ATTENDANCE POLICY

Rationale

St. George International School & Preschool (SGIS; SGP) applies a holistic approach to the students` teaching and learning, holding the belief that academic preparation is equally important as training for life. An important part of a successful education process is the regular attendance of all school classes and compulsory activities. This attendance policy is designed to reflect and support the philosophy and objectives of St. George International School & Preschool as a whole.

Principles and Practice

In line with its overall aims, St. George International School & Preschool recognises that teaching, learning, assessment, and regular attendance to school are fundamentally connected, complementing each other in developing high standards of achievement for all students at the school.

St George International School (SGIS):

Lateness

Being punctual to school, and to class, is of high value at St. George International School & Preschool and is integral to the learning process.

Lateness for class by up to 20 minutes will result in a half-absence.

Lateness for class by more than 20 minutes will result in one absence.

In the cases of lateness to school, a parent needs to send an email to the school Reception no later than 8:00 a.m. All lates are marked in iSAMS and the class paper journal.

Absences

The absences are counted in class hours. They are also marked in iSAMS and the class paper journal.

Possible Reasons for Excused Absences

A student could possibly be absent form school due to the following reasons:

1. Medical reason which needs to be verified with a medical note up to 3 days after the end of the absence.

2. Participation in competitions, contents, concerts, etc. The participation is verified with a note issued by the company organising the event. The pre-planned absence is requested in a written form from the school by the parents of the student. It should be done not later than 7 days before the absence.

3. Due to other reasons:

3.1. Up to three days in one school year – the absence should be requested in a written form, not later than seven days prior to its initial date and addressed to the student`s class master. The request should clearly state the reasons for the absence.

3.2. Up to seven days in one school year - the absence should be requested in a written form, not later than seven days prior to its initial date and addressed to the Principal for approval. The request should clearly state the reasons for the absence.

All other absences that do not fall in line with the reasons above will not be excused.

A student may be excused from participating in PE classes only due to medical reasons after presenting a medical note verifying the need for the absence. The student must still attend the class even if they are not actively participating.

Sanctions for Unexcused Absences

Students will receive the following sanctions in case of excessive unexcused absences: - 5 unexcused absences – note (email) home to parents/carers; - 10 unexcused absences – written warning, shared with parents/carers; - 15 unexcused absences – warning of transfer to another school, shared with parents/carers.

The current Attendance Policy of St. George International School & Preschool is written in compliance with the Bulgarian educational legislation which could also be used for all other cases, not described in the current document. All additional policies of assessing process within specific subjects in specific are in direct submission to the current Attendance Policy.

Specifically, for St George Preschool (SGP):

St George Preschool recognises the same values and approach of SGIS. We are a single community who places the emphasis and importance of academic education at the heart of our development. Therefore, we believe that every lesson attended is of huge developmental value, and missing lessons in the preschool may have an adverse effect on future academic performance, or development.

St George Preschool is a school which recognises all of its learners, and takes absences, both short-term, and long-term, very seriously. We also have a duty of care and provision to all of our children and learners, in line with SGIS and SGP’s Safeguarding rules and procedures.

I. For all children enrolled into the Preschool attendance, being on-time, and timely to lessons is mandatory. Furthermore, to follow our rules, procedures and policies to enable a safe and educational facility.

The working hours of the Preschool are, as follows:

- Pre - Nursery (2 - 3 years old) 08:30 - 17:00. Breakfast between 08:30 - 09:00

- Nursery (3 - 4 years old) 08:00 - 18:00. Breakfast between 08:00 - 08:30

- Reception (4 - 5 years old) 08:00 - 18:00. Breakfast between 08:00 - 08:30

- First Preparatory (5 - 6 years old) 08:00 - 18:00. Breakfast between 08:00 - 08:30

The start of the academic day commences at 09:00, and runs until 16:00. Following this the children may participate in Extracurricular Activities, as organised by the Activities team, and the Deputy Head of St George Preschool: Miss Galia Gorgorova.

Parents and Carers Obligation(s):

Parents must advise, in writing, if their child is going to be late, or absent from the school. The email should be sent to sgp.smt@stgeorgeschool.eu.

The contents of this email must include: - The time of arrival, if late;

- The length or period of absence, if not attending school;

- Justification for non-attendance;

- Relevant documentation (if applicable);

- A doctor’s note with confirmation that the child(ren) are fit and healthy to return to school; this must be certified and signed by a medical professional (e.g. General Practitioner (GP);

- Their full name;

- The child(ren)’s full name;

Any child arriving after 09:15 is deemed late, and a record of such is taken, unless this has been arranged and notified prior.

The school nurse, school administration, class teacher(s), and the school’s senior management team will be notified by the preschool reception and all records update accordingly, the same day that official notification for absence is given.

Preschool School Obligation(s) (SGP):

Each day the teacher will provide a list to the school nurse of all children who are in attendance at school. They will also notify of children who are absent. This is then verified and checked by the school nurses, and an official attendance record is taken, and kept secure in the nurses’ office. This information is emailed, daily, to The Preschool Principal, and the management team for logging. This data is also kept secure, online on the school’s administrative system, and the nurses’ database for cross referencing. The deputy head of the school for administration also stores and has a record of such and may be provided to the regulatory authorities if/when requested. This is provided by Miss Galia Gorgorova (sgp.administration@stgeorgeschool.eu), and may be contacted by email for further information relating to this.

All attendance records and child attendance are recorded and sent to the Senior Management Team before 10:00am each day.

Any child with an unknown absence(s) are contact by the Preschool receptionist and asked to provide information relating to the absence, and justification. St George Preschool also safeguards its pupils by checking through this means and approach.

Prolonged absences, and intermittent periods of lateness and missed academic learning may be checked by the Principal at their discretion and a meeting with the parent arranged to discuss such circumstances. This is done to ensure the academic provision of all of our pupils here at St George International School & Preschool, while also acknowledging best practice and considering, always, the well-being of each of our enrolled children.

Teachers, specialist teachers, management, and all school staff have the duty and obligation to check the numbers of children for each lesson attending, and ensure that the Dnevnik is updated each day in-line with the attendance policy. Furthermore, the Dnevnik must be with the children at all times in case of fire drills, lockdown procedures, or other emergency situations.

Duty of Care:

All staff working at SGIS and SGP have a duty of care, and a responsible for the children during their academic hours, or working day, as advised and directed by the Principals, while at St George International School & Preschool. Each member of staff supervising children working at SGIS and SGP understand, and have read, the school’s safeguarding policy and procedures, they are fully aware that they are responsible at their allocated and given times (throughout the school day) to safeguard all children, monitor attendance (through register checking/head counts etc.) and to securely hand over children. Children must be passed over safely to: either those responsible after school, such as parents and carers, or to other employed staff, and external companies, directly, and indirectly employed through St George International School & Preschool and the extracurricular activities programme companies.

All records and logs for all attendance are kept secure, in line with GDPR compliance.

Effective from 15.09.2019

To be revised on 15.09.2020

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