Administrative Procedure 330

AP 330 - Student Attendance

Background

Student attendance is critical to a student's academic success.  In accordance with the School Act, regular school attendance is required and expected of all students from the age of 6 to 16. Each school will define the school's attendance policy and communicate this with parents/guardians at the start of the school year. 

Procedures

 

  1. An accurate daily record of attendance shall be kept for each student by the school.
  2. Schools are expected to have in place a system for verifying reasons for non-attendance on a daily basis.
    1. Absences will be reported to the office.
    2. Attendance shall be done at the beginning of the morning and the afternoon for elementary and middle/junior high students. Attendance shall be done for every class block in senior high.
    3. All unexplained absences during the school day shall be reported to the office immediately after the absence becomes apparent. All reasonable efforts must be immediately made to determine the whereabouts of students reported absent.
  3. As schools are often asked to document student absence/attendance, it is strongly recommended that any student absence be explained by a note signed by a parent or guardian and that the notes shall be retained for at least one (1) year.
  4. Parents should be encouraged to take the initiative in advising the school when students are absent.
  5. Telephone calls from a parent or guardian regarding student attendance should be documented and filed for at least one (1) year or retained in SIRS/Teacher Logic.
  6. In cases of unexplained absences, suspected truancy or excessive absences occurring (more than 15%), the principal shall contact the parent or guardian as soon as a pattern of poor attendance becomes evident, as determined by the school’s attendance policy.
  7. Initial investigation of reasons for extended student absence from school shall be the responsibility of the school principal or designate. An annotated log is to be kept of each contact with the home. These subsequent steps may be taken to remedy the situation:
    1. Automated phone calls directly to the home (Synervoice) for each absence;
    2. Phone calls directly to the home (personal);
    3. Initial letter of concern, including attendance record and expected attendance rate;
    4. Additional phone calls to the home (personal).
  8. After all possible avenues of remediation have been exhausted at the school level, subsequent absences by the same student shall result in the principal referring the matter to the division’s attendance officer. At that time, the principal will send a final letter to parents/guardians indicating the impending referral to the Attendance Board. The district template letter should be used.
  9. The attendance officer may initiate steps to have either a court order served by a judge or justice of the peace to the student in the presence of the parent or guardian or refer the case to the Attendance Board for action, in accordance with the School Act and its regulations.

References

 School Act,Section 13, 14, 15, 60