Attendance Policy



The staff at Westwood Community High School is committed to working in partnership with parents to ensure that students have every opportunity for academic success. We believe, and statistics show, that regular attendance is essential to learning. Classes provide explanation, illustration and proactive opportunities for involvement in discussion and group work.


Teachers and Administrators expect all students to attend classes regularly.


Section 13 of the Alberta School Act states that “An individual who

  1. is eligible to be enrolled in a school,

  2. at September 1 in a year is 6 years of age or older, and

  3. is younger than 16 years of age, shall attend school.


Students are responsible for:

  • attending all classes on time every day. Attendance at the high school is calculated by period.

  • reporting to the office when entering or leaving the school after classes have begun.

  • advising their teachers of the reason for their absences.

  • making up any work missed during an absence.


Students participating in school-based extracurricular activities and school sports teams need to have excellent attendance and appropriate behaviour or they will not be permitted to participate.


Parents/Guardians are required to notify the school stating the reason, by telephone or in writing, when the student is excusably absent or late within three days of the absence. Documentation is required to excuse a student when the student has nine or more absences. This applies to all students, regardless of age.


For the purpose of this policy, an absence is considered excused for the following reasons:


  1. Illness or injury.

  2. Medical, dental, optometry or chiropractic services that cannot be scheduled outside of school hours.

  3. Death in the family.

  4. Participation in religious observances.

  5. School related activity or program.

  6. Suspension from school.


Any absence for a reason not listed above is considered an unexcused absence. Some samples of unexcused absences are:


  1. Any personal business that could be handled on personal time.

  2. Working for an employer.

  3. Oversleeping.

  4. Missing the bus.

  5. Car trouble.

  6. Studying for a test.


Vacations or trips scheduled during school time will be excused. However, it is the school’s belief that the loss of instructional time can never be regained. Any drop in grade due to this absence is solely the responsibility of the student. It is also the student’s responsibility to get the required work from the teacher or to make up the work upon returning from vacation or trip.


The office staff will record all phone calls and notes in the daily attendance log. An automated dialer will call the student’s listed phone number on the day when an unexcused absence occurs.


Students who are inexcusably absent from school are not permitted to:


  1. Be on school property.

  2. Attend and participate in extracurricular activities.





A student must not miss more than 20 minutes of instruction to be considered present for that class or 10 minutes to be considered present for the tutorial period. Consequences for being late may include detentions, forfeiting the right to attend class for one day, or referral to administration.


Students over the age of 18, who are not living at home, may excuse their own absences, providing prior arrangements have been made with the Principal and their parents/guardians have been formally notified.


The attendance protocol at Westwood is as follows:

  • Teachers will have a conversation with students as well as call the parents when a student has 3 unexcused absences in a course and record the contact in Power School. Ongoing parent communication is paramount in curbing the student attendance issues.

  • After 5 unexcused absences in one course, teachers will notify the administration of the students’ circumstances. Administration will also takes steps of intervention.

  • Once a student has been referred to administration, decisions will be made on an individual basis and will follow discussions with teachers, parents and students.


Students who skip classes will receive consequences that may include the following:


  • After school or before school detentions issued by course teachers and/or administration.

  • In-school suspensions.

  • Referral to the Attendance Board for students under the age of 16;

  • Recommendation for withdrawal from a course or from school.



Factors that will be considered in making a decision include:


  • The student’s current marks in the course and the likelihood of the student successfully completing the course.

  • The student’s general deportment in the school.

  • The student’s academic record.


If a student is withdrawn from school and they would like to re-register the following semester, a meeting must be established to meet with the Principal. Students who are expelled from school may be reinstated into the school at the discretion of the Board of Trustees and after meeting with the Principal.