Friday, May 18, 2007


I have spent a tremendous amount of time mulling over student attendance, particularly with the grade eleven and twelve students. I need some advice. I would really like to know what types of policies are in place in other schools. What are the steps/procedures and what are the consequences? My own son is in grade eleven and his attendance is very good. Obviously one of the contributing factors of this is me.

There are many other parents who feel that their children need to begin to make their own choices in grade eleven or twelve when it comes to attendance, studying and behavior, and I do agree with this. However, many parents will phone the school and simply inform us that their child will not be coming to school in the afternoon or day, or the parent will phone the next day and say that their child had a doctor appointment, I just forgot. I believe that in many cases, this is simply a method for the parent to avoid a fight with their child, and parents may assume that natural consequences will prevail. If their child does not attend regularly, their chances of success are greatly diminished. The conflict that I am having is that the odd parent will not create an alibi for their child and therefore these children receive consequences. I realize that I can't control this, but will the "diligent" parent continue to be diligent regardless of school consequences? I feel that there are probably only about 20% of the students receiving consequences for their "absenteeism's" and these are the ones who do not really need it.

Any advice??

Embedding Professional Development

Today was a good day. Some of our elementary and middle years' teachers attending a math workshop in our school. Our math curriculum consultant and guest came to our school to provide this workshop. I spoke briefly with one of the teachers after school today, and I she seemed excited about the morning. Most of our staff is participating in a Math PLC and I think that we have made some progress. It makes far more sense to target our needs within the school, design a plan together, implement the plan and then reflect on our progress.

I would like to see us continue with this PLC and I would also like to see a tech PLC developed. We have a few experts in our school, who could lead workshops to our teachers. It makes sense and its economical.

On another note... Last fall, we implemented a Pre-K program in our school, and even though we had many reservations upon entering into this new plan, I think we have all agreed it has been a success and a great addition to our school. Currently, there are discussions and plans around implementing a day care program within our school and it is planned to begin this fall. This program will not only help the working families of our community, but it could also benefit many others. For example, we have run a few adult programs in our school in the evening. The day care facility could provide service during these particular times to help facilitate adult learning. I am sure that there may be a few concerns and/or gliches with this new plan, but there are usually a few growing pains with anything new.