Attendance Procedures

Procedures for reporting an absence, tardy, or early release

Student Attendance for the 2020-21 School Year

Why are schools taking attendance during virtual learning?

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) requires all schools to take attendance during virtual learning this school year. FCPS must take attendance Mondays through Fridays, unless there is a student holiday on a Monday. Students aged 5-18 must attend school every day school is in session, unless they are excused from school. To support this, parents must report absences to school each time the student may be absent.

How will schools take attendance during virtual learning?

For Elementary School:  On Mondays, elementary students may check in with their teachers via a morning meeting or other structured activity. When they log in, the teacher will confirm their attendance. Tuesdays through Fridays, students will check in with their teachers the same way. If students are unable to participate on any given school day, parents must report the absence to the school office.

What should parents and caregivers do to support students and make sure they are attending virtual learning?

Teachers will take attendance during learning sessions and ensure that all students are counted. Parents and caregivers can assist with this process by doing the following:

  • Ensuring that their student(s) logs in to classes on time, and throughout the day.
  • Contacting the school attendance line if their student(s) are unable to participate. There are multiple options to contact the school
  • Communicating any concerns to the school, such as difficulty logging in or having access to FCPS classes.
  • Reporting any hardship, such as student illness or any issue that might prevent the student from participating regularly.
  • Returning phone calls or emails when notified that their student(s) did not participate that day.


If your child is unable to login to live, face-to-face online instruction with their teacher, the teacher will be recording the class and posting the video within Blackboard/Google Classroom so it can be viewed at a different time. The video can also be used to provide review for all students.

If a parent calls and indicates their student will not be there for a certain class period, they are excused for the class period. Accessing the material later will not change the status of the absence.

If there is no parent contact, and the student failed to log in, the student is unverified for that class period. FCPS bases attendance for secondary students on “present” one or more periods of the day, and reports which periods a student did not appear in class.

FCPS staff members will work with parents to ensure that the transition to virtual learning is as smooth as possible. Help us to help you set your students up for success.

If my child has a chronic illness, and may require a long-term absence, what should I do?

Contact the school office with that information. The office staff person will ensure that the information is provided to appropriate personnel, such as a public health nurse, administrator, school counselor, or social worker for follow up with you. Keep the front office updated on any changes to your student’s medical status. The school team may develop a plan which includes alternatives to the normal schedule, as your student’s needs require.

My child has contracted Covid19 and is unable to participate in school. What do I do?

When practical, contact the school office to report the illness. Follow your doctor’s orders to ensure that your child does what is needed to get well. The school office will ensure that your student’s teacher(s) are alerted that he/she will not be able to participate fully and may need extended time to complete assignments and work.

My children require childcare for me to return to work full time. Unfortunately, the childcare provider is unable to assist with online learning during the day. What do I do about access to virtual learning and attendance reporting?

Please notify the school about your childcare arrangement. Inform the school that your children may not be able to meet during the scheduled times for classes.  An administrator will need to identify, with you, your children’s ability to access the live, synchronous classes, and develop a plan for later access. Teacher-led live instruction will be recorded. If an alternative plan can be developed, you will need to document your children’s access and progress regularly and submit it to the school for review. Your school will have a plan for you to respond to verify your child’s participation in the lesson.