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Students with good attendance have more success in school than students with poor attendance. Our attendance policies have been designed to ensure that all students take advantage of learning opportunities. A student who misses fewer than 7 days is considered to have excellent attendance. A student who misses more than 10 days is considered to have poor attendance.

Returning from an Absence

Parents/guardians are asked to call (240-236-8100) or email ( the school by 8:30 a.m. if the parent/guardian has knowledge of the student’s absence.

Students must present to the attendance office a written excuse from the parent/guardian within two school days or the absence will be coded unexcused.

All written excuses must include student’s first and last name, the dates(s) of absence, the reason for the absence, the signature of the parent/guardian, and phone # for verification.

Absence for Vacation or College Visit

Students must submit the CHS Acknowledgement of Extended Student Absence Form completed by their parent/guardian, with dates of absence, to their assistant principal at least 3 school days in advance of a planned vacation or college visit.

Visits to prospective colleges are excused up to 4 days per year.

Vacations with parents may be excused no more than twice a year for a combined maximum of five days.

Late Arrival to Class (Per Term)

1st late – teacher warning

2nd late – teacher detention and call home

3rd late and beyond – referral to the office

Late Arrival to School

The school day for students starts at 7:30 a.m. Any student not in first block at this time will be counted absent. If the student arrives in school after 7:30 a.m., he/she is to report immediately to the attendance office. Tardies count as unlawful class absences and may result in class failure.

The detention plan for students who arrive late to school (unexcused) is as follows:

  • 1st tardy to first block, warning
  • 2nd tardy to first block, warning
  • 3rd tardy to first block, lunch detention
  • 4th tardy to first block, lunch detention
  • 5th tardy to first block, 30 minute after school detention
  • 6th or more tardies to first block, referral to administrator


Early Dismissal from School

Students may not leave campus once they arrive in the morning during the day without consent from a parent/guardian and the attendance office. Students leaving school for medical appointments must present a written excuse (including a phone number for verification) from the parent/guardian to the attendance office before 7:30 a.m.  

Upon returning to school, the student must report immediately to the attendance office for an “admit to class” pass.

A student who becomes ill during the day and needs to go home must get a pass from his/her teacher and then report to the health room. It is the responsibility of the student to know the location of his/her parents/guardians and phone numbers where parents/guardians can be contacted. A reasonable effort will be made to contact parents/guardians; however, multiple phone calls may not be possible.

Tracking Procedures

Greater than five (5) days of unexcused absence in a term will result in a failure in all classes where the absence occurred.

Greater than ten (10) days of unexcused absence will result in a loss of credit for the semester.

Eight (8) days of unexcused absence per semester will result in a referral to the Pupil Personnel Worker assigned to Catoctin High School.

Student absences will be excused up to ten (10) days per year with a note from a parent/guardian. Any days after that require official documentation (note from a doctor, dentist, lawyer, counselor, etc.) to be considered as a legal absence. Exceptions are considered by administration on a case-by-case basis.