Procedures for Sending Absence and Dismissal Notes

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 11:06am

2023-2024 Attendance Information and Resources

Parents/Guardians, please send all absence notes to our dedicated email (see below). We are required to have documentation regarding student absences.

    •    Email
    •    Include your child(ren)’s  full name in the subject line.
    •    Include parent’s full name and phone number.
    •    Include the date your child(ren) was absent and the reason (i.e. illness, bereavement, observance of a religious holiday, lack of transportation).
    •    Include doctor’s notes or other documentation as attachments if needed.
    •    If  there is a health issue you would like the teacher and health office to know about, copy your child’s teacher and the health office ( and

Please do not use this email to notify us of dismissal changes and early dismissals. It is for full day absences only. 

Dismissal notes should be sent with your student in the morning and should include the date, teacher’s name, and students FIRST and LAST name. This will ensure if a substitute is in the classroom they will be aware of their dismissal.  Our school has established norms regarding dismissal, one being that we cannot call students after 2:50 pm for early dismissal. If you cannot arrive on time, please plan to be in the car loop to pick them up as soon as they dismiss.

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

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 

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 Attendance.

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!