Attendance Policy


First Day, Every Day!

At DC Public Schools (DCPS), it is our goal to ensure that every student achieves academic success by being present at school every day and on time. Students who have regular attendance learn more and are more successful in school.

DCPS has shifted focus from monitoring only unexcused absences to all absences by tracking In-Seat Attendance (ISA). Some absences are unavoidable, but when children miss too much school – excused or unexcused – they can fall behind.

If your Young King is absent or tardy, complete a DCPS Absence Excuse form so the absence or tardy is marked Excused. This step is very important to due with the new DCPS Grading Policy (pages 8, 10, & 15). Excused absences do not impact a student's grade the same way unexcused absences do.

RBHS Excuse form - please print, complete, sign, and have your Young King bring it to school to Mr. Payne, RBHS Attendance & Enrollment Director. OR email the completed form to Mr. Payne (

A missed day is a lost opportunity for learning. Let’s make regular attendance a priority!

Is Attending School Required?

Yes, attending school is required by law! All students who reach five years of age on or before September 30th  of the current school year must attend school every day until they meet high school graduation requirements or reach their 18th birthday.

What Is Truancy?

Truancy is the unexcused absence from school by a minor (5-17 years of age) with or without approval, parent knowledge or consent.

Which Absences Are Excused vs. Unexcused?

Excused absences are when school-aged students are absent from school with a valid excuse and parental approval.

Excused absences include:

·       Student illness (a doctor’s note is required if a student is absent for more than 5 days)

·       Death in the student’s immediate family

·       Judicial/court proceedings where the student is a plaintiff, defendant, witness, or juror

·       Observance of a religious holiday

·       Temporary school closing due to weather, unsafe conditions or other emergencies (DCPS and/or DC Government closings)

·       Medical reasons such as a doctor’s appointment (a doctor’s note is required)

·       Failure of DC to provide transportation where legally responsible

·       Visiting a parent in the military

·       Emergency circumstances approved by DCPS

Absence excuse notes must be submitted within 5 school days in order to be processed. Click here for the DCPS Absence Excuse form. 

Unexcused absences are when school-aged students are absent from school without a valid excuse, without parental approval.

Examples of unexcused absences include:

·       Family Vacation

·       Babysitting

·       Shopping

·       Doing Errands

·       Oversleeping

·       Cutting classes

·       No clean uniform

·       Parent’s illness

Students who miss 20% of the day (2 class periods) will receive an absence for the full day.

What is the Attendance Policy for Ron Brown?

Ron Brown College Preparatory High School is a citywide high school. Our students follow the Districts Out-of-Boundary Policy. This policy states that K-12 out-of-boundary students with more than 10 unexcused absences or  20 unexcused tardies can be asked to return to their neighborhood school at the end of the school year, provided the out-of-boundary school has implemented and documented ALL of the required DCPS attendance interventions.  

What are attendance expectations for all students?

·       Arrive on time to school and to class every day. The school day at RBHS starts at 8:40 am.

·       Bring books and materials to class

·       Ask the teacher for missed work or make-up assignments.

·       Provide documentation for missed days of school to the Attendance Office within 5 business days.

·       Ask school staff for help if you have academic or other concerns (i.e. safety or lack of transportation) preventing you from coming to school

What should I do if I lack stable housing and need assistance?

The DCPS Homeless Children and Youth Program (HCYP) provides students who are in temporary or transitional housing with the following supports:

·       Enrollment in school;

·       Transportation assistance;

·       Personal necessities (uniforms, school supplies, and more)

For more information, please contact Dr. Roosevelt Cohen at 202-729-4343 or the DCPS HCYP Specialist at 202-576-9502

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