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Remember that, in Québec, school attendance is compulsory from the age of 6 to 16. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child attends school when it is in session.

That said, in case of sickness, in particular contagious illnesses such as varicelle, oreillons, rougeole, and the like, it is crucial that your child stay home. The school is not allowed to administer painkillers to children, even if they are feverish. If your child shows signs of illness while at school, they will wait at the nursing station; the parents will be called and should pick their children up as soon as possible.

In case of extended illness, of course, the convalescence of your child is the first priority. In this case, please be in touch with your child’s teachers and with the vice-principal responsible for your child’s age group, to figure out how your child can either keep up with what is being covered, or to make a plan for them to catch up with the class upon their return. Your child’s school friends may also be a useful resource in this regard.

If your child is away for vacation when class is in session, it is the child’s responsibility, and not the teachers, to catch up on what they missed during their absence. There are several possibilities for this; perhaps a friend could scan and email the class material and homework sheets, and send them along by email, to keep your child in touch with what is being covered. Upon their return, a student can always attend the catch-up sessions, held by all of their teachers, to help with catching up on what they missed.

Travel can be a very enriching activity! But, please be aware that the teachers can’t be expected to alter their teaching plan to account for the absence of a particular child. The school team counts on us to meet our responsibilities as parents and to help our children with any catch-up work that is needed.

Finally, note that exams and concerts, the dates of which are announced far in advance, should only be missed in case of force majeure.