Children should not be dropped off before 8:20 a.m. without supervision. Teachers and other school staff are involved in meetings and planning and are not available to supervise children before 8:20 a..m. To ensure the safety of your child, all parents must observe the 8:20 arrival time.
Attendance at school is very important. It is crucial that our children learn early in life the importance of attending school regularly and being on time. Please try to schedule doctor and dentist appointments outside school hours whenever possible.
Students are expected to be in school every day; however, when a student must be absent from school, parents are expected to contact their child’s school on the day of the child’s absence to inform the school of that absence. A form of written communication (note or email) providing the dates of and reasons for the child’s absence is required from the parent the day of the child’s return to school. The purpose of this note is to determine whether or not the student’s absence is excused or unexcused.
WJCC defines the following conditions as the only acceptable reasons for a student’s absence from school.
- Illness – When a student is unable to attend school due to an illness.
- Family Death or Emergency – For absences because of a death in the family or an emergency beyond the family’s control.
- Religious Observances – Absences as a result of observances of religious holidays should be prearranged by the parent, who is responsible for notifying the child’s school of the religious holiday(s) to be observed.
- Exclusions/Suspensions – For absences because of an exclusion or suspension, the parent will be notified of the suspension/exclusion and the date when the student will be expected to return to school. The student must return on the indicated date.
- Prearranged Absences – The principal may approve prearranged absences for situations in which an exemption from attendance appears to be in the best interests of the student and his/her family. The parent will document on this request the rationale for the absence and dates of absence. No more than five (5) days may be approved by the principal during a school year.
Parent Notification Procedures Excused and Unexcused Absences
For all absences, the school will contact the home on each day of the child’s absence from school using the automated dialing system.
In compliance with Virginia Code §22.1-258, WJCC has established procedures that school division personnel are required to follow when a student fails to report to school and no indication has been received by school personnel that the pupil’s parent is aware of and supports the student’s absence.
The following procedure will be implemented when notifying the parent of an unexcused absence:
The law mandates that whenever any student fails to report to school and no indication has been received by school personnel, a reasonable effort to notify the parent by telephone to obtain an explanation for the student’s absences shall be made. This will be via the automated telephone system.
Whenever a student reaches a total of five (5) unexcused absences in the school year, the school principal/designee shall make a reasonable effort to ensure that direct contact is made with the parent, whether in person or through telephone conversation to develop a Student Success Plan to resolve the nonattendance and to warn of the consequences of continued nonattendance.
If additional unexcused absences occur after the plan, the principal or designee(s) shall conference with the parent within ten (10) school days of the 10th absence to resolve the issues related to the student’s nonattendance.
If the student continues to be absent as defined above, the school principal or his/her designee shall enforce the provisions of the law by either or both of the following:
- filing a complaint alleging the student is a child in need of supervision (CHINS Petition) or
- instituting court proceedings against the parent
Excessive Excused Absences
The principal/designee will also notify the parent of excessive absences, which is defined as 10% of total school days to date (i.e. 5 days absent out of 50 total days) or a pattern of absences that appear to be having an effect on the academic performance of a child. Efforts will be made to identify reasons for excess absences and a success plan will be developed with the parent to eliminate further absences.
If further excessive excused absences accrue, a referral to court may be pursued.
Tardiness is disruptive to the routine of the school. Acceptable reasons for excused tardiness are illness of student, medical and dental appointments that cannot be arranged for out of school hours or bus problems. All children arriving at school after 8:35 a.m. must be accompanied by their parents and report to the office before going to the classroom. Names are then removed from the absentee list by the attendance secretary in the office. Students in kindergarten, and others as necessary, will be escorted to class by a member of the office staff.
Due to weather conditions or other unforeseen emergencies, it is sometimes necessary to close school during the school day. In the event of severe weather conditions, you will receive a phone call through our notification system. Emergency closing information can be found on Cable Channel 47 and the WJCC website at www.wjccschools.org
Be sure your child knows where to go in the event of an emergency closing, and make sure your child’s teacher has on file any special instructions requested by you. Please go over this information with your child. If this information changes at any time during the school year, remember to notify your child’s teacher and the school office.
Scheduled Early Dismissals
A number of days are identified in the school calendar as early dismissal for students in grades K-5. Lunch will be provided for our students on those days. Dismissal on early release days is 12:46 PM.
Students Leaving School Prior to Dismissal
Parents are requested not to take children out of school before the school day has ended at 3:16 PM. Learning continues until the end of the day and much is lost both for the individual student and the classroom through early dismissal. When a student will be picked up early, parents must send a note with the child notifying the teachers. This note will be forwarded to the office by the teacher with the attendance lists.
If circumstances arise during the school day that necessitate a change in plans for either picking up your child early or requesting a change in dismissal procedures, please call the school office to inform us of changes prior to 2:30 p.m. Due to the increased volume of calls at the end of the day, this will provide the staff with adequate time to ensure that all communications or new information regarding changes in student transportation or departure from school is accomplished without disruption of the dismissal time. Calls made after 2:30 p.m. cannot be accommodated except in the case of an emergency.
All authorized persons other than the parent must have a note from the parent/guardian in order to pick up your child. Identification of parents and other authorized persons will be verified by the staff prior to release of your child until the staff is familiar with the family members or designated individuals. We appreciate your support of this procedure to ensure the safety of your child at all times.