Attendance registers are marked twice daily, they are electronic and they are linked to the office admin system through our student management system. The office has to submit attendance reports / surveys to the Ministry of Education at key times throughout the year and on request.
As the roll is marked, names are called and the teacher enters an attendance code as follows: P=Present, ?= unknown, J= Justified absence, E= Explained but not Justified, L=Late.
All '?' children pop up on the office computer with contact details for families. Barb then checks the messaging systems, the text system, the late register and begins calling families to find out the whereabouts of the child in question. This, you will remember, is a procedure that was adopted nationally shortly after Coral Burrows was abducted on her way to school in the Wairarapa. All schools are required to follow up on unexplained absences.
So what is the difference between "J" -Justified and "E"- Explained but not justified? Justified is absence due to illness or to attend a family funeral / tangi. Explained but not Justified is probably best explained using some real examples. "**** is away today 'cos it's too wet", "**** is away because we are going to Auckland", "**** is away because he's gone to stay with...", "****is away because he missed the bus". We record reasons given, exactly as they are given, in the notes section of the register.
What happens if my child is marked '?' The school attempts to contact you to find out the reason for the absence. If no contact is able to be made and the unexplained absence remains for 3 days, the "?" converts to a "T" for truant and the district truancy service may get involved.
What happens if my child is Late? In all cases where children arrive late at school they MUST sign in at the office. If a child is not signed in, the office won't know your child is onsite. You may inadvertently be called to ask where your child is and this can be distressing for all. Occasional lateness can be understood, consistent lateness will be followed up with families directly and if unresolved, referred to the District Truancy service.
Any matters relating to your child's attendance and attendance records can be discussed with your class teacher in the first instance, or by appointment with Kylie Chambers.
For further reading visit: http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/articles/school-attendance-and-truancy/