The University’s official policy on attendance is stated clearly in the Policies of Particular Interest at faculty.umd.edu/policies/part_interest.html.
As you consider the role of attendance and participation in evaluation, establish policies that communicate the significance of student engagement for learning. Avoid creating attendance policies that simply reward presence and punish absence. Instead, design courses that value significant contribution to the class and convey the risks of missing class meetings. It will be in the best interests of both you and your students if you clearly state how, when, and if attendance will be taken and then to stick to that method throughout the remainder of the semester. This will help avoid problems toward the end of the semester.
Your syllabus should direct students to the campus central website on course-related policies: http://www.ugst.umd.edu/courserelatedpolicies.html
For sample langage and an editable template that you can use to convey this to students, visit tltc.umd.edu/syllabus