Attendance Policy

Attendance Information

The Board of Education has established the following rules and regulations regarding attendance, absences and excuses for students. These rules and regulations are intended to comply with Illinois School Code and District Policy.  Illinois Law requires that whoever has custody or control of any child between six (by September 1st) and seventeen years of age shall assure that the child attends school in the district in which he or she resides, during the entire time school is in session (unless the child has already graduated from high school). Illinois law also requires that whoever has custody or control of a child who is enrolled in the school, regardless of the child’s age, shall assure that the child attends school during the entire time school is in session.

The Attendance Matters website states that encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success—both in school and in life. When you make school attendance a priority, you help your child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, avoid dangerous behavior and have a better chance of graduating from high school.

When students are here 95% or more of the school year, their grades, reading levels, and math skills will improve—even among those students who are struggling in school. Students who attend school regularly also feel more connected to their community, develop important social skills and friendships, and are significantly more likely to graduate from high school, setting them up for a strong future.

But when kids are absent for an average of just two days of school per month—even when the absences are excused– it can have a negative impact. These absences can affect kids as early as Kindergarten.

For example, young elementary school students who miss an average of just two school days per month often have difficulty keeping up with their peers academically and tend to fall behind in reading. But when students are able to read on grade level by the end of third grade, which is when kids transition from learning to read to reading to learn, they are three to four times more likely to graduate high school and attend college, post-graduate, or professional development classes than their peers who struggle with reading.

As a parent, you can prepare your child for a lifetime of success by making regular school attendance a priority. By figuring out the reasons for your child’s absences—whether they’re physical or emotional—and taking advantage of support services—such as free tutoring, student mentoring and after school activities—you can help set your child on the path to success.

In case of any absence, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to notify the school. If the school is not notified in advance or on the day of absence, a note from the parent/guardian will be required within 48 hours of the student's return to school. If a note or call is not received within 48 hours of the absence, then the absence will be marked unexcused and will remain as unexcused. The school may require documentation explaining the reason for the student’s absence.  All assignments missed due to absences are expected to be made up.

Attendance patterns for all students will be monitored. The principal and/or staff will take appropriate action to investigate absences that are not excusable. The following procedures will be implemented once a student is absent.

Subject to specific requirements in State law, the following children are not required to attend public school: (1) any child attending a private school (including a home school) or parochial school, (2) any child who is physically or mentally unable to attend school (including a pregnant student suffering medical complications as certified by her physician), (3) any child lawfully and necessarily employed, (4) any child over 12 and under 14 years of age while in confirmation classes, (5) any child absent because of religious reasons, including to observe a religious holiday, for religious instruction, or because his or her religion forbids secular activity on a particular day(s) or time of day, and (6) any child 16 years of age or older who is employed and is enrolled in a graduation incentives program.

For students who are required to attend school There are two types of absences: excused and unexcused. Students are granted 5 excused absences per semester for illness and mental/ behavioral health of a student, observance of a religious holiday or event, death in the immediate family, family emergency, situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the school board, circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or safety, attending a military honors funeral to sound TAPS , attend a civic event or other reason as approved by the 1 building principal. Students eligible to vote are also excused for up to two hours to vote in a primary, special, or general election.

Beginning with the first student absence:

  • If the parent/guardian does not contact the school to report the absence, the school will make contact to inform the parent of the absence.

  • The parent/guardian will be made aware of the student’s attendance, and school district policy/regulations.

Five (5) days of absences:

  • The school will send a letter of concern, which includes the attendance policy/regulations, and information regarding the student’s absences.

  • The letter may include a request for a parent/student/counselor conference.

  • The student’s attendance patterns will be identified and discussed.

  • If a parent conference is required, a plan will be developed to improve the student’s attendance.

  • Parents will be informed of possible outside agencies referral, if absences continue.

  • Referral to an appropriate school-based team may be made. 

Ten (10) days of absences per year:

  • The school will send a letter of concern, which includes the attendance policy/regulations, and information regarding the student’s absences.

  • The letter will include a request for a parent/student/counselor/principal conference.

  • Excusable absences will be considered prior to the school notifying the Madison County Truancy Office

  • Develop or revise plans to improve attendance.

  • Referral to an appropriate school-based team may be made. 

The school will maintain the following documentation and/or data:

  • Document the dates of letters, policies, and regulations that are sent to parent

  • Document phone calls and parental responses

  • Document conference dates and parental responses

  • Document attendance plans and any revisions

  • Maintain student attendance records

The district’s inadvertent failure to comply with any procedure set forth in the regulation, including but not limited to the notice provisions, will not protect the student from the consequences for excessive absence as provided in this policy.

