Safe Arrival Procedures

Safe Arrival Procedures

A number of parents have been asking about the processes that drive the Safe Arrival Calls.  Here is a brief snapshot of what happens in the mornings at Palmerston in regards to attendance…

  • Students enter the building and proceed to their classrooms
  • Students change into indoor shoes in the hallway
  • Students usually begin their day by sitting on the classroom carpet or by sitting at their desks
  •  The teacher takes attendance:

    • Attendance is a sheet of paper with the class list
    • The teacher “bubbles in” students who are absent
  • If a child arrives in the classroom after the teacher takes attendance (but the attendance sheet has not been sent to the office), the teacher marks the student as “late”
  • The teacher sends the attendance to the office
  • Shortly after “O Canada” and the announcements, attendances start to arrive at the office
  • Office staff collect the attendances and tracks them to ensure that they are all there (we cannot scan the school’s attendance into the system until we have every class’ attendance)
  • Office staff scan the attendance sheets into the system
  • At approximately 9:30, the system starts to send out automated phone calls to parents, informing them that their child is absent
  • Parents listen to the prompts in the automated message and respond accordingly
  • If a parent receives the phone call saying their child is absent, but they believe their child is in school, the parent calls the school immediately

  • For Students Who Arrive Late...   

    • Children check in at the office and inform the office that they are late (if they arrive at the classroom but haven’t checked in, the teacher will send them to the office)
    • Office staff will go into the system and change the child’s status to “late”

      • If this change in the system happens before the automated callout time:

        • Parents will not get a call saying their child is absent
        • Parents will get a call that night saying their child was late

Q and A

  • What do I do if my child is only one or two minutes late?

    • This is your judgement call
    • If you arrive at school and see the last class entering the building and you see many students in the hallway, you may consider sending them in; they will go to the classroom on their own and quickly join the students before the teacher takes attendance
    • If you arrive at school, the students are in their classrooms and the announcements have started, ask your child to go to the office and sign in

  • I’ve signed my child in as late before 9:30 but the system still calls me at 9:30 to inform me my child is absent.  Why is this happening?

    • A few minutes before the callout,  the system “locks” and starts to organize the callouts; we cannot get into the system at this point
    • If your child signs in late during this “locked” period, you will get a call saying your child is absent
    • If this occurs, please call the school office and we will verify that your child is at school
    • We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause

  • Why does the system keep calling me?

    • It is important that you listen to the automated message and follow the prompts; if you don’t, the system will keep calling.

  • My child has a dentist appointment.  Can I call in advance to let the school know she will be late?

    • Unfortunately, the system will not allow for this.  A student is considered “absent” until we physically see them and know that they are safe.   We will change their status from “absent” to “late” when they arrive.  

  • What is a turtle?
    • Students who are late sign in and are given a piece of paper that has a turtle printed on it
    • The student gives this to the teacher to show that they have signed in  
  • How Do I Make Arrangements for Somebody Else to Pick Up My Child

In September, students quickly get into a routine for getting picked up at the end of the day. They know who picks them up and what happens afterwards. This consistency is very helpful for your child, his or her teacher, and the school.

We recognize that there are occasional, “one-off” changes to the routine. For example, you may have made arrangements for a friend to pick up your child for a playdate. If this happens, please put a note in your child’s bag / agenda the night before so that the teacher receives it the next morning (i.e., the day of the alternate pickup).

Of course, if there is an emergency and the person picking up your child is unable to do so, please contact the school office as soon as possible and we will ensure that your child is picked up by the appropriate person.