Absence, Tardy, Early Release of Student, or Change of Transportation Arrangement

Absence or Tardy Notification

If your child will be absent from school or tardy (later than 8:50 a.m.), please notify us by using the form that you can fill out online and send to us electronically, or send us email at

Or you can call us:

  • During school hours, call the office at 703-394-5600
  • After school hours, call and leave a message on the attendance hotline at 703-394-5656.

We will communicate quickly with parents or guardians when a student does not come to school as expected. 


It is important that every effort is made to ensure that students arrive to school on time.

We will accept students to the school at 8:25 a.m. Our school day will begin with morning work promptly at 8:40 a.m., which is when the last bus arrives. The tardy bell is at 8:50 a.m., but we are requesting that all students arrive in time to begin their day with the learning and preparation that begins at 8:40 a.m.

If a student is late to school, a parent/guardian must accompany the child to the main office. Parents will be contacted by a Kent Gardens’ administrator if students are excessively tardy. 

Prearranged Absence

When a parent or guardian knows ahead of time that a student will miss a day of school, he/she must make a written request for a prearranged absence. This should be done at least two school days in advance by submitting a note to the office. The parent/guardian should state the reason for the absence and the exact dates of the absence.

Extended Absence

We realize that sometimes a family will need to take an extended absence during the school year. In these cases, parents should work with the classroom teacher to develop a plan for instruction during the absence and for make-up work. Please realize it is impossible for a teacher to produce all the assignments a student may miss during the time away or to replicate the essential instruction that they will not be able to receive.

Virginia State Law

Virginia State law requires that each student who is absent from school must be reported each time by a responsible person. An excused absence is one for which parents/guardians have prior knowledge, consent, and a legitimate reason. Legitimate reasons include: illness of the student, death in the family, and observance of a religious holiday. Absences for family and student vacations are unexcused.

According to state law, the following actions need to be taken: 

  • 5 Unexcused days - parent notification via letter and plan required
  • 6 Unexcused days - (one additional day) - conference required
  • 7 Unexcused days - attendance officer involved, possible court action

Dental and medical appointments are excused; however, we ask that such appointments be kept to a minimum during the instructional day.

Early Release of Students

If a child must leave early, parents are requested to submit the online form or send a note in advance, and must sign the child out in the office at the appropriate time. To protect instructional time, students will not be called to the office until a parent arrives at school to pick them up. Please allow sufficient time for your child to get to the office and for you to arrive on time to your scheduled appointment.

We will not release any child to any adult other than the parent/guardian or persons listed on the emergency care form. Students may be released to either parent unless prohibited by a court order. If restricted custody has been legally established, a parent must furnish a copy of the custody order to be kept on file in the school office.

Change in Transportation Arrangement

If your child will be going home with a friend or having a friend come home with them, online forms must be submitted by the families involved or a note must be brought to school by each child saying the parents agree. Both children should bring notes and send them to the office in the attendance envelopes. A permission slip will then be issued to allow a child to ride a different bus home, or, in the case of walkers, to allow the child to walk home on a different route. Please do not call to give permission. If at all possible, please arrange for the student to go home by the usual means of transportation.

Students who ride the bus to school are assigned a bus and a bus stop by the Office of Transportation Services. If you need to make a permanent change to your bus, you must fill out a Request for Exception to Ride a School Bus form. This form should be turned into the school office and will be forwarded to the Office of Transportation. If you are changing your bus stop but remaining on the same bus, you need to speak with the bus driver and inform the school of the change. 

Attendance Video

Watch the video below in which FCPS Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand talks about the importance of attending school every day.