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905: Student Attendance at School

Date: May 25, 2022

Responsible Administrator: Deputy Superintendent Education Services

 

BACKGROUND

Sturgeon Public Schools believes regular school attendance is a significant contributing factor to student learning, positive connections at school, and student progress. When there is an attendance concern, it is usually the first indicator that a student is having other challenges (Alberta Education).

PURPOSE

All students who on September 1 are 6 years of age or older and younger than 16 years of age, subject to subsection 7(2) of the Education Act, shall attend school.

PROCESS

The Deputy Superintendent Education Services will be responsible to maintain the procedure.

PROCEDURE

1. The Principal shall reference the importance of regular attendance in student/parent/guardian and teacher communications.

1.1  Teachers/office staff shall maintain accurate and timely records for student attendance and ensure these are available to parents/guardians through PowerSchool.

1.2  The Principal and staff shall encourage students to attend school on a regular basis and shall report student attendance to parents/guardians as outlined in these guidelines.

1.3  Elementary and junior high schools shall report student attendance to parents/guardians at each formal reporting period.

1.4  Notwithstanding section 2.1 elementary and junior high schools shall communicate with the student (where appropriate) and with parents/guardians regarding student’s attendance once 10% or more unexcused absences occur.

1.5  Notwithstanding section 2.1 senior high schools shall communicate with the student and parents/guardians regarding student’s attendance after three (3) or more unexcused absences have been recorded.

2. Parents/guardians are expected to ensure their child(ren) attends school regularly.

2.1  The parents/guardians are responsible for providing the school with an explanation (phone calls, messages and/or emails) if their child(ren) will not be in attendance on any given school day.  All absences, whether excused or unexcused will be accumulated towards a total number of absences.

3. If the school does not receive notice from the parents/guardians concerning a student’s absence as required in Section 2.1 above, the school or the Power School system will communicate to parents/guardians and advise them of the student’s absence.

4. Teachers shall communicate with parents/guardians when absences by a student interfere with their school learning.

4.1  Teachers shall maintain documentation of communication (phone calls, messages and/or emails) through log entries on PowerSchool with parents/guardians regarding the student’s absences.

4.2  Teachers shall report to school administration when absenteeism is determined (as indicated in 1.4/1.5) and a letter will be sent home by the school advising the parents/guardians of the student’s absence. 

4.3  Should attendance not improve as per action in 4.2, teachers will report to the administration/counsellor team with cooperation and collaboration from the parents/guardians and student will explore and determine a targeted Attendance Improvement Plan and/or support that would be best to address the absenteeism.

4.4  Monitoring and reasonable efforts to document the outcome of the plan will be done by school personnel.

5. If learning continues to be adversely affected by lack of attendance and the Attendance Improvement Plan or other supports are not successful, the school shall send a letter (outlining the Attendance Improvement Plan/or other supports in place and any additional communication attempts) and an attendance report to the parents/guardians. Included will be the expectations as outlined in the Education Act (Sections 7 - 9 and/or 45 - 50).

5.1  For student’s 16 years/older as of September 1st, ongoing strategies and communication will be determined by the school.

6. If lack of attendance persists following reasonable efforts outlined in the Attendance Improvement Plan and/or other supports, the Principal shall inform the Deputy Superintendent Education Services/designate, send a letter as deemed appropriate as per the Education Act (Section 7) and proceed to involve specialized interventions from Alberta Education through the Office of Student Attendance and Re-engagement (OSAR).

7. If OSAR is not successful in establishing improved/regular attendance by the student, the family and the student (as per the Education Act, Sections 7 and 8) shall be referred to the Attendance Board (Section 9) at Alberta Education by the Principal of the school.

8. The Attendance Board description and responsibility is outlined in the Education Act under sections 46, 47, 48 and 49. 

References:

Board Policy: 900 Student Conduct and Discipline
Education Act
Alberta Education Guide to Education: ECS to Grade 12
Attendance Strategies
Attendance Tool Kit