Attendance is an important part of making sure students thrive in the learning environment.   

Make sure to review the HCPSS Policy 9010 , which will address questions or concerns related to attendance. 

If you plan to pick up your student without prior notification to the front office, you will need to come into the building .Once you are admitted into the building please proceed to the attendance window/front office to sign your student out. Per HCPSS procedure all Parents, Guardians, and emergency contacts must have their ID ready for identity verification - even if HCPSS staff is familiar with the Parents, Guardians, and Emergency contacts entering the building. Please be prepared to show ID every time you enter the building, this includes multiple times in a day. Once verified we will then call the student down for dismissal.

Please know that all adjustments and/or changes can take up to 48 hours. 


  • All absence, tardy, and early dismissal notes can be submitted by email or written note
  • All absence and/or tardy notes must be submitted within five-days of absence or tardy.
  • If the note is received after the five-day grace period, the absence will remain unexcused. 
  • If a note is not received, the absence will be documented as Truant (unexcused).

Late Arrival Procedures

  • Students who arrive late to school will enter through the main entrance.(All other entrances including gym doors will be locked at the start of the school day). The student will proceed to the attendance window/front office and see the attendance secretary, to check-in.  
  • All students will be marked unexcused until a tardy note is received.
  • Students will be provided with a pass to report to class.

Early Dismissals 

Early Dismissal requests are reviewed first thing in the morning and periodically in the afternoon. When a parent requests an Early Dismissal electronically by emailing the student will be given a pass to leave class at the requested time. The student will then report to the attendance window and sign out to meet parents outside in front of the building. 

Email/Note should include:

  • The student’s first and last name
  • Time of early dismissal
  • Reason for early dismissal
  • If student will be returning 

Students will be given a pass to leave their class after receipt of email or written note requesting the dismissal and will sign out at the attendance window. 

  • The parent/guardian does not need to come into the building when email or written note is submitted in advance.
  • Please allow ample time for your dismissal request to be processed.
  • Parents are welcome to sign their student out at the attendance window if it is a last minute appointment.

If an email or written note was not sent the parent needs to come in to show ID and sign the student out..

*Please ask your student to check in at the attendance window if they return.

What is considered an excused absence?
A lawful absence is an excused absence for any portion of the day under the following conditions:

  • Illness of the student
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Court summons
  • Hazardous weather conditions (as determined by the Superintendent)
  • State emergency (as determined by the Governor)
  • Suspension
  • Lack of authorized transportation (school system transportation)
  • Observance of a religious holiday - Religious Obligation: Request for Absence form


The Howard County Public School System can grant students Local Discretionary Days (up to 3) upon request and approval. The Local Discretionary form for such absences to be marked lawful/excused should be submitted at least one week in advance to the attendance secretary.

Local Discretionary Absence Request/Approval Form


Examples of such absences that are considered unexcused on a school day include, but are not limited to: 

  • Visits to post-secondary institutions
  • Participation in college orientation programs
  • Scheduled interviews with prospective employers.
  • Special family events, including vacations/trips/travel

Parents/Guardians may access this Local Discretionary form as needed. Students are allotted up to a maxim of three (3) local discretionary days per school year.

Any attendance (Tardy, Early Dismissal, Absence) questions or concerns can be sent to