School counselors in Alexandria City Public Schools strive to create strong school-community partnerships, involving students, their families, school staff, and community members. It is essential for students to attend school in order to take full advantage of the educational process and benefit from the teaching hours. Therefore, ACPS follows the Commonwealth of Virginia Compulsory Attendance Act, which requires school staff to contact a parent or guardian when a student has been absent from school for a total of five school days or more within a given school year, when absences are unexcused and no indication has been received to verify such cases. Parents can help their children develop positive attendance habits starting in kindergarten, which will benefit them throughout their education and when they enter the workforce.
When students miss school, they miss out on the opportunity to be part of the school community and often start to fall behind academically. Research shows that chronic absenteeism, which consists of missing school for ten percent of the school year for any reason and type, can lead to poor academic performance, feelings of isolation and lack of commitment, and can even affect a student's decision to drop out of school entirely. When students have accumulated an excessive number of unjustified or unproven delays, the school social worker, along with parents and other members of the school support team, should develop a plan to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Foster resilience and educational opportunities in urban schools through school, family, and community partnerships focused on equity.
Consistent school attendance, along with other positive behaviors and supportive resources and spaces, will help strengthen students' academic functioning, as well as their social, cognitive, and emotional development. It is important for parents and guardians to be aware of the requirements needed for activities that their children want to do in Alexandria. Find out if a permit is required, the type of permit needed, the fees involved, and the requirements needed for the activity you want to do in Alexandria. By doing so, parents can help ensure that their children are able to take advantage of all the educational opportunities available in Alexandria City Public Schools.