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Attendance, Absences, and Truancy

*Guidance for this section is based on Board Policy 7:70, South Cook ISC recommendations, and ISBE attendance guidelines as reported on the Illinois School Report Card. 

The parent/guardian of a student who is enrolled must authorize all absences from school and notify the school in advance or at the time of the student’s absence. The parent or guardian should call the school absentee hotline to explain the reason for the absence.  If notification has not been made to the school on the day of a student’s absence, a school official will call the home to inquire why the student is not at school. If the parent or guardian cannot be contacted by phone, the school may reach out in other ways to ensure that the student is safe.  


Excused Absences: A valid cause for absence includes illness (including mental or behavioral health of the student), observance of a religious holiday, death in the immediate family, attendance at a civic event, family emergency, other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the Board, other circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or safety, or other reason as approved by the Superintendent or designee. Students absent for a valid cause may make up missed homework and classwork assignments in a reasonable timeframe.


Unexcused Absences: All other absences not listed above, including family vacations,  are considered unexcused.  Students are allowed to make up any missed homework, projects, and tests upon their return to school from an unexcused absence.  If taking a family vacation during school days, please use this letter to notify your school and review additional information. 

Chronic Absenteeism: Student attendance is critical to the learning process. The state of Illinois considers students chronically absent if 10% or more of school is missed; this includes all excused and unexcused absences. Students who show patterns or indications of chronic absenteeism may require intervention. Intervention steps may include but are not limited to written parent notification, attendance contracts and plans, parent meetings, motivational groups, social work support, or other interventions.  Chronic absenteeism, regardless of the reason, is impactful on student ability to demonstrate grade level proficiency of learning standards and can have long-term impact on students. 

Truancy: A truant is any student who is absent from school without a valid cause. A chronic truant student is defined as one who is absent without cause for 5% or more days in the school year (9 days out of 180 days of student attendance).

Truancy is a serious issue and will be dealt with in a serious manner by the school and district. Students who miss 5% or more of the prior 180 regular school days without valid cause (as prescribed by Board policy) are considered chronic truants. Students who are chronic truants will be offered support services and resources aimed at correcting the truancy issue.

If chronic truancy persists after support services and other resources are made available, the school and district will take further action, including, but not limited to referral to the South Cook Truancy Department. This referral may result in notices of non-compliance, return to school deadline dates, and a court summons for a truancy hearing if the truancy persists. A parent or guardian who knowingly and willfully permits a child to be truant is in violation of State law.