Letter to families from the Director of Education

Enhancing student learning through regular attendance
Posted on 02/05/2024

February 5, 2024

Dear families,

I hope this message finds you well, embracing the learning journey we've embarked upon since September. As we reach the midpoint of the 2023-2024 school year, I am writing to share some of our collective achievements and underscore the significance of consistent attendance in shaping students' futures.

Here at Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, we're celebrating notable improvements achievement. With impressive progress in EQAO assessments, particularly in Grade 6 Math and the Grade 10 Literacy Test, and a significant increase in graduation rates by 6 percentage points, our students are prepared and ready to tackle what lies ahead. This success is a reflection of the partnership among educators, families and students.

Our commitment to creating inspiring learning environments is evident with the upcoming opening of the new Easthill Elementary School this September. As well, our proactive efforts to revise school boundaries in the Bayside and Harmony areas will maximize learning spaces. These actions are key to ensuring every student has access to spaces that facilitate learning and achievement.

The cornerstone of student achievement is in regular, punctual attendance. Research shows that students who regularly attend school are more likely to achieve, develop strong social skills and build a solid foundation for future success.

Below are some ways regular attendance shapes a student’s education journey:

  • Continuous learning: Daily, active participation in lessons allows for uninterrupted knowledge building and peer interaction.
  • Routine development: Establishing a consistent schedule builds good habits in preparation for future responsibilities.
  • Social and emotional growth: Regular attendance cultivates emotional resilience and a strong sense of belonging in the school community.
  • Future readiness: Being present at school every day prepares students for higher education and career success.

As valued partners in your child’s education journey, your support is crucial. Here are ways you can further encourage your child’s consistent attendance:

  • Set a positive example: Demonstrate the value of punctuality and attendance in your own life, emphasizing the importance of commitment to responsibilities.
  • Communicate openly: Engage in honest discussions about school experiences and together address any concerns or challenges your child may be facing.
  • Establish routines: A structured daily routine that includes a set bedtime and morning schedule ensures your child is well-rested and ready for each school day.
  • Celebrate achievements: Recognize and celebrate your child’s accomplishments, both big and small, to foster a positive attitude about learning.

If your child needs to be absent, we encourage you to use the SafeArrival app to report the absence. It’s a quick and easy way to let the school know when your child will be away from school. Remember, every school day matters in a child’s education journey.

At HPEDSB, we are unwavering in our belief in the potential of each and every student. Your partnership is essential in opening doors to the future. Together, let's make every school day count towards growth, joy and success.

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to your child’s school. I am eager to witness your child’s success in the days ahead.

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education