A Toolkit for Raising the Attendance Rates of First Nations Students in BC – Draft (2020) is intended to help First Nations and First Nations schools consider issues related to student attendance at school, including why attendance is an important issue, some of the reasons why students might not be in school, and what can be done to help.
The information will ideally be of interest to people who work with First Nations students who are enrolled in a variety of education settings – public schools, First Nations schools, First Nations adult education centres, and independent schools. It is hoped that the information will be helpful to school staff, community members who support students, First Nations Parents Clubs, and any other people who support First Nations students.
Making sure that all First Nations students have every opportunity for success by attending school consistently is an issue that is best addressed collaboratively. It is not an issue that can be left to parents or schools staff alone. Many of the successful attendance intervention programs being implemented around the world – including those for Indigenous students – have involved entire communities focusing on ways to encourage students to arrive at school regularly and on-time.
By necessity, the information presented in this Toolkit is quite general, as it is meant to apply to a wide range of circumstances. Some of the suggestions will work well in some areas, but perhaps not in others. Some of the suggestions relate specifically to school-age students, while others may be relevant to adult students, as well. All of the ideas should be considered within specific contexts, as options to adapt and build upon as relevant for each community and school setting.
This toolkit has been informed by participants in two focus group meetings. The feedback shared has been incorporated into this document and is greatly appreciated.