As a growing organization, the Perfect Attendance Foundation appreciates hearing from those individuals that are passionate about elementary education. The following is a collection of questions and comments we have received. (Click on the question to expand the answer.)
FAQ’s from Parents/Guardians
Q: Is there a cost for registration?
A: Registration is completely free.
Q: My child has already missed one day of school, is it still worth participating?
Q: Hi my son is in the bridges program at (his elementary) school. He has missed days and i am sure will miss more. Should i still register him?
A: Absolutely! You child is still eligible for ‘Significanter Praesens
‘ awards, an ‘Semper Praesens–Semestris
‘ award, or the ‘Praesens Amplius
‘ awards. And that is in addition to helping your child develop the concept of commitment and the rewards of leading a committed life.
A: The main goal for the Perfect Attendance Foundation (PAF) is to encourage the pursuit of education through attendance and the values of leading a committed life. We understand there can be uncontrollable circumstances that prevent perfect attendance throughout the school year, and have awards for significant improvement and significant attendance (slightly less than perfect attendance) for these situations. These awards cover the entire school year, but we also have awards that are calculated and applied over the school terms. For example, if you son misses days in the first term he would be eligible for our highest term award of perfect attendance for the second term.
Q: Do we get an award as well?
In addition to our attendance awards, we also have a gift package that contains a button pin and a quality fridge magnet for each family that registers. The intent is to provide a daily reminder to the family about the pledge they have made. Even though your son may not be eligible for one of our awards, we believe in the value of making the commitment and personal investment into one’s education to the best of their ability.
Ultimately the decision to register with PAF is yours, and we are here to assist you and your family in encouraging the above values should you be interested.
A: PAF understands it takes alot of effort from the caregivers ensuring their children arrive at school promptly. In registering as a Charity with the CRA for the purpose of advancing education, we are not permitted to provide parents with monetary awards. We are currently working out an acceptable means of recognition, and trust the values of dedication and commitment your child is learning will manifest back to you intrinsically.
Q: Where were you when I was a student!? I achieved perfect attendance when I was a student.
A: We continually hear stories from adults who fondly reflect on their perfect attendance achievement during their education. It’s not easy achievement. While some schools offer recognition for perfect attendance, most do not and even less provide incentives. We are here to change that!
Q: Why is registration necessary? If my kid gets perfect attendance can I apply then?
A: As a developing organization, we have financial limitations towards keeping an open invitation to our monetary awards. The registration process helps us gauge what our minimum fundraising efforts need to be. Additionally, it also provides an opportunity for families to consciously declare their desire and strive for commitment.
Q: Just out of curiosity, how do you decipher absent from 'sick leaves', as I am not sure our school indicates that on our attendance report.
A: One of our fundamental requirements in offering this opportunity is for the school to have an established means of recording attendance, as we are not positioned to conduct that service. We rely on the school to determine the parameters for categorizing the variations of absences (eg. whether excused or unexcused) for simplicity and consistency.
Q: How do “lates” apply to attendance? Do you consider a late an unexcused missed day?
A: Schools distinguish absences from tardies in their reporting and both are considered a demerit from achieving perfect attendance. In encouraging school attendance should a Registrant have a tardy, PAF still provides award considerations for our significant attendance (Significanter Praesens) and significant improvement (Praesens Amplius) awards as well as eligibility for perfect attendance (Semper Praesens) in the following term if the late occurs in the first term.
FAQ’s from Educators
Q: As a teacher, do I have any responsibilities associated with this program?
Q: Does the school have to provide attendance records to PAF?
A: No, we rely on parents/guardians to register and provide us with the attendance record of their child. Engaging the caregivers is critical not only for the success of attendance, but also in meeting the strict requirements of the ‘Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy’ (FOIP) Act
A: Similar to the non-involvement of the teacher, registration is through the parents/guardians who will provide the necessary attendance records.
Q: Does PAF provide an attendance system that it expects schools to use?
Q: Has the PAF considered an intrinsic reward system directed towards the school rather than the student?
A: Definitely not. Under our ‘general regulations
‘ it is required that the participating student attends a school with an established means of recording student attendance.
Q: Have you approached the CBE?
A: The Board of Directors is discussing this option and plans on defining the scope and process to implement something like this in the future. For example, the possibility of donating books or computer software to the school in the name of the student is very desirable for PAF to investigate. If you are able to help us explore this option or offer to be a pilot school, please contact us.
A: We have been in contact with Alberta Education, the Alberta Student Attendance Board, various school boards (including the CBE), the Alberta Teachers Association, and of course numerous elementary school teachers. As an external and complimentary program to these organization’s purpose of faciliting and advancing education, PAF has been well received.
Q: I am curious how you are ensuring the program is inclusive and rewarding to children of those families who are unable to attend school at times - not because they don't want to be there - but because they don't have families in a healthy condition to suppor their education.
A:PAF focuses on the value of commitment and dedication which is evaluated in a very tangible way, through a voluntary individual student/parent registration. It is an unfortunate situation that there may be children who are not able to attend school every day due to circumstances outside their control. These issues go beyond our scope and are addressed by various governing bodies and other organizations.
Q: As a teacher I feel alot of types of absences can be great for a child.
A: Some families plan vacations or other extra curricular activities for their children during the school year that will be an enlightening experience. Some children will be involved in academic or athletic pursuits that may provide their own scholarships or awards. PAF provides recognition for students that do not have those opportunities.
Do you have any other questions? Leave a comment below or send us an email here!