ATTENDANCE CALL-BACK LINE 604-903-3555 prompt 2 (available 24 hours a day)
Student attendance is the shared responsibility of parents, students and staff. Parents have the responsibility to ensure their child's attendance at school and to communicate with the school regarding their child's absences or tardiness. Students must assume responsibility for their punctual attendance to all classes: they must come to their classes prepared to participate and work in a positive manner.Regular attendance is essential for success in school. When students are away from school, we ask parents to notify the school by telephone using the callback line. Regardless of the reason for absence, it is the student's responsibility to catch up on missed work.In order to better track attendance please follow these procedures:
- Phone In - If your child will be absent or late please advise the school using the attendance callback number (604-903-3555, prompt 2). This voice-mail system will be active 24 hours a day.
Check-In and Check-Out Through the Office - If students need to leave before the end of the day for appointments, they must sign out in the office. As well, parents must notify the office by sending a note or by leaving a voice-mail message before school starts.
Daily Attendance - There is a strong and direct correlation between students' daily attendance patterns and their academic success. There is an expectation that all students are on time for school and prepared to learn in their classes prior to the bell. Poor attendance and late arrival times can become a habit and lead to significantly lower levels of student achievement.
AUTOMATED PHONE MESSAGE SYSTEM
Parents/guardians will receive an automated phone call and/or e-mail notifying them that a student from their household had an unexcused absence from class that day.
What to do if you receive a phone call and/or e-mail: The automated phone call and/or e-mail system refers to "PERIODS OF THE DAY" (1 thru 4). Look at your student's timetable to determine which missed class the call is for. If your student says they were in class, they must speak with the teacher who marked them away. Only that teacher can verify and change the attendance.
Explanations should be provided on the attendance callback line at (604-903-3555, prompt 2).
Ensure that the school has your current phone number and e-mail address.
1. Why is attendance important? Does it really matter if my child misses a few days of school?
attendance does matter, even if it is only a few days. Research has
shown that students who attend less that 90% of the time (this is the
equivalent to ½ day per week; students who miss several consecutive days
are even more at risk) have greater academic struggles, disengage from
school, and are at risk for not graduating. It also removes them from
their social circles and can make it challenging for them to reintegrate
back with friends, particularly if they have missed important social
Absenteeism is the "most common indicator of overall student engagement, and a significant predictor of dropping out. For
almost all young people, discontinuing school is not a sudden act, but a
gradual process of disengagement; attendance patterns are a clear early
sign" (Silent Epidemic, 2006)
2. What if my child is sick?
is an inevitable consequence of being in close contact with other
children on a daily basis. If your child is ill, by all means keep them
at home. However, you should have a plan to help them catch up on the
work they have missed. Check the teacher's website for information on
due dates and homework and establish a class "buddy" who will collect
homework and handouts for your child. Encourage your child to see the
teacher directly for support on concepts they are unclear on and may
have missed due to illness.
However, if you child is chronically
ill and missing many days, this is the time to seek medical support.
Your child may have an undiagnosed condition or may be struggling with
anxiety or depression. Any medical or mental health issue can make it
difficult for a child to feel well enough to attend school. Worse, if
they miss several consecutive days, particularly at the high school
level, it becomes even more challenging to make up the missed work. As
soon as you see a pattern of non-attendance with your child,
particularly if they don't "seem sick" please follow up immediately with
the school counsellor and a health care professional.
3. My child is a good student. Is it okay to take them out of school for an extended period of time for a family vacation?
is a question that is often asked of Principals. If you refer to the
answer in question 1, then removing your child from school for a family
vacation is not in the best interest of their academic or social needs,
even if they are successful learners. Students very quickly get behind,
fall out of the pattern of attending and can feel stressed and anxious
about getting caught up again. If you must remove your child from school
for extended lengths of time, please contact the administration and
your child's teacher(s), to see if there are projects and assignments
that can be worked on while you are a way. Have your child book an
appointment to meet with their teacher(s) their first day back to see
what work they have missed and determine a plan to catch up. Please
note, that teachers will not be able to provide one on one lessons for
students who have missed classes.
4. My child is in elementary school and sometimes on days with inclement weather, I prefer to keep them at home. Is this okay?
day you keep your child at home breaks their pattern of attendance and
it may make it more challenging to get them to attend the next day.
Provide your child with the appropriate clothing for all types of
weather and expect them to attend.
5. My student loves school and has always attended well. Suddenly he/she does not want to go. What do I do?
sudden change in behaviour like this indicates that something else may
be going on for your child. They may have had a conflict with at teacher
or a peer and they do not know how to handle it. They may not
understand an important concept and are afraid to ask for help. Talk to
your child to try to determine what is causing this change. Contact
their teacher(s)/school counsellor and/or principal immediately to
determine what has happened and what solutions and strategies can be put
in place to re-engage them in school.
6. What may poor attendance indicate about a child?
attendance indicates a lack of engagement with both the academic and
social aspects of school. It may be a symptom of a more complicated
issue or problem:
- Relational/attachment issues
- Undiagnosed learning disability
- Undiagnosed mental health condition (anxiety, depression, ADHD)
- Behaviour issues
- Addiction issues: drugs or alcohol, gaming, internet or social media
- Low self-esteem
- Sleep issues
7. What can I do as a parent to ensure good attendance for my child?
- First and foremost, make sure that your student clearly understands the importance of attending school regularly
- Set the expectation that in your family, children attend school: it is their job!
- Monitor their medical and mental well-being: put supports in place to keep them healthy and attending
- Make sure they are eating a healthy diet and have a sleep routine
- If you think they are struggling academically, contact the school immediately
- Try to book family vacations during regularly scheduled school breaks
proactive. You know your child best. If you detect any unusual behavior
or changes in their behaviour pattern, contact the school immediately
8. What can I expect from the school if my child's attendance drops below 90%?
- A letter or email indicating an attendance concern
- A request for a meeting with you and your child to determine any underlying issues
- Regular attendance monitoring and the creation of an "attendance support plan"
The attendance support plan may include:
- Regular attendance meetings with a school staff member
- School based counselling support
- An adjusted student timetable to facilitate consistent attendance
- The development of an IEP (Individual Education Plan) if attendance issues require academic and behaviourial supports
- Referral to the Choices program at the secondary level
- Referral to a Youth Outreach Worker or other community supports as necessary
other supports can parents access to help with the underlying issues
that may be making attendance problematic for their child?
are many community agencies on the North Shore that can support youth
and their families with mental health issues, relational issues and
addiction issues. Here is a sampling of some of these service providers.
Your school counsellor can also recommend additional supports.
Family Services of the North Shore: http://www.familyservices.bc.ca
Capilano Community Services: http://capservices.ca/youth-services/
Parkgate Community Services: http://www.myparkgate.com/youth/overview/
Hollyburn Family Services: http://hollyburn.ca/?page_id=43
North Shore Neighbourhood House: http://www.nsnh.bc.ca/youth.php
Vancouver Coastal Health:
Ministry of Child and Family Development: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/sda/contacts.htm#cns