Father In Car Dropping Off Daughter In Front Of School Gates

Attendance Expectations

Good Attendance

Good attendance at school is important, and establishing good school attendance habits in the early grades is critical. Young people who skip school are more likely to become involved in crime and drugs during school hours, and truancy is also often the first step towards greater involvement in criminal activity. Early identification of students at risk of dropping out enables us to introduce measures to reduce the dropout rate.

Potential Dropouts

Dropping out of school has lifelong implications and damages a young person’s chance for success. Without a high-school education, young people have difficulty finding and keeping jobs, and available jobs are low paying. Our Board identifies dropout warning signs early and responds to them in a positive way.

Warning Signs

  • Frequent absence
  • Frequent lateness
  • Achievement below grade level
  • Failing grades and low test scores
  • Disruptive behaviour and/or rebellious attitudes
  • Lack of basic skills
  • Repeat of a grade
  • Older than classmates
  • Lack of identification with school
  • Feeling of not belonging
  • Failure to see relevance of education
  • Inability to tolerate structured activities

Attendance Counsellor

The Attendance Counsellor ensures that all students between the ages of 6 and 16 years are attending school regularly and punctually. A school Principal or supervisory officer can request a referral when:

  • A student has been absent 10 or more times without adequate explanation
  • An absence is frequent and prolonged
  • Absence begins to show a regular pattern, such as every Monday or Friday
  • Absence begins to affect progress
  • The school is unable to contact a parent
  • A parent requests assistance in resolving a problem at home

The Attendance Counsellor’s role is to:

  • Promote regular school attendance
  • When necessary, enforce the provision of the Education Act regarding compulsory attendance by making appropriate use of Provincial Court (Family Division)
  • Provide consultation and counselling services to students with school attendance and psycho-social problems
  • Prepare, implement, evaluate, and revise strategies to address the social, behavioural, and educational concerns leading to attendance problems of individual students and/or student groups
  • Work with various community agencies (health, justice, mental health, Children’s Aid Societies) within the Board’s jurisdiction to provide services and assistance to meet the needs of at-risk students
  • Act as liaison and advocate between school, home, and support agencies
  • Provide consultation and direction to school and Board personnel about alternative strategies and measures for consideration in the handling of attendance issues
  • Prepare and maintain confidential reports and records
  • Serve on committees and/or attend case conferences as required
  • Work in all areas of the Board’s jurisdiction