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Attendance

Students learn best when they attend school regularly. Attendance is directly related to academic success and is required under the Education Act of Ontario.  As a school, we promote regular attendance, have a duty to monitor attendance and investigate why a student may be absent.

Specifically, the expectations for Mackenzie students are:

  • All students age six and over are expected to come to school prepared, on time and ready to learn.  All students are expected to be in class on time with the materials required for learning. It will be referred to Administration if a student is repeatedly late to school or class.  
  • A parent or guardian must call the main office if their child will be absent on a particular day.  You can call the school at any time to leave a message indicating your child's name, grade, teacher (if elementary), and reason for absence.
  • Parents can also send a note or email, with the reason for the absence.  Secondary students must bring the note to the main office by 8:10am.  Elementary students may give the note to their teacher. 
  • As part of our Safe Arrival program, parents will be automatically called that day for unexplained absences.  We wish to ensure the safe arrival of all students at Mackenzie.  A call to elementary parents will occur in the morning.  Secondary parents will be called in the evening to relay any absence.  We ask that parents respond to the call immediately to provide a reason for the absence.

 

Students may be excused from attending school if:

  1. They are ill or need to attend an appointment.
  2. The school is closed due to a Government Act, regulation or Holiday.
  3. Bus cancellations.
  4. Participation in a private music instruction for up to a half day in any week.
  5. Participation in an educational experience, such as, legislative page or exchange program.
  6. The student is excused or under suspension.

Student attendance is regularly monitored by our school support counsellor, student success team, teachers and administration.  Phone calls and interviews will be conducted with the parents and student present to discuss chronic absences.  If absences/tardiness is prolonged or habitual, a success plan will be created to support the student in attending regularly.

For specific information on school and board level interventions, please refer to Administrative Procedure 330-Student Attendance Management (PDF).

Truancy

  • A truancy is an absence which is neither excused nor a business absence. Truant students will be assigned detentions and/or suspensions, as appropriate.
  • Students who develop a pattern of truancy will be referred for counselling. A student who misses tests or other evaluative procedures, while truant, will receive a mark of zero. Teachers are expected to conduct an interview with the student after each skip in an attempt to correct the behaviour. The teacher involved will also attempt to contact the parent or guardian if the Vice-Principal has not already done so.
  • If the student persists in skipping, the parents will be informed and the student will be removed from the course or the school. An extended pattern of truancy may result in external suspensions for students under sixteen (16) years of age.

Maximum Absences Secondary Classes

The secondary system is set up by semester.  This means that students take 4 classes from September to the end of January, and another 4 classes from February to the end of June.  Course content is compressed into a five month block.  It is essential to be at school regularly to stay on top of course work and to ensure that credits are achieved.

Students and parents will be notified when there is a total of 12 to 15 absences in a given course. Students will be advised that their credit will be at risk if they accumulate more than 20 absences. Administration will review cases with more than 20 absences that are referred by the appropriate teacher.