DC Public Schools updated its graduation and attendance policies in August 2018. For the most up-to-date information, visit the DCPS website, dcps.dc.gov.
In the District of Columbia, education is compulsory for ages 5–17. Therefore, students must meet the attendance requirements described in the Attendance Policy and in DC Municipal Regulations until at least their 18th birthday unless the student has earned a high school diploma prior to turning 18. A medical leave of absence is not an option for a student for whom the compulsory education restrictions apply. If a student is too ill to attend school, he or she should be considered for, or receiving, HHIP services.
Parents have the right to withdraw a student from public school to continue the student’s education in a homeschool setting. Homeschooling is regulated by the OSSE. DCPS does not develop, draft, augment, or support any homeschool plans. HHIP does not extend to or support homeschool programs. Schools cannot engage in developing a homeschool plan within a 504, SST, IEP, or HHIP service plan. Schools cannot guarantee the acceptance of high school credits from a homeschool program. Per DC Municipal Regulations, Title V, Chapter 22, 2202.8, DCPS may transfer only those courses that the system deems to be comparable and that apply toward graduation requirements.
Students must be present 80% of the school day, or present for three out of their four classes, to be counted as “legally present.” When the student returns to school after an absence, parents must send a note to the attendance counselor or complete the absence form at wilsonhs.org.
The following absences are excused:
• College visit
• Religious holiday
• Medical appointment
• Death in immediate family
The following absences are unexcused:
• Cutting class
• Doing errands
Procedures for Absences
• All excuse notes and early dismissals may be submitted online at www.wilsonhs.org. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click on “Attendance.” You will need to know your student’s ID number. Handwritten excuse notes must be turned in to the student’s attendance counselor.
• For absences exceeding five days, a doctor must provide an excuse in order for the absences to be excused. A phone call does not constitute an excuse; all excuses must be in writing.
• Parents and students have five days to turn in an excuse note after an absence; notes later than five days may not be accepted.
• For all medical appointments, students must present a doctor’s or dentist’s note to their attendance counselor.
• Students leaving the country for an extended time, or studying abroad, must
report to their counselor and to Wilson’s registrar, Tasha Maritano Bishop
(email@example.com) and be withdrawn from Wilson High School. Otherwise,
the student may be issued a court referral.
• Court appointment excuses must be written by the court clerk.
• If a student is being sent home early from school due to illness, the nurse will provide
a departure slip.
• Attendance at sports activities outside of DCPS sports will result in an unexcused
• Students are responsible for completing all assignments, class work, labs, exams, etc., missed while out of the classroom, whether the absence was excused or not.
Procedures for Early Dismissals
• Early dismissals may be submitted online at www.wilsonhs.org. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click on “Attendance.” You will need to know your student’s ID
number. All early dismissals must be requested by 8:30 am with the student’s full name,
ID number, time of dismissal, and parent contact information.
• For all early dismissals, parents will be contacted to confirm dismissal. If the parent
cannot be reached, the student may not be allowed to leave the school building.
Attendance Policy and Grading
Grading and retention decisions related to student absences shall follow guidance articulated in DCMR Title 5, Chapters 21 and 22, and as described in the attendance policy.
• Secondary students with five (5) or more unexcused absences in any class during a single advisory may receive a grade reduction in that subject.
• Secondary students with ten (10) or more unexcused absences in any class during a single advisory may receive a grade of “FA” (failure due to absences) in that subject.
• Secondary students accumulating thirty (30) or more unexcused absences in a course within a full school year may receive a final grade of “FA”in that course with a resulting loss of course credit.
What happens to a student who is picked up by a truancy officer?
• First pink slip – Parent will be notified
• Second pink slip – Parent will have to come in for a truancy conference
• Third pink slip – Saturday School
• If a student continues to be late and picked up by a truancy officer, the student will serve in-school suspension.
Tardy to School and/or Class Policy
The Wilson faculty prides itself on quality and rigorous instruction; therefore, we insist that all students be on time for class.
Teachers will discuss their tardy policy on the first day of class and follow it explicitly throughout the school year. Any student arriving late to class without an excused pass
from a staff member will be admitted to class and marked tardy. The teacher has the
option of having the student sign the teacher’s tardy log so the teacher has a tangible record of each day’s tardies.
The teacher is not obligated to allow a student to make up a quiz, test, or classwork missed because of an unexcused tardy.
Periodically, and when necessary, the administration will hold hall sweeps and issue tardy/unexcused passes to students caught in the halls after the bell rings for class.
Consequences for Being Tardy to Class per Advisory
Tardy 1: The teacher warns the student and documents it. The student signs the tardy log (optional).
Tardy 2: The teacher warns the student of the second offense, contacts the parent or guardian, and documents the tardy. The student signs the tardy log (optional).
Tardy 3: The teacher has the option of giving the student a ten-minute detention which should be served the next day during STEP or after school. The teacher contacts the parent about the tardy and the detention and notifies the dean.
Teachers are advised to call home as often as they possibly can to keep the parent
informed as to the tardiness of their student. This will be especially important if the
student is in danger of failing the class. Teachers are encouraged to bring their tardy log
to any SST meeting.