Attendance Policies and Procedures
Please review the information below to learn about Liberty Middle School and FCPS attendance policies and procedures.
FCPS uses a computerized attendance system which records absences and tardies for each period of the school day. The attendance record of each child is considered a legal document, and schools must ensure that accurate records are kept. FCPS sends automated calls in the morning and evening to parents/guardians of students who have unexcused absences for that day.
When a student is absent, it is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to call the attendance line (each day the child is absent) to report the absence. To avoid receiving an automated call-out in the morning, please report absences prior to 8:00 a.m. A parent or legal guardian should report absences, late arrivals, and/or early dismissals either by:
- Submitting our online form
- calling our attendance line at (703) 988-8181
Regardless of absence type, we want students to master learning essential standards. Students will need to collaborate with teachers to determine how to best demonstrate learning prior to or after their absence.
Parent / Legal guardian has notified the school of a student’s absence AND it is for one of the FCPS-approved reasons:
A student’s absence has not been reported by the parent / legal guardian. This will flip to UNX if no notification has been provided within 72 hours.
Absences in which a student’s whereabouts are unknown and/or are not supported by the guardian.
Guardian is aware of the absence, but absence is not for one of the approved excused reasons.
When Should I Keep My Child Home?
FCPS has created a page dedicated to helping you decide “When should my child miss school?” The suggestions are for children 5 to 18 years of age. Recommendations may be different for infants and younger children.
See the FCPS page for more support with addressing concerns regarding chronic health issues, family travel, new-to-county or in-transition situations, transportation issues, academic disengagement, mental health and stress, substance abuse prevention, and sleep deprivation / fatigue.
Dental & Medical Appointments
Dental and medical appointments are excused; however, we ask that such appointments be kept to a minimum during the instructional day. If a child must leave early for a medical or dental appointment, parents are requested to send a note in advance and must sign the child out in the office at the appropriate time. To protect instructional time, students will not be called to the office until a parent arrives at school to pick them up. Please allow sufficient time for your child to get to the office in order for you to arrive on time to your scheduled appointment.
Planned absences of four or more days must be pre-arranged with the school. Parents are encouraged to minimize absences during school hours, and to plan family trips and vacations during school holidays.
- Complete the Pre-Arranged Absence Form (also available in the student services office)
- Then, the student will collect signatures from every teacher whose class will be missed
- Parent signs the form to confirm awareness of teacher signatures, comments, etc.
- Student returns the form to the Student Services Office or their counselor three days prior to the absence.
This process is to help ensure that staff are able to plan and communicate expectations prior to the student’s absence, as well as ensure the families know the teacher’s guidance and expectations. It is not a guarantee that the absence will be excused; however, it initiates the process to determine if it would be excused and supports the teacher and the student.
Students who attend 90% or more of the school year are more likely to graduate from high school on time. Parents/guardians will receive communication when a student is chronically absent more than 10%. Chronic absences include excused and unexcused full-day absences.
After 5 all-day absences (excused or unexcused), medical documentation for absence may be requested to excuse future absences. If a student accumulates 5 or more unexcused full-day absences, the school will initiate a conference to develop a plan for addressing attendance concerns. The goal is to verify that the recorded attendance codes are accurate and ensure if the student needs any support, we are able to connect them to the supports they need to prevent chronic absenteeism.
In accordance with state law and school board policy, any student who is absent for fifteen (15) consecutive school days must be withdrawn from school. Students who have accumulated 10 full-day unexcused absences are referred to Fairfax County’s Truancy Officer. Parents will be requested to attend a meeting with the truancy officer, their student, and the student’s Assistant Principal.
Students and the parent/guardian they are living with must “reside” in Fairfax County to be enrolled or maintain enrollment in FCPS. “Reside” is physically present / living here, not just property ownership. Consequently, students cannot go to outside of FCPS and be a student at Liberty MS.