Absences and Tardies

Attendance Reporting

When parents know their child is going to be absent or tardy from school. State law requires that parents provide a satisfactory explanation for a child’s absence for all or any part of the school day. This will eliminate the need for the school to make a call to the home or workplace to confirm absences.

You can provide attendance information in one of these ways:

Please be sure to provide:

  • Your child’s full name
  • The teacher’s name
  • The reason for the absence or tardy
  • If your child is sick, please provide a specific description of the illness.
  • 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 normal pattern of 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

It is important for the school to know if your child has contracted a communicable disease such as chicken pox, conjunctivitis, or strep throat.

Línea de asistencia y seguimiento de ausencias.

Sean específicos al reportar el motivo por el cual su hijo/a no asistirá hoy a la escuela. Por favor, informen si su hijo/a tiene alguno de los siguientes síntomas:

  • Fiebre o escalofríos
  • Fiebre de 100.4º Farenheit o más alta
  • Dolor de cabeza (que no se deba a otra condición médica, hambre, calambres menstruales o una lesión)
  • Cualquier tos reciente que no se deba a otra condición médica
  • Dificultad para respirar o sensación de falta de aliento (no debido a una afección respiratoria diagnosticada o si es diferente al patrón normal de una afección respiratoria crónica)
  • Cualquier dolor de garganta reciente (no relacionado con alergias o una afección médica)
  • Fatiga (más cansancio de lo normal o de aparición repentina)
  • Dolor muscular reciente (que no se deba a otra afección médica o que pueda deberse a una actividad específica como, por ejemplo, ejercicio físico)
  • Pérdida reciente del olfato, gusto o apetito
  • Dolor abdominal (que no se deba a hambre, estreñimiento, lesión o estrés)
  • Nausea, vómitos o diarrea.


Absences are understandable in situations of: Illness; death in the family; medical or dental appointment; observance of a religious holiday; or a family emergency.

To request a prearranged absence from school, please submit the "Request for Prearranged Absence Form" in advance.

Request for prearranged Absence Form-Elementary

Absences Add Up: FCPS School Calendar Gives Time for Families to Travel

Families benefit from visiting relatives and reconnecting with friends throughout the year. If you are planning a trip, consider traveling when students are off from school, such as teacher workdays or FCPS holidays.

Regular attendance is important, so plan to check the school calendar first before planning a trip.

Respecting the importance of attendance, parents of students with excessive absences and unexcused tardies can expect follow up from the school administration. An accumulation of unjustified absences and/or tardies is reason for the school administration to follow up. The attendance guidelines for Island Creek are as follows:

  • When unexcused absences or tardies accumulate during a quarter, a letter from the principal’s office will be sent home.  
  • When additional absences or tardies accumulate, a follow-up letter will be sent.  
  • If unexcused tardies or absences continue, a conference and a referral could be made to Fairfax County Public Schools attendance officer.

Families are expected to make travel plans during times of school vacations. Parents should seriously consider the educational implications of disrupting the educational progress for family holidays. Absences for family holidays when school is in session are considered unexcused. Teachers do not provide homework assignments for family holidays. Make up class work can be requested from the teacher after two consecutive days of absence from school due to excused absences.

FCPS Attendance Policies