I.            ATTENDANCE

AHS Attendance Statement

Students are to attend all classes and study halls for which they are registered.  Such attendance reflects a student’s discipline, responsibility and integrity and is a significant factor on his/her record.  Future employers are as much concerned about

punctuality and dependability as they are about an academic record.  School success, scholarship and job opportunity are greatly affected by a good attendance record.

Attendance Policy (3122P)

Attendance plays a vital role in the student's academic success, making it extremely important that they are in class.  There are many activities and discussions which occur in the classroom, which simply cannot be made up.  Even though students may get

the notes and do the assignments, they have lost the value of actively participating and interacting with the teachers and other students in the class.

Students at AHS must meet two (2) requirements to earn credit in a course:

1.    The student must have a passing grade to receive credit in classes taken.

2.    The student must be in attendance (90%) of instructional time to receive credit in classes taken.

Students shall be in physical attendance within the classes in which they are enrolled, from the first (1st) scheduled day of school, unless they have been excused for the conduct of school business within the immediate school setting.  Student shall be counted absent on a period-by-period basis, unless they are involved in the following:

1.    Special needs conference;

2.    Completing standardized test and health-related activities within the immediate school setting;

3.    School-sponsored activities, both extra-curricular and co-curricular.

Any student who is absent from classes for ten (10) or more days during a semester, thus violating the ninety percent (90%) attendance policy, risks losing credit in the class, unless special circumstances are approved by the principal.

Students absent for any classes on the day of a co-curricular activity may not participate in the co-curricular event unless a valid doctor’s verification is presented immediately when returning to school.

Absences need not be consecutive to come under this policy.

Types of Absence (3122P)

There are eight (8) types of absences recognized by the school.

EXCUSED ABSENCE: This absence will be documented under the following conditions of absence:  a) illness; b) bereavement; c) emergency conditions, as determined by the administration.  A student shall be allowed one (1) makeup day for each day of absence. Emergency shall be defined as unforeseen and unexpected circumstances, which create an air of crisis or extreme need.

PREARRANGED ABSENCE: The prearranged absence form is the proper way for a student to miss school for any reason other than those listed as excused.  The prearranged absence allows the student to get their assignments in advance and complete the work before they leave.  Students seeking permission for a prearranged absence must secure a form from the main office, present the form to each of his/her teachers, have the form signed by his/her the parents, and submit the form to the Vice- Principal or principal for approval.  Students who miss a class despite recommendation of the teacher to stay will be unexcused in that class.

AVOIDABLE ABSENCE: An avoidable absence is approved by the parents but not excused by administration.  This absence will be documented, when a parent calls or a student brings a note from a parent for reasons other than those listed as excused. Make-up work following an avoidable absence is at the discretion of each teacher involved.

UNEXCUSED ABSENCE: Some avoidable absences are unacceptable to the school.  The absences will be documented as unexcused.  Examples are: sleeping in; excessive absences which interfere with the education of the student.  The student will receive a "0" for work missed during an unexcused absence.

TRUANCY: Truancy is an absence without prior knowledge and approval of the parent or administration.  Any student involved in an excessive number of excused/unauthorized absences can be declared truant by administration. The following consequences will be assigned for the truancy.

  •  All classes missed during the truancy will result in "0" for all work missed.

  • Truancy is considered a major violation of school policy.

  • A referral for truancy may be made to the appropriate law enforcement agency under Anaconda Deer Lodge County Ordinance No. 195.

OUT OF SCHOOL SUSPENSION:  Out of school suspension is the exclusion from school for 1 to 10 days resulting from a discipline action.  Only the principal, Vice-Principal, and/or appointed acting principal shall have the power to suspend students. A student suspended from school is concurrently suspended from all school activities.

IN SCHOOL SUSPENSION: In school suspension is the exclusion of a student from attending their regular class schedule, but is required to attend school in the library from 8:20 a.m. to 3:25 p.m.  A student suspended from school is concurrently suspended from all school activities.

