This week with our Principal - Mr Taylor

Term 2 Week 7

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Attendance at BPPS in 2017

Attendance continues to be strong at Banora Point PS with a 94.2% attendance rate in 2016 and 94% in 2017. This compares to previous years with 2013 at 93.4% and 2014 at 95.4%. Average attendance for all NSW Public Schools in 2016 was 94.0%. An attendance rate of 94% equates to approximately 12 days absent each school year; or three days each term. Families who elect to take family holidays during school term, can no longer apply for a ‘certificate of exemption’ from NSW Public Schools under 2016 adjusted NSW Department of Education policy. Exemption means excluded from total absence count. While our school will on occasion approve ‘leave’ for special one off holidays during school term dates (Overseas trips, etc) absences accumulated from extended holidays are now included in the count under policy requirements. Our school recognises that family holidays are rich experiences where our students learn much about the world, however, parents are reminded that these absences are now included in both the child’s attendance record and the school’s. Parents looking to travel on holidays during school term are asked to complete an ‘Application for Extended Leave’ form – available from the office. This will be processed by the Principal.

ARRIVAL TIME

The official school times for our school are 9:00am to 3:00pm. The playground is open 30 minutes before classes commence and teachers are rostered on duty in the playground from 8.30am. Students arriving after 8:15am and before 8:30am are asked to sit quietly in the COLA where supervision will be provided. Children should not be arriving at school before this time. Parents are reminded BPPS OOSH does provide child care before school.

ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES AT BANORA POINT PS

Whole and part day absences are recorded and registered each day by Banora Point PS staff following DoE policy and guidelines. Students who have attendance rates below 85% will be identified as a concern and are required to be followed up by school and or regional staff. 85% attendance rate equates to approximately 8 days absent each term or three school weeks each semester and will impact learning.

Late arrivals:

At BPPS, the school day commences at 9:00am and finishes at 3:00pm. Students who arrive at school after 9:00am are required to present to the office and get a ‘late slip’ before proceeding to class. At 9:10 am students are 10 minutes late and will be recorded as a ‘partial absence’. Students who arrive after 9:10am are required to be signed in at the office by an adult before going to class. In the circumstance where students arrive after 9:10am unattended by an adult, 10 minutes after the school day has started, the parent will be contacted and asked to return to the school to sign the child in. This process ensures that both parents and school staff have full knowledge of our students’ whereabouts at all times. If you are running late, please help us by following this process. Thank you.

Early leavers:

When a student is collected early, prior to 3:00pm, parents are asked to report to the office in the first instance and collect a leave slip from the office. This slip is passed to the teacher upon collection of the child. This process ensures the school can account for all students at all times – which is critical in the event of an emergency. Late arrivals and early leavers will be recorded as a ‘partial absence’ (P) as per DoE guidelines.

Administration of student absences:

When a child is away from school their absence is declared on the attendance register. Parents and carers are asked to notify the school (in writing - within 7 calendar days of the absence occurring) of the reason for absence. This note must be provided within seven days of the student's return to school and must clearly state the student's name and class, and be signed by a parent/ guardian.

Unexplained absences:

If the school does not receive notification within 7 days of an absence occurring, the absence is required under NSW DoE Policy to be registered as absence unexplained (A) and cannot be changed. Absence unjustified will also be recorded (A) on the attendance register when the reason for absence is deemed unsatisfactory. An example of an unsatisfactory explanation might be ‘My child was absent because we went shopping’ or ‘My child was absent because he was away.’ Your co - operation in providing written explanations for all absences on your child's first day back at school is requested. A phone call before the absence where possible to supply appropriate information is appreciated.

Sick:

Students who are unwell are recorded as sick (S). Our school may ask parents to supply a medical certificate after three consecutive sick days. A medical certificate is not required for absences of one or two days but may be requested by the school for absences of three days or more. Parents may choose to supply a medical certificate for sick leave for any number of school days.

Leave:

When there is absence and the child is not sick, schools can grant leave (L) for special or significant events such as religious occasions, funerals, festivals or special family events. Schools are limited as to how many leave (L) days can be granted annually.

Extended Leave:

Families who look to take extended holidays are advised that a special ‘application for extended leave’ form is now available from the office. This must be done in advance of the extended leave and cannot be completed post absence.

P. Taylor

Principal

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