St. Margaret of Scotland School requires regular, prompt attendance of all students according to current Archdiocesan guidelines.                                                       

(School Board Policy, October 2007)

Regular attendance at school is encouraged for consistency of instruction and continuity for the students.  Student attendance is recorded on the student’s permanent record from Kindergarten through Eighth grade.

Full Day Absence

  • A student is considered absent for a full day when not at school for more than 4 hours.  
  • Parents are expected to call or e-mail the school office before 7:45 a.m. to report student absences. 
  • During that communication, the parent should indicate with whom any school work should be sent for the sick child. 
  • In the case of absence due to a communicable disease a note from the child’s doctor is required before the child returns to school.

Half Day Absence

  • A student is considered a half day absent when the student arrives after 11:00 am or leaves before 1:00 pm, but is present at school for more than 4 hours. 
  • It is necessary upon arrival for a parent or guardian to come into the school to sign the student into or out of school.

Two-Hours Out of School

  • A student is considered “Two Hours Out” when not in class by 8:00 am, leaves school after1:00 pm, or is away from school for two hours or less.
  • It is necessary for a late arriving student to come into the office to get a late slip for entrance into class.
  • It is expected when a student arrives later than 8:00 am for a parent or guardian to come into the school to sign the student into school.
  • It is necessary for the parent or guardian to come into the office to sign a student out when the student is leaving for any portion of the day.


  • A student is considered tardy when not in class by the official start of the day.
  • It is necessary for the student to come to the office to get a late slip for entrance into class.


Excessive Absences: 

A student who is absent more than 25 days in a school year is subject to retention or withdrawal.

Excessive lates (tardy, 2 hours out, half days):

Timeliness is one of the many lessons, when learned, that will benefit a person for a lifetime.  As educators of the whole person we are obligated to teach the lesson of timeliness. Children who arrive late for school spend the rest of the day just a little behind.  Children who arrive late for school disrupt the learning environment by disrupting the flow of instruction for other students.

  • After 3 lates in a quarter, the homeroom teacher or principal will call or send a note to the parents or guardian reminding them that after the 4th late parents will need to conference with the teacher and/or principal concerning the excessive lates.
  • If the late arrivals continue in that quarter, the parent or guardian conferences with the homeroom teacher and possibly principal (decided upon mutually by teacher and principal).  The student, depending on his or her age, may be expected to be present at the conference.
  • If the habit of arriving late continues after the conference, the student may be kept from entering the class until a natural break occurs in teaching; this later entry maintains the learning environment by keeping the rest of the class from being interrupted by the distraction of a late student’s entry.

(Revised by Faculty and Staff, spring 2007)

When a student needs to leave school during the school day for an appointment:

  • The parent or guardian should advise the school office by note, phone, or email as to when the student will be picked up and by whom.
  • The parent or guardian picking up the student must come into the office to sign the student out.  At that time the student will be called down from class.
  • If the student returns to school that day, the parent or guardian must come into the office to sign the student back in.

When a student becomes ill during the school day:

  • The office manager will call the child’s parent to make arrangements to take the sick child home.
  • If the parent is unreachable by phone, the next person on the Fast Direct emergency list will be called.

Vacation During the School Year

  • Parents are asked to avoid taking their children away from school for vacations during the school year.  The learning that happens within the classroom cannot be duplicated by a textbook or worksheet.
  • When pre-planned time away from school is unavoidable:
    • A written note or email to the homeroom teacher and school office with the exact dates is necessary.
    • The student is responsible for making up any school assignments missed during the time away.
    • When possible the teacher will send a packet of assignments with the student before s/he leaves.  When not possible, the student will make up the assignments upon returning.

The School Year

The chief consideration in setting the annual school calendar is to provide students with quality time for learning.  The total number of instructional days/hours may exceed or be equal to174 days or 1044 instructional hours as required by the State of Missouri and the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  The calendar is developed by the principal and staff, and presented to the Pastor and school board for approval.  The school calendar for an upcoming year is published in the late spring of the current year.  It is sent in paper form to all parents and is available with updates on the SMOS website and Fast Direct.

The School Day

The school day is designed to optimize instruction for all students.  An instructional day is defined as a day with a minimum of six hours of instruction.

