Attendance Matters

Attendance at MCPS

Student attendance is a cooperative effort, and the school board involves parents and students in accepting the responsibility for good attendance.

Each parent/guardian or person having control or charge of a school-aged child is responsible for such child's regular and punctual attendance at school as required under provisions of the law. Please review the Attendance Policy at MCPS.

Attendance Policies 

Code of Virginia: Compulsory Attendance

Attendance Matters

  • Frequent absences from school can be devastating to a child's future; the effects start early, and if not addressed, spiral dramatically over time.

  • Children who are chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade are much less likely to read on grade level by the 3rd grade.

  • Students who can't read at grade level by the 3d grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

  • By high school, regular attendance is a better dropout indicator than test scores.

  • A student who is chronically absent in any year between the 8th and 12th grade is seven times more likely to drop out of school.

Despite record high school graduation rates, too many of our nation's young people—particularly students who are low-income, of color, homeless, highly-mobile, with disabilities, and/or juvenile justice-involved—still do not graduate from high school or are off-track toward that important goal. While every child and family grapples with challenges occassionaly, such as  illness or an unexpected family emergency, the growing research on absenteeism is clear and shows that chronic absence from school is not only a primary cause of low academic achievement, but also a powerful predictor of which students are at a higher risk for dropping out.