Student Attendance

Attendance Procedures

The Ministry of Education in Ontario requires students to remain in school until the student has reached the age of eighteen or obtained an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

Attendance regulations apply to all students, regardless of age. Regular attendance is one of the most important ingredients for success in school. Students are expected to attend all classes punctually and regularly. Only illness, medical or other appointments, school-sponsored activities (field trips, athletics, assemblies, etc.) or absences approved in advance by the Administration are acceptable reasons for absence. Parents who wish to have their student excused from school should make their request in writing to the Administration for approval in advance of the planned absence.

The Education Act requires that, when a student is absent from class, the parent must provide verification for the reason for the absence in either written or oral form. The Act gives the Principal the authority to grant or deny the request according to the validity of the reason for the absence.

The Education Act stipulates that students must meet three standards before secondary school credits can be granted: satisfactory overall evaluation or marks; completion of assigned work in a satisfactory manner; and adequate attendance for instructional time.

1. Beginning the Day

School begins each day at 8:50 with the playing of “O Canada” in period 1. Students are expected to be in their rooms at this time and to stand quietly for the National Anthem. Students who are late in the hall are expected to remove their hats and stop for the National Anthem and announcements. Announcements will be made each day in homeroom immediately following the anthem for grades 9-12 or 11:25 a.m. for grades 7-8. Listening to announcements is very important so students are aware of the events and due dates at Madill. Announcements will be posted on the TV in the main hall and on the Announcements on the Madill website.

2. School Absences

When a student is absent, parents or guardians are asked to notify the school and explain the reason for the absence. This may be done by phone (press 2 at the prompt), or by a signed note. This is to be done the morning of, or prior to, the absence.

Grades 7-8:

Attendance will be taken at 8:50 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A safe arrival call will be made if a student is marked absent without prior notification.

Grades 9-12:

If a parent does not notify the school the day of the absence, the student will be required to bring a note to the office prior to the start of period 1 the day she/he returns to school. Students who need to be called out of class to deal with attendance from the day before will be marked as late.

Adult Students:

Attendance regulations apply to all students regardless of age. This includes students 18 years of age and older. Therefore, students 18 years of age and older are expected to notify the school the day of their absence. The absence must be for a valid reason. School Administration reserves the right to address invalid absences.

3. Lates

To Class: Grades 9 – 12

Arriving promptly for class sets students up for success in academics and in life. Students need to be responsible for the choices they make. Students arriving late to class should expect a follow-up discussion with their classroom teacher and possibly school administration. In collaboration with the teacher, students and their parents will identify their plan for ensuring student success in the course. When persistent lates impede the success of the student or others, then a meeting will occur with a school administrator to discuss next steps.

To School:

Students arriving to school after 8:50 a.m. must report directly to the office before going to class.

4. Appointments and Illness

Appointments with doctors, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, etc. should be made outside of school hours, where possible. Hairdresser appointments, shopping or other personal business are not appropriate absences and may be recorded as truant. If a student needs to be excused during the day, a note should be given to the office or a call made prior to period 1. When a student returns from an appointment, they must report to the office prior to returning to class. Local professional offices have agreed to sign your demit slip indicating appointment end times which should be consistent with the student’s return to school. The time of return is noted on the demit slip and the student must present this slip to the office to be initialled before returning to class. Students not returning to school in the afternoon, must have a parent/guardian inform the school by telephone.

Students who become ill at any time during the school day, including at lunch hour, must report to the office. Do not simply go home. Students must sign in and out at the office. Normally contact with a parent will be made to obtain permission for the student to be excused. Students may be signed into the health room with parent permission if appropriate. If the student becomes ill while at home for lunch, the student must call the school as soon as possible. To leave the school or be absent from class without permission will be considered skipping!!

5. Missed work

All notes and assignments missed due to any absence must be completed to the teacher’s satisfaction within a reasonable amount of time. It is the student’s responsibility to consult with the teacher regarding the missed work.

6. Absence from tests or other evaluation activities

Where the student is aware of a planned absence (e.g. medical appointment, field trip or athletic event) which conflicts with an announced test or other evaluation, the student needs to consult with the teacher in advance to arrange an alternate time to do the evaluation activity. If absent for an unexpected reason, students must contact the teacher preferably on the day of their return to school (but no later than their next class in that subject) to arrange an alternate time to write the missed test.

7. Absence from examinations and other final evaluations including culminating activities. (Grades 9-12)

Final assessments (culminating activities and / or examinations) are a course requirement. Students must complete these assessments as assigned by their classroom teacher in order to achieve a credit. Dates for final examinations are posted on the Madill calendar. Students are responsible for knowing the correct time and date of culminating activities and exams to be written. When a student cannot complete a final assessment due to illness, a parent needs to notify the Vice Principal. A doctor’s note may be required.

8. Missing class to complete work for any subject is not acceptable and will be considered a skipped class.

A follow-up discussion with classroom teacher, and/or school administration, will occur should this situation arise. Progressive discipline will be applied when students repeat this choice.

9. Excessive Absenteeism

In cases where the student’s attendance is unsatisfactory, the school will contact the parent in order to encourage, through co-operative effort, an improvement in the student’s attendance. Excessive absence is judged by the school administration on the basis of the number of classes missed and the reasons for the absences. Continued failure to maintain a satisfactory attendance record may result in a referral to the AMDSB Attendance Officer. Unsatisfactory attendance in grades 9 -12 may result in removal from the course and/or failure to receive credit for the course.

10. Skipping/Truancy

Regular and punctual attendance to classes has a positive impact on the success of students in their classes. Students are encouraged to attend all of their classes, and catch up on their missed work to ensure success in their classes. Students need to be responsible for the choices they make. Students who are truant from class should expect a follow-up discussion with their classroom teacher, and possibly school administration. In collaboration with the teacher, students and their parents will identify their plan to ensure success in the course. When persistent truancies impede the success of students, and/or the teacher’s ability to ensure the success of others, then a meeting will occur with school administration to discuss next steps. Next steps may include the development of an attendance contract signed by the student, alternative program, and/or removal from the course. Students under the age of 18 with excessive truancies will be referred to the Attendance Counsellor.

11. Unstructured classes for Grades 11-12

Occasionally, teachers will be away for field trips, sports events, etc., and no supply teacher will be assigned to cover the class. In these cases, assignments will be provided for students to complete during class time. Students may complete this work in the cafeteria or the library. If students are in a class where no work has been assigned and no teacher is in attendance, students should not leave the class; use the phone to call the office for instructions.

12. Forgery/Misrepresentation

Forged or altered attendance notes, false phone messages, or giving false information regarding an absence will result in an interview with the Vice-Principal. Parents will be contacted and students will have a meeting with a school administrator.