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Good attendance is essential to the academic success of students and all students are expected to be in attendance each day school is in session. Attendance at Orchard Park Elementary is traditionally outstanding.  Each year, we have excellent attendance by our students.  This is a tribute to each family’s efforts to have their child at school daily.  We appreciate this effort! See the FMSD Attendance Policy for more details.


According to SC Code of Laws 59-65-10, the following types of absences are the only ones considered lawful:

  1. Serious, chronic, or extended illness of the student. (If your child has a chronic illness or is hospitalized for an extended period of time, please submit medical verification to the principal. )
  2. Serious illness or death in the immediate family.
  3. Recognized religious holiday for the students of the particular religious faith when pre-arranged.
  4. Pre-arranged absences for other reasons and/or extreme hardships at the discretion of the principal.

Parents must provide the school with a note identifying the reason for the absence within three (3) days of their child returning to school.  The note should be dated and specify the reason for the absence.  

Following any absence, a student is required to present a written note from the parent or guardian stating the date(s) of the absence(s), the reason for the absence(s), and the parent’s signature.  The note should be presented within two days of the child’s absence(s). If we do not receive a note explaining the child’s absence then it will be coded as unlawful. The school will only accept a parent written excuse for five total days of absences when the student is ill or absent for another lawful reason. Notes are kept on file by the attendance clerk. 


Any absence by a student with or without the knowledge of the parent not meeting one of the conditions for a lawful absence as defined above will count toward the cumulative limit of absences.  Written notification will be sent by the school for accumulated absences.  A call will be made by the attendance clerk after 3 consecutive absences.  When a child accumulates 5 absences that are unlawful or not excused by a medical note, the parents will be required to attend an attendance intervention (truancy) conference and assist the principal or his/her designee in the development of an attendance intervention plan which will be valid in any SC school district.  Excessive absences and failure to adhere to guidelines of an intervention plan could result in a family court referral.  The school will only accept a parent-written note for five days of absenceFollowing those days, doctor’s excuses are required.  All vacations and trips are unlawful reasons for a student to miss school, and will be considered unexcused.


Assignments and class work missed may be made up at the teacher’s discretion if a student is lawfully absent from school.  This is the responsibility of the student. Should assignments not be available for the entire period of the absence, the student is responsible for getting them upon his/her return in order to cover the material missed. Remember that experiments, discussions, group activities, etc. may be difficult to replicate. Graded work done or tests taken by the class while the student is absent will be made up, depending on the nature of the assignment; therefore, the student may have fewer grades at the end of the grading period.  Additionally, for any tests given after the student returns, the student will be responsible for the material covered in class while he/she was absent. If any work is not made up, it may affect the student’s grade.  The work needs to be made up within two days of the absence or at the teacher’s discretion.  If the student is absent, the parent may call and request to pick up assignments after school in the office.  Please do not expect the teacher to provide assignments during the school day. Virtual/eLearning will not be available for students that are absent.


Our school day begins at 7:35am. Students arriving after 7:35 a.m. are tardy. These students must report to the office with a responsible adult to be signed in for admittance to class. Tardies cost your child valuable educational instruction.  Tardies also interrupt the learning process for other students.  Be considerate of other students’ education.  Excessive tardies may result in an intervention meeting for development of an attendance plan which will remain in the child’s record and transfer to any receiving school.


It is requested that students not be picked up before the regular dismissal time.  This is an interruption of the educational process, not only for your child, but other children as well.  A child must be present for at least half of the school day to be considered present as related to perfect attendance. However, any portion of the day a child can attend is to his/her benefit.  Please provide verification for medical appointments. Please schedule these as near the beginning or end of the day as possible so your child can be in school.

 If a child will be dismissed from school before the close of the day, please send a note in the morning stating the reason for the early dismissal and the time the child will be picked up.  Parents are requested to enter by the front door, come to the school office, and sign out their child. Students leaving early must be signed out in the office and be dismissed only to a parent or approved adult on the emergency contact list. This procedure is for your child’s protection – please keep student information updated to facilitate this function, especially in emergency situations or early weather related school closings. In an effort to minimize disruption at dismissal time, there will be no dismissals permitted between 1:30pm-2:00pm. 


7:05 AM Breakfast/Drop-Off
  Adult supervision begins
7:35 AM Instructional Day begins
  *(Students must be in the classroom at this time)*
2:00 PM Dismissal for students
2:50 PM End of workday for teachers



7:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Main office ….548-8170