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Attendance Matters

Help Us Keep Students Safe by Reporting Absences

Our office and teaching staff work hard each morning to track that each student made it to school safely. You can help us by reporting your child's absence in advance by leaving a phone message, sending in a note for advanced absences, or emailing us. To report your child’s absence, please contact:

Armadillo Technical Institute (Charter School):  541-535-3287

Kaitlyn Adams

Si necesita ayuda en español, comuníquese con lucy brossard en la oficina del distrito 541-535-7520

Orchard Hill Elementary School: 541-779-1766

Judy Detrick, Secretary ext. 2002 

Louise Lopez-Garner, asistente bilingüe, ext. 2046

Phoenix Elementary School:  541-535-3353

Kate Heim, Secretary ext. 1303

Laura Millette, enlace bilingüe con los padres, ext. 1332

Phoenix High School: 541-535-1526

Ramez Akil, Attendance Clerk ext. 3014

Yaneth Ortiz-Reyes, personal de apoyo estudiantil bilingüe, ext. 3050

Talent Elementary School:  541-535-1531

Secretary ext. 4002

Celia Parra, asistente bilingüe, ext. 4049

Talent Middle School: 541-535-1552

Marina McCambridge, Attendance Clerk ext. 4114

Blanca Harlan, enlace bilingüe con los padres, ext. 4106 


Help Your Child Succeed in School: Build the Habit of Good Attendance

Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and on the job.


  • Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.
  • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read. 
  • Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation.
  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
  • By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
  • By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
  • Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
  • Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Start building this habit in kindergarten so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.

WHAT YOU CAN DO - Make school attendance a priority:

  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school everyday, make that the expectation.
  • Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep. Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required shots.
  • Introduce your child to her teachers and classmates before school starts to help her transition.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make her feel comfortable and excited about learning.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
  • Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you.
  • Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school
  • Encourage meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs.
  • Ask for help from school officials, afterschool programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re having trouble getting your child to school.


Important Information about Attendance/Truancy Expectations

  • Phoenix-Talent Schools are committed to providing the best possible education for every child. It is well known that an important key to children’s academic success is having them attend school on a regular basis. Decades of research indicate that regular attendance helps children do well in high school, college and at work.  In fact, students who attend school regularly are more likely to graduate and find good jobs.  
  • To emphasize the importance of attendance, federal and state regulations have made attendance an additional reporting requirement for schools to publish on their state report cards. Oregon law states that all children between the ages 6 and 18 years who have not completed the 12th grade are required to regularly attend a public full-time school during the entire school term (ORS 339.010). Oregon law also states that every person having control of any child between the ages of 6 and 18, who has not completed the 12th grade, is required to send the child to, and maintain the child in, regular attendance at a public full-time school during the entire school term (ORS 339.020). 
  • In Oregon, more than one in six children are chronically absent from school. Nationally, Oregon’s chronic absenteeism rate consistently ranks within the bottom 20 percent of states. Chronic absenteeism in Oregon has a disproportionate impact on specific populations: Oregon’s American Indian and Alaska Native students, students with disabilities, students of color, students experiencing economic disadvantage and students who have received at least one out-of-school suspension. Chronic absenteeism is a concern for students in every grade, with higher rates in kindergarten and 1st grade and then again across all high school grades. These high absenteeism rates lead to devastating outcomes such as students dropping out, low graduation rates and even juvenile justice contacts. 

Parents and Students Need to Know:

  • The law authorizes the school, not the parent, to determine which absences may be excused and which absences are not excused.
  • Chronic truancy is a Class C violation and will result in a citation $180.00 per incident. Three violations will be on the citation.
  • ORS 339.080 requires school districts to notify a student’s parole or probation officer of absences in the same manner the district would notify the student’s parents.
  • Every effort is made to assure accurate attendance.  Occasionally a mistake may occur, if you feel there is an error made, please contact your student’s school. 
  • If your student is vomiting or has a fever, student should stay at home for 24 hours.

How to Excuse Absences

  • In order for an absence to be excused, it is the responsibility of the legal parent/guardian to report the absence.  You may call the Attendance Clerk/Office or write a note, signed and dated by the parent/lawful guardian, stating the reason for the absence.  Calling on the morning of the students’ absence is encouraged and will help school officials with attendance reporting. This will also save the parent  personal/automated phone calls regarding the student’s absence. Students should bring the note to the school before going to class upon the student’s return from the absence.  
  • Parents have 48 hours to report the absence. 

The following reasons are excusable absences:

  1. Personal illness, including mental illness, of a student.                             
  2. Serious illness or death in the family.
  3. Family emergencies as determined by the school. 
  4. A medical appointment with written verification.
  5. Prearranged absences approved by the principal or his/her designee. 
  6. Absences for school-related activities.
  •  Students who are 18 may not excuse themselves from school or specific class periods. To excuse any student’s absences, the district requires notification from the parent/guardian regardless of student age. The ONLY exception to this rule is if a student has been legally emancipated from their parents/guardians and provides proof of such court action.

Whenever possible, absences should be excused before they occur. Students with excused/pre-arranged absence(s) are allowed to make up/request missed work. We are here to help -- Please contact your child's school if they are experiencing health conditions, or your family has extenuating circumstances, that impact school attendance.

Parents/Guardians can check absences in PowerSchool:

  • Excused Absence (E): Student illness, family emergency, medical appointment
  • Verified Unexcused (V): Parent/guardian confirmed absence (i.e., family vacation)
  • Unexcused (U): Unknown absence (office staff will call parent/guardian and emergency numbers to verify if child is safe)
  • Suspension (S): Directed by school administration only; disciplinary exclusion
  • Activity (A): School-Sponsored Activity (these are not counted as absences)

Attendance Letters

All parents of students with cumulative absences will receive informational letters from their child's school to encourage prevent chronic absenteeism and truancy.

  • Nudge Letter: 4 days total of accumulated unexcused and excused absences
  • Truancy Letter #1: 7 days total of accumulated unexcused and excused absences
  • Truancy Letter #2: 10 days total of accumulated unexcused and excused absences; a mandatory meeting with the building administration is required. 
  • Truancy Letter #3: Sent at day 14 with certified mail or hand delivery. Attendance contracts are required, as is a mandatory parent-student meeting with our truancy officer. At this time, parents (and secondary students) may be required to appear in court for truancy.
  • Truancy Letter #4: If attendance continues to NOT improve after court and they have a minimum of 14 days unexcused/excused absences, a judge may give parents and secondary students legal consequences for truancy. 
  • Truancy letter #5: Letter from Superintendent
  • 10 Day Drop Letter: This letter is generated after 10 consecutive absences (10 absences in a row). Students are dropped from school enrollment; parents/guardians need to contact the building adminstrator to reenroll their child in school.