7:30 am Adult supervision is provided outside, as kindergarten through 8th grade students begin gathering in the schoolyard and visiting with friends.  Preschool students are taken by parents or siblings directly to their classrooms.
7:40 am Students enter their classrooms to unpack and organize their materials for the day.
7:50 am Homeroom, morning prayer & announcements
8:00 am Classes begin
11:00 am First lunch period, each lunch period is preceded or followed by recess.  Lunch and recess are each 20 minutes.
2:50 pm Classes end followed by 10 minutes to prepare for going home.
3:00 pm Kindergarten through 8th grade students are dismissed.  Parents or guardians of preschool students pick their children up directly from their classrooms.  


Drop Off and Pick Up: Our Students’ Safety Comes First

  • Parking Lot: Parking is allowed and encouraged in the Parking Lot off Shaw and Lawrence.  Parents are invited to park their cars and walk towards the school when leaving or picking up their children.
  • Castleman Cul-de-sac: Parking is not allowed in the Castleman cul-de-sac just before and after school. Parents are asked to drop off or pick up students and keep moving around the circle.  Likewise, parents are asked to wait for the car in front rather than to go around, waiting insures the safety of all children exiting and entering cars. 
  • Lawrence Street : Parking is permitted on Lawrence street except directly in front of the school where children exit their cars.  Preschool students enter the school building through the Lawrence doors between 7:30 and 7:50 am and between 2:50 and 3:00 pm.

School Closing for Special Events

The principal establishes procedures for emergency school closings and special schedules.                                                                                                            (School Board Policy 2/21/01)

It is the school’s desire to adhere to the published calendar for any days off school.  If an event or special teachers’ meeting arises, parents will be notified through the Thursday Newsletter and the SMOS Website, so that appropriate arrangements for the care of the children might be made.

School Closings for Weather

School will be closed, whenever the conditions are considered to be too hazardous for travel or if conditions present a threat to the students’ well being.  Many of our SMOS families live near school, but some live quite far from school.  In the case of inclement weather when school is not closed, parents are encouraged to use their best judgment as to the safety of traveling to school. 

School closings due to inclement weather will be communicated before 7:40 am by way of emessages on Fast Direct, radio and television.

  • KMOX 1120AM
  • KMOV Channel 4
  • KSD Channel 5


  • Late opening of school indicates that school begins one hour later than normal.  (8:50 am)
  • School closings after the school day has begun will only happen on the rarest of occasions.  All parents or those designated on the Fast Direct emergency list will be notified to pick up their children.

Non-Weather Related Emergencies

In the case of a severe emergency or natural disaster the school follows specific procedures.  Parents will be notified by Fast Direct emessage or by phone whenever possible concerning the emergency.  Students will only be released to their parents or to those persons designated on the Fast Direct emergency list. 

NOTE: Please be sure that your emergency information on Fast Direct is accurate and up to date.

Archdiocesan Guidelines Related to Attendance

Absence: Students are considered absent whenever they are away from school during school hours except for school sponsored or school sanctioned co-curricular activities (e. g., field trips, enrichment, and remedial programs, etc.)  Students who must be excused for medical, dental, funeral, or other reasons during school hours are considered absent.  For these types of absences a written or verbal notice should be sent to the school in advance by a parent/guardian stating the time, length, and reasons for absence.

Chronic or excessive absences without substantial cause can be a factor in determining a student’s continued enrollment in the school.

Truancy: A student is truant if he/she is absent from school for a day or portion of the day without the knowledge and/or consent of the parent/guardian and school officials.

Tardiness: A student is tardy who arrives after the time fixed by school policy for the start of the school day.

Release of Students from School:  A school should develop policies and procedures for the release of students, both for the normal course of events, as well as for unforeseen or emergency situations.  These policies and procedures should be published on the faculty handbook and communicated to students and parents through the parent/student handbook and other appropriate means.

Release from School Due to Illness: A student is permitted to leave the school premises for illness only after the parent/guardian has been contacted by phone.  Records containing the names of persons to contact if a parent/guardian cannot be reached should be kept on file.   Parents/guardians are responsible for providing transportation for the student to leave.

Dual Enrollment:  Dual enrollment is a method of providing course and programs to a student that the school itself cannot provide due to staffing and/or finances.  Missouri state law also allows Catholic school students to be dually enrolled in public schools in order to participated in specialized programs or to receive special education or remedial reading and mathematics services.

Archdiocese of St. Louis: Administrative Manual for Catholic Education, 2006