Attendance & Punctuality
Regular attendance is key to student success in school. Parents/guardians play a major role in this area by ensuring their children regularly attend school and arrive on time and ready to learn each day. Excessive absences may drastically affect student performance, so school absenteeism should be kept to a minimum.
A parent or guardian must call their school by 9 a.m. each day their child is not in attendance. If a call is not received and a reason for an absence not provided, school personnel will attempt to call a parent/guardian at home or work, or interview the student upon their return.
State law requires every absence to be marked excused or unexcused. The following are valid causes for a student’s excused absences:
- Observation of a religious holiday
- Death in the immediate family
- Family emergency
- Other situations approved by school administration
A student reported absent due to illness must have a physician’s explanation of the absences if absent three consecutive days or 10 accumulated days.
Unexcused Absences & Truancy
Unreported absences are unexcused and considered truancy. Truancy is when the school has no knowledge of a student's reason for absence. A chronic truant is any student absent without valid cause for 10 percent of the previous 180 regular attendance days, and chronic truancy is reported to the Regional Office of Education.
Schools will address unexcused absences and truancy through a series of parent/guardian contacts by teachers, social workers, and school administrators. The aim of these contacts will be to firmly establish solid attendance habits for the student. Unexcused absences and truancy are, however, the responsibility of parents/guardians, who are subject to penalties under state and local truancy laws.
Mental Health Absences
The Illinois School Code considers the mental and/or behavioral health of a student to be a valid cause for absence from school.
Therefore, parents/guardians may keep a student from school for up to five mental health absences with no need to provide a medical note. If reported to the school as mental health absences, they will be excused, and the student will be able to make up missed schoolwork.
Mental health absences can indicate a student needs additional support. If a student takes two or more mental health days during the school year, the school will contact their parents/guardians to conduct an emotional wellness check and determine if the student requires additional mental health support.
Middle school students arriving at school after 7:50 a.m., and elementary students arriving after 8:40 a.m., are considered tardy. They should report to the main office to receive a pass to their classroom, and they should be accompanied by a note or phone call from a parent/guardian explaining the reason they were tardy. Unexplained tardiness is unexcused. Middle school students will be issued office referrals at their fifth tardy and subsequent referrals will be written for every tardy after the fifth. Disciplinary consequences may be assigned to middle school students receiving office referrals.