Maryland's Compulsory Attendance Law
Children between the ages of 5 and 18 must attend a public school regularly during the entire school year unless otherwise enrolled in a private school or registered in a home instruction (home schooling) program.
Each person who has in their custody a child between the ages of 5 and 18 must ensure that the child attends school or receives regular thorough instruction, as required above.
Daily School Attendance is an Expectation
- Every CCPS student is expected to attend school daily unless he or she is ill or has another exceptional circumstance.
- Students miss valuable instruction anytime he or she is absent. Every day is important!
- Documentation of absences are required within ten (10) days of the student's return to school.
Examples of Lawful Absences
- student illness
- death in the family
- court summons
Examples of Unlawful Absences
Any child who is repeatedly absent will be contacted by school personnel. Students with excessive absences will receive further intervention to encourage daily school attendance including:
- illness of a family member
- missing the bus
- employment not approved by the school
- vacation, unless approved by the principal
- telephone notification to parent/guardian
- written notification to parent/guardian
- parent and/or student meeting held with CCPS staff
- visits to student's home by school officials
- Loss of credit or retention
- Referral to appropriate agencies - Department of Social Services and/or Teen Court Program
- Legal action - Per Maryland law, unlawful absences may lead to a parent or guardian being found guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine or imprisonment.
How Can Families Encourage Daily Attendance?
- Let children know attendance every day is important.
- Communicate with school staff.
- Send a written excuse to school on the same day the child returns to school after being absent.
- Read the Student Handbook to become familiar with the information about daily school attendance.
- Observe the school schedule.
- Plan vacations during official school break times.
- Establish and maintain a daily routine.
- Praise your child when he/she exhibits good attendance and promptness.
- Encourage involvement in extracurricular activities.
- Reach out for help from school staff and/or other agencies, if necessary.
- Attend school and all classes each day school is in session.
- Be on time for school every day.
- Participate in school work, prepare for all classes, complete all assignments and follow directions given by teachers.
- Take personal responsibility for all actions and behaviors.