Attendance Line: 403-274-2240 ext. 1

Attendance Policy

Under the Alberta School Act, there are very few acceptable reasons for students to be absent from school. The Act states that “a student is excused from attending school on a day on which the school is open if:

(a) the student is unable to attend by reason of sickness or other unavoidable cause;
(b) the day is recognized as a religious holiday by the religious denomination to which the student belongs;
(c) the principal of the school has suspended the student from school and the suspension is still in effect; or
(d) the student has been expelled from school and has not been given permission to enrol in another school.”

There are 12 weeks over the course of the school year that are formal holidays for high school students. Full year school calendars are posted a year in advance on the Calgary Board of Education website.

It is difficult, if not impossible, for students who are absent for extended periods of time to be successful. When students are continually absent, for any reason (prolonged or chronic illness, truancy, vacations) and are unable to regularly attend, the school may refer them to an alternative program such as CBe-learn, Alberta Distance Learning, or Discovering Choices. These programs provide viable and attractive alternatives for students for whom regular attendance is a challenge.

In cases of prolonged absence from school due to medical or emergent situations, parents/guardians are requested to inform via email or phone the school office at their earliest convenience. Students are expected to present the Extended Absence form to their teachers so teachers can list how to keep up with their work.

Attendance Requirements

To maintain registration at John G. Diefenbaker High School, daily, punctual attendance is required. Attendance is, according to the Alberta School Act and CBE regulations, the responsibility of both parents and students. The school fulfills its responsibility to report student absences to parents/guardians with a daily automated call-out system. The attendance policy at John G. Diefenbaker High School is designed to identify students who develop a pattern of non- attendance and/or tardiness with a series of timely and effective interventions. Attendance correlates directly to achievement. Students, who attend, graduate!

Attendance Interventions

Stage 1: At 4 absences in any class, including TA, teachers make contact with parents/guardians by sending an email or phoning home and recording the contact in the MyCBE / PowerSchool.

Stage 2: At 8 absences, the referral p r o c e s s to administration begins. Teachers include any pertinent information on student achievement and behaviour. Conferences with parents or guardians, attendance improvement plans, course withdrawal, and/or referral to an alternative program (CBe-Learn; Discovering Choices; or Alberta Distance Learning) are all possible options. Attendance improvement strategies and student attendance habits will be monitored.

In extreme circumstances, students may be withdrawn from JGD for the remainder of the semester, and based on
circumstances, possibly invited back for the next instructional session.


Students should be in class when the class change music stops. Students arriving late to class lose valuable learning time and interfere with the learning of others. We expect that all students will be prepared to work at the beginning of the class.
Students who are habitually late for class are held accountable in a variety of ways, including: the student accounting to the subject teacher; the subject teacher contacting parents; the student being referred to administration. Students arriving late need to report to the main office, where they will sign-in and receive a late-slip.

Extended Absences

High School course content is extensive, rigorous and fast paced. Vacations during the school year are strongly discouraged; however, should parents/guardians wish to remove students from class for vacation, students are required to complete an Extended Absence Form (available in the main office). A minimum of 3 weeks’ notice in advance of the absence is required and such absences are “unexcused”. Extended leaves of absence should not be planned during the final examination periods.

Scheduled Evaluations

If a student is absent excused on the date of an examination, assessment or assignment, it is their responsibility to meet with the teacher and schedule a time to complete the assessment (normally in the Test Centre). Students, who do not take the opportunity to do so, could end up with lower grades. Whenever possible, students must contact the teacher PRIOR to the assessment being written. An absence is only excused by the parent/guardian by calling the Attendance Line (403-274-2240, ext. 1). An absence does not excuse incomplete work or missed assessments.

Please note students are required to complete all assessments to ensure that they demonstrate their understanding of the course material and are properly prepared for the final course examination. However, students, whose absence is unexcused, might NOT be permitted to complete missed assessments.

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Attendance in MyCBE / PowerSchool

Our student information system, MyCBE / PowerSchool provides parents and students with access to detailed attendance information. For help creating an account or signing in, please visit Technical Support for Students & Parents.

Attendance records are available in Grades and Attendance or Attendance History. Common attendance codes are:

  • (_) =Present
  • A = Absent
  • L = Late
  • IL = Illness
  • AP = Absent - Parent Called
  • LVE = Leave Early
  • MA = Appointment

A legend of all the attendance codes are available at the bottom of the attendance charts in PowerSchool. To discuss any discrepancies, please contact the school office.

Attendance Expectations at the CBE

We believe there is a strong correlation between attendance and effective education. The CBE Administrative Regulation 6020 - Attendance of Students​ regulation applies to all of our students, and outlines the responsibilities for students, parents and school staff.​​​​​​​​

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