Important Message about Student Attendance

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

School reporting and follow-up practices required by the Code of Virginia (Compulsory Attendance Law 22.1-254 and 22.1-258) make it more important than ever to communicate with schools when students are absent from school. Changes to the law now require specific school measures when absences are unexcused.

  • For five unexcused absences, schools must have an attendance conference and an attendance improvement plan is developed;
  • If that student incurs two more unexcused absences, the schools are required a to have a second attendance conference. The attendance plan is reviewed and updated;
  • Should a student incur 10 or more unexcused absences and the schools have held the two conferences, the student will be referred to the schools assigned attendance officer for possible court intervention. Parents are required by law to attend attendance conferences to help address their child’s unexcused absences.

When students are absent, a written statement signed by the parent/ guardian or electronic communication from the parent/guardian which provides the reason for the absence is the preferred method of verifying a justifiable absence. Alternate means of verification may include telephone or other electronic contact, a written certification signed by the student’s medical provider, or such other methods as are deemed adequate by the principal, no later than five days after absence.

Please be sure your student’s school has your correct residential address, telephone number, and email address on file.

Schools are required to send an autodialer voice message to the number parents/guardians identify as their current residential telephone, anytime their student is absent. We may communicate in other ways as well.

Be sure to contact your child’s school when he/she is absent from school. You may contact the PWCS Office of Student Services (703.791.7257) for assistance in identifying, avoiding, or correcting attendance problems.

Let’s work together to ensure regular school attendance, which is crucial to student academic success.


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