Attendance Policy - Grades K-8
The District is committed to the tenet that every student should attend school every day; and that poor attendance results, not only in a loss of valuable instruction time, but creates lifelong behavior patterns which could dramatically influence a student’s career success.
Regular attendance and promptness are expected and essential for success in school. The law of the State of Montana, Section 20-5-103, MCA, specifies the requirements for compulsory attendance in school. It requires parents and guardians who are responsible for the care of school-age children to enforce attendance to the school in which the child is enrolled.
The District believes that regular attendance is primarily the responsibility of parents and, to a lesser extent, students, depending on their age.
The District recognizes the importance of monitoring all children's attendance and is committed to taking whatever action is necessary, up to and including legal action, to assure that students attend school regularly.
Truancy - Absences that take place without the approval of the parent and/or Supervising Teacher.
Excused Absence - Generally, absences will be considered reasonable in cases of illness, bereavement, family vacations, situations resulting from “acts of God” and other emergencies. Other absences will be considered unexcused.
Excessive Absences - Students who miss 10 days of school per semester are considered excessively absent.
Tardiness - All tardies that extend beyond 9:00 a.m. or 1:15 p.m. will be considered a .5 absence.
Reporting Student Absences
When a student must be absent for illness or other unforeseen emergencies, parents must inform the school of the reasons for the student’s absence by 9:00 a.m. on the day of the absence. If the student is not present, and the parent has not notified the school of the absence, the school will attempt to call the parent by 11:00 a.m. the same day. The fact that the school will attempt to call the parent does not relieve the parent of the responsibility to call the school to report their child’s absence.
Excused Absences and Tardies
In cases where doubt occurs concerning the validity of an excuse, the Supervising Teacher may require verification of medical conditions contributing to the absence. In the event the Supervising Teacher determines an absence or tardiness is unnecessary, the absence will be considered unexcused. A permanent record will also be maintained of student absences and tardies.
Once the teacher observes that the student’s absences or tardiness are having an adverse effect on the student’s progress, he/she will make parental contact to express concern and to explain the problem. If the absences have been unavoidable because of illness, bereavement or other reasons, the teacher will request a meeting to develop a plan so that the absenteeism has minimal effect on the student’s academic success. In the event that reasons for absences have been questionable, the teacher will explain that the student will not get credit for work missed during those unexcused absences. Additionally, the teacher will not be required to provide make-up work. Absences and excessive tardiness may be a significant factor in decision of retention.
SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES
· To attend class regularly, only missing a class when a parent is aware that the absence is due to illness or other emergency;
· To be in class when the tardy bell rings;
· To be knowledgeable of the make-up policy in his/her classes;
· To obtain the make-up work and needed instructional help upon returning after an absence;
· To schedule all medical and other appointments outside of school time whenever possible;
Parents or Legal Guardian:
· To instill in their student the importance of attendance;
· To insure to the best of their ability that their student is in attendance regularly;
· To avoid taking the student out of school for appointments, trips and vacations;
· To call the school (preferably on the day of the absence) when they are aware that their student is absent;
· To work with teachers to promote good attendance patterns for their student.
· To keep daily records of absences and tardies;
· To make parental contracts regarding excessive absences or tardies;
· To refer the student to the Supervising Teacher if the parental contact does not solve the problem;
· To communicate in writing to the student, parent or legal guardian, : (a) the make-up procedure for the class and (b) the manner in which the grade for the class will be earned.
· To provide opportunities for make-up work when the student is absent unless the absence is due to suspension or truancy.
· To take appropriate disciplinary measures when a student with excessive absences or tardies has been reported by a teacher;
· To monitor attendance reports identifying and conferencing with students whose attendance patterns are cause for concern;
· To work closely with teachers and parents to help the student to develop positive attendance patterns.