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Policy JEC – High School Attendance (April 18, 2017)


The River East Transcona School Division believes that regular attendance and punctuality are positive behaviours that must be fostered in our school system. Regular attendance is necessary for a student to gain the full benefits of educational instruction. Students are expected to be punctual for all of their classes and to complete the requirements of the course of study.

Under the Manitoba Public Schools Act, a student must attend school regularly until the age of eighteen. A student who is not of compulsory school age is required to attend regularly once he/she enrolls. A student who refuses to attend or is habitually absent from school is guilty of an offense under the Manitoba Public Schools Act. The parent/legal guardian must ensure that their son/daughter is in school, otherwise is guilty of an offense under the Manitoba Public Schools Act.

(1) Responsibility for Attendance

Responsibility for attendance rests jointly with the student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s).

(a) Student absences are categorized as:

(i) Excused
(ii) Explained
(iii) Unexplained.

(b) Absences are considered excused if the activity is initiated by the school. Excused absences may include, but are not limited to, field trips, sports trips, special group trips, conferences, suspensions, etc.

(c) Absences are considered explained if they are for unavoidable cause and are supported by a written note or telephone call from a parent or guardian. Students who are 18 years of age or older may explain their own absence in lieu of their parent(s)/guardian(s).

(d) An unexplained absence is an act of truancy.

(2) Attendance Protocol

(a) Each high school will publicize the attendance policy and their procedures which will be communicated to students/parents/legal guardians at the beginning of the school year or at the time of registration.

(b) Attendance will be taken and recorded by teachers on a period-by-period basis each day.

(c) Where the parent(s)/guardian(s) has determined that the student must be absent from school, the parent(s)/guardian(s) must inform the school prior to the scheduled time for that class or no later than one day immediately after the student’s return to school. Students who are 18 years of age or older may phone in their own absence reasons, in lieu of their parent(s)/guardian(s).

(d) In the case of long-term illness, the student’s absences must be supported by a medical certificate.

(3) Attendance Procedures

(a) A tiered intervention attendance support model will be used to assist students and parents when students are not attending class as required by the Manitoba Public Schools Act.

(b) Where exceptional circumstances warrant, such as a documented chronic illness, the school administration may grant an extension to students who have accumulated excessive absences allowed under this policy.

(c) Where a student misses a test or examination due to an explained/excused absence, alternate arrangements will be made by the student/teacher/principal. Where a final examination is missed due to illness, a medical certificate may be required.

(d) Where a student is suspended from school, each day of the suspension will be recorded/counted as an excused absence for attendance purposes. While the suspension is in effect, the student will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular or school-sponsored activities. Tests or exams may be administered during this time at an alternate time and location as determined by school personnel.

(e) Provincial exam protocols for attendance will be followed for all standards tests.

18 Year Old Students: FIPPA (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) Regulations

Written permission from any student who reaches the age of majority during the school year is necessary prior to the release of information on their school progress.  The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act precludes schools from disclosing information on a child who has reached the age of majority. Students and parents of students who will reach the age of majority during the school year will be contacted in the month of the student’s birthday.  Students must sign a waiver form authorizing the school to continue to contact parents with information about academic progress, attendance, and behaviour. Failure to sign the waiver form results restricted access to the information.  (For example – teachers may not contact parents directly with academic concerns unless the student has waived the privacy restrictions in writing.)

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