ABSENCE/TARDY POLICY

Attendance Policy

“Regular attendance is an essential part of each student’s educational experience, providing opportunities for both intellectual and social growth. Daily attendance, participation in class, and contact with teachers and other students are critical factors in the learning process. The Oak Middle School Attendance Policy recognizes the importance of regular attendance and seeks to support student success.
 
Massachusetts General Laws state that parents/guardians are responsible for their child’s attendance (M.G.L. C 76§2, C 76§4), and that absences may not exceed 7 full-day session or 14 half-day sessions in any 6-month period (M.G.L. C 76§1). A student who is not present for at least half of the day is considered absent (M.G.L. C 72§8).
 
The school recognizes that there are legitimate reasons for being absent from school, i.e., illness, unavoidable medical or dental appointments, funerals, etc.
To the extent that these do not exceed seven days or 14 half-days in a six-month period, absences that fall within these limits will be excused.
Extended illness should be reported to the school nurse and physician documentation may be required, especially when illnesses exceed the seven-day limit.
 
If a student...
  • has five (5) or more consecutive absences due to illness during a trimester, parents must obtain a doctor’s note and submit it to the school.
  • has at least five (5) days in which the student missed two (2) or more unexcused periods in a school year, or has missed five or more unexcused school days in a school year, the school shall notify the parent or guardian of such.
  • has at least five (5) or more unexcused absences, the principal will make a reasonable effort to meet with the student's parent/guardian to develop action steps for student attendance.
  • has ten (10) absences (excused or unexcused) over the course of the school year, a letter of warning will be issued to parents reminding them of the school’s attendance policy, and that an administrator will contact them to schedule a meeting should the absences approach fifteen (15) days.
  • is absent for eight (8) or more days in a trimester, school officials may consider taking any or all of the following actions:
    • Scheduling and holding a parent conference to discuss the school’s attendance policy and to develop a proactive attendance plan;
    • Scheduling and holding an attendance meeting with the parents, administrator and School Resource Officer;
    • Filing a CRA (Child Requiring Assistance) or criminal complaint with the juvenile court, which will result in a hearing held with the juvenile court.
    • Retention in the current grade.

Tardy Policy

  • Any student who arrives to homeroom after 8:00am is considered tardy.
  • Any student who is tardy six times in one trimester will be referred to administration. The student/family will receive a written warning.
  • Any student who is tardy nine times in one trimester will be required to meet with their parent/guardian and the grade level administrator to develop an action plan to address the issue.
  • Tardiness in excess of nine times per trimester will result in disciplinary actions.

What is the difference between excused and unexcused absences?

  • The school recognizes that there are legitimate reasons for being absent from school, i.e., illness, unavoidable medical or dental appointments, funerals, etc.
  • To the extent that these do not exceed seven days or 14 half-days in a six-month period, absences that fall within these limits will be excused.
  • Extended illness should be reported to the school nurse and physician documentation may be required, especially when illnesses exceed the seven-day limit.
  • Religious holidays – We realize that families of many faiths have religious holidays (Eid al-Fitr, Divali, Eastern Orthodox Good Friday, etc.) on days (dates are printed below) that school is in session.  The Shrewsbury School Committee has a formal policy, in accordance with Massachusetts’ law, that provides that students who miss a day of school for a religious observance will have the opportunity to make up the work missed without penalty.  The policy does not require schools to stop providing new information/instruction, however, which would be impractical given the number of days in the year where students could be absent for religious reasons.  In order to alleviate the stress placed on students who must be absent, teachers at Oak have been asked to avoid holding major exams or having major projects due on such religious holidays when school is in session.  Just as when a student is ill, teachers will provide reasonable accommodations to help students catch up.  We are fortunate to have such a diverse group of cultures and religions represented at OMS, and we will continue to do our best to honor these differences as we work together to help all of our students learn at high levels.

Religious Holidays

A complete list of Religious Holidays can be found at the following link.

Religious Holiday Date(s) 2022-2023

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