Attendance Matters

"Every Day Matters, Every Moment Counts"

One of the most important things your student can do to be successful in school is to show up. Research shows that missing instruction is linked to a variety of negative outcomes, such as increased risk of failure and dropout, falling behind in critical reading and math skills, lost opportunities for social development, higher rates of stress and anxiety, increased likelihood of substance use, and more. Research also shows that chronic absenteeism and truancy do not affect all students equally. Students of color, students with disabilities, English Learners, and students from economically disadvantaged households have disproportionately high rates of chronic absenteeism. And, truancy rates are highest among high school students.

Download our printable Attendance Checklist.

Our Attendance Checklist can also be viewed and printed in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Dari and Pashto.

Attendance Handbook

When to Send Your Child to School Flyer Sept 2023

Criteria for staying home may differ in the case of an outbreak of an infectious illness, like COVID-19. See our COVID-19 Daily Health Screening tool for more in-depth guidance. 

An image of a student studying that reads "Strong attendance, strong academics. #AttendanceMatters."


Based on the average 180-day school year, this equates to about 18 absences.

Albemarle County Public Schools is working toward decreasing chronic absenteeism of our students and complying with state attendance codes by taking a tiered intervention approach to both chronic and excessive absenteeism.

Chronic Absenteeism - Unexcused absences
  • Tier 1: Three (3) Unexcused Absences
    • Teacher calls family to check on student
  • Tier 2: Five (5) Unexcused Absences (required by Commonwealth of Virginia)
    • Teacher verifies call to family was made after 3 unexcused absences
    • 5 Day Letter is sent home and Attendance Contract is implemented
  • Tier 3: Seven (7) Unexcused Absences (required by Commonwealth of Virginia)
    • Teacher verifies Attendance Contract is on file
    • Parent conference is scheduled and held with family and school attendance team
  • Ten (10) Unexcused Absences (required by Commonwealth of Virginia)
    • Contact and schedule an attendance conference with Director of Student and Family Support
Excessive Absenteeism - Excused Absences
  • Tier 1: Students who have missed less than 10% of the school year
    • Teachers and other school administrators will:
      • Establish positive relationships with student and family
      • Recognize improved attendance
      • Monitor absences and set attendance goals
      • Establish a supportive and engaging school climate
      • Weekly attendance data review meetings
  • Tier 2: Students who have missed between 10% and 19% of the school year
    • Teachers and other school administrators will:
      • Call home after each absence
      • Establish attendance contracts and support groups
      • Provide incentives for improvement
      • Engage with the family to brainstorm attendance solutions
  • Tier 3: Students who have missed more than 20% of the school year
    • Teachers and other school administration will:
      • Hold 1:1 student and family intervention meetings
      • Provide outside referrals and collaborations
      • Establish interdisciplinary team meetings with community agencies
      • In rare cases, the court may become involved in attendance compliance

What is an Attendance Contract?

Attendance Contract is a document required by state code.  Contracts are developed at each individual school and designed to help schools and families to develop a plan to help improve a student’s school attendance. 

Dr. Jesse Turner
Director of Student and Family Support
(434) 296-5820