ESBCHS Attendance Policy
Section 31 of the Education Act states that the “student shall attend school regularly and punctually”. To that end, ESBCHS has developed the following guidelines to deal with attendance issues:
1. Expectations Regarding Attendance and Punctuality
Achievement, attendance and punctuality are very closely linked: students who have irregular attendance and punctuality patterns dramatically increase their risk of failure. Students are expected to be on time and attend all classes.
2. Parental Responsibility
i. Parents/guardians have the primary responsibility to monitor attendance and impose consequences. Parents are encouraged to resist allowing absences for anything other than those reasons outlined in the Education Act (i.e. student’s
health, religious holidays, extra-curricular activities). The school recognizes that students may be absent for other legitimate reasons; however, all absences contribute to missed instructional time which can impact student achievement.
Parents are asked to call the school to verify all absences. Unverified absences will be considered truancies.
ii. Parents are asked to please refrain from scheduling family vacations during school time, especially during the scheduled exam periods at the end of each semester. The school’s Test and Exam Policy outlines the ways in which student absences during exam periods will be addressed.
3. Automated Messaging System
Students who are absent without verification by their parent(s)/guardian(s) will receive an automated email message. The automated messaging system (School Messenger) will email parents at email addresses, which have been provided to the school, to advise parents of an unverified absence. Please note that the most common reason for a mistaken call is that a student arrived late for class and did sign in at the main office. The student has a responsibility to ensure they sign in at the office before going to class if they are arriving late, as this will help ensure that the record is as accurate as possible.
4. Catching Up on Missed Work
Teachers will endeavour to assist students with work they missed, however teachers may not be able to provide the additional assistance to students with unverified absences or who demonstrate chronic absenteeism. At the teacher’s discretion, students may be assigned a mark of 0% for work or exams missed or due on the day of an unverified absence or for work not submitted within a reasonable time following a verified absence.
5. Chronic Absenteeism
Students may be removed from any course in which they have missed in excess of 20 classes owing to verified and/or unverified absences. Under normal circumstances, the following steps will occur prior to removing a student from a course:
i. After each unverified absence, parents will be contacted via email or SMS (if enabled by parent).
ii. After 5 absences, parents will be notified of concerns regarding a growing attendance problem
iii. After 8 absences, an administrator will discuss the problem with the student and will notify parents,
iv. After 10-15 absences, an administrator will meet with the student and their parents to establish strategies to curtail continued attendance issues.
v. After 20 absences, and if previous interventions have not met with positive results, a student will be at risk of being removed from the class and referred to an alternate program delivery format at the discretion of the principal.
To be considered for an exemption from a particular course or activity (e.g. physical education) a student must bring a signed note from his/her parent or guardian. A medical certificate will be required if the exemption is for three or more days.
Students are expected to be on time and prepared for every class and to be present in the classroom prior to announcements and the playing of the national anthem each morning. In order to minimize interruptions, students arriving late are to sign in to the office before going to class. Students who arrive more than 20 minutes after the start of class will be marked with an unexcused absence rather than a late.