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Attendance Matters

Attendance Supports for CDSBEO Families

Regular school attendance is an important factor in a successful graduation outcome. As early as elementary school, students who miss just two school days each month are more likely to fall behind in reading, writing and math. While some challenges to a child’s attendance are unavoidable, it’s important to understand the impact of each absence.

Did you know?

In Canada, chronic school absenteeism is defined as missing 10 per cent of the school year, or about 19 days. This is the equivalent of missing two days per month. Establishing good attendance habits early in a child’s education will help contribute to a successful graduation outcome in high school. Even one year of chronic absence can cause a child to fall behind academically and decrease a child’s chances of graduating from high school.

Ways to Support Good Attendance Habits

Parents can prepare their child for a lifetime of success by making regular school attendance a priority. Daily school attendance will support long-term learning success.

  • Setting aside time to help support the completion of homework through discussing what has been assigned, reviewing finished homework, and ensuring completed work is placed in your child’s backpack for school the next day
  • Having a regular bedtime to ensure a good night’s sleep
  • Turning off electronic devices one hour before bedtime
  • Establishing a morning routine which supports arriving at school or the bus stop on time
  • Discussing and establishing responsibility for any missed schoolwork after a school absence
  • Establish regular open communication and dialogue with your child’s teacher(s) if they have attendance challenges
  • Explore possible physical underlying needs and concerns – are they feeling physically well, are they feeling safe at school, are they feeling capable at school
  • Reach out for help if your child is experiencing physical health, anxiety or mental health and well-being concerns
  • Establish a plan to help you get your child to school (set up an incentive plan, avoid long goodbyes, have someone else bring them, have a student to meet them at school)
  • Praise your child when they are making an effort and attending school
  • Taking care of yourself (seeing your child in distress may cause you a significant amount of stress)

Additionally, talking to your child about their school day can help facilitate open conversation around any concerns they may have:

  • Ask about your child’s school day – what is engaging their interests, what do they find challenging?
  • Ask about upcoming assignments or tests to support preparation and completion
  • Ask if your child feels safe or has concerns about bullying, feeling peer pressure, or other areas which may cause anxiety or stress:
    • Validate their concerns
    • Let them know that “when” not “if” they go to school, you will support them with those concerns
  • Encourage participation in meaningful extracurricular activities, sports or school clubs

Need support?

For Students

For Parents

CDSBEO is here to support your child’s success! We encourage parents/guardians to connect with their child’s teacher, school principal, and other board staff members to ensure they have all of the tools to achieve success on their learning journey.

School Absences

A student’s absence is considered to be with a satisfactory reason if the student’s absence is due to:

  • Occasional illness or medical appointments
  • Illness supported by a doctor’s letter
  • Death in the family
  • Parent has written a letter requesting that their child be excused (ie: family trip) 
  • Student is away on a school trip
  • Student is away due to extracurricular activity 

A student’s attendance is considered to be problematic when:

  • absence is frequent, prolonged or unexplained
  • absence begins to show a pattern
  • absence begins to effect progress
  • the school has not been able to contact the parent or emergency contacts
  • the parent’s explanation for absence are suspect or inconsistent
  • a student has missed without satisfactory excuse for 2 days per month or 8 high school periods per month, or 10 percent of the school year to date 
  • A course is removed from the register due to 15 consecutive absences in that class

Additional Resources