Administrative Procedure 307: Safe Arrival - Kindergarten to Grade 8

Legal References

Education Act: Section 265 1(j) Duties of Principal: Care of Pupils; Child and Family Services Act; Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 123 Safe Arrivals

Related References

Administrative Procedure (AP) 308 Absence of Students; AP 346 Children in Need of Protection; AP495 Volunteer Programs in the Schools, Form 307A Safe Arrival: Letter of Responsibility, Form 307B Safe Arrival Daily Attendance Grid

1. Ensuring Safe Arrival

While the Avon Maitland District School Board recognizes that parents and guardians have the primary responsibility for ensuring their children’s safe arrival at school, the board requires that principals of all elementary pupils implement this procedure to ensure that schools and parents can account for any pupil’s unexplained failure to arrive at school.

2. Safe Arrival Responsibilities

2.1 The board has developed this administrative procedure to ensure that all elementary schools develop and use a comprehensive safe arrival procedure in conjunction with daily attendance procedures, ensuring that all reasonable efforts are made to account for a student’s unexplained absence.

2.2 This administrative procedure provides comprehensive guidelines to be used by schools in developing safe arrival procedures that reflect the school community.

2.3 The principal shall:

2.3.1 Inform parents of their responsibility under the Education Act to ensure their children’s regular school attendance. The Education Act stipulates that the principal must approve any absence other than for reasons of illness, music lessons, suspension, expulsion and quarantine;

2.3.2 Notify parents annually of their responsibility to inform the school on a timely basis if their child is going to be absent or late and provide a reason for that absence, Appendix 307A Safe Arrival: Letter of Responsibility;
2.3.3 Report to the Children’s Aid Society any child under the age of 10, who is absent from school without reasonable supervision and care. For children 10 years of age, but under the age of 16, it shall be at the discretion of the principal (Child and Family Services Act).

3. Safe Arrival Procedures

3.1 Daily attendance and follow-up communication shall be conducted in a timely manner following both morning and afternoon attendance. In addition, attendance and follow-up shall be made following any instance where the student has been granted permission to leave the school premises throughout the school day and is expected to return, but does not return.

3.2 Attendance must be entered by the classroom teachers in the attendance area of the board’s Student Information System (Maplewood) student record. Attendance Notes entered in Maplewood must include the person contacted, the date, and the reason for the absence. Any unsuccessful attempts to contact the parents or guardians must be noted by the school office staff within the Maplewood record. School office staff will provide supply teachers with a paper classroom attendance grid, printed from Maplewood, to be manually completed and delivered to the office immediately after attendance has been taken.

3.3 Documentation of all communications made for unexplained absences and verification of parent, guardian or emergency contact may be captured on Form 307B but the information must be entered into the Attendance Note area of the Maplewood student record. The note must include the person contacted, the date, and the reason for the absence. Any unsuccessful attempts to contact must be noted as well.

3.4 The order of contact to home, work, and/or the emergency contact should be indicated by parents/guardians on the student registration form and on the Confirmation of Emergency Contact and Personal Information Form, on an annual basis.

3.5 Parents/guardians may notify the school of an anticipated absence by leaving a message on the school’s answering machine, by email or by SMS messaging. This allows the parent/guardian to notify the school outside office hours of anticipated absences or late arrivals. The message must include the student name, the name of person leaving the message, the date of the absence and the reason for the absence.

3.6 Verification of a student absence by a sibling will not be accepted.

3.7 Provisions shall be made for an attendance record to be left at the school for field trips departing prior to the start of the regular school day.

3.8 Every student who arrives at school later than any expected arrival time must report to the school office. The office should provide the student with an “admit slip” to inform the classroom teacher the office has marked the student present but late.
Revised November 2017