Attendance Services provides direct support to schools to maintain a high standard of attendance within Loudoun County. Attendance Officers are authorized and required to investigate matters pertaining to the attendance of school-aged children within Loudoun County. Attendance Officers deal with complaints in a timely manner to ensure the opportunity for student success and to meet legal requirements.
Each school is assigned an Attendance Officers who works with students, parents, guardians, and school officials to encourage good school attendance and promote academic success. Attendance Officers are authorized to file petitions with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court when a parent/guardian and/or student are found not to be in compliance with the Compulsory Attendance Law.
School Attendance is Required by Law
Regular school attendance is essential if students are to benefit fully from the educational opportunities provided to them. Every child between the ages of 5-18 is required to attend school (public or private), be approved for religious exemption, or receive home instruction, according to the Code of Virginia, §22.1-254. If a parent/guardian believes a child is not ready, the requirements of this section may be alternatively satisfied by sending the child to any public educational pre-kindergarten program, including a Head Start program, or in a private, denominational, or parochial educational pre-kindergarten program. If a parent/guardian wishes to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance, the parent/guardian must annually notify the Division Superintendent or his/her designee in August of his/her intention and must provide evidence of having met the requirements of state law and a description of the curriculum to be followed for the coming year.
In 2018, the Code of Virginia Section 22.1-258, changed the minimum requirements for the attendance referral process. Schools are required to develop and implement a plan to include school-based interventions and hold a face to face conference prior to submitting a referral to the Attendance Officer.
Truancy prevention should focus on the strategies that encourage positive attendance for all students:
- An engaging school climate
- Positive relationships with students and families
- Impact of absences on achievement is widely understood
- Monitor chronic absenteeism with monthly or regular attendance meetings at the school
- Recognize good attendance and improved attendance
- Identify and address common barriers that impact school attendance