DC Law now requires all students aged 12 and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to stay in school. Submit a copy or photo of your student’s COVID-19 vaccination card to COVID-19 Operations Coordinator, Evelyn Marquez (emarquez@elhaynes.org).
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Attendance Policy and Resources

E.L. Haynes is a learning community where every student—of every race, socioeconomic status, home language, and ability—prepares to thrive in college, career, and life. And for that to happen, students need to be in the classroom, every day, on time, for the entire school day. 

If a student regularly misses school or is late, they will miss out on meaningful learning experiences and can fall behind. We design our school day to be full of active learning from the moment a student enters our doors until they leave at the end of the day.

See below for more information about why attendance matters, and how you can support your student in showing up for school ready to learn — every day, on time!

Great Attendance Boosts Learning At Every Age

  • Starting in Pre-K, good attendance helps students in every grade meet critical learning milestones that can improve learning later in life. 
  • Missing just two days each month can negatively affect success in school.
  • Coming to school on time, every day, improves learning for all students. Good attendance allows teachers to teach every student most effectively throughout the class period.
  • Missing fewer than nine days of school every year can help keep students engaged, successful, and on track to graduate.

How Families Can Support Strong Attendance

  • Talk about why attendance matters with your student.
  • Set a regular bedtime, choose outfits, and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Have a back-up plan for getting to school.
  • Set regular routines like finishing homework and getting a good night’s rest.
  • Stay on top of your child’s social life. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school.
  • Notice and support your children if they feel anxious.
  • Let us know about upcoming absences as soon as possible.

Reporting Absences and Tardies

  • Contact us as soon as possible. Absences or tardies reported more than five days later will be unexcused, no matter the reason. 
  • When reporting an absence or tardy excuse, be sure include the following information:
    • The date you are making the report
    • The date of the absence or tardiness
    • The student’s full name(s)
    • Reason(s) for absence or tardiness
    • Your signature (if it’s a handwritten note)
  • Email your school (see below), or call (202) 667-4446
Pre-K3 – 4th GradeGrades 5 – 8Grades 9 – 12

What Happens When I Have an Unexcused Absence? 

  • After three unexcused absences we mail a letter home and follow up with a phone call.  
  • When a child has five unexcused absences, we mail you a letter and call to schedule a family intervention meeting. Additional support from Show Up and Stand Out (SUSO) is available for elementary and middle school families. For middle and high school students, we use Check and Connect curriculum with the student and family to improve attendance and engagement. DC PASS (Parent and Adolescent Support Intensive Case Management) provides additional support and intervention for high school families.
  • Between one to three absences, you will receive a call from your student’s advisor or classroom teacher.
  • When a student reaches eight unexcused absences, the student, parents or guardians, and principal (or their designee) participate in a mandatory attendance conference. During the conference, we create an Attendance Student Success Plan to get the student back on track.
  • If a student aged 5 – 13 has ten unexcused absences, the DC Compulsory Attendance Law requires us to refer the family to DC Child and Family Services Administration (CFSA) for suspected educational neglect.
  • For students aged 14 years or more who have fifteen unexcused absences, DC law requires u to refer them to the DC Superior Court for truancy.
  • Any student missing 20 consecutive days of school may be forcefully withdrawn.

Unexcused vs. Excused Absences

Excused AbsencesUnexcused Absences
• Student illness (a doctor’s note is required if absent more than three consecutive days)
• Death in the immediate family
• Student must attend a judicial proceeding as a plaintiff, defendant, witness, or juror
• Observance of a religious holiday
• Temporary school closings due to weather, unsafe conditions, or other emergencies
• Medical reasons such as a doctor’s appointment (a doctor’s note is required)
• Failure of DC to provide transportation where legally responsible
• Traveling 
• Moving 
• Job hunting 
• Babysitting
• Shopping 
• Doing errands
• Oversleeping 
• Cutting classes
• Providing English translation for a family member
• Any absence not reported within five days

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