Student attendance is critical to a student's academic success. In accordance with section 7 of the Education Act, regular school attendance is required and expected of all students from the age of 6 to 16. Supporting student attendance is a shared responsibility shared by the school, the teacher, the student, and the parent/guardian and the community.
- Principals shall develop student attendance procedures which include a process for keeping parents/guardians informed of unexcused absences.
- School attendance procedures shall include a process for students or parents to notify the school of student absences.
- Principals shall make students and parents/guardians aware of their responsibility for regular and punctual student attendance.
- An accurate daily record of attendance shall be kept for each student by the school.
- The record of a student's attendance shall appear on student progress reports.
- The Associate Superintendent Of Learning Services shall be appointed Attendance Officer for the School Division.
- The Division supports positive attendance through a comprehensive approach grounded in prevention and intervention.
- The focus on attendance issues must be in a supportive context. The supportive context is grounded in a collaborative model that includes the school, division supports, students and their families, and outside agencies.
- Principals shall establish school-level attendance policies that:
- Encourage regular attendance;
- Are clearly disseminated to students and families and accessible in multiple formats;
- Ensure that accurate student attendance records are maintained and monitored including the use of standardized attendance codes established by the Division;
- Reference a Continuum of Attendance Supports that demonstrates classroom and school-based attendance and engagement supports and;
- Involve the family in resolving attendance problems
- Principals should consider:
- The role of personalized early outreach in establishing a culture of attendance;
- Using appropriate tools to conduct proactive campaigns to communicate the importance of attendance (posters, websites, social media, incentives, positive communication home, etc.);
- Sending regular attendance data home to all families;
- Using software tools to set up automatic alerts to monitor student attendance data.
- In instances where corrective measures taken by the school have not been effective in addressing poor student attendance will advise the Division Attendance Officer. The Division Attendance Officer will:
- Review school-based interventions with school administration;
- Compile all documentation (e.g. correspondence to parents, a record of attendance, etc.);
- Advise the school if additional measures or strategies are required;
- Determine if the Community Conference team should engage the family;
- Advise the parents /guardians of his/her involvement.
- Both informal and formal communication to parents/guardians regarding poor attendance, and attempts to resolve the poor attendance should be documented.
- 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.
Updated: November 2019