What To Do If Your Child Is Absent or Tardy

The school day begins at 8:00 and ends at 2:35.

  • Parents or legal guardians must call the school by 8:05 to report that the child will be absent. The phone number is 508-841-1200, press “1” when prompted and indicate the child’s name, grade, team, and reason for being absent or tardy.
  • Should a parent NOT notify the school prior to 8:05, an automated message will be sent to the telephone and email the parent or guardian has designated for such purposes, informing them that the child is NOT present in school.  The message will ask the designee to call the school to confirm the absence.
  • Students must either be present in homeroom for attendance at 8:05 a.m. or check in at the main office after 8:05 a.m.  Failure to do so will initiate an automated message informing the parent/guardian that their child is NOT checked into school.  This is a fail-safe measure to ensure the accuracy of attendance.  If you receive one of these calls and you believe your child is at school, please call the Main Office, at 508-841-1200, to verify their attendance.
  • For serious/extended illnesses, injuries, or hospitalization, in addition to calling the child safe line, please contact the school nurse at 508-841-1204.

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 fourteen half-day sessions 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 (e.g. 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 Holiday Date(s) 2022-2023

Rosh Hashanah* 

Sept 25-27, 2022 Eid al-Adha**

June 28-29, 2023

Yom Kippur* 

Oct 4-5, 2022 Sukkot*  

Oct 9 - Oct 16, 2022


Dec 18-26, 2022 Ash Wednesday

Feb 22, 2023

Christmas Dec 25, 2022 Good Friday

Apr 7, 2023

Passover *

Apr 5-Apr 13, 2023 Shavuot*

May 25-27, 2023

Ramadan begins**

Mar 22, 2023 Eid al-Fitr**

Apr 21-22, 2023

*According to the Massachusetts Lawyers Diary and Manual, "In addition to dates noted, observant Jews celebrate the second, seventh and eighth days of Passover; the second, eighth and ninth days of Sukkot; and two days of Shavuot. All Jewish holidays begin at sundown, the evening prior to the day of the holiday."

**Due to the lunar calendar these are only approximate dates.

Complete list of Religious and U.S. Public Holidays 2022-23

Taken from the OMS Vacation Letter

Oak Middle School expects all students to be in attendance every day except for illness, religious reasons, or an emergency situation. Family vacations during school time are discouraged since consistent classroom instruction is key to successful academic performance. If your family must take a vacation during school time, please contact the appropriate grade level administrator in advance to discuss how missed work will be completed. A folder of missed work will be prepared during the student’s absence, and not in advance. Missed work must be completed in a timely manner upon return to school.  

Failure to adequately make up missing work may result in consequences such as lunch detention, after school detention, or Saturday school in order complete academic obligations. Due dates for all missed work will be set by the teachers and communicated to the student.

It is possible that during his or her vacation absence a student may miss all classroom instruction for one or more standards. This may result in the student receiving a 1-Not Achieving for a section or sections of that term’s Report Card.

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