Attendance Procedures & Policies

Procedures and policies regarding student attendance

All students are expected to be in school each day. If a student is going to be absent from school, his/her parent or guardian should call 703-442-5858 to record a message on our 24-hour Attendance Line, use our online attendance form, or send a detailed message about the absence to our attendance email address at CooperMiddle.Attendance@fcps.edu. If a parent or guardian does not call or email the school, a written excuse is required. The written excuse must be submitted to the main office on the first day of the student’s return to school. Students are expected to promptly make up work when absent.

All students arriving late and/or leaving early must sign in/out in the main office.

Report an Absence

To report an absence, please use any one of the following methods

All Day Absences

When reporting an absence, please include:

  • Student’s first and last name with spelling
  • Reason for the absence (illness, funeral, travel, religious holiday, etc.). If ill, please include the symptoms and diagnoses
  • Who is reporting the absence (must be a parent or legal guardian)
  • Phone number of reporting parent/legal guardian in case of questions
  • Be specific about the reason why your child will not be attending school today
  • Please indicate whether your child has any of the following symptoms:
    • Feeling feverish or chills
    • Fever greater than or equal to 100.4 F
    • Headache (not due to another health condition, hunger, menstrual cramps stress, or injury)
    • A new cough (not due to another health condition)
    • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties (not due to diagnosed respiratory condition or if different than the normal pattern of a chronic condition)
    • A new sore throat (not due to another health condition)
    • Congestion or runny nose (not related to allergies or health condition)
    • Fatigue (more tired than normal or sudden onset)
    • New muscle pain (not due to another health condition or that may have been caused by a specific activity such as physical exercise))
    • New loss of taste, smell, or appetite
    • Abdominal pain (not due to hunger, constipation, injury, or stress)
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Excused Absences Include:

  • Illness of a student, death in the family, doctor/dental appointment, observance of a religious holiday, suspension (except for certain substance abuse violations)

Unexcused Absences Include:

  • All-day truancy, class truancy, missing a ride on the bus, alarm not working, heavy traffic, travel, visitation to another school

Planned Absences

Less Than 3 Days

  • In circumstances (e.g., all day doctor’s appointment, funeral, etc.) when you plan a student’s absence, please report the absence ahead of time.

3 or More Days

  • Planned absences of 3 or more days require a Prearranged Absence Form to be completed, signed by the parent, and submitted to the front office before the first day of the planned absence. Because the form includes directions from the teachers about what a student needs to do to keep up with coursework during the absence, we recommend not submitting the form more than one week in advance. When you submit a form, the attendance office will record the absence so there is no need to call or email the Attendance Line to report.

Late Arrivals

  • Students are expected to be in class, ready to learn, by 7:30 a.m. 
  • Students with multiple unexcused tardies in a quarter may receive after-school detention at the Assistant Principal’s discretion.
  • Please bring a note signed by a parent/legal guardian or doctor explaining the reason for tardiness (e.g., overslept, traffic, doctor’s appointment, sick, etc.) A parent may be present to check-in a student in lieu of a note.
  • Parents should not call or email the Attendance Line to report a planned late arrival. Attendance records are updated when the student checks in late. 
  • If the arrival is past 9 a.m., automated morning attendance messages will go out to parents/guardians. Parents who know they are bringing their child late can ignore the morning attendance messages. 
  • Per the Kiss and Ride procedures, cars are not permitted in front of the school from 7:00 am - 7:45 am.

Early Dismissals

  • A driver’s license or similar photo ID is required to check out a student during the day. Only parents, legal guardians, and people on the student’s emergency contact list may check out a student. If someone else is picking up your student, please send send an email from your email address we have on file, to @email that includes the full name of the person, the full name of your student, the reason for check-out, and the date of the early dismissal.
  • Parking or driving in the front parking lot, even for early dismissal, is not allowed from 1:45 pm - 2:35 pm, therefore, we strongly suggest you plan to pick up your student no later than 1:45 pm.

At a Planned Time

  • Students should come to the office before school to get an early dismissal pass to minimize interruptions during class. During the early dismissal block, the student should show the teacher the pass at the start of class, watch the time, and leave 5 minutes ahead to come to the office. Students with passes will not be called from their classrooms.

At an Unplanned Time 

  • Parents should come to the office, with their photo ID, to check out their child. Please allow up to 15 minutes for your child to meet you in the office as your child may be in PE and have to change, will need to go to their locker for their things, etc. 

Attendance Questions/Concerns