 3 days require five days written notice.  Send an email to the attendance office include the student's name, SID, dates of absences, and reason for the absence. 

Extended Absences: If a student requires long-term medical care, parents should contact their child's school counselor.

Examples of Excused and Unexcused Absences/Tardies

Examples of Excused Absences/Tardies

  • Student Illness  
  • Medical Appointment
  • Death in the family  
  • Observance of a Religious Holiday    
  • Prearranged Absence 
  • Court Appearances
  • Unusual Circumstances
  • Technology Issues

Examples of Unexcused Absences/Tardies

  • All day truancy, skipped classes, senior skip days
  • Oversleeping
  • Failure to notify the attendance office of late arrival/early dismissal
  • Other reasons unacceptable to administrator

Chronic Absenteeism

Students who attend 90% or more of the school year are more likely to graduate from high school on time. Parents/guardians will receive communication when a student is chronically absent more than 10%. Chronic absences include excused and unexcused full-day absences.

If a student accumulates 7 or more unexcused all-day absences, the school will initiate a conference to develop a plan for addressing attendance concerns.

When a student accrues 9 full-day absences, for any reason, parents must provide a doctor's note for future absences of more than three days, indicating that your child has been evaluated and/or treated for a specific medial concern.  When a student reaches 15 days a doctor’s note is required for any medical reason.

In accordance with state law and school board policy, any student who is absent for fifteen (15) consecutive school days must be withdrawn from school. Students who have accumulated 10 full-day unexcused absences are referred to Fairfax County’s Truancy Officer. Parents will be requested to attend a meeting with the truancy officer, their student, and the student’s Assistant Principal.

Students and the parent they are living with must “reside” in Fairfax County to be enrolled or maintain enrollment in FCPS. “Reside” is physically present / living here, not just property ownership. Consequently, students cannot go to outside of FCPS and be a student at Herndon HS.

Civic Engagement 

Beginning Tuesday, January 21, 2020, FCPS students from grades 7-12 will be eligible to request one partial school day absence per school year for civic engagement activities. Students must attend part of the school day on the day of their civic engagement activity.   

Examples of such requests might include:

  • Supporting the election process, such as voter registration, campaign distributions
  • Participating in a walk or march to raise awareness about an issue
  • Participating in community service projects 

  Procedures:   Parents/guardians are asked to complete the following steps:

  • ​​​​Submit the request at least two school days in advance to the attendance office
  • Provide supporting documentation, including sponsoring organization and schedule
  • Plan for student transportation and safety

Make-Up Policy for All Absences

Students should coordinate missing assignments directly with their teachers. Please refer to course syllabi and/or the course Blackboard/Google site for assignment due dates and details.

When calling or sending an email include the following:

  • Correct spelling of student’s legal name
  • Student ID# (very important)
  • Grade level of the student
  • Date(s) of absence
  • Reason for the absence
  • Parent/legal guardian’s daytime telephone

Parents must contact the school within five (5) days to excuse an absence. Students whose parent/guardian does not contact the attendance office will receive an unexcused (UNX) absence.

If a student is marked UNX but was present for the class, the student needs to fill out an attendance verification form and email it to the teacher. The classroom instructor will verify attendance and forward the form to the attendance office. Students have 5 school days (not class days) to request verification.

Attendance Office Staff

Sandy Gonzales-Webb           Kirsten Frostad