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School attendance law tightened; law says parents/guardians must be notified of any student absence

Prince William County Schools says that “new school reporting and follow-up practices required by the Code of Virginia (Compulsory Attendance Law 22.1-254) make it more important than ever to communicate with schools when students have excused absences.”

Changes to the law now require specific school measures when absences are unexcused, a news release stated. 

With five unexcused absences, schools must have an attendance conference and initiate an attendance improvement plan.

Six unexcused absences require a second attendance conference; and

At seven unexcused absences, PWCS is required to report whether legal charges were initiated against the student and/or parent, or whether charges were not initiated because an improvement plan is in place and working.

When students are absent, parents/guardians are asked to send a written notification to the school explaining the reason for the absence, as soon as possible.

School authorities said parents/guardians should be sure the student’s school has the correct residential address, telephone number, and email address on file.

VA law requires schools to send an autodialer voice message to the phone number that parents/guardians identify as their current residential telephone, any time their student is absent. We may communicate in other ways as well.

Be sure to contact your school attendance office or the PWCS Office of Student Services (703.791.7257) if school officials can assist you in identifying, avoiding, or correcting attendance problems.

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