Report an Absence, Early Dismissal, Late Arrival

Sun, 09/06/2020 - 3:36pm

Please follow these procedures to report an absence:

  • Absence notes for excused absences, early dismissals, and late arrivals are to be emailed to 
  • Discretionary absence requests must be completed and attached through email in advance of the absence. 
  • HCPSS has updated Attendance and Grading expectations .
  • For questions about attendance, please reach out to our Attendance Secretary, Diane Howse at

Discretionary Days

HCPSS students are granted 3 days a year to use at their discretion for scheduled interviews with prospective employers, visits to post-secondary institutions, family trips, civic engagement, and other special events.

Such absences may not occur during exam or state-mandated testing periods unless authorized by the principal/designee.
A written request for such absences to be lawful/excused should be submitted at least one week in advance to the principal/designee. Please download the PDF fillable Discretionary Absence Form and email it to The form is also available in Chinese and Spanish.

If you are requesting a day for a religious holiday not identified by the Howard County Public School System school calendar, please download the PDF fillable Religious Obligation Form and email it to 

With the collaborative effort of HCPSS parents, staff and students, we are confident that all students can have successful attendance. This will improve student success in school and in future life!

Research is clear that showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic and social success, starting from pre-kindergarten and continuing through high school. 

  • Missing 10% (or about 18 days of a school year or 2 a month) can drastically affect a student’s academic success at each grade level.
  • By the 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that can indicate if a student is at risk for dropping out of high school.
  • In the 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.

Please help us support a culture of showing up to school every day!

Please review Policy 9010