Attendance and Absenteeism Policy:

What types of absences are considered “excused” and how do I notify the school?

Any absence, including an absence from any portion of the school day, without a valid excuse is marked as an unexcused absence.

The following absences may be classified as an excused absence:

  • Illness of the student (a doctor’s note is required for a student absent five or more cumulative days in a term);
  • Illness of a child, for parenting students (a doctor’s note for the student’s child is required when the student is absent five or more cumulative days in a term);
  • Medical or dental appointments for the student;
  • Death in the student’s immediate family;
  • Exclusion by direction of the authorities of the District of Columbia, due to quarantine, contagious disease, infection, infestation, or other condition requiring separation from other students for medical or health reasons;
  • Necessity for a student to attend a judicial or administrative proceeding, or court-ordered activity, as a party to the action or under subpoena;
  • Observance of a religious holiday;
  • Religious event celebration outside of a religious holiday (up to five cumulative days);
  • Absences to allow students to visit their parent/guardian who is in the military, immediately before, during, or after deployment;
  • College visits for students in grades 9-12 (up to three cumulative days);
  • School visits for students in kindergarten through 8th grade (one day);
  • Absences of expectant or parenting students for a time period specified by their doctor and any accommodations mandated by law;
  • Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day; and
  • An emergency or other circumstance approved by DCPS.

A written note must be provided to the school by the student’s parent/guardian within five (5) school days after the student’s return to school for an absence to be excused. Upon receipt of appropriate documentation within five (5) school days, school staff must update absences as excused.

What to write in a parent/guardian excuse note?

The student’s parent/guardian may write their own note or fill in the Seaton template excuse note form, which is provided at the end of this document. The explanation must include:

  • Student’s name
  • Parent’s/guardian’s name
  • Parent’s/guardian’s contact information
  • Date of the excuse note
  • Date(s) of the absence
  • Reason for student’s absence

For additional clarification on submitted excuse notes, please contact Seaton Elementary School.

*New DCPS Policy Update*

If a student is absent:

  • For a total of up to four (4) cumulative days in each term, a parent’s/guardian’s written excuse is sufficient for explaining the absence. The absence will be excused if it falls under one of the excused absence reasons noted above;
  • For five (5) or more cumulative days per term, further documentation is required to excuse the absence.

Written explanation of the student’s absence must be submitted by a doctor or staff of a relevant agency, on official office/agency letterhead and signed by a relevant official.


  • Medical or dental absences must be submitted on official doctor/dentist office stationery or form.
  • Student’s required presence at judicial or administrative proceedings must be documented by a document from the court or administrative hearing office stating the need for the student’s presence on all the relevant dates.
  • Funeral programs may be accepted as appropriate documentation to excuse absences due to a death in the student’s immediate family.