The Importance of Attendance

February 26, 2018

February 27, 2018

Dear Parents and Families,

Fairfax Villa Elementary School is committed to providing our students with a high quality education. Academic success relies upon excellent school attendance. Children who come to school on time every day are building critical life skills they will use the rest of their lives. Like strengthening a muscle, building positive attendance habits early on makes a difference for our children today and for our adults of tomorrow. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves.

Did you know?

  • Regular school attendance in elementary school makes it more likely your child will read on grade level.
  • Even excused absences interfere with learning.
  • A pattern of absences (whether unexcused or excused) is one of the main reasons children have lower academic achievement.
  • Students who attend 90% or more of the school year are more likely to graduate from high school on time.
  • Absences can mask deeper struggles, for example:  absences may be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with peer conflicts or facing a medical or mental health concern.

Support is available:

Fairfax Villa ES staff is committed to supporting attendance. Additional resources can be found online at http://www.fcps.edu/attendance. We know that parents are the experts on their own child and our school team is here to partner and help problem solve attendance-related concerns. The school counselors and school social workers are available:

Lauren Ottenhoff, school counselor Virginia Kim, school counselor Maria Marris, school social worker

In order to be in compliance with Virginia state law, Fairfax Villa ES keeps an accurate attendance record and communicates it to our parents when appropriate. As we continue to work through the second semester, please remember that FCPS has a policy in place for how its schools are to document attendance in order to fulfill state requirements. Fairfax Villa ES, as well as every other school in the Woodson Pyramid, will adhere to the FCPS attendance policy which requires schools to contact parents when there are five or more unexcused absences. Additionally, if you know in advance that your student will miss one or more days of school, please contact the school or use the form at the link below:

https://www.fcps.edu/sites/default/files/media/forms/se291.pdf

Per the Student Rights and Responsibilities, students are fully responsible for completing any missed assignments. Teachers may assist the student and parent or guardian in identifying missed work, but are not obligated to provide make-up assignments for unexcused absences.

Parents can log into the Student Information System (SIS) Parent Account to view your child's attendance. For additional support with accessing and using the SIS Parent Account visit our SIS Parent Account overview page: https://www.fcps.edu/index.php/resources/technology/student-information-system-sis-fcps/sis-parent-account-overview

Also, please remember to call the attendance line at 703-267-2828 to report all absences. If the school is not notified of the reason for the absence within 48 hours, it will automatically be recorded as an unexcused absence. When contacting the school, please include the child’s name, teacher, and specific reason for the absence.

We appreciate your partnership in this effort and will be providing more helpful tips and information in the months to come. Please feel free to contact our school with any questions.

Sincerely,

Ms. Elizabeth R. Bumbrey Principal