Flexibility With Attendance

Attendance Policy at George Mason University (AP.1 Registration and Attendance Policy): Students are expected to attend the class periods of the courses for which they are registered. In- class participation is important not only to the individual student, but also to the class as a whole. Because class participation may be a factor in grading, instructors may use absence, tardiness, or early departure as de facto evidence of nonparticipation. Students who miss an exam with an acceptable excuse may be penalized according to the individual instructor’s grading policy, as stated in the course syllabus.

Some students with disabilities may have clinical conditions that necessitate occasional absences from class. Should this occur, a student will receive the accommodation of “flexibility with attendance” on their faculty contact sheet. In an effort to provide clarity about this accommodation to the student and faculty member, class attendance policies and learning outcomes should be stated clearly in every syllabus as Disability Services does not establish class attendance policy. To assist and provide guidance in determining the veracity of requests for flexibility with attendance, Disability Services has established the full Flexibility with Attendance Procedure, found below. 


Students with disabilities may request consideration for flexibility with attendance from Disability Services. A student seeking consideration might be asked to provide additional documentation indicating a rationale as to why he/she may need to miss classes and to what extent attendance is anticipated to be affected. While it is understood that one cannot always accurately predict the number or percent of absences anticipated, the student will be asked to provide some indication of the scope of the request. Students who currently are approved for flexibility with attendance will continue to receive the accommodation in subsequent semesters should they have limited or no change to the related disability.

Disability Services will evaluate each request and related documentation to determine whether the student has provided a justifiable disability-based rationale for requesting consideration in attendance requirements. Documentation will be kept confidential and will not be shared with the faculty.

If a request is determined to be justified due to the impact of the student’s disability, Disability Services will update the student’s faculty contact sheet to include the following Flexibility with Attendance accommodation:

Flexibility with attendance: Due to the disability, there may be absences due to disability- related reasons. Consideration in allowing substituted work is appropriate. The student understands that they are responsible for all class work. Please call Disability Services with any questions.

The faculty contact sheet must be submitted to faculty members by the student. All requests for flexibility with attendance requirements will be evaluated carefully while giving consideration to the essential academic or technical requirements of the course. It is recommended that the student and professor define the parameters of the accommodation, discuss how work will be made up, determine an appropriate way to notify the professor when missing a class, and discuss whether there is a limit to the number of classes that a student can miss.

If a request for flexibility with attendance is deemed appropriate, the student and the faculty member share the responsibilities in establishing how to carry out this request. Specifically, students are responsible for contacting the faculty member as soon as possible when a disability-related absence will occur/has occurred and, as necessary, informing the faculty member as to when the student will return to class.

This accommodation potentially provides relief from requirements for physical attendance in classes due to disability-related reasons and the student remains responsible for any material covered or work done during those absences. If a student is absent in order to attend doctor’s appointments or to manage treatment, that studentshould contact Disability Services to explore other accommodation approaches to mitigate absences (e.g., priority registration, reduced course load). Additionally, extensions for assignments and arrangements to make up missed tests may need to be determined individually.

If a faculty member believes that the absences of the student interfere with the essential academic or technical requirements of the course, then the faculty member should contact Disability Services as soon as possible. If it is determined that consideration for flexibility with attendance is not possible or appropriate for a given course, the student will be informed and given an opportunity to discuss other accommodation options with Disability Services.