ACTIVITY ABSENCE: An activity absence is when the student is involved in school-sponsored extracurricular or co-curricular activities.  All work must be completed prior to the absence.  No student is to be absent from any scheduled class in order to prepare for a co-curricular or non-class related event.  Dismissal for any individual or group is to be made only at the time officially designated by the administration.  This regulation applies to all co-curricular and extracurricular events.

Absences That Do Not Affect the Ten (10) Day Limit

a.   Those that occur due to school-sponsored activities.  These include all MHSA sanctioned sports and/or any AHS student club.  However, for any school-sponsored activity that will be gone for more than three (3) school days (i.e. Close Up, We the People, etc.), the student must have a C- or higher grade in all of his/her classes before leaving.

b.   Bereavement in the immediate family (grandmother, grandfather, father, mother, sister, brother).  The Attendance Board may review any extended bereavement.

c.   Subpoenas to appear in court or court-ordered, out-of-district placements for special services. d.   Illness or hospitalization verified by a doctor’s statement or the school nurse.

e.   In and out of school suspension assigned by the administration.

f.   College, vocational, or university visitations in a student’s senior and junior years (3 days total per year).  However, at the time of the visit, if the student has had any unexcused or absences due to tardies in the current semester, they may not miss school for any college, vocational, or university visits.

Absences That Do Affect the Ten (10) Day Limit

•      Absences, which will count in the ten (10) day limit, include the areas of excuse, prearranged, avoidable, unexcused, and truancy. Examples may include but not limited to: family trips, work days, vacations, visiting friends or relatives, watching tournaments when not an actual participant, hair, photography arrangements, skiing, hunting, non-subpoena court appearances, attending concerts, shopping, or any others not mentioned which are unacceptable to the Attendance Board.

Even if a student is excused by a parent/guardian, that absence still counts toward that students 10-day limit. Absent Ten (10) Consecutive Days

By Montana State Statue, a student who missed ten consecutive school days will be dropped from school enrollment.  Upon returning, a student must report to the office where he/she must:

1.    Have a written statement explaining the reason for the absence.

2.    Be given a re-entry slip to be signed by all teachers.

Extended Illness or Health Condition

If a student is confined to home or hospital for an extended period, the school shall arrange for the accomplishment of assignments at the place of confinement whenever practicable. If the student is unable to do his/her schoolwork, or if there are major requirements of a particular course, which cannot be accomplished outside of the class, the student may be required to take an incomplete or withdraw from the class without penalty.

Excused Absence for Chronic Health Condition

Students with a chronic health condition which interrupts regular attendance may qualify for placement in a limited attendance and participation program. The student and his/her parent shall apply to the principal and a limited program shall be written following the advice and recommendations of the student’s medical advisor. The recommended limited program shall be approved by the principal.  Staff shall be informed of the student’s needs, though the confidentiality of medical information shall be respected at the parent’s request.  Absence verified by a medical practitioner may be sufficient justification for home instruction.

Absence Verification Procedure (3122P)

Students absent from school must have their parents/guardians do one of the following:

1.    Call the school office (563-5269 ext. 1505) by 9:00 a.m. the day of the absence to verify the absence and state the possible time of return to school.

2.    When returning after an absence, the student must bring a written reason from the parent/guardian to the office.  If the absence is to be excused, the note needs to be in the office within two (2) days.

Release of Students From School

A student will not be released from school at times other than at lunch and the end of the school day except with permission from the principal or designee and according to the building sign-out procedures.  Unless the principal has granted approval because of extenuating circumstances, a student will not regularly be released before the end of the instructional day.

A student who will need to leave the school during the day must bring a note from his or her parent that morning.  A student who becomes ill during the school day should, with the teacher’s permission, report to the office.  The administrator or nurse will decide whether or not the student should be sent home and will notify the student’s parent.

