At Richmond Public Schools, our motto is "every day counts" and we encourage students to be present every day.
RPS recognizes that student success begins with daily school attendance. Students who miss class miss out on learning. School offers children the opportunity to develop the skills needed to succeed in life.
RPS is committed to working in partnership with parents, families and the community to ensure our children attend school regularly.
Is School Attendance Required?
Yes - school attendance is required by the Code of Virginia for all students who reach 5 years of age on or before September 30 of the current school year. Students must attend school daily until they meet high school graduation requirements or reach their 18th birthday.
Attendance Expectations for Students
- Arrive on time to school and each class - every day
- Stay in school all day - every day
- Follow the Student Code of Responsible Ethics (SCORE)
- Ask school staff for help if there are academic or other concerns (ie. difficulty with school work, no transportation, safety concerns)
- Ask teachers for makeup work for days absent and complete the assignments
What Can Parents Do?
- Let your child know you value education and that school is important
- Set a regular bedtime and stick to it
- Plan for the next school day the night before (review homework, prepare clothes, pack backpack)
- Make sure your child arrives to school on time and stays all day - every day
- Schedule medical, dental and other appointments before and after school whenever possible; when appointments occur during the school day, do not take the entire school day off
- Become involved in your child's academic career - check homework and review report cards
- Work in partnership with the school, attend conferences and school functions
When Do Absences Become a Problem?
CHRONIC ABSENCE - 18 or more days
Warning Signs - 10-17 days
GOOD ATTENDANCE - 9 or fewer days
Excused vs. Unexcused Absences
- Excused absences are when a student is absent from school with parent approval and a valid excuse accepted by the school. Some examples:
- Student illness (if more than 3 days, a doctor's note is required)
- Death in student's immediate family
- Court appearance (documentation may be required)
- Religious holiday
- Emergency or unusual circumstances (may be approved by the principal)
When a student returns to school after an absence, a note from a parent/guardian, doctor or court is required to be sent within 5 days of the absence. The note should include the date(s) of absence and reason. Student absences without a note will be recorded as unexcused.
- Unexcused absences are when a student is absent from school without a valid excuse, with or without parental approval. Some examples:
- Missing the school bus
- Cutting class