Attendance Policy

Regular school attendance is required by DC law for children from age 5 to 18. Although not required by law, it’s just as important for children in pre-kindergarten to have regular attendance as well.

School begins promptly at 8:45 a.m. at SWWFS. It is disruptive to classroom instruction and students will miss valuable teaching time if they arrive late. Elementary school teachers pick up their classes at 8:40 a.m. each morning, so please plan to have your child arrive to school no later than 8:30 a.m. Students that arrive after 8:45 a.m. will receive an electronically generated tardy pass, upon entering the school, to provide to their teacher.

If your child received a seat through the out-of-boundary lottery and has 10 unexcused absences or 20 unexcused tardies, they may be asked to return to their neighborhood school at the end of the school year.

Excused absences are when school-aged students are absent from school with a valid excuse and parental approval. Examples of excused absences include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Student illness (a doctor’s note is required if a student is absent for more than five days);
  • Death in the student’s immediate family;
  • Observance of a religious holiday;
  • Temporary school closings due to weather, unsafe conditions or other emergencies;
  • Necessity for a student to attend a judicial proceeding as a plaintiff, defendant, witness or juror;
  • Medical reasons such as a doctor’s appointment (a doctor’s note is required); and
  • Failure of DC to provide transportation where legally responsible.

When your child returns to school after an absence, you should submit a note to the front office or designated attendance staff. The note should include the student’s name, date(s) of the absence, reason for absence and a parent/guardian’s signature. A doctor’s note is required after the fifth consecutive day due to illness. Absences without notes or those deemed not valid will be marked “unexcused.”

Additional information on DCPS attendance policies: