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Attendance Policy

At Orchard Elementary, attending school regularly and being on time affects what is learned and is necessary for success in school, and later in life.  You simply can not make up or replicate what happens at school.  Please make your child's attendance one of your top priorities.  According to Montana Law (MCA 20-5-103), school attendance for the entire school year is mandatory for students between the ages of 7-16. 

Students will be marked tardy if they arrive at school between 8:01-9:30 a.m. Any student that arrives after this will be marked as absent/unexcused.  A note or telephone call from a parent/guardian in the same day can change the unexcused absence to an excused absence.

Excused Absences:
When it is necessary to miss school, a parent/guardian should call the office (281-6216) by 8:45 a.m.  Excused absences include illness, family emergencies, school-sponsored functions, or other absences approved by the parent/guardian and school administration.  If the parent/guardian cannot make a phone call that morning, he/she should write a note to the main office secretary.  If your child is absent for more than eighteen (18) days throughout the school-year, you will be required to submit medical documentation.  If no medical documentation is given, the absence will be designated as unexcused and the truancy plan will be followed.

Unexcused Absences:
If no contact has been made by the parent/guardian, your child will be assigned an unexcused absence.  A note or telephone call from a parent/guardian in the same day can change the unexcused absence to an excused absence.

On the fourth (4th) unexcused absence, the student will be referred to the Truancy Center to dispatch the Truancy Deputy for a home visit to the parent/guardian responsible for the child’s truancy violation.

On the fifth (5th) unexcused absence, a letter from the school will be sent home.  In the letter home, it will specify that the parent has to make an appointment to meet with the school’s administration.  A school/parent strategy contract will be completed at this time.

On the sixth (6th) unexcused absence, a second visit by the Truancy Deputy will made to the parent/guardian.  Upon completion of the Truancy Deputy home visits, the parent/guardian is responsible for making an appointment with the Truancy Center Director to fill out the Expectation Form.  The parent/guardian will receive a copy of the Expectation Form at the end of the appointment.

Continued truancy will result in a referral to the County Attorney office for possible prosecution.