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Attendance Counsellors

There is a strong connection between school attendance and success. Poor attendance often results in students leaving school early and subsequently having significant gaps in both the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve future success. Finding and keeping jobs becomes a problem, as does low self-esteem. There is no doubt that success in school helps a youth to feel better and to do better. The Simcoe County District School Board employs five attendance counsellors, who will work with families to protect each student’s right to an education.

List of SCDSB School Attendance Counsellors

What Attendance Counsellors Do
Attendance Counsellors work primarily with students 4 - 16 years of age, who have an unusually high number of absences. To assist in resolving school attendance problems, the counsellors may do the following:
  • Accept referrals from anyone;
  • Visit schools to meet with students and school staff;
  • Visit homes to meet with the families;
  • Work with School Board support staff;
  • Work with community support agencies;
  • Investigate students who move or run away;
  • Provide long term counselling to students who are habitually absent;
  • Help with students and parents requesting an alternative program (SAL for 14-17 year olds); and
  • Refer compulsory attendance matters to the Provincial Court for additional support.
What Parents Can Do
  • Be interested in schooling by asking questions, communicating with teachers, and encouraging participation in clubs and teams.
  • Create a school-ready routine by preparing your child for a good day– well-rested, well-fed and ready to work.
  • Build self-esteem - praise (criticize) actions, not people.
  • Know who your son's/daughter's friends are.
What Schools Do
To ensure that Attendance Counsellors are provided with the information necessary to fulfil their responsibilities, the Education Act requires school principals to:
  • Report to the appropriate school Attendance Counsellor students of compulsory school age who have not attended school as required;
  • Provide the school Attendance Counsellor with such other information as the counsellor requires.
Requests should be activated when:
  • Attempts by the school staff to resolve the attendance issue or contact the parents have not been successful;
  • Absence begins to show a regular pattern, such as Monday or Friday absences;
  • Parents' explanations for their child’s absence may be contributing to their child's frequent absences and therefore hindering their progress;
  • Attendance becomes a problem due to chronic illness/stress;
  • Students have moved with no explanation and the Ontario Student Record (OSR) is still not requested;
  • Parents request home schooling;
  • Parents request an alternative program such as Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupils (SAL).
Read more about the Referral Process.