Attendance Procedures and Policies

Attendance Quick Guide!

If your student will be absent from school, a parent/guardian must notify the attendance office.

To report attendance:

  1. All day – call 703-503-4800 option 1
  2. Late arrival – call 703-503-4800 option 2
  3. Early check out- send a note in with the student in the morning and have them take it directly to Attendance Office703-503-4800 option 3. 
    • phone calls for early check out are reserved for emergencies or last-minute appointments. Please understand it may take up to 30 minutes to retrieve students for early release phone calls. We cannot accommodate calls for release that are received after 2:30.
  4. Sick students (or feeling unwell) must check out through the clinic. Parents must come into the main office and the main office will call to release the student from the clinic. 
    • Sick students may not be checked out through the attendance office.

Attendance emails

As a reminder, parents/guardians must contact the attendance office to excuse an absence; email is not the acceptable process to use when notifying our school of your student’s absence.   We are aware of the FCPS online portal; however, Woodson High School is not monitoring or accepting any absences submitted via email. 

If your student has been marked absent for a specific class, please contact that teacher to determine if the absence was marked in error.  The teacher will notify the attendance office to make the correction if appropriate.

Students cannot excuse their own absence by emailing the attendance office, teacher, or counselor; the parent/guardian must contact the attendance office by phone or note to report the absence.

We request parents continue to submit their excused student absences via our 24/7 automated phone line at 703-503-4800 or by sending in a written note.

How to Report an Absence or Late Arrival 

All-Day Absences Attendance Line 

Parents may call the Attendance Line at 703-503-4800 for all-day absences 

  • In the voicemail message or written note, please include the following:
    • Student’s first and last name spelled clearly or slowly;
    • Student ID Number;
    • Specific information regarding reason for absence, including if necessary, illness diagnosis or symptoms and whether or not the student has seen a physician.
  • Please indicate whether your child has any of the following symptoms:
    • Feeling feverish or chills
    • Fever greater than or equal to 100.4 F
    • Headache (not due to another health condition, hunger, menstrual cramps stress, or injury)
    • A new cough (not due to another health condition)
    • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties (not due to diagnosed respiratory condition or if different than normal pattern of chronic condition)
    • A new sore throat (not due to another health condition)
    • Congestion or runny nose (not related to allergies or health condition)
    • Fatigue (more tired than normal or sudden onset)
    • New muscle pain (not due to another health condition or that may have been caused by a specific activity such as physical exercise)
    • New loss of taste, smell, or appetite
    • Abdominal pain (not due to hunger, constipation, injury, or stress)
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • The Parent/Guardian phone number (for verification) and signature must be included on all written notes.
    • Emailed excuses will not be accepted.

Late Arrivals 

  • Students arriving between 8:10 AM and 8:30 AM with a valid reason must check-in to the attendance office upon arrival for a pass. A parent must notify the attendance office by either calling the attendance line prior to student arrival or by sending a note with their student.
  • Students arriving between 8:10 AM and 8:30 AM without a valid reason should go directly to class and will be marked as Unexcused Tardy by their teacher.
  • All students arriving after 8:30 AM should go to the attendance office and receive a pass to class. Students must check-in to the attendance office even if it is during passing time.
  • If the attendance office has not heard from a parent by note or phone message, the student will be marked "unexcused tardy" and must present a note to the Attendance Office within 48 hours for the tardy to be changed to excused.
  • In the note, please include the student’s name, ID number, the reason for the tardy, a parent/guardian name and signature, and contact phone number for follow-up.
  • Valid tardiness reasons include illness or family emergency or doctor’s appointment
  • The following will not be excused: oversleeping, power outages, car trouble, traffic, and missing the bus. Students will be given a pass to enter their assigned class after checking in at the Attendance office.
  • Be advised that if your student checks in after 9:30AM you will receive the automated call from the county stating your student is not at school. Please disregard if you have already let the attendance office know your student will be late or if you know the whereabouts of your student.
  • If you have received the morning attendance call, please first check your Student Information System (SIS) Parent Account  to confirm your child is still marked not present. Sometimes attendance is updated after this call has gone out.

Tardiness/Unexcused Absences 

Students who are late to class without a valid pass will be recorded as unexcused tardy. Students who miss class without a valid reason or do not follow the procedure will be recorded as unexcused absence. Both behaviors may lead to a referral to the Woodson administrative team. 

Early Checkout Procedures 

Students checking out of school early must bring a note with a valid reason to the Attendance office upon arrival to school. If the note is for a valid reason, the student will be issued a pass to leave class at the appointed time on the note.

  • Every student must sign out through the Attendance Office prior to leaving the building.
  • If a student leaves campus without permission or without checking out, they may be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Due to staff responsibilities, we are not able to guarantee timely, unannounced early checkouts. Please be aware that if you make a last-minute appointment it may take up to 30 minutes to retrieve your student from class. This includes the end of the school day.
  • If your student does not have a note, you may come into the main office to provide one. Email notes are not accepted. Phone messages are only accepted in emergency cases and a parent/guardian must still come into the building to check out their student.
  • In the check-out note, please include the student’s name, ID number, date and time the student will leave school, when they will return (if applicable), the reason for the check-out, a parent/guardian signature, and contact phone number for follow-up.
  • If returning to school that same day, students must check in at the Attendance office before going back to class, even if it is between classes.

Make-up Policy for All Absences 

If your child is sick and will be out of school for more than 3 days (not a prearranged absence), please contact your child’s counselor or the teachers directly if you are requesting school work. Please allow 24 hours for teachers to gather the work. The requested work will be located in the main office for pick up. If your child will be absent less than 3 days, please refer to the teacher’s Schoology site for the homework assignments. If you have any questions or need clarification about assignments, please contact the teachers directly. 

  • If an emergency arises that will necessitate an extended absence, please notify Attendance and your student’s counselor.

Pre-Arranged or Extended Absences 

Prearranged Absences: (family, college trips, medical reasons). Student must bring a written notice to the attendance office at least 5 days prior to the intended absence. The student will receive a prearranged absence form for teachers to sign, list the assignments, and due dates. Please include the student's name, dates of absences, and reason for the absence. This would include ending the school year early (within 15 days of the announced last day of school).

Extended Absences: If a student requires long-term medical care, parents should contact their child's school counselor. To find out who your child's counselor is, check the Student Services staff list

Check Your Child’s Attendance 

Parents can log into the Student Information System (SIS) Parent Account to view your child's attendance. For additional support with accessing and using the SIS Parent Account visit our SIS Parent Account overview page.