Any student that is being released from school must sign-out in the attendance office.  A student must also sign-in when he/she returns to school.

Any other information regarding student release can be found in district policy 3440P.

Make-up Work Procedure (3122P)

Regular school attendance is an important part of a student's school experience.  The make-up procedures are based on the premise that class time is of prime importance.  After an absence, the following student responsibilities exist:

1.    The student will contact the teacher the day following an absence, to see if make-up work will be allowed.

2.    If a long-term assignment is due the day a student returns from a short (one (1) or two (2) days) absence, the assignment is due as scheduled, unless the student has made prior arrangements with the teacher.

3.    If a scheduled exam falls on the day a student returns from a short (one (1) or two (2) days) absence, and the material was presented while the student was present, the student will be expected to take the exam as scheduled. Refer to policy 3122P regarding more teacher / student responsibilities.

Tardiness To Class

Students are considered tardy who are not in the classroom when the bell rings and this is considered a classroom problem.

Offenders are to be handled by the classroom teacher in his/her own way.  With habitual offenders, or those students a teacher needs help with, a teacher may turn in a disciplinary report to the Vice-Principal to handle.  If a student comes to class later than fifteen (15) minutes, it is considered an unexcused absence and will count towards the student’s ten (10) day absences.

A student will earn an unexcused absence (UA) for every three (3) tardies he/she earns in each class.  Students will also be assigned two days of closed-campus lunch for every three (3) tardies in any one class.

 Attendance Policy Appeal Procedure

Students have the right to challenge the ten-(10)-absence-per-semester limit during the semester of the attendance violation, prior to the time credit is removed.  Those students whose attendance records are free of truancies will be given special consideration in the appeal.  The students will continue to attend school during the appeal process.  A student who anticipates that an extended absence will exceed the ten-(10)-day limit may appeal in advance.  The challenge will be made to an attendance board.  The attendance board will consist of the principal, Vice-Principal, a counselor, and those teachers whose classes the student has exceeded the allowable number of absences.  Decisions of the attendance board will be rendered within one (1) school day of the hearing.  The process is as follows:

1.    After five (5) absences from school/class, a letter will be sent to the student’s home, indicating the school policy and the number of days missed.  Parents will be contacted and may share concerns about the days absent.

2.    After seven (7) absences, another letter will be sent, indicating the severity of the situation and explaining in detail the alternative for non-compliance.  A school site-based team consisting of the building principal, counselor, and concerned teachers will review past attendance records of the student

3.    After going over the tenth (10) absence, the student may have credit withheld. That student, with parental accompaniment, must appear before the Attendance Board that comprises of the students teachers and the vice-principal.  Other agencies and the youth court may be a part of the board.

4.    The Attendance Board will review the absence report to determine if the student will have credit withheld, which will occur unless extenuating circumstances surface.

5.    The Attendance Board can, after hearing a student’s/parent’s appeal for retainment of credit, deny credit or put certain stipulations on a student whose credit will be dependent upon an agreement reached with the student and parents concerning attendance for the rest of the semester.

6.    Any decision to withhold credit can be appealed to the Superintendent and/or to the Board.  If the appeal is rejected, one can assume the Board feels the absence could have been avoided.

7.    If the appeal is not granted, the student will remain in that particular class period for the remainder of the semester or be placed in an alternative setting.  If disciplinary problems occur in that subject, the student will be suspended from school.

8.    If the appeal is granted, the student will return to class with the Attendance Board’s stipulations.  If the stipulations are violated, a loss of credit will result.

9.    The Attendance Board may also decide to make a decision regarding the student’s participation in extracurricular activities and athletics, including those with medical documentation.

10.   Closed campus, including lunch, will be in effect for the remainder of the current semester AND also the following semester if a student is placed under a stipulation.

11.   If absences continue, the youth court will be contacted by the Vice-Principal.  A county attorney referral might also take place if the Attendance Board seems it to be fit.