SWAN VALLEY SCHOOL DIVISION STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY AND PROTOCOL:

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1 SWAN VALLEY SCHOOL DIVISION STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY AND PROTOCOL: The goal of this Policy is to ensure that SVSD students are supported in developing and sustaining healthy attendance patterns. The intent of this Protocol process is to be responsive and proactive in developing and sustaining healthy attendance patterns for all SVSD students. EVERY STUDENT, EVERY DAY, CLAIMED FOR SUCCESS

2 STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICY: The Swan Valley School Division believes that regular attendance and punctuality are positive and constructive student behaviours. Daily school attendance is critical because a strong connection exists between school attendance and academic and social success. In order to gain the full benefits of educational instruction and meaningful involvement in the wider school community it is necessary for pupils to be present and on time. Under the Manitoba Public Schools Act, a child must attend regularly until the age of 18. A student who is not of compulsory age is required to attend regularly once he or she enrols.

3 RESPONSIBILITY FOR ATTENDANCE: Responsibility for attendance rests jointly with the student and his or her parents or guardians.

4 SCHOOL AND DIVISIONAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENT ATTENDANCE: Individual Schools and the Swan Valley School Division have a responsibility to provide engaging instruction in a safe, nurturing and respectful environment. School communities and Student Services will work in collaboration with pupils and their families in support of establishing and sustaining healthy attendance patterns. It is the responsibility of the school to communicate the Swan Valley School Division Attendance Policy and Protocol to students and their families at the beginning of each academic year and to individual registrants as they enter the School Division at other times. In addition, ongoing school-wide recognition and support for healthy attendance patterns is expected.

5 ABSENCES: Student absences are categorized as either EXCUSED, EXPLAINED or TRUANT.

6 EXCUSED ABSENCES: Absences are considered excused if the activity is initiated by the school. Excused absences may include but are not limited to field trips, sporting events, special group outing activities, suspensions, etc.

7 EXPLAINED ABSENCES: Absences are considered explained if they are for unavoidable causes and are supported by a signed written note or telephone call from the student s parent or guardian. Explained absences may include times of illness or medical appointments.

8 TRUANCY: Student absence that is neither excused nor explained is an act of truancy.

9 ATTENDANCE PROTOCOL: RECORDING ATTENDANCE Teachers and/or Educational Assistants are expected to be in continuous supervision of elementary pupils throughout the day. In elementary classes, formal electronic attendance will be taken at the beginning of the day and then again immediately following the noon recess. Teachers and/or Educational Assistants are also expected to be in continuous supervision of middle and secondary school students throughout the day. In middle and secondary school classes electronic attendance will be taken at the beginning of each a subject or course period.

10 REPORTING ABSENCES: AT HOME Where the parent or guardian has determined that the student must be absent from school, the parent or guardian will inform the school prior to the scheduled time for that day or class. Pupils who are 18 years of age or older may telephone to report their own absence reasons in lieu of a parent or guardian taking this responsibility. In the case of prolonged illness, the student s absences must be supported by a medical certificate. An illness is considered prolonged if it keeps a student from attending classes longer than three consecutive days. If a prolonged illness is an isolated case supported by a medical certificate it will be considered as one day of absence for the purposes of this protocol of response.

11 REPORTING ABSENCES: AT THE SCHOOL: All non-excused or unexplained absences will be reported. Should a student be truant parents or guardians will be contacted.

12 DIVISIONAL RESPONSE TO STUDENT ABSENCES: UPON THE THIRD DAY Upon the third day of reported explained absence or truancy in a given month, the School Division Social Worker will be advised of the situation. The Social Worker will contact the parent or guardian to discuss the importance of regular attendance and to offer support for sustaining healthy attendance patterns. A record of this contact will be maintained by the Social Worker and shared with the Principal. Student Services Team members may also be contacted as is required. If requested, the Social Worker will assist with developing and implementing plans to avoid future absences.

13 DIVISIONAL RESPONSE TO STUDENT ABSENCES: UPON THE FIFTH DAY Upon the fifth day of explained absence or truancy in a given month, the School Division Social Worker will facilitate a meeting of the student, his or her parents or guardians, and the Principal. Other school staff may also be involved, for example, Classroom Teacher(s), Learning Resource Teacher(s), and Guidance Teacher(s) etc. The purpose of this meeting will be to further discuss the importance of regular attendance and to offer support for sustaining healthy attendance patterns, this time in a faceto-face setting. The Social Worker will be responsible for keeping a record of this meeting and for distributing a summary of the conversations to participants along with the agreed upon plan for ensuring healthy attendance. The Social Worker will assist with developing and implementing plans to avoid future absences including establishment of follow-up meetings as are required.

14 COMMITMENT TO STUDENT WELFARE: ATTENDANCE The School Division Social Worker will continue to work in collaboration with the student, his or her family, the Principal, Teachers, Student Services, and the wider community as is necessary until healthy attendance patterns have been established and sustained.

15 LATES: Students are expected to be punctual for all classes. A pupil who arrives late for class not only loses valuable instructional time but also disrupts the learning of others. Parents or guardians will be notified if their son or daughter arrives late for class. As required, appropriate school personnel will host face-to-face conversations with students and their families designed to improve punctuality. The School Principal will be responsible for keeping records of these interventions.

16 COMMITMENT TO STUDENT WELFARE: PUNCTUALITY A continuing pattern of late arrivals will result in the School Division Social Worker being invited to work in collaboration with the student, his or her family, the Principal, Teachers, Student Services, and the wider community as is necessary until healthy attendance patterns have been established and sustained. The Social Worker will be responsible for keeping a record of this involvement.

17 TRUANCY DURING THE SCHOOL DAY: Students are expected to attend all classes during the scheduled day. Skipped periods leave a pupil with missed opportunities to learn. Parents or guardians will be notified if their son or daughter is truant from individual classes. As required, appropriate school personnel will host face-to-face conversations with students and their families designed to ensure attendance in all scheduled classes. The School Principal will be responsible for keeping records of these interventions.

18 COMMITMENT TO STUDENT WELFARE: ATTENDANCE THROUGHOUT THE DAY A continuing pattern of truancy from individual classes will result in the School Division Social Worker being invited to work in collaboration with the student, his or her family, the Principal, Teachers, Student Services, and the wider community as is necessary until healthy attendance patterns have been established and sustained. The Social Worker will be responsible for keeping a record of this involvement.

19 SUSPENSIONS: A suspension from school is an excused absence. The school has a responsibility to provide academic programming for missed classes. A continuing pattern of suspensions will result in the School Division Social Worker being invited to work in collaboration with the student, his or her family, the Principal, Teachers, Student Services, and the wider community as is necessary until healthy attendance and behaviour patterns have been established and sustained. The Social Worker will be responsible for keeping a record of this involvement.

20 STUDENTS SUPPORTED IN DEVELOPING AND SUSTAINING HEALTHY ATTENDANCE PATTERNS:

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