After school make up times will be scheduled on a month to month basis.

School District #82 (Coast Mountains)

*Attendance Policies are available for pick up in the office after Oct. 4th, 2010*

 Mount Elizabeth Secondary School Attendance/Truancy Policy

 Overview:

  • Students will have to make up missed classroom work for every absence.
  • Students will have to make up missed classroom work and time for every Unexcused/Truant absence they accrue.
  • For each Unexcused/Truant class absence the student would be required to make up 30 minutes of time either with the teacher or in a formal setting.
  • This policy applies to each class, so a student who has an Unexcused/Truant absent for an entire day would owe 120 minutes of makeup time.
  • Once a student reaches their 4th Truant absences they will face discipline measures or suspension from the course, or withdrawal from the course until the student and parents meet with administration and the student has made up the time and work missed.
  • Failure to attend this tutorial time will result in forfeiture of marks for any assignments, quizzes, tests or other assessment of learning that took place during the absence.  Students may face other consequences as determined by the administration.

  ATTENDANCE/TRUANCY POLICY

 Rationale:

We believe regular attendance to be the single greatest determinant of success in our school. Despite all of our efforts to support and encourage students to successful completion of their coursework and the meeting of learning outcomes, a student’s choices and actions can negate these efforts. It is only through an effective partnership and clear communication between the school, the parents and the student that we can ensure success.

At Mount Elizabeth Secondary School, we believe that the essence of our educational programs occurs in the classroom with skilled teachers. Direct instruction, explanation, clarification, discussion, assessment, group tasks, practical experience and evaluation are all invaluable components of an effective learning environment. Students who miss class time are at a greater risk of missing key aspects of their learning, and by extension, will reduce their chances of meeting the required learning outcomes of their courses.

Process:

Types of Absences

Excused Verified – Unexcused Truancy
verified absence due to participation in outside of school activity  Sleeping-in  Failure to substantiate absence in writing within  2 working days of student return
Student illness Transportation issue Leaving school during instructional time without permission
Health appointment
Death in the family Parent decision to remove student for any reason not considered excused In or around school,but not in class
School sponsored trips Any absence not meeting ‘excused’ criteria
Family emergency Long Term Absence
Personal safety issue Trip or holiday
Principal’s discretion Medical

Types of Absences Explanation:

A.  Excused Absence:

1.  Verified absence due to participation in outside of school activity:

Examples may include participation on a community sports team, church sponsored activities, participation in Pacific Northern Music Festival or other provincial sanctioned festival events, or other activities at the discretion of administration.  A written note is to be submitted to the teachers/office within two working days after the return of the student.

In the case of the outside activity a reasonable amount of time will be granted for travel if the activity is outside of Kitimat.  Any time outside of travel time will be considered Verified – Unexcused. (see below)

2.  Student Illness:

Ensure that a signed, written note and any other supporting documentation, if applicable, are submitted to the teachers/office within two working days after the return of the student.  This information will be circulated to classroom teachers to ensure the absence is considered ‘excused’.

3.  Health Appointment: 

A note from the medical practitioner or specialist will need to be submitted to the teachers/office within two working days after the return of the student.  This information will be circulated to teachers to ensure the absence is considered ‘excused’.

4.  Death in the Family, Personal Safety Issue, Family Emergency or other unforeseen circumstances:

Like student illness, verification in writing, signed by a parent or guardian will be required to excuse these absences.

Situations that arise that are beyond the control of the student as determined by the administration will also be considered as excused absences.

Process for an Excused Absence:

In the event of an excused absence or absences, the teacher will provide the student with the opportunity to make up missed work and write quizzes or tests missed once they have received verification from the office that the absence is excused.  In the case of student illness students may opt to make up this missed work on their own, or in consultation with the teacher, under their supervision in a mutually agreeable time.  Students should make every effort to minimize all absences including excused times. Under most circumstances, the review of a written note by school administration will determine whether the absence is a valid (excused) absence according to the criteria noted above, or whether the absence is unexcused.  Many teachers require a note to be brought to them as well as the office requiring a note as well.  To alleviate the need for parents to write more than one note, the student can bring one note, then have each teachers initial the note.  At the end of the school day the student will then drop the note with the teacher’s initials on it to the office.  Notes from parents need to be submitted within 2 days of the student returning to school.  If a note is not received within the two day period the absence will be considered truant.
B.  Verified – Unexcused Absence:

Absences, even with parent permission, which do not meet the criteria for ‘excused absences’, include the following:

  • sleeping in
  • car trouble or missed bus
  • family vacations (see further details under Extended Absence)
  • parental or guardian decision to keep the student out of school for a reason that is not meet the criteria for an ‘excused absence’
  • other circumstances as determined by administration

Process for Verified – Unexcused Absences:

Students who are absent for unexcused reasons, will need to submit a signed note to the office from a parent or guardian within two working days of their return to class.  This note should state the reason for absence and indicate that the parent or guardian is aware of the reason.  Failure to provide this written evidence will result in the absence being considered truancy.

