April 24, 2018 at 11:11 PM #47640Rhoda Martin@rhodamartin
I’m curious what kind of policies other schools have for student absences. Do you have a school policy? Are students allowed three vacation days, where they skip school for a family trip? Six? Twelve? Teachers, do you ever tell parents you would prefer they don’t take their child out of school for vacation? Do you send work along on the vacation, or just get them to catch up later?
April 25, 2018 at 5:09 AM #47642Neil Martin@nemar1016
Hello. You have a very good question…our school is struggling slightly with this issue as well and we as a board are visiting this situation before it gets out of hand. I would highly recommend that you listen to this topic here on the Dock for Learning: https://thedockforlearning.org/audiovideo/establishing-school-absence-policies/
This topic gives some very good pointers on how to handle absentee issues. However, I would also like to challenge you with a question, “Where is your school board?” I feel strongly they should be the ones that are wrestling with this issue…not the teacher.
Praying for you school,
April 26, 2018 at 8:07 PM #47661Rhoda Martin@rhodamartin
Thanks for referring me to that! It was interesting, and helpful. I know this is the school board’s responsibility… I just wanted to know if I was being an annoying, inflexible teacher if I suggested that next year, the students should be absent less often than they were this year. I thought it would be nice to have a “ball-park” figure to recommend. 🙂 Just wondering what is the norm. Thanks!
April 28, 2018 at 11:11 PM #47821Byron Dueck@byrondueck0
All of our parents sign a form that states we charge $10/ day/ student starting on the 6th consecutive day of absense. The fee is too be paid to the school board prior to readmission. Very important that teachers are not responsible to enforce this policy, but rather the board. In turn, teachers make effort to keep the students on their grade track.
May 1, 2018 at 7:36 AM #47824Peter Goertzen@petergoertzen
[mounts soapbox/high horse]
As you’ll probably be able to tell, this is a well-nourished peeve of mine. I’ll try to refrain from resorting to ALL CAPS. Anyway. It is more than reasonable for a teacher to work toward reducing absences, and for a school to have a policy for dealing with them. We cannot teach children when they are not at school. Catching up (or working ahead) drains time and energy from both students and teachers, ultimately impacting even those students who are not absent. Some students never catch up.
I don’t even take advantage of the personal days that my contract entitles me to, and not because I’m such a dedicated, tireless classroom laborer. It’s just way too much work to prepare things for a sub before I leave, and to get back on track when I return. I pretty much have to be exceedingly ill, going to a wedding, or going to a funeral before I’ll take a day off from school. It’s simply not worth it.
Some absences can’t be helped. I have children of my own, and I know that it’s nearly impossible to schedule things like dentist appointments without missing school sometimes. But DID YOU REALLY NEED TO GO ON A TWO-WEEK VACATION DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR????!!!!!?????
Maybe they do need to occasionally. I once had some students who missed quite a bit of school one year so they could spend time with a terminally ill parent. I don’t blame them for a moment. And ultimately, who am I to decide how families manage their time? It’s not really my business.
But everything has a cost. Attending school means giving up other activities, and being absent from school means decreased learning. There’s no way around it.
[dismounts soapbox/high horse]
May 1, 2018 at 7:56 AM #47825Peter Goertzen@petergoertzen
Here’s the main part of our school’s absence policy. (I left out a couple of things, but this is the meat of it.) If you’re going to implement something like this, it’s important to stick to it pretty rigidly and make sure the administration and board are firmly behind it.
Legal absences are limited to the following:
1. Medical (illness, quarantine, recovery from accident, etc.)
2. Death in the immediate family, near relative, or close friend.
3. Impassable roads, when resident school district is closed or delayed.
4. Trips to the dentist, doctor, or other medical reasons; however, a not from the doctor is required.
5. Six (6) days to work on family farm.
6. Exceptionally urgent reasons
7. “Special Excuse”: to encourage family unity and togetherness, the school will allow absences for families to spend time together. The days must be spent with your immediate family.
8. The following guidelines apply to planned absences of more than two (2) days:
-The parent/guardian must provide written request for the exusal at least two (2) weeks prior to the excusal.
-The excusal must be approved by the school.
-The Student must be accompanied by a parent or guardian approved by the school.
-Upon returning, the student must submit a 500-word report to the office summarizing the learning experience.
NOTE: All other reasons for a student absence need to be sent to the school office. However, they will be considered unexcused because they are illegal absences.
Excuse cards are available anytime at the office. If a parent does not have an excuse card, a phone call to the office or a note from home with the date, reason for absence or tardiness, and parent signature will be acceptable. Excuse cards are required for all absences and morning tardiness by noon on the day following the absence. Students who fail to meet this requirement will be considered unexcused.
COMPLETING MISSED ASSIGNMENTS
For all absences, excused or unexcused (including absences due to work permits), the student will be required to make up any work, such as quizzes, tests, reports, and graded homework. The student is responsible to collect his homework assignments from the day(s) he was absent. Teachers my be available to give extra help. If homework is not completed or no arrangements are made, a zero (0%) will be given for the incomplete work.
After three (3) illegal absences, any further illegal absence will result in a zero (0%) for any work to be turned in for all classes that day.
- The forum ‘General Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.