If it is necessary for your student to miss a part of a day, please keep the following in mind.  

  • Students attendance is based on the number of minutes they are present in class. Those who miss one or more periods will be granted a percentage for the day. For athletic purposes, students must be present 150 minutes to compete or practice.

  • Absence during lunchtime is not considered a part of the total.  It is helpful to us, then, if appointments that need to be made during school time can be scheduled so that we can still consider the student present for the entire day for this calculation.  Perfect attendance awards, however, will be earned by students who miss no time and have no tardies. 

In general, personal illness, serious illness in the family, or other circumstances making attendance or punctuality extremely difficult will be the only legitimate excuse for absence or tardiness.  Parents will be requested to provide a reason for the absence, as the school is required to classify causes of absence on state reports.

When a student is absent, a parent or guardian should call the school the morning of the absence between 7:00 A.M. and 9:30 A.M.  If a parent calls on the day of the absence, it is not necessary for the student to bring a written excuse.  If a parent does not call on the day of the absence, a note from a parent detailing the reason for the absence is required.  This note must be presented when the student returns.  In case of extended illness, continuing absence should be reported every day.  (See “Homebound Option”)

  • It is hoped that parents will cooperate with the school by seeing that the student is supplied with the necessary excuse for absence.

  • An absence that has not been excused two (2) days after a student returns will remain classified as unexcused.

  • If a parent/guardian neglects to call on the day a student is absent, the school will send notification.

  • When a student must leave school during the day for an appointment, a note from the parent/guardian is required to permit him/her to leave school.

  • A student is tardy when he/she is not in his/her seat by the tardy bell and not more than 15 minutes into a class period. The student shall be considered absent if he/she arrives more than 30 minutes into the class period.

  • A student who comes to school late in the day must sign in at the office whether or not the absence has been reported by a parent/guardian.

  • If a student leaves during the day, he/she must sign out in the office with appropriate approval.  Leaving without permission will constitute skipping with appropriate consequences.

  • A student who is absent more than 5 days may forfeit field trip privileges.

  • If a student is excused from school they have 2 days for every day missed, up to 10 days to make up their assignments/assessments. In an event of a medical situation beyond 10 days, a make up plan will be created by the school administration/counselors.  

Excusable absences include:

  • Illness of the student (including mental or behavioral health of the student): A physician’s statement will be requested after 3 consecutive absences or once students have been absent more than 5 days in a semester. If students fail to turn in a doctor’s note, the absence will be marked unexcused.  

  • Days of religious observance (a written note from the parent must be submitted at least 5 days in advance of the absence)

  • Death in the family 

  • Doctor and dental appointments (notes will be required for them to be marked as excused--parents are encouraged to make those appointments outside of school hours if possible.)

  • Court appearances (a note from the court is required upon return)

    • Students who must appear in court because of a subpoena to serve as a witness, in custody cases, or for other reasons not of their own doing will be excused.

    • Students required to appear in court because of their own offenses will be excused upon providing court documentation of the date and time in court.

  • A student will be excused for up to 5 days in cases where the student’s parent/guardian is an active duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat-support postings.  The Board of Education, in its discretion, may excuse a student for additional days relative to such leave or deployment.  A student and the student’s parent/guardian are responsible for obtaining assignments from the student’s teachers prior to any excused absences and for ensuring that such assignments are completed by the student prior to his or her return to school.

  • Any absence from class as a result of a school-sanctioned activity (IE: field trip)  will be considered an excused absence for purposes of this regulation 

    • Field Trips:  A field trip may not be taken so as to cause a student to exceed five (5) absences in any class.  Exceptions may be made, at the principal’s discretion and/or for honor students. 

    • A student who has a failing grade may be refused permission to participate in a field trip at the discretion of the administrator.  Such decisions will be based on consultation with teacher(s) in class or classes in which the student may not be doing satisfactory work as well as the nature and number of absences a student may have accrued and time remaining in the grading period.

    • Only school related activities will be accepted as “field” trips. All assignments and tests must be completed the first school day following the field trip unless other arrangements have been made between the student and teacher.

Other absences to be considered at discretion of administration on an individual basis. 

If a student’s absence is excused or if a student is suspended from school, he/she will be permitted to make up all missed work, including homework and tests, for equivalent academic credit. Homework requests may be made on the morning of the third consecutive day of absence.  If parents would like work sent prior to a student missing 3 days of school, a request may be made by contacting the student's teacher(s) via e-mail.

Pre-Planned Absences
In the case of pre-planned absences, the principal has the authority to grant excused absences for the following types of pre-planned requests. Please notify the school as soon as you are attempting to plan one of these absences. 

