illustration of calendar



illustration of calendarVirginia’s “compulsory attendance” law requires the parents  and guardians of children age 5 (by September 30) through 18 to ensure their child’s regular daily attendance for the entire school day. It also is their responsibility to seek home-bound instruction when children are absent from school because of extended periods of illness.

Compulsory Attendance and School Support for Attendance

Charlottesville City Schools support regular attendance by providing the services of attendance counselors, social workers, and school nurses to assist parents in finding solutions to attendance and/or medical problems. The attendance counselors are authorized and required to file petitions in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to obtain compliance with the school attendance laws.

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Excused Absences

By providing written proof, students may be excused for the following:

  • Personal illness or illness in the immediate family
  • Death in the family
  • Medical or dental appointment
  • Court appearance
  • Religious holiday or instruction
  • Emergency that, in the judgment of the principal, requires absence from school
  • A trip that extends or enhances education, when such a trip is approved in advance by the principal

NOTE: Buford and CHS families should also consult the Buford or CHS student handbook for school-specific attendance policies and procedures.

When to Keep a Child Home for Illness

For guidance about when to keep a child home for illness, click here.

Reporting Absences

  • Parents or guardians should contact the school as soon as possible with a call, email, or note.
  • Once you have called, you will not receive notifications from the school.
  • For extended absences, additional documentation may be required.

Returning to School

When the Student Returns to School:

  • If the parent or guardian didn’t previously report the absence, please send a signed note containing the date(s) and reason(s) for the absence. In some cases such as an extended absence, further documentation may be required.
  • Students are responsible for requesting assignments immediately upon their return to school and must complete make-up work within the time period assigned by the teachers.
  • For excused absences, teachers must provide assignments, tests and other work missed, and schedule a reasonable time period for their completion. Make-up work completed on time will be graded on the same basis as other work. Make-up credit will be given when absences are excused.
  • For information about returning from an extended illness or injury, click here.

Absence from Class/Early Dismissal

Absence from Class/Early Dismissal

If students need to leave school early, a parent or guardian should sign them out (or give prior permission). A child who attends school part of the day is considered present for the day. However, students who leave early without permission will be marked unexcused for the class periods they miss.

All students must maintain a full-day schedule of classes unless they have a waiver for a bona fide work program or have an  Individualized Education Plan, or an approved senior release plan.  Parents or guardians of students who wish to apply for waivers should make a request to the principal in writing.



Students are expected to arrive at school and attend all classes on time daily. Students are tardy when they do not cross the threshold of the instructional area before the tardy bell rings. Excessive and unexcused tardiness to school or class creates a serious interruption of the orderly learning process, and corrective action will be taken. Students arriving late to school must be signed in by parents or guardians, or present notes signed by parents or guardians stating the reason for the delay.

Home Instruction

Home Instruction

For procedures and information regarding home instruction, click here.