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At Duke Ellington School of the Arts, it is our goal to ensure that every student achieves academic success by being present at school every day and on time. Students who have regular school attendance learn more and are more successful in school. Please help us make every day count!

Policies and Procedures

  • Students must be present 80% of the day to be counted as “legally present.” 
  • Tardiness: The school day starts at 8:00am. Students arriving to school thereafter will be considered late for school. Throughout the day, the student is required to report to each period class ON TIME.
  • Excuse Notes: Parent/guardian has 5 school days to turn in excuse notes. If the notice is not received within that timeframe, the excuse will not be accepted.
    • Three forms of attendance notifications will be accepted: Attendance Card, Email, or Handwritten Note with parent/guardian signature.
    • Duke Ellington personnel are not permitted to receive calls in regards to absences.
    • Drop Off Times: Students may bring notification of absence before 8am or during lunch at the Ellington @ Meyer building ONLY
  • Early Dismissal: In the case of early dismissal, parent/guardian will be contacted to confirm approval of dismissal. In the event the parent/guardian is unavailable, the student will not be allowed to leave school. Please ensure that emergency contact information is updated with the school Registrar.
  • Class Attendance: After Attendance Counselor approves absence/dismissal, the student is responsible for showing teachers their approved absent/dismissal slips for attendance credit.
    • 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 shall receive a grade reduction in that subject.
      • Secondary students with ten (10) or more unexcused absences in any class during a single advisory shall receive a grade of “FA” (failure due to absences) in that subject.
      • Secondary students with thirty (30) or more unexcused absences in any class within a full year shall receive a failing final grade in that course with a resulting loss of course credit.
  • Missed Work:If a student has an excused absence, including absence due to suspension, it is their responsibility to follow the guidelines provided by the teacher in his/her classroom syllabus regarding the make-up work. Students are responsible for missed work even if the absence is unexcused.
    • It is the responsibility of the student to contact the teacher to make arrangements for clarifications and/or materials.
    • Students must turn in any previously assigned work (homework, papers, projects, etc.) by the end of the first school day of their return.
    • Unless special arrangements have been made, student have one day for each day missed (up to one week) from the last day of the absence to submit the makeup work.
    • Students must be prepared to complete any quizzes, tests, or presentations at the start of the next class they attend.
  • Authorized school activity: Activities such as college visits (junior/senior students only), performances, field trips, etc., will receive excused absence credit if approved by Administration and Attendance office.
  • Extended Absences: In the case of an extended absence due to illness for five days or more, the parent/guardian must provide documentation from doctor indicating the cause of their absence upon return to school.

For more information, please contact our Attendance Counselor, Angela Jones at

Click here for the EXCUSE NOTE.

Please click here to review the DCPS attendance policy!