District Attendance Policy
The Importance of Regular School Attendance
It's a fact: Students who attend school regularly learn more and are more successful in school than students who do not. Parents who make regular school attendance a priority also are helping their children learn to accept responsibility, and that’s an important lesson for a successful life. Attendance patterns are formed early in life. Children who develop good attendance habits in the early grades will be more likely to continue them throughout their school career, as well as into their chosen career. Regular attendance is critically important, because students who miss school miss out on carefully planned sequences of instruction. They miss out on active learning experiences and class participation. They miss out on the opportunity to ask questions. As a result, they are more likely to fall behind, and they are more likely to drop out.
Attending School is the Law!
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that all children between the ages of five and eighteen be enrolled in school and attend on a daily basis. Any student who fails to report to school for a total of five scheduled school days (unexcused) for the school year will be referred to a school attendance officer for further action. When a referral is received, the school attendance officer will attempt to interview the student, parent and other relevant parties to develop a plan to resolve the attendance issue. A student who is absent from school for 15 consecutive days or more is withdrawn from school and must officially register again upon his or her return to school. Richmond Public Schools believes that students who regularly attend school and arrive on time for class have the most academic success.
Updates to School Board Policy §8-2.4: Student Attendance and Absences/Truancy
The following updates to the RPS Attendance Policy were passed by the School Board in June 2014:
Unexcused Tardies to School and Early Departure from School:
Any five (5) unexcused tardies to school or early dismissals from school will count as the student missing a full instructional day. Tardies to school or early dismissal from school may be considered excused for the same reasons as are listed above for absences. For the purposes of this policy, the student must be more than thirty (30) minutes late to school, or leave thirty (30) or more minutes early, without an excuse approved by the principal or his/her designee.
Parents and guardians are required to provide a written note requesting that the days absent be considered excused absences within five (5) schools days of the last day of school missed. If a note for the day(s) absent is not provided within five (5) school days of the last day of school missed, the period of absence will be considered unexcused.
The following update to the RPS Attendance Procedure was instituted by the Superintendent in July 2014:
Excessive Excused Absences:
After 10 excused absences, the Principal or Administrator designated over attendance will be required to review, approve or not approve, and sign off on all absences prior being recorded as excused on the SIS. Copy of the signed approval or denial of excuse should be placed in the student’s attendance file. Review of absences should occur daily. Excessive excused absences should be reviewed by the School Attendance Support Team for additional services.