Attendance & Chronic Absenteeism FAQ

Welcome to our frequently asked questions section focused on school attendance and chronic absenteeism. In this section, we will provide answers to some of the common questions that our school community may have about chronic absenteeism and school attendance, how it affects your child's individual education and their school, and what resources are available to recover lost instructional time. 
We hope this FAQ page will be a valuable resource to our school community, and the document will be updated as needed to address additional topics related to school attendance. 
Key Resources & Documents
Frequently Asked Questions
Click each question or triangle icon to reveal the answer to each item in the FAQ below.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as a student who has missed ten percent or more of the enrolled school days. There are 176 school days scheduled for students during the 2023-24 School Year. Ten percent of 176 school days equals 17.6 days. When a student misses more than 17.6 school days, they will be considered chronically absent regardless of the reason for the absences.

Chronic absenteeism and truancy are different ways to measure and report student absenteeism. The chart below highlights some of the differences between the two.
Chronic Absenteeism Truancy
  • Missing ten percent or more of the academic year for any reason, including excused absences, unexcused absences, and suspensions.
  • The act of accruing one or more unexcused absences.
  • Includes all missed instructional days for any reason.
  • Only includes absences that are not excused.
  • Students reaching 10 or more unexcused absences may be referred to the Connection Coach and/or Attendance Officer.
It is important for your child to be present at school daily to learn and build a solid educational foundation for the future. 
Students who become chronically absent during the school year will be expected to make up lost instructional time through before/after school tutoring and/or Saturday school. Chronically absent students are those who accumulate 5 or more absences in a quarter, 9 or more absences in a semester, and 18 or more absences in a school year.
  • Students in grades 3-12 who fail to meet the makeup requirements will have their report card annotated with the comment, “Student was chronically absent from school”.
The following guidelines, as detailed in Prince George County Public Schools’ Regulations for Student Absences, are in place to make up lost instructional time:
Guidelines for Make Up Time
A parent or guardian may request a waiver from the make up hours for their student by contacting the building principal in writing. The number of excused vs unexcused absences, periods of homebound, and extenuating circumstances will be reviewed in the waiver determination. Waivers must be requested 10 school days prior to the end of each semester.
Chronic absenteeism is one of several indicators that determine a school's accreditation during a given school year. If your child’s school's Chronic Absenteeism Indicator exceeds 25 percent (Level 3), their school will not be accredited for the upcoming school year, unless this represents a decrease in the chronic absenteeism rate by at least 10 percent from the previous school year. 
For an explanation of the levels measured by the Chronic Absenteeism Indicator, please refer to the following table provided by the Virginia Department of Education as of January 2024.
CAI Levels
A statewide task force on chronic absenteeism has been established and is working to develop recommendations for consideration by the Virginia Board of Education.
The parent or legal guardian should provide a written note or email, and other requested documentation for an absence to be excused. If circumstances permit, the parent/guardian should call or email to provide the school administration with the reason for the nonattendance prior to the absence.
Up to 10 absences per student per year may be excused with a note from parent/guardian for excused absences which include illness, quarantine, natural disaster, religious holiday, death in the immediate family, legal or medical appointments, and school-sponsored/related activities.
After the 10 absences with a parent note, absences will require a doctor’s note for illness/appointments. Additional absences will require documentation to support the absence.
An excused absence refers to absences accumulated due to circumstances that are beyond the control of student, parents/guardians, and the school.
Reasons for excused absences include illness, quarantine, natural disaster, religious holiday, death in the immediate family, legal or medical appointments, and school-sponsored/related activities.
Special requests made in writing to the school principal at least 10 days in advance for other excused absences, for reasons such as for travel, may be approved on a case-by-case basis when a student is not on track to be chronically absent and is performing satisfactorily academically.

Written documentation, such as a signed and dated parent note with the name of the student and reason for the absence, doctor’s note with date the student was seen and the student’s name, or an email with the information attached are necessary upon the child’s return to school. 
Once information has been received by the school about a student’s absence, the school will update the attendance record to document the information.  Please contact the school if you do not see the absence updated in ParentVue after 48 hours. 
Family trips are not automatically considered excused absences.  A parent or guardian would need to submit a request to the school principal in writing at least 10 days in advance. The principal will review requests on a case-by-case basis and may grant approval if a student is not on track to be chronically absent and is performing satisfactorily academically.
An unexcused absence refers to absences that keep a student away from school AND is not excused for the reasons outlined as excused absences. Examples of unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, vacation, personal travel, including travel sports, missing the bus, child care, and truancy.
Last Updated: 12/20/23