Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is an important part of student performance at Owen Sound District Secondary School; it is essential to the learning process. A student's chances of success are jeopardized by poor attendance. We promote good attendance and punctuality as a means of preparing students for further education and/or meaningful employment. This policy has been endorsed by the parents and the community. The responsibility for good attendance must be shared by students, their parents, and the school staff. Our policy outlines the ways in which we must work together in order to achieve the goal of good attendance by all students.

OSDSS uses an automated phone system that contacts the homes of any student who is absent.

Reasons For Absence

When a student returns to school after an absence, he/she must bring a note which explains the absence. If the student is under the age of 18, the note must be signed by his/her parent or guardian. Students aged 18 and older may sign their notes.

Some reasons for absence are considered to be OK; others are not. The following are acceptable reasons requiring notes:

1. Sickness

2. Death in the family

3. Documented medical/dental/legal/court appointment

4. Calamity at home

5. Special occasion such as graduation or wedding of a family member

6. Any other unusual circumstances (eg. family trips, community teams, and events) must be approved by the Principal

These are acceptable reasons not requiring notes:

1. Class trips and extra-curricular activities (although students are responsible for the work missed)

2. Time missed because of inclement weather (buses and/or snowplows not running)

Almost everything else is considered to be truancy. Any absence requiring, but not having, a legitimate note will be treated as truancy. Please remember that work missed due to absence of any kind must still be completed. It is the responsibility of the student to find out what was missed and to show the teacher the completed work.

When tests, seminars, etc. have been scheduled, and a student knows he/she will be absent due to extra-curricular activities or medical/legal appointments, arrangements for re-scheduling the work must be made prior to the day of the absence.

Who Needs To See The Note

A note must be shown first to the Attendance Secretary between 8:30-8:50 or upon arrival, then to the student's teachers. Computer records will not be updated unless the Attendance Secretary sees the note. When not updated, absences will be recorded as truancies on the computer.

Late Procedure (Normally, there will be no need to be late)

  • Students are expected to arrive at their classes on time.

  • If, for some reason, a student is late to a class, before the attendance sheet has been picked up the teacher will change the attendance sheet to reflect the late.

  • If the student arrives late and the attendance sheet has been picked up, the student is responsible for asking the TEACHER of that class for a late slip.

  • The student must then show the Attendance Secretary the slip, on that same day, so that the computer record is updated from an absent to a late. PLEASE NOTE: late slips will only be updated on breaks, at lunch, and after school. This will minimize disruption to classes. Students will not be allowed to leave class to hand in late slips.

  • Teachers will be reporting chronic lateness to a VP. Chronic lateness may result in detentions, suspensions or loss of credit.

Consequences For Truancy & Chronic Lateness

  • Students who are truant or chronically late may be assigned detentions, suspensions, or loss of credit.

  • Students who are chronically truant and under the age of 16 will be referred to the Vice-Principal(s) and the In-School Needs Team (ISNT). Parents will be contacted and strategies designed to promote success will be developed. Continued truancy will result in the student being referred to the Attendance Counsellor and ultimately being provided with an alternative education plan.

  • Students who are chronically truant and over the age of 16 will be referred to the Vice-Principal(s) and the In-School Needs Team (ISNT). They will be placed on a contract and continued truancy may result in loss of credit. Any other reasons for an absence must be approved by the Vice-Principal(s) in order not to be included in the attendance totals.

Signing Out

A student who must leave school during the school day must sign out at the Attendance Office and provide a legitimate note documenting the reason for leaving. Usually this will be for a scheduled appointment (medical, dental, legal, etc.)

Signing In

If the student is late due to an appointment, the student will show the note to the Attendance Secretary upon arrival at school. The note will be stamped and signed prior to them returning to class. This note will serve as an admit slip to class.

In-School Appointments

A student must show the subject teacher an appointment slip (examples: Student Services, Office, Library, etc.) before going to the appointment. If the appointment lasts into the next class, the student will provide an admit slip to the next teacher. Students should not arrange appointments that conflict with scheduled tests, seminars, etc.

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