Fairview Junior High

Fairview Attendance Policy

Student Attendance Protocol for Fairview Junior High School 2014-2015



Guiding Principles
School-based Strategies to Promote Full Attendance
Interventions for Persistent Absence
Roles and Responsibilities
Related Policies and Guidelines

This protocol describes what administration and teachers of FJHS can and should do to ensure that students attend school regularly, and what to do if a student is persistently absent.

Guiding Principles

Students need to attend school regularly in order to meet the expectations of the Education Act and the Public School Program (PSP). They need to be present in order to grow academically, socially, emotionally and physically in the direction set by the PSP, and in order to have their learning assessed on a regular basis. It is essential that we develop strategies to ensure the regular attendance of all students.  These strategies must include practical ways to work in partnership with parents.

School-based Strategies to Promote Full Attendance

We will continue to develop our own strategies for recognizing good attendance and for intervening to reduce attendance problems, as long as those strategies are consistent with provincial and board requirements. We will continue to address school attendance in our school Code of Conduct, which must align with the Regional Code of Conduct (see Appendix A).

To ensure that all students attend school regularly, FJHS will do the following:

Communicate the school’s attendance strategies to all students, parents, and staff.
Apply the appropriate strategies to all students who are registered with the school.
Ensure that the strategies describe responsibilities and methods for:
ž          promoting student attendance

ž          communicating with parents about unexcused absences

ž          communicating with parents about ongoing attendance problems.


Schools communicate the expectations about attendance to students, staff and families in the following (but are not limited to) ways:

through calls home
individual meetings
guidance and office referrals
classroom meetings
grade level teacher meetings
school or grade level assemblies
student agenda books, newsletters
school web pages
parent meetings at school or home visits by administration
School Code of Conduct.  

Interventions for Persistent Absence

Following are four different levels of intervention to consider if a student is persistently absent. If a Level 1 intervention does not solve the problem, go to Level 2. If the student continues to miss school, go to Level 3, and finally to Level 4 if the problem persists.

·         Level 1:  The teacher meets with the student and contacts the parents to discuss ways to ensure the student’s full attendance. The teacher then follows up to ensure that the strategies are working.
·         Level 2:  If the problem persists, the teacher notifies the principal or vice-principal. The principal refers the matter to the School Planning Team for solutions.
·         Level 3:   If the student is chronically absent and the parent has not intervened or supported the attendance of the student, the principal sends a registered letter to the parent, and notifies the school administration supervisor. (See the sample letter in Appendix B at the end of this protocol.)
·         Level 4:  If the school-level interventions fail, the principal refers the student’s case to the Board Attendance Committee. (See the sample letter in Appendix C at the end of this protocol.)

For each individual case, the student’s grade level and the circumstances of the absences need to be considered in the decision-making process.

At any point, if it is in the student’s best interest, the teacher or principal might involve additional personnel or resources for the student. For example, this might be a guidance counsellor, junior high support teacher, African Nova Scotian Student Support Worker or Aboriginal Student Support Worker.

The goal of all interventions is to ensure the student’s success at school. With that in mind, be prepared to provide academic and social supports to help the student make up the work and time that has been lost in school.


Roles and Responsibilities


·         Consult with staff and the School Advisory Council to develop strategies to ensure the full attendance of all students.
·         Communicate the board’s attendance policy and the school’s strategies for promoting full attendance to teachers, students, and parents.
·         Ensure that an effective communication system is in place to notify parents of any ongoing attendance issues.
·         Meet with parents if a student is persistently absent.
·         Report persistent attendance issues to the school administration supervisor.
·         Keep attendance records for every student enrolled at the school.

·         Record and report all cases where students are absent or chronically late.
·         Teach the students about the importance of daily attendance and punctuality, and how these affect their learning and achievement.
·         Notify parents when a student has an unexcused absence.
·         Notify the School Planning Team and principal when a student is persistently absent or late.
·         Support students who have missed learning opportunities.
School Planning Team

·         Develop strategies to support students who are experiencing difficulties in school.
·         Help to decide how school-based resources and services will be allocated.
·         Help to develop and implement Individual Program Plans.
Parents and Guardians

·         Ensure that their children attend school and arrive on time every school day.
·         Notify the school ahead of time if they anticipate that their children will be absent.
·         Notify the school to explain why their children are absent or late.
·         Partner with the school to determine whether their children have the right supports to help them complete work that they have missed.
·         Talk with their children about the importance of daily attendance and its effect on learning and achievement.

·         Attend all classes and arrive on time.
·         Follow the expectations for school attendance set by the school.
·         Participate in daily learning opportunities.
·         Complete the work assigned by the teacher or outlined in the student’s academic plan for support.
Board Attendance Committee

The board attendance committee consists of the directors and coordinators of the Program department and the School Administration department. The committee meets on a regular basis to:

·         Review individual cases of absenteeism referred by the schools.
·         Arrange a meeting with the parent and appropriate board staff to discuss the student’s attendance.
·         Send a follow-up letter and minutes of the meeting to the parent.
·         Explore alternate placements and programs for the student, both within and outside the board, if appropriate.
·         Send an information letter about the outcome of each case, along with supporting documentation, to the Regional Education Officer, Department of Education.
Related Policies and Guidelines

For information related to school attendance, see the following board policies and guidelines:

·         Regional Code of Conduct (B.013)
(For an excerpt, see Appendix A at the end of this protocol.)
·         High School Attendance (B.019).
Also see the following provincial documents:

·         Education Act, sections 24, 25, 26, 38, 63, 64, 111, 112, 113, 116 (www.gov.ns.ca/legislature/legc/statutes/eductn.htm).
·         Public School Programs Handbook, 2003-04 (www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/psp/psp_03_04_full.pdf)
·         Policy and Information (P&I) Release, 2008–2009 School Calendar (www.ednet.ns.ca/pdfdocs/calendar/school-calendar-e-2008_2009.pdf).

Appendix A.  Regional Code of Conduct, Page 11 of 22 (April 26, 2006)*

From Table 1: Examples of Disruptive Behaviours and Range of Possible Action/Consequences

Description of Disruptive Behaviour

Proactive Strategies to Achieve Desired Behaviour

Range of Possible


Non-attendance or poor attendance in school or specific classes Absence, or irregular school or class attendance (the result of absenteeism and return to class is what may be disruptive) ♦ Analyse attendance data to examine patterns and triggers to non-attendance♦ Establish clear expectations regarding attendance♦ Provide incentives/rewards for regular attendance
♦ Examine student participation, academic, and social competence factors

♦ Provide academic and social supports to assist students in making up work and time missed

♦ Avoid drawing unnecessary attention to students returning to school after absences

♦ Involve parents and/or community support systems in addressing the issue

♦ Communicate with parents/guardians about behaviours, expectations, strategies, progress and/or on-going challenges

♦ Conference with student♦ Conference with student and parent/guardian♦ Referral to school guidance counsellor
♦ Detention with academic support to make up work and time missed

♦ Withdrawal of privileges


*For the full document, go to www.hrsb.ns.ca/files/Downloads/pdf/board/policy/sectionB/B.013-code-of-conduct.pdf