Attendance Procedures and Policies

Reporting Attendance

Please notify the attendance office by phone or a handwritten note of your child's absence. Notification can be sent up to 2 days ahead of a planned absence.  Absences for more than 3 consecutive days require a pre-arranged absence form. (see more info in the drop down menu below). 

Students needing a tardy or check-out pass should pick it up at the attendance office as soon as they arrive at school for the day. 

When leaving a phone message include your student's 7 digit ID number and be specific about the reason why your student will not be attending school today. If reporting an ill child, include symptoms, especially if they have fever, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, and/or cough. If your child has a diagnosis from a healthcare provider, please include that information.

Phone messages are entered in the order received.  On high volume days the office may not record attendance before you are notified your student is absent.  Please verify student attendance in ParentVue before contacting the office. 

Attendance Discrepancies

We realize you may have contacted teachers directly about missing class, leaving early or arriving late. Teachers are not able to mark students as excused. Parent/legal guardian should send all attendance messages to the attendance office to be properly recorded.

Students that were marked absent for a class they attended should contact the teacher.  Corrections will be made once we receive verification from the teacher confirming attendance.  

Attendance Verification Form

Pre-Arranged or Extended Absences

Pre-Arranged Absences: If your student will be out more than 3 consecutive days we require five days written notice.  Send an email to the attendance office including the student's name, SID, dates of absences, and reason for the absence. Your child will need to pick up a pre-arranged absence form to be filled out and returned at least 3 days prior to the beginning of 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/Dental Appointment
  • Death in the family  
  • Observance of a Religious Holiday    
  • Prearranged Absence 
  • Court Appearances
  • Unusual Circumstances

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
  • Missing the bus/car issues

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 Schoology site for assignment due dates and details.

Attendance Office Staff

Sandy Gonzales-Webb                               Sally Shirley