If you know that your student is going to be late/absent/needs to leave early, your absolute BEST choice is to email the front office AND any of your child's/ward's teachers who may be impacted. *Hint/hack: consider creating a mailing list in your email application for this.
Administrative Assistant in charge of Attendance: Jackie Graham (email@example.com) All teachers at PCSS: firstname.lastname@example.org Robin Carrey: email@example.com
If you send one email to the front office (Ms. Graham) and to your child's/ward/s teachers, everyone will be in the documentation loop and communication will be clear and consistent.
Ms Carrey's Class - Lates/Tardies, Absences and Early dismissals/departures
We all know that sometimes arriving late, being absent or needing to leave a class early are necessary. It is important to balance health care and personal/family needs with student life. It is, however, also important to keep in mind the value of attendance to academic success. (Please see information under "What's the big deal with being away for a couple of days?"
While Ms. Carrey does work to keep this site updated and employ Google Classroom, it is vital to note the following:
None of Ms. Carrey's classes are designed to be distance learning courses.
Course content and skills are presented and practiced in class where students can access educator support and feedback. Most work is not done on worksheets; examples are provided on screen and in class discussion. Time is provided for work. It is not feasible to 'put together a package' of paper that replaces days or weeks of in-class, in-person education, particularly not the way that Ms. Carrey teaches, which is rooted in social learning models of education. (Please see below)
Information available on the teacher site and/or Google Classroom is supplemental to classroom learning and is in no way, shape or form intended to - or sufficient to - replace learning in person in the classroom.
Frequent lates, absences and departures WILL make it difficult for students to maximize their academic success and WILL result in students needing to do more work independently, without supports available in the classroom or the school.
Students are ALWAYS responsible for making up missed work, regardless of whether or not an absence/late/early dismissal is excused. As much as possible, materials will be posted to the Google Classroom digital learning environment. Students may also book time to get assistance with Ms. Carrey at lunch time or after school. Students with an LA block/support are highly encouraged to make effective use of that support.
Below you will find a series of PDF files that outline the responsibilities of parents, students, teachers/admin for a variety of circumstances around lates/tardies, absences and students leaving class early.
These are aligned with the PCSS Attendance Guidelines (please see above) and have been reviewed with the students.
*** DO NOT bother to sign up for Scribd to see the documents. You can use the expand button on the thumbnail below to see the item on screen but I have also included a downloadable PDF for each document. Scribd just lets people view PDFs here on the website but there is no need for you to access their paid services just to open the document!!
What's the big deal with being away for a couple of days?
Everyone needs to take a few days off - sometimes it's to rest and to rejuvinate, sometimes it's for health reasons (because sharing germs is not a caring kind of sharing, and you need to rest to recuperate!). Sometimes there are unavoidable circumstances like car breakdowns, or other things that get in the way, especially in a place like the Yukon where parents may have to drive students significant distances from places public transportation doesn't reach.
Is it really such a big deal if kids miss a few days here and there?
Turns out, decades worth of research show that yes, absenteeism - especially if it begins early in the student's academic career, and carries on persistently - has a long-term cumulative impact on students' lives beyond their public school years.
Here in Yukon, a student is considered to have missed enough class to make them at risk of not knowing enough or having the skills to earn a credit after 20 missed classes in a course. The research shows that effects show up after as little as 10% of school overall, or between 2 - 3 days per month. It is worth pointing out that it does not matter if the absences are excused by a parent - the key issue is the loss of instructional time with curriculum/content material experts, the social elements of learning, and the opportunity for guided practice.
Canada has made significant gains in recent decades in improving the overall number of students who graduate from secondary school and are able to have a wide variety of post-secondary paths open to them for further development and exploration. Students who are chronically absent - 10 or more absences per academic year - are notably less likely to graduate, may struggle to hold jobs as adults in part because of a having a personal pattern of absenteeism, may find themselves facing poverty because of not having a secondary diploma and/or not maintaining a stable employment history. Those economic stresses can impact health as people progress through life. People involved in the legal system, and those who have been incarcerated are more likely to have struggled with absenteeism and not to have graduated than their counterparts who attended school regularly and graduated from secondary school.
None of these statistical correlations are absolutes - there are many people who have struggled as kids and who, through effort, through time and with support and access to resources, been able to succeed and live healthy, productive lives. The key is that for those with a pattern of absenteeism, that road to building they life they want can be a far more difficult and long process. In short, putting the effort into attendance and participating in school as a child and a teen is an investment in a kid's future.
If your student is struggling with absenteeism, there are supports available in our community. Teachers can try to help and many of us as PCSS have websites to help students stay up to date. That being said, nothing we can provide electronically - without context - is of the same value as a student being in class, attending and participating in the learning activity, regardless of whether that learning activity is digital/virtual or in a brick-and-mortar building, in scheduled classes or in a drop-in learning structure.
Please see links below for information on the impacts of absenteeism on student success. Please be advised that some of these links are to American organizations, but the research applies across borders.
The article below is specifically aimed at parents of Elementary school students, but the ideas are solid for parents of students of all ages.
If you struggle with implementing some of these guidelines, consider seeking support from the variety of community services and groups here in Whitehorse. The entire community benefits when students succeed - ALL students. Each student has the capacity to succeed, whatever that means for them and their family in particular.
Support from parents is key to helping kids do well academically. Here are 10 ways parents can put their kids on track to be successful students. Kids do better in school when parents are involved in their academic lives.
Attendance is only one brick in building a foundation of success for a student, but it's a keystone that makes other bricks in that foundation possible, makes the other educational foundations stable and provides a basis from which students can build and grow.
Learning IS Social
While there are absolutely people who are introverted and require more individual time and quiet solitude than extroverts or ambiverts, human beings are social animals and much of our learning occurs through social interaction on varying scales.
Ms. Carrey does NOT do group work where an entire group earns a single mark, but social interaction is part of the daily learning practice in our classes (as is some choice in learning with peers or working individually, and some requirement for independent work). This means that in order that this balance be achieved, a student needs to be in the classroom learning environment.
What prompts even the youngest infants, their heads wobbling almost imperceptibly on weak neck muscles, to stare so intently at faces both familiar and unfamiliar? What causes them to reach out without warning and latch on to a nose or an ear with tiny, prehensile fingers?
Man is a social being. This basically means that he is unable to survive and thrive on his own, because it is in his makeup and nature to be with others - to interact with them, connect with them, and even develop relationships.