Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does Arlington Public Schools (APS) encourage school engagement and attendance?
APS provides a high quality academic curriculum in all subjects that stimulates our students and engages them in the learning process. APS professional staff s is committed to ensure that all students are connected and engaged in the learning process.

2. May I prearrange an absence?
Parents or guardians should contact the school and make sure that your child’s teachers and the administrators have been notified of the absence. Students are responsible for making up assignments, quizzes, and tests missed while absent. Parents should review their child’s school attendance policy regarding makeup work and tests.

3. How much time do I have to send an excuse if my child was sick and was absent from school?
A parent may call the school’s attendance office as soon as possible to report an absence. However, it is recommended that a written note is sent with the student the day the child returns to school. It is important to have a written document in the student’s file; electronic communication via email is also recommended.

4. When are absences unexcused?
Absences that occur because of childcare, work, or other family issues typically are NOT excused. Extended family trips during the school year are typically not excused. Family trips and vacations should be planned for times when school is not in session. Patterns of absence, and the reasons for them, should be addressed as early as possible.

5. What should I do if my child refuses to get up and /or attend school?
If after reasonable efforts to make your child attend school fail, it is advisable to call the school and let the child’s counselor know the situation. The call will be directed to the proper channel.

6. Is regular attendance for kindergarten students required?
School age students, ages 5 to 18 years, are expected to attend school regularly in Virginia. There is no exemption from this requirement for Kindergarten students. The state of Virgina does allow exemptions for approved home schooled students or religious exempted students.

7. If families are experiencing a hardship, such as loss of employment or housing, to whom at the school should they report the problem?
Parents may contact the school principal, the student’s counselor, school’s social worker to discuss your situation.

8. When a student has significant medical or mental health concerns and is unable to attend school regularly because of treatment, what should parent(s) or guardian(s) do?
Parents or guardians may contact the director of counseling or the school counselor to discuss the child’s medical treatment plan and / or related needs.

9. What should I do when I receive an automatic call?
If a parent receives an automatic call and the child insist that it is a computer mistake and that he/she was at school that day, parents may call the attendance office and obtain an explanation of the attendance record. Although sometimes it could be that a human error occurred, the majority of the calls have a valid reason. It is simple to verify if the student was present with the appropriate teacher.

10. What happens when students are late to school?
Students are expected to report to the school attendance office to receive a pass to go to class. He or she will need to explain why he or she is arriving late. The lateness will be recorded as excused or unexcused, depending upon the reason given. As the student begins class, he or she will be asked to participate in a class already in session. If lateness becomes a pattern for a specific student, a conference may be requested. To ensure that your child wakes up on time, he or she should have a good and restful sleep overnight.