Attendance Information and Resources

Mon, 09/18/2023 - 9:23am

Research is clear that showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic and social success, starting from pre-kindergarten and continuing through high school. 

  • Missing 10% (or about 18 days of a school year or 2 a month) can drastically affect a student’s academic success at each grade level.
  • By the 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that can indicate if a student is at risk for dropping out of high school.
  • In the 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.

Please help us support a culture of showing up to school every day!

Please review Policy 9010:

If your student is absent or will be absent, please contact us at the following email address to explain the reason:  In the email please Include the following information:

  • Student First and Last Name
  • Grade 
  • Reason for absence (e.g., illness, bereavement, observance of a religious holiday, lack of transportation)

A student has five days from the date of the absence to send a note. If the note is received after the five-day grace period, the absence will remain unexcused. If a note is not received, the absence will be documented as Truant (unexcused). Please see the Secondary Student Handbook for more information.


Late Arrival Procedures

Students who arrive late to school will enter through the main entrance. The student will proceed to the attendance window and see Ms. Ichrist, the attendance secretary, to check-in.  Students will be provided with a slip to share with their teacher.  Students who are unexcused tardy to school will receive consequences after the third time. 

If it is an excused tardy parents should email a note to We will not accept handwritten notes.  Please include:

  • Student first and last name and late arrival in the subject line 
  • Send from the e-mail address on your family file
  • Indicate the reason for the late arrival.
  • Parent name and phone number


Early Dismissal Procedures

Please have your student bring their note to the attendance window in the morning. They will receive a pass to show their teacher and will be allowed to leave class and meet their parent/guardian in the parking lot (or drive themselves). The note should include:

  • The student’s first and last name (not a nickname)
  • Reason for early dismissal
  • Time of early dismissal
  • Parent signature and phone number
  • If the student will be returning.

Please ask your student to check in at the attendance window if they return.  Parents are welcome to sign their student out at the attendance window if it is a last minute appointment.


Discretionary Days

HCPSS students are granted 3 days a year to use at their discretion for scheduled interviews with prospective employers, visits to post-secondary institutions, family trips, civic engagement, and other special events.

  • Such absences may not occur during exam or state-mandated testing periods unless authorized by the principal/designee.
  • A written request for such absences to be lawful/excused should be submitted at least one week in advance to the principal/designee. Please download the PDF fillable Discretionary Absence Form and email it to The form is also available in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish
  • If you are requesting a day for a religious holiday not identified by the Howard County Public School System school calendar, please download the PDF fillable Religious Obligation Form and email it to

With the collaborative effort of HCPSS parents, staff and students, we are confident that all students can have successful attendance. This will improve student success in school and in future life!