Did you know that research shows just two missed days of school every month, even in kindergarten, can cause a child to suffer academically and decrease the chances that he or she will graduate?
While some absences are unavoidable, they quickly add up. If a student misses 18 or more days out of a 180-day school year, for any reason excused or unexcused, he or she is considered chronically absent. This has consequences for both students and their families, the biggest of which is missed educational opportunities. Arriving late and leaving before the school day ends also can rob students of their learning.
What the law says
State law requires all students who are enrolled in school to attend school regularly, with limited exceptions.
What VPS requires
Parents and guardians must provide their children’s schools with excuses for all absences, late arrivals and early departures, either before or within three days of the student’s return to school. Refer to your child’s individual school handbook for details on documenting absences or visit vansd.org/attendance.
District policy and state law require VPS to act on unexcused absences. These actions can range from notifying the parent(s) or guardian(s) to scheduling a conference and developing an attendance agreement. In extreme cases, legal action may be required by state law.
State law also requires staff to conference with a parent and/or guardian and their elementary-age child(ren) who have five or more excused absences in a month or 10 or more excused absences in the current school year, except when prior written notice has been given or a doctor’s note was provided and an academic plan exists to keep the student on track.
How you can help your child
Parents and families can make a difference in school attendance. According to many parents, establishing a routine is the key to getting to school on time and ensuring good attendance.
Schools can help students and families who are unable to get to class on time or attend regularly. Contact the office staff or a Family-Community Resource Center coordinator for more information.
Attendance matters. See you at school!