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11. Attendance

Part of the student's responsibility is to be at school on time and return to class promptly from recess, lunch, and other school events. Assisting students to assume these responsibilities is one of our tasks as educators. We expect parents to support us by ensuring prompt arrival for their children at the start of the school day.

The first morning bell rings at 8:20 a.m. All students must be seated in their homeroom by this 8:20 a.m. bell. Morning prayers will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. This is an important part of the day. Students, faculty, and parents have the opportunity to start the day by praying together. 


  1. A student late for school will not be allowed into the class or homeroom without a tardy note from the school office. 
  2. An unexcused tardy will result in a lowered mark for class participation that day.
  3. Repeated tardiness will result in administrative intervention. 
All tardy students in grades 6-12 will be detained for one half hour of community service after school. This community service will be spent helping to clean the classrooms, but will not count towards the normal community service hours required from every student. 


Absences refer to any period in which a student is not in class or some other scheduled school activity or event. Absences from St. John's are marked either 'excused' or 'unexcused', depending on the nature of the absence. It is important to note that the differentiation between excused and unexcused absences does not reside in parents informing the school of an absence (parents must notify the school of all absences, irrespective of their reason), but in the specific nature of the absence:

Excused absences:

Excused absences are those which the school has been notified about in a timely manner (see below), and which fall into the following categories:
  • Illness (from the third day of illness, a doctor's note will be required)
  • Medical appointments (e.g. doctor, dentist, etc.)
  • Family emergencies (e.g. bereavement)
  • Extenuating circumstances approved in advance by the school administration
Assignments, tests or other work issued during the period of an approved excused absence must be made up by the student on his or her return to school. No penalties will be assessed for submitting such work on return, or for re-sitting any tests that were issued during the excused absence.

Unexcused absences (indicative):

Unexcused absences are EITHER those about which the school has not been notified in a timely manner (see below), or which do not fall into one of the categories of excused absence listed above. For example, unexcused absences might include absence for reasons of:
  • Travel problems / delays
  • Unapproved vacations
  • Notification of absence after the fact
  • Any other absence
Assignments or other normal work issued during the period of an unapproved or unexcused absence must be made up by the student on his or her return to school; AND penalties for the lateness of work will apply. This means that classwork / homework handed in late will be deducted points in the normal way (one grade per day), and any tests, quizzes or examinations missed during the period of unexcused absence CANNOT be made up and will receive a mark of 0.

Notifying the school of absences:
  1. Parents/guardians must call the school office before 9:00 a.m. of the first morning of any absence: the absence should be noted, including its expected duration, and a reason for the absence stated.
  2. When the student returns from an absence, a note from the parent/guardian must be brought to the school. The note should give the specific reason for the student's absence, the date(s) of the absence, and parent's/guardian's signature. A doctor's note is needed if a child is out ill for three days or more.
  3. Students who have an anticipated absence must fill out the Anticipated Absence form and have it signed by all their teachers. The teachers will provide all assignments to be completed while the student is absent.
  4. Students and parents must make arrangements with the school to make up all missed class work and homework assignments, whether an absence is excused or unexcused. Each returning student is expected to meet all class requirements.
  5. When a student is absent due to sickness or another unplanned absence, a parent may request a homework packet via the office.
  6. It is the responsibility of the parent to check with the teachers about what material the child missed during an unexpected absence. Students are accountable for information that was taught, regardless of whether they were present or not. Parents are responsible to go over assignments and materials with the student to insure that they do not fall behind. 
Absences and grades (excessive absence policy):

Regular attendance is an important factor in grading procedures. Excessive absences will result in a lowered grade per semester as follows: 
  • 3 absences - student will receive no higher than a B
  • 4 - 6 absences - student will receive no higher than a C
  • 7 - 10 absences - student will receive no higher than a D 
This may include excused absences, as situations warrant.


A student may not leave the premises for any reason without specific approval by the administration. Unavoidable medical appointments or other such dismissals are granted by supplying written requests to school before the start of the day. Notes must include the reason for being an excused, the time the student is being excused and who is coming to take the student. The student/parent must notify the homeroom teacher and obtain all homework assignments for classes missed, before leaving for the appointment. Failure to follow these procedures in full will prevent the student from being excused to leave for the appointment. 


The school calendar has been arranged so that students are allotted sufficient time for vacations. Please arrange your vacations so that they do not interfere with your child's attendance. Students taking unauthorized vacation days will be subject to the excessive absences policy (above) and will not be allowed to make up tests or quizzes given during the absence. Prolonged unexcused absences, whether for travel or any other reason will result in the child being excluded from registering for the next school year.
Yulia Russiyanova,
Feb 17, 2011, 9:04 AM