  • College visit/ Career Education visit (documentation required)

    • Students are eligible for 2 total days to visit college or careers sites beginning their junior year.

    • Students with more than 1 unexcused absences will not be approved for a college visit. 

  • Family trips/Vacation (approval form must be submitted two weeks in advance) - Approval forms can be found and downloaded from the CMHS website

    • Students with more than 1 unexcused absence will not be approved for a family trip/vacation.

    • Participation in regional and/or national contests or special awards not endorsed by the IESA or IHSA. 

All work from a pre-planned absence must be requested in advance. Assigned work must be completed the day of the return or per arrangement made with the classroom teacher. The administration has the authority to deny a student’s request for a pre-planned absence. The student’s attendance pattern and/or behavior history as documented by referrals to the principal’s office will provide the basis for the decision. No student will be eligible for an excused absence if the request for a pre-planned absence covers the final two weeks of the semester. 

Any absences other than what has been listed will be considered unexcused.

Students who miss school on Friday or Monday surrounding Homecoming/Coronation and Prom must have a physician’s excuse in order to have their absence excused.

Once a student has missed five (5) days of school in a given semester, all other absences after the fifth one will require a written physician’s excuse for each absence in order for the absence to be excused at school.

A student absent fifteen days in succession without medical documentation may be dropped from enrollment.

Excused Early Departure

  • Parents are requested to send notes with their students when it is necessary for students to leave early.  The note should specify time and reason and should be presented to the attendance secretary before school begins in the morning.  Students are never permitted to leave early without notification from parents/guardians to the attendance office.  

    • A doctor’s note should be acquired each time a student goes to a regularly scheduled appointment or visits the emergency room for treatment.

    • A dentist’s note should be acquired for all dental visits.  The administration will place the excuse on file to assist students with excessive absences.  In the case of absence from semester exams, or absence following prom/coronation, a doctor’s note will be required.

  • Any time a student leaves the school early due to illness, etc., he/she must notify the Principal’s Office and sign out.  Failure to do so may result in disciplinary consequences.

  • When a student misses all or part of a day due to illness, he/she cannot attend after-school events or activities.

Unexcused Absences

  • When a student has an unexcused absence from school, a student will face consequences of progressive discipline, including but not limited to detentions, Friday Night School, in-school suspension, and/or out-of-school suspension.

    • For an out-of-school suspension, the administration and the student will determine a plan for submitting make up work upon return.

    • Excessive unexcused absences may result in a student being placed on social probation/loss of privilege.

  • Parents have 48 hours to turn in documentation for an unexcused absence to be changed to excused.

  • When a student misses a test, quiz, or major assignment due to an unexcused absence, they will be allowed to make it up, but their maximum score possible will be reduced by 20% each day until it is made up. After the fifth day, their score will be permanently reduced to a zero.

  • If the absence does become excused, the student will be responsible for notifying their teacher.

  • Classwork and homework credit will be handled according to the teacher’s/department policy.


Diagnostic Procedures for Identifying Student Absences and Support Services to Truant or Chronically Truant Students 

State law requires every school district to collect and review its chronic absence data and determine what systems of support and resources are needed to engage chronically absent students and their families to encourage the habit of daily attendance and promote success. This review must include an analysis of chronic absence data from each attendance center. 

Furthermore, State law provides that school districts are encouraged to provide a system of support to students who are at risk of reaching or exceeding chronic absence levels with strategies and are also encouraged to make resources available to families such as those available through the State Board of Education's Family Engagement Framework to support and engage students and their families to encourage heightened school engagement and improved daily school attendance. 

"Chronic absence" means absences that total 10% or more of school days of the most recent academic school year, including absences with and without valid cause, and out-of-school suspensions. 

The School and District use the following diagnostic procedures for identifying the causes of unexcused student absences: Interviews with the student, his or her parent/ guardian and any school officials who may have information about the reasons for the student’s attendance problems.

Supportive services to truant or chronically truant students include: parent conferences, student counseling, family counseling, and information about existing community services.

  • Student attendance is critical to the learning process. Truancy is therefore a serious issue and will be dealt with in a serious manner by the school and district.

  • Students who miss 5% or more (9 or more days) of the prior 180 regular school days without valid cause (unexcused absences)  are 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:

    • Referral to the truancy officer

    • Reporting to officials under the Juvenile Court Act

    • Referral to the State’s Attorney

    • Referral to the School Resource Officer

    • Appropriate school discipline will be applied 

  • A parent or guardian who knowingly and willfully permits a child to be truant is in violation of State law and may be convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of thirty days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.00.

Truancy Restrictions

Truancy Restrictions