College Policy and Procedures

Absences

During the College day we need to know that our students are at College, in class and learning. Parents and caregivers need to have the confidence that this is the case.
Our links with families, and family communication with us, is an important factor in ensuring students are safe and on campus when they should be.
We understand that, from time to time students will be ill, will need to attend an appointment (medical, dental or similar), or will require an absence for a specific purpose.
There are legal requirements around attendance of students at school.

A Principal’s ability to grant discretionary leave for a student is governed by Section 27 of the Education Act.

The process for advising absences is:

a) For absences known in advance – this may include travel, family event, representative sporting or cultural leave:

  • requests should be made, in writing, to the Principal;
  • please make this request as far in advance of the event as is possible;
  • requests for leave will be confirmed with families and advised to relevant College staff.

b) For unscheduled absences that occur on the day:

  • An early phone call to College is requested (please leave a message if this is before the school day starts).
  • A note from home when the student returns to College (as confirmation of the absence):
    – the note is to be signed by a parent or caregiver.
    – this note should be given to the student’s Family Form Teacher and should advise:  student’s name; reason for absence; date/s of absence.
  •  Please be aware that a College staff member may still call back to confirm the accuracy of absence advice (phone call or note).

c) College process for unexplained absences.

Ashburton College operates an electronic package that allows for early notification when your student is not in class.

Procedure:

  • class rolls are checked every period and entered electronically by teaching staff;
  • when a student is absent without explanation families who have a cellphone are notified by text message;
  • text notifications from the College occur mid-morning and after lunch;
  • families are asked to reply to the text message or phone the College to confirm the student’s whereabouts.

Unjustified absences that are not explained within a ten-day period, are automatically recorded as ‘T’ (truant). This will appear on a student’s record.

Truancy

To lessen truancy by students Ashburton College works closely with the Mid Canterbury District Truancy Service and ROCK ON, an Inter-Agency Group made up of representatives from the local Police, CYF, District Truancy Service and the Ministry of Education.

Cellphones/Ipods

As a College we recognise the value of cellphones for many students in terms of contact with families around after-school events and commitments.

It is necessary, however, to have some in-College requirements around their use, and that of iPods, and we ask that:

  • students bringing cellphones, iPods or similar items to College must accept full responsibility for their use and care.
  • Cellphones and iPods are turned off during class time. A cellphone or iPod that is seen, heard or operated in class will be taken from the student by the staff member. The cellphone or iPod will be returned to the student at the end of that College day, from the College Office, or (for second or further offences) held for collection by a parent/caregiver. Each item is treated as being the same in terms of number of offences.

Abuse of a cellphone to harass others in the College community is regarded as a serious breach of student behaviour and will be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.

Phone for Student use

A telephone is available for student use, for land-line calls, at the Student Counter.

Security of Property

It is recommended that students do not bring valuable items to College.
Valuable articles (eg: money, jewellery) or large items (musical instruments, sports gear) may be left at the College Office Student Counter for safe-keeping.
All items brought to, or worn at, College should be clearly named.

Property Damage

An account will be sent home with regard to any deliberate or irresponsible property damage by a student.

Text Books

These are loaned to students by the College. In the event they are damaged or lost families will be charged for their replacement.

College Canteen

This is open every school day – before school from 8:25am and at interval and lunchtimes.
Menus are available for student information and a wide range of hot and cold food is sold at reasonable prices. Healthy eating options are a key focus.
EFTPOS and phone cards available.

Any canteen profit is targeted for investment into College equipment to benefit all students.

Internet and Information Services / Requirements

We provide students with the ability to log-in to College computer and internet services and our internet and email services provide a high (but not absolute) level of internet safety and security. For the start of 2012 we will have full wireless access in all College rooms and outdoor areas using ultra-fast broadband.

There is a set of rules for student use of these facilities. These are outlined in the College Student Diary. Breaches of cyber-safety codes of behaviour are treated as a disciplinary matter.

Students/Families are also required to complete an application form, available from the College office.

Field Trips

Trips away from College are well supervised and all reasonable care is taken of the students involved. Activities are conducted in a manner which meets all legislative requirements.

In-College arrangements are that:

  • the organising teacher-in-charge will provide parents/caregivers with written details of the event.
  • a returned, signed permission slip will be requested by a set date.
  • where family payment is required this is due at the College Office three working days prior to the event.

Contacting the College

This can be done in a number of ways:

  • by phoning the College Office and a message will be passed on to the person who can then make contact when free;
  • by leaving a voice mail message (all staff have access to voice mail);
  • by email to a staff member (email addresses are listed on the College website and on the School-Links page.

Concerns or Complaints

Families or community members are encouraged to make contact with us regarding any questions or concerns. This way we can help. Any concern or complaint will be received and responded to respectfully.

Depending on its nature enquiries may be made to a Teacher, Family Form Teacher, Dean, Head of School, Deputy Principal or Principal; or more than one of these.

Serious complaints should be addressed to a Deputy Principal or the Principal and, ideally, should be in writing or through a meeting.

If required, a copy of the relevant College Policy and Procedure is readily available.

Reporting on/Discussing Student Progress

Interim Reporting to Families

This takes place mid-Term One annually.

Parent/Caregiver/Teacher Interview Meetings

After Interim Reporting interviews with teaching staff are available later Term One or early Term Two.
These are held for each student year level and provide an opportunity to discuss your daughter’s/son’s progress.

Reporting to Parents/Caregivers

This takes place mid-year and towards the end of the school year, for all year levels. This reporting provides regular information on progress through the year and, for senior students on their readiness for NCEA exams.
Relevant dates are well advertised in advance through the College Newsletter, on the web-site and/or by a send-home notice.

Parents or Caregivers with Specific Concerns

Are encouraged to request a meeting with a teacher at any time – by contacting the teacher concerned, the Family Form Teacher, Dean or Head of School.
On occasions staff will make contact with home to discuss progress or concerns and/or to ask for a meeting.