Chavez Upper School » Attendance Policies

Attendance Policies

Cesar Chavez PCS is committed to providing scholars with a high-quality education. Daily attendance in
school is essential for scholar academic success. We strongly request that scholars and their parents
make every effort possible to be on time and minimize the number of days they miss school.
All scholars who are five (5) years or older on or before September 30th of the current school year are
legally required to attend school each day until they meet Upper School graduation requirements or
turn 18 years old. Scholars must be present for 80% of the school day to be considered present.

Cesar Chavez PCS recognizes there are certain days throughout the school year (i.e. upon the
completion of commencement) when scholars are not expected to attend. On such days scholars will
be considered “present” for reporting purposes.

Scholars who are absent from school are not permitted to:
● Be on school property
● Participate in school activities
● Attend school activities and/or after school activities
An absence is excused when a scholar (a) has a valid excuse, and (b) provides a written note from a

parent/guardian (or doctor) within five (5) days of the absence. All excused absence notes are subject
to monitoring and verification. Here are some examples of excused absences:
● Scholar illness. Scholars must provide a doctor’s note for absences over three (3) days
● Medical appointments. Scholars are expected to attend school before/after the appointment
● Religious holidays
● Death in the family
● Family emergency, such as house fire, flood, or violence in the home
● Mandatory court appearance
● College visit
● Upper School visit
● Failure of DC to provide legally mandated scholar transportation in cases where there is a legal
responsibility for DC to provide transportation for the scholar to and from school
● An emergency or other circumstance approved by the Head of School
If a valid excuse note is not provided within five (5) days of the absence, the absence may be
considered unexcused.
An absence is unexcused when a scholar fails to attend school without a valid excuse (whether or not
they have parent/guardian approval). Some examples of unexcused absences include:
● Lengthy vacations
● Sports camps or outings
● Oversleeping
● Babysitting
● Skipping class
● Employment

When a scholar returns to school after an absence, s/he should bring a note to the Registrar. The note
should include the date(s) of the absence, the reason for the absence, and any required
documentation. An original doctor’s certificate should be provided for medical appointments scheduled
during the school day or absences due to illness totaling three or more days. Any scholar who is absent
10 or more days, unexcused, is defined as a truant. Cesar Chavez PCS follows the District of Columbia
policy for reporting truant scholars to court services or the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA).

Families and guardians can help establish consistent and on-time attendance for their scholars.
● Engage with your child about the importance of a good education to their future
● Encourage good sleeping and eating habits
● Work with your child to come up with a consistent morning routine that includes plenty of time to
get ready for school
● Leave extra time for transportation issues, like metro delays and traffic
● Make sure your child arrives at school at least fifteen minutes before class starts
● Schedule medical/dental appointments before or after school, where possible

Classroom instruction and work time is essential for scholar academic success. Arriving to school late is
considered being tardy. Morning tardiness is inexcusable (unless it meets the requirements of an excused
absence). Cesar Chavez PCS scholars who are marked tardy unexcused to any class including first
period may be required to make up their work virtually by the end of the day in order to receive credit
for the assignments.

In the event that your child is going to be late or absent, please call ahead to inform the school’s front
office administrative assistant, even if you have informed your child’s teacher(s).

Scholars that arrive after 40% of the academic day is completed will be marked “absent” from school as
scholars do not meet the OSSE regulated in-seat time.
Cesar Chavez PCS will honor early dismissal for scholars only after written or verbal notification by a
parent/guardian of the scholar, on file. A parent/guardian letter that identifies and authorizes another
adult to pick up the scholar must be submitted before the scholar will be dismissed early. Cesar Chavez
PCS reserves the right to deny an early dismissal. Scholars are expected to pick up work that they are
missing and work with their teachers to submit missed assignments.

Cesar Chavez PCS attendance policies apply to disabled and non-disabled scholars alike; the only
exception is when a scholar’s absences are directly related to his/her disability. Parents/guardians should
contact the Director of Special Education for an individualized determination regarding the appropriate
documentation to excuse an absence.

Truancy is the willful absence from school by a minor (5–18 years of age) with or without parental

approval, knowledge, or consent.
A truant is a minor (5–18 years of age) who, without a valid reason and with or without parental
knowledge or consent, does not attend school. A truant is defined as any scholar who accumulates 10
or more unexcused absences in one school year. Scholars between the ages of 14 and 18 who
accumulate 15 or more absences will be referred to DC Court Services for truancy. Scholars under the
age of 14 will be reported to CFSA, per District of Columbia policy.

All uniformed law enforcement officers in the District are responsible for truancy enforcement.
If a truant is picked up by the police, s/he will be transported in a police vehicle to the school.
● Parents/guardians are notified of the scholar’s truancy status.
● Parents/guardians and scholars may be required to attend a truancy conference.

Cesar Chavez PCS will make every effort to identify scholars with chronic attendance issues, and to work
with families to create attendance plans to address those issues. Our goal is that each scholar successfully
completes his or her school year with Cesar Chavez PCS, however, as permitted by D.C. law, we reserve
the right to un-enroll a scholar who reaches 20 consecutive, unexcused absences. Cesar Chavez PCS will
not un-enroll a scholar without first (a) making a good faith attempt to hold at least two (2) attendance
meetings, and (b) sending home two (2) attendance letters. Scholars unenrolled due to attendance will
be unenrolled as of the last date present at school. In most cases, Cesar Chavez PCS will implement
attendance interventions when scholars reach the following unexcused absence thresholds:
The intervention process for scholars identified as a “truancy risk” is as follows:
Unexcused Absence
Cesar Chavez PCS Interventions and Family Support
1 ● Parent/guardian notification via phone & email around scholars absences
3 (Consecutive)
● Scholars are flagged at 3 consecutive absences through DeansList for
parent communication of attendance concern
3, 5,10, 15 ● Parent/guardian notification via phone or electronic communication
● Notice of Concern issued
● Initiate attendance intervention plan
(Consecutive & Non-
● Parent receives individualized phone call with plan to schedule home visit
7 Unexcused
(Consecutive & Non-
● Parent/guardian is contacted to schedule family meeting
(Consecutive & Non-
● Attendance Warning Letter issued
● Review attendance intervention plan
● Referral to Child and Family Services Agency (for scholars ages 5-13), legally
● If 10+ unexcused absences take place in the duration of 1 quarter, the
scholar will receive an Incomplete “I” for the quarter, which may result in
failing all classes during that quarter.
(Consecutive & Non-
● Attendance Warning Letter issued
● Review attendance intervention plan
● Submit Referral to Court Social Services and Office of Attorney General -
Juvenile Division (for scholars ages 14-17)
20 Consecutive
● Scholar is un-enrolled from Cesar Chavez PC
Scholars under fourteen (14) years of age shall be referred by Cesar Chavez PCS to the Child and Family
Services Agency (CFSA) and to the Court Social Services no later than two (2) school days after the
accrual of ten (10) unexcused absences within the course of one (1) school year.

Scholars age fourteen (14) and over shall be referred by Cesar Chavez PCS to the Court Social Services
and to the Office of Attorney General-Juvenile Section no later than two (2) school days after the
accrual of ten (10) unexcused absences at any time within one (1) school year.