Grade 8 – 12 Attendance Policy
Regular attendance is an important part of good citizenship, and essential to success in school. The policy in place stipulates the maximum number of absences allowed. Students who exceed the maximum allowance may not receive credit for the courses they are taking and families may be charged an additional fee. Be sure you know exactly what the policy states. All students are expected to be in class no later than 8:20am and 9:10am on Late Start Wednesdays, unless given special permission by their Head of School to arrive later. Parents are encouraged to use the on-line Attendance Notification Form to report student absences or late arrivals to school under Quick Links on the school webpage www.collingwood.org.
Arriving on time to class demonstrates respect for one’s teachers and classmates. Being punctual is a way of showing courtesy and consideration to others. Students who arrive late except for reasons beyond their control, therefore, are being disrespectful, discourteous, and inconsiderate; those who are chronically late will face consequences.
Late arrivals handled by the teacher
Students who are not tardy enough to warrant being sent to Reception may, at the teacher’s discretion, be given a warning instead. Most students will be sent to Reception to receive a Late Slip. Every Late Slip is a documented part of a student’s attendance record.
Detentions for late students
Lates will be tracked weekly, from Monday to Friday. Any student who has three lates in one week including excused lates will receive a Friday detention. There may be genuine reasons for being late once or even twice, but three times suggests more than just misfortune. This policy does not preclude teachers from taking action of their own against consistently late students if they wish to. If students decide to take off an entire morning or afternoon to avoid accruing a Friday detention, then they become liable for a Saturday detention. Punctuality and consistent attendance are key to student success, and will be important in offering re-enrolment packages each year.
Absences and parent notes required for attendance records
Following an absence, all students must report to Reception. If the student has missed a period, Reception will give the student a Late Slip, which the student must show to the next teacher. If a student has missed a half or entire day, a note of explanation must be submitted to the school. Students’ absences are tracked on a period by period basis (Gr. 8-12). The Ministry of Education requirements outline that in order to receive full credit for course work, students MUST be absent no more than 20 school days in one year. There may be extenuating circumstances to explain attendance records - each student will be dealt with on an individual basis. It is important to note the school’s policy on students who exceed 20 days of absence per year:
"We receive an annual grant per student provided that he/she has been in attendance at the school for 135 days by May 15. If this is not the case, we lose a percentage of the grant. We recoup this loss by charging the family in question except, of course, when absence is due to illness."
Parents and/or guardians are expected to communicate a child’s absence to the school in one of the following ways:
1. A phone call – but must be followed up with a note/email
2. An email to Mentor Teacher or Head of House
3. Completing the on-line Attendance Notification Form.
Notes or emails sent in by parents are necessary as part of our attendance policy, but do not excuse absences in excess of the Ministry stated guidelines. Families will receive attendance update letters during the year, asking for supporting documentation and tracking student attendance. If you have any questions, please speak to your Head of School.
In Case of Illness
Students who feel ill must see the School Nurse before leaving the school grounds. DO NOT phone parents until you have seen the Nurse and she has verified that you ought to go home. If you cannot find the Nurse in her office, go to Reception. Students must bring a note from a parent and/or doctor after all absences.
Requests for Excused Absences
If a student will be absent from school for some reason other than illness or injury, his or her parents should write a note in advance to the Head of School explaining the reasons for the absence and requesting that the absence be excused. In the vast majority of cases, such requests are granted. If, however, the reasons for the absence, or its timing, indicate to the Head that the absence would be unwise, the school’s reservations will be expressed to the parents.
Missed Work Due to Absence
If you are absent from school for any reason, it is your responsibility to find out what tests and assignments you have missed and arrange with your teachers to make them up. If you know you are going to be absent, your parents must write a note to the Head of School in advance to request that your absence be excused (unless the absence is due to a school activity), and you must speak with your teachers before the absence to determine what work you can do while you are gone, and when you will be required to make up work you have missed.