Handbook » Attendance Procedures

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 Routines

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 stop whatever they are doing and remove their hat for the National Anthem. 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. Student who are in the halls are expected to remain still and quiet during the announcements. Announcements will be posted on the TV in the main hall and on the Announcements on the Madill website.

2. Lates

Arriving promptly for class sets students up for success in academics and in life. Students arriving to class after the bell must report directly to the office to obtain a late slip before going to class. Office staff will issue a Pink Late Slip (for a valid reason) or a Yellow Late Slip (for an invalid reason). Students need to be responsible for the choices they make that cause them to be late. (Sleeping in, missing the bus, late lunch, working on a project are not acceptable reasons for being late.)   After five invalid lates in a semester, school administration will assign detentions in a progressive manner.

Habitual lates will result in a follow-up discussion with classroom teacher and parents/guardians will also be notified.

In grades 7-8, students who arrive after 10:30 a.m. or after 2:00 p.m. are considered absent/truant for the morning / afternoon / both.

In grades 9-12, students who are 35 or more minutes late to class, will be marked absent/truant for that class

3. Absences

The school is required by law to account for all students each day. A phone message can be left 7 days a week 24 hours a day @ the school by pressing 2 at the prompt.

  1. a) Students who are absent due to illness or other family emergencies are encouraged to have a parent/guardian phone the school the day of their absence.
  2. b) Students who are aware of an upcoming absence (things like tournaments, medical appointments, family vacations, etc) are required, by law, to account for their absence either by having a parent/guardian phone the school or by bringing a note to the office prior to the absence. Note: 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. When a student returns from an appointment, they must report to the office prior to returning to class.

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. Parents of students that do not ride the bus are asked to call the school if they feel the weather/road conditions are unsafe for their child to attend school that day.

Grades 9-12:

If a parent does not notify the school the day of the absence, a phone call or note should be received by the office prior to the start of period 1 the day she/he returns to school. Failure to provide a note or phone call will result in the student being called out of class to deal with the unexplained absence. If verbal or written permission does not occur within 48 hours, the student will be declared truant and 2 detentions will be assigned for each period missed.

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. If an adult student needs to leave during the school day they must report to the office to sign out and provide a valid reason for the absence. School Administration reserves the right to address invalid absences. If students fail to follow this procedure they will be considered truant from class and two detentions will be assigned for each period missed.

4. Illness after the start of the day

Students who become ill at any time during the school day, including at lunch hour, must report to the office. An attempt will be made to contact a parent or emergency contact to request the student be picked up or to obtain permission for the student to be excused. In some cases a student may be signed into the health room. If the student becomes ill while at home for lunch, the parent/guardian should call the school as soon as possible. Students who are absent from class without permission will be considered truant!

5. Absence the day of a Term Test/Assignment

All work and assignments missed due to absence must be completed to the teacher’s satisfaction within a reasonable length of time. It is the responsibility of the absent student to consult his/her teacher concerning assignments missed.

  • When a student will be missing due to a known absence (e.g. to participate in an authorized school activity, medical appointments, trips, etc), or for some other valid reason, he/she is required to discuss alternative arrangements with the teacher, WELL IN ADVANCE.
  • In the event that a student misses a test or assignment date due to sudden illness or other valid unanticipated absence, the student will be expected to discuss his/her absence with the teacher immediately upon return. Assignments can be submitted to the teacher electronically.
  • In the event that a student misses a known assessment and does not have a valid reason, the student will be given an incomplete

6. Absence from Final Examination/Evaluations. (Grades 9-12)

All courses will have final evaluations (culminating activities and / or examinations). 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. Absence from final evaluations or exams will result in a mark of “0” unless the absence is cleared for medical, legal or compassionate reasons. When a student cannot complete a final assessment, a parent needs to notify the Vice Principal. A doctor’s note may be required.

7. Missing Class to do Homework/Assignments.

It is not acceptable for students to miss class to work on material from other classes. In these cases, the student will be considered truant and detentions will be assigned. A follow-up discussion with the classroom teacher, and/or school administration, will also occur. Progressive discipline will be applied when students repeat this choice.

8. 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.

9. Independent Study Periods 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 are required to sign the attendance list in the main office and complete their work in the Cafeteria or the Learning Commons. If students are in a class where no work has been assigned and no teacher is in attendance, students should notify the office for instructions.

10. 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.

11. Attendance during Special Events

All students are expected to attend assemblies. Students who are caught skipping the assembly will be marked as truant and detentions will be assigned.

Sporting Events

Throughout the year the school provides opportunities for students to watch school sports while supervised by staff. Parents are not permitted to individually sign students out to watch sporting events @ FE. Madill because direct supervision is not being provided as required by the Huron Perth Athletic Association. Students who are caught skipping class to attend a sporting event will be marked as truant and detentions will be assigned.