Procedures and policies regarding student attendance
Attendance Policy and Procedures
Call the Attendance Line or Send an E-mail
WSHS Attendance Line
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Please help us out with the following attendance items:
Pre-Arranged Absences: Please remember, except for illness and medical appointments all partial or full day absences should be prearrange in advance. Prearranged absence forms can be found at: PREARRANGE FORM. Forms should be turned into the main office 3 or more days in advance.
NEW: Students leaving in the last 30 minutes of the day: Only students with prearranged absences or calls received prior to 12 noon may check out in the last 30 minutes of the day.
If you arrive late to campus, you must check into the main office. Even if you arrive during a passing period, you must check in prior to going to class.
General Attendance information
It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to call the WSHS 24/7 Attendance Line, (703) 913-3838 to report late arrivals and absences due to illness or medical appointments. Parents should call as soon as possible to excuse absences. After 48 hours, absences are considered unexcused, may result in disciplinary action, and must be cleared by the Dean of Students. Parents should also call to report late arrivals due to illness or medical appointments or request an early check-out for a student’s medical appointment. In cases of chronic or long-term illness, FCPS regulation 2234 states that, “a principal or designee may require medical documentation.” West Springfield High School considers twelve (12) all day absences as excessive. If a student accrues an excessive number of absences, the parent or legal guardian will receive a letter from the WSHS Dean of Students, requiring a physician’s note indicating the specific health issue for all future absences (including clinic check-outs).
For personal absences that cannot be scheduled during FCPS school breaks or after school hours, including college visits; family events/celebrations/promotions; court appearances; or any reason other than illness or medical appointments, take the following steps to have the absences excused:
- Complete the Prearranged Absence Form (also available in the Attendance Office).
- Then, student collects signature(s) from every teacher whose class will be missed.
- Parent signs form to confirm awareness of teacher signatures, comments, etc.
- Student then returns the Prearranged Absence Form to the Attendance Office prior to the absence.
It is expected that all students will finish the school year and take final exams as scheduled. Pre-arranged absence forms are not be used to reschedule final exams.
General Tardy Information
Being on time to school, class, work and appointments is a valuable life skill. At West Springfield High School, we ask that every student arrive to school and each of their classes on time. Students who arrive late to class will be marked unexcused tardy unless they have an excused pass from the Main Office, counselor, or administrator. Parents will be notified via automated phone call and e-mail if their student is late to class. When you receive these messages, please encourage your student to be on time to every class.
Arriving to School Late
Students arriving late to school are to follow these check-in procedures: Students arriving after 8:10 am are to check in at the Main Office and receive a pass to their class.
Those students with a note excusing their tardy will report to the Main Office for an excused pass to class.
Any students that arrive after first block (including during breaks, lunch, and between class periods) must check in at the Attendance Office.
Leaving School Early
Students leaving during school hours are to follow these check-out procedures: All Fairfax County Public Schools have closed campuses, meaning that students are not to leave school grounds during the day without permission. Students who need to leave school during the school day should check-out with the Attendance Office or clinic. A parent or legal guardian should call the Attendance Office when a student needs to leave during school hours. Check-out passes are to be picked up in the Attendance Office by the student. If a student is scheduled to leave during a class period, the check-out pass should be picked up by the student before the class begins.
To request an early check-out for an unexpected situation DURING the school day, a parent, legal guardian, or person listed on students Emergency Care Card, MUST come into the Main Office with photo identification to have the student released; students will not be dismissed during the last 20 minutes of the school day.
Students must attend ALL classes to be eligible for extra-curricular activities on that day. Pre-arranged absences must be approved in advance by Mr. Muir for VHSL or Mrs. Fawsett, the Performing Arts Administrator. Routine medical appointments (Dentist, Orthodontist, etc…) do not have activity restrictions however; student must provide a physician’s note to the Attendance Office upon their return to school and prior to the activity.
Guidelines for Excused vs. Unexcused Absences and Tardies The information below is extracted from the Student Rights and Responsibilities and is based on FCPS Regulation 2232
- student illness
- death in the family
- doctor or dentist appointment
- observance of a religious holiday
- suspension (except for certain violations as provided in the current version of Regulation 2601)
- another reason acceptable to the principal or designee (Dean of Students)
- family and/or student vacations
- child care situations
- missed school bus
- non-school-related activities
- other reasons unacceptable to the principal designee (Dean of Students)
Tiered Attendance Interventions
Attendance regulations in Virginia are covered by Code of Virginia, Section 22.1-254, requiring compulsory education for children. In working to ensure our students attend school and received the finest education possible, West Springfield utilizes a tiered intervention strategy to aid and encourage full attendance.
Student discipline related to attendance can include, but is not limited to:
Afterschool Detention (Coincides with Late Bus days)
For students who accrue numerous class and full day absences or excessive tardies, discipline can include but is not limited to:
Alternative Instructional Arrangements (AIA)
In-school Suspension (ISS)
Restrictions from extracurricular activities