The Education Amendment Act 2006, sets out that students must attend school until the year in which they reach the age of 18.
The Ministry of Education defines a secondary school credit as “Successful completion of a course containing work that would normally be completed after 110 hours of the scheduled time.” A student with excessive absences may not maintain their classroom responsibilities, which can compromise academic success and result in loss of credit or removal from courses.
School attendance is critical to a student’s academic success and can set the pattern for success in other areas of life as well. Statistics show that persistent absenteeism puts a student’s future success at risk. It is the responsibility of both the student and parent/guardian to ensure that the student is in attendance on a regular, ongoing basis. If a student must be absent, the parent must inform the school.
Students may have an excused absence for valid and unavoidable reasons. This does not include shopping, certain appointments, or vacations. An excused absence also DOES NOT mean that the student may skip any work that was missed during those absences. Families and students are responsible for catching up on missed work and are asked to schedule these events carefully by referring to the School Year Calendar. This includes avoiding scheduling activities during examination periods and spreading any planned absences out across the school year so that no one semester has too many absences.
Excused absences may include:
- Dr. appointment that cannot be scheduled during out-of-school hours
- A Longhouse or Religious Holiday
Extenuating circumstances do occur that can cause absences from school to be unavoidable, such as illness, injury, or the death of a loved one, and we will strive to accommodate and support students throughout these circumstances.
Parents/guardians are responsible to provide the school with updated and current phone numbers for work, cell, home, and emergency contacts.
When a student is absent:
- The parent/guardian/adult student is to call the school the morning of the absence or send a signed note to the school with the student.
- If a note is not provided to explain the absence, the student is to have a dated note or phone call from the parent noting the length of time and reason for the absence otherwise it will be an unexcused absence.
- Students arriving late to the school are to sign in at the office and obtain an admit slip from the office to present to the teacher.
- Periodic phone calls will be made to parents in order to verify a student’s reason for excessive absences.
Students will be responsible for catching up on all missed school work. In some cases, a mark of “zero” may be assigned where the student has neglected several attempts by school staff to receive missed work.
- If a student’s frequent absences jeopardize school success, supports can be made available to improve attendance.
School Administration will track student attendance. Parent involvement is required when a pattern of non-attendance is demonstrated. If a student has 15 consecutive documented unexcused absences, the student will be removed from the course(s) with the associated absences.
- Upon reaching the age of 18, attendance becomes the responsibility of the student. A valid reason is still required for absence from school, but communication will only be between STEAM Academy and the student. Becoming an adult does not mean that a student can leave school at any time and all other attendance requirements apply.
When leaving early for an appointment - a note or phone call to the office is required at morning arrival or before the end of the first period. The student is to sign out at the office before leaving for the appointment. Where possible please avoid making appointments during school hours. Your student will not be ready to be picked up early if the office is not notified by a parent/guardian that they are being picked up.
Illness at school - a student who becomes ill is to report to the office. A parent or guardian will be called to give permission to leave school and to sign out.
Being picked up by a person who is not a parent/guardian - a student may only be dismissed to someone not on file if a parent/guardian previously informs STEAM Academy with details of who will pick up the student and when. The student is to sign out at the office if leaving early.
Emergency Dismissal - if a student needs urgent care, parents/guardians will be informed of the details. Please ensure there is an up-to-date emergency contact on file and notify the school immediately if your contact information has changed.
Bus Riders - parents/guardians must inform the Academy if a student will not ride the bus as usual.
Late Arrivals - students are expected to be in their classes, ready to learn at the time a class is scheduled to start. Tardiness will be handled by the teacher, but if persistent the student will be referred to the school administration.
Skipping/truancy (unexcused absences) - this violates the Education Act and will lead to an appropriate consequence. Students are expected to be in every class, every day, on time, unless there is a legitimate reason to be absent.