Student responsibilities for unexcused absences:

With the exception of extended absences due to family vacations or trips, students will be responsible for making up missed work and time in a formal setting, either with their classroom teacher, or in regularly scheduled tutorial sessions supervised by teaching staff and administration.  Students will have to make up 30 minutes for each class they miss. Failure to attend this tutorial time will result in forfeiture of marks for any assignments, quizzes, tests or other assessment of learning that took place during the absence and or suspension from class until the missed work and time are made up.  If the student has accrued over 5 unexcused absences per class and has not made up the time they will face administrative consequences and or withdrawal from class. Teachers will be expected to outline clear expectations and procedures for their class and include these in their course outlines.

If students are expected to make up missed work and learning time in a formal tutorial session, the classroom teacher will provide a written referral to the student and the office for the next scheduled tutorial session.  The teacher will provide that work for the student to complete in the tutorial session.  Failure to appear at the scheduled tutorial session will result in forfeiture of any work missed.

Many teachers require a note to be brought to them as well as the office requiring a note as well.  To alleviate the need for parents to write more than one note, the student can bring one note, then have each teachers initial the note.  At the end of the school day the student will then drop the note with the teacher’s initials on it to the office.  Notes from parents need to be submitted within 2 days of the student returning to school.  If a note is not received within the two day period the absence will be considered truant.

Extended Absence Policy:

Each year we are approached by parents or guardians who wish to take their child out of school for an extended period of time (defined as five school days or more).  Usually this is for reasons associated with family travel or family business.  We do not have a procedure for granting students a leave of absence. Rather, it is assumed that parents will make decisions in the best interests of their own child.  We are respectful of the fact that many of our students have family members far away, and spending time with them is important. We also encounter parents who wish to excuse their child from school for extended periods of time due to emotional or medical issues.  Regardless of the reason, difficulties arise when parents wish to have some sort of assurance that their child will not be behind in their work when they return.  If a child misses school for an extended period of time, he or she will be behind in classroom work.

Students may well have other cultural and travel experiences that contribute to their overall development, but the many varied daily classroom activities they will miss cannot be duplicated through worksheets or workbooks. There is no true substitute for missed instructional time. It is also unrealistic for teachers to have to re-teach key elements missed due to a family choice to miss school.  Although teachers will do their best to help students get caught-up, they may not be, generally speaking, in a position to provide make-up assignments, or detailed packages in advance for children who have extended absences due to family vacations or work. It is up to students to provide notification to each of their teachers well in advance (at least two weeks) of the date of the absence.  If less than 2 weeks notice is given teachers will not guarantee that they will have make up work prepared.  We strongly encourage all parents and guardians to contact the school to discuss potential extended absences with administration, and with classroom teachers.  This will give both parents and students a clear understanding of the potential impacts of these absences and student responsibilities upon return to classes.   In case of a long term absence the student will have to make up the missed work but not the missed time.

C.  Truancy:

Truancy is cause for disciplinary action.  Students will be considered truant if they:

  • Are absent from school without parental permission
  • Are in or around the school but not in their scheduled class
  • Leave class without teacher permission and fail to return
  • Are absent from school for reasons that are not considered excused or verified unexcused as outlined above
  • Fail to have a parent/guardian verify absence within 2 working days of their return to classes.

Students who make a conscious decision to skip their classes are not adhering to Mount Elizabeth’s code of conduct, School District 82 policy (2115), The School Act Sections 6 & 85 (3), and most importantly, are sabotaging their learning.  School administration reserves the right under the above mentioned policy and provincial legislation to deny educational programming to any student who displays repeated disregard for school and district policy, including truancy.  If efforts to curb truant behaviour in cooperation with parents and guardians prove unsuccessful, the student will face removal from one or all scheduled classes for the remainder of that semester.  If a student is absent from class due to truant behaviour, they will forfeit the opportunity to complete any assignments, tests, quizzes or other forms of assessment that took place during that class.

Process for Truant Absences:
Students will be responsible for making up missed work and time in a formal setting, either with their classroom teacher, or in regularly scheduled tutorial sessions supervised by teaching staff and administration.  Students will have to make up 30 minutes for each class they miss. Failure to attend this tutorial time will result in forfeiture of marks for any assignments, quizzes, tests or other assessment of learning that took place during the absence and or suspension from class until the missed work and time are made up.  If the student has accrued over 4 unexcused absences per class and the school has followed the intervention step outlined below and they have not made up the class work and time they will face administrative consequences and or withdrawal from class. Teachers will be expected to outline clear expectations and procedures for their class and include these in their course outlines.

If a student is found to be truant, the following intervention process will be followed:

First Step:        The first time a student is absent, be it one class or
more.  Teacher will contact parent/guardian and refer
student to administration.  Student will make up
th work and 30 minutes of time for that course.

Second Step:   The second time a student is absent, be it one class
or more.  Student will be referred to administration.
Administration will contact a parent/guardian and a
letter will be sent home outlining response to further
truant behaviour.  Student will be referred to a
counsellor for further discussion. Student
will make up the work and 30 minutes
of time for that course.

Third Step:      The third time a student is absent, be it one class or
more.  Student will be sent home, in consultation
with a parent/guardian and will not be permitted back
in that class until a meeting with administration,
student and parent has taken place outlining the likely
removal from that course or courses if a further
incident of truancy takes place. Student will make
up the work and 30 minutes of time for that course.

Fourth Step:    The fourth time a student is absent, be it one class or
more.   Student is removed from the course or
courses where repeated truancy has taken place.
Student will make up the work and 30 minutes
of time for that course.

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