Effective Date: June 14, 1999
Responsibility: Superintendent of Program and Schools
1.0 Program Delivery
It is suggested that Arrival Check programs be designed to reflect the following characteristics with respect to program delivery and information and communication. The following characteristics are intended to provide guidance in the design of any arrival check programs that are developed.
1.1 The program should be delivered in a manner that complements other school and community safety programs and initiatives.
1.2 The roles and responsibilities of parents, pupils, the school, school councils, volunteers, and others should be clearly identified and documented and broadly communicated to all those who have an interest in Arrival Check programs.
1.3 The roles and responsibilities of parents and guardians, at a minimum, could be defined as involving the following:
1.3.1 Parents and guardians are responsible for their children’s safety. Arrival check programs are a mechanism that parents and schools can use to account for any pupil’s unexplained failure to arrive at school;
1.3.2 Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for communicating planned pupil absences or lateness to the school on a timely basis. Their reports could be reconciled with information obtained through classroom attendance-taking procedures to identify any unexplained absences that require prompt follow-up contacts;
1.3.3 Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for providing the school with complete and current emergency information to enable the school to make any necessary follow-up contacts.
1.4 Programs should take into account both normal, recurring circumstances and unusual events and conditions. For example, regular procedures could be modified on days when pupils are likely to arrive late because of inclement weather or bus cancellations. Programs should take into account that a language other than the language of instruction may be used in the absent pupil's home.
1.5 Programs should specify the steps that are to be taken when a follow-up contact cannot reasonably be made.
1.6 Individuals involved in delivering the Arrival Check program should receive appropriate training and supervision.
1.7 Programs should be reviewed periodically to ensure their effectiveness.
1.8 Parents and volunteers can make a tremendous contribution to the delivery of these programs. Efforts should be made to develop this potential and to enlist the aid of parents and volunteers to help reduce demands on the time of school administrative staff. Confidentiality is very important in this situation and forms need to be signed by all volunteers. A sample volunteer form is included (Appendix A)
2.0 Information and Communications
2.1 Information about the scope and features of the school’s arrival check program, and about the role and responsibilities of all interested parties, should be communicated clearly and effectively by the principal to school staff, parents, guardians, caregivers, pupils, school councils, and all volunteers and others in the community who have an interest in the matter.
2.2 There should be a reliable method for parents, guardians, and caregivers to communicate planned pupil absences or lateness to the school on a timely basis, particularly outside school hours. For example, a voice-messaging system and, if appropriate, a telephone device for the deaf (TTY/TDD) may have to be installed.
2.3 A reliable system of documenting key information could be developed and maintained. Subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, key information could include:
2.3.1 a log of calls from parents or others who report absences or lateness;
2.3.2 names and current telephone numbers, in order of priority, of parents, guardians, caregivers, or other individuals to be notified in case of an unexplained pupil absence;
2.3.3 parental consent for volunteers to make these contacts, in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
2.3.4 A log of actions taken by school staff in accordance with the provisions of the Arrival Check program.