Attendance & Tardies: Rules, Regulations, and Expectations
Any violation of the following rules may result in disciplinary action such as detention, loss of privileges, community service, Friday School or Saturday School, in-school restriction, or out-of-school suspension as determined by the administration and based on School Board policy, John Champe High School rules, and the exact nature of each violation.
Attendance: Virginia’s compulsory attendance law states:
Except as otherwise provided in this article, every parent, guardian, or other person in the Commonwealth having control or charge of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday shall, during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as the public schools, send such child to a public school or to a private, denominational, or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent, or provide for home instruction of such child as described in § 22.1-254.1.
Excused Absences: There are circumstances that may prevent a student’s attendance in school. Such absences, when justifiable, are classified as excused absences for which there is no penalty. Principals shall excuse students who are absent for any of the following reasons: personal illness, death in the family, medical or dental appointments, and court appearances.
In addition, principals may excuse students who are absent for any of the following reasons: illness in the immediate family that requires the student to be absent, emergencies that require the student to be absent, trips or activities that enhance or extend the student’s education (when approved by the principal in advance).
Procedures for excused absences/tardies:
1) Parent calls, faxes or emails the attendance secretary.
2) Student may bring a note from parent to the school on the day of return. The absence note must include the student’s name, dates of absence, reason for absence, parent’s signature and phone number.
Early Dismissal: Once a student enters school property, he/she is not allowed to leave the property prior to the end of the school day without proper permission. Students needing to check-out during the school day must bring a note from their parent/guardian to the attendance office prior to the start of the school day. To request an early check-out, parents should include in their note the following information:
o Student’s full name
o The person who will retrieve student
o Parent/guardian signature
o Your relationship to the student
o Time student will leave/arrive
o Phone number for verification
Late Arrival: Parents must write a note with pertinent information (listed above) that the students bring to the attendance office. Notes without parent/guardian signatures will not be honored. Students who are tardy to school with an approved excuse will receive an excused pass. Students who do not have an acceptable excuse as outlined in SR&R, will not receive an excused pass but should still check in with the attendance office. Unexcused tardies include oversleeping, car trouble, a ride that did not show up, and traffic.
Observance of a Religious Holiday: Any student excused for observance of a religious holiday, and for whom verification is received as hereafter provided, shall not be deprived of any award or of eligibility or opportunity to compete for any award, or of the right to take an alternate test or examination, for any the student missed by reason of such absence. The parent or guardian of such student shall provide written verification to the principal of the need for such absence and the participation of such student in the observance of the religious holiday.
School Board policy further stipulates that the parent is required to contact the school to provide the date/s and corresponding reason for the student’s absence/s in order for the school administration to determine the excused or unexcused nature of the absence/s (or tardy).
Prearranged Absence: Students should pick up a pre-arranged absence form from the attendance office at least one week (five school days prior to the first day of the absence). Parents must complete and sign the form detailing the reason for the absence. This form will then be submitted to the principal for approval. Once approved, the student must carry the form to each teacher for signature and assignments.
Parental Responsibility: School Board Policy 8-14 addresses parental responsibility for the student attendance.
A student is entitled to a free, public education under the laws of the Commonwealth. To obtain the benefits of this free education, however, a student must be in regular attendance. The School Board fully endorses the concept of compulsory attendance, in a free, public system of education where the cost of a student’ education is borne by the general citizenry. The Board has therefore adopted an attendance policy which sets forth absences which may be excused by a Principal and provides that appropriate disciplinary action be taken when students have unexcused absences, are truant, or are tardy. The Board also provides an attendance officer to investigate violations of the compulsory attendance law and enforce its provision. Parents, guardians, or other persons having control of the child are charged with the duty of causing the child to attend school or receive instruction as provided by the law.
Tardies: A student is tardy when he or she arrives at an assigned place after the time his or her schedule requires him or her to be there. Tardiness may be caused by many things, teachers and administrators should always determine the reason for tardiness. Occasional tardiness for valid reasons is not a serious offense and should not be dealt with harshly. Repeated or habitual tardiness, however, encourages the formation of undesirable personal habits and disrupts the orderly instructional process of the school. Therefore, corrective action is required and the principal and/or teacher should employ appropriate disciplinary measures.