ILLINOIS STATE LAW
Because school officials are charged with the duty of enforcing the compulsory school attendance law, it is included here for your information. 26-2a. A “truant” is defined as a child subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for a school day or portion thereof. “Valid cause” for absence shall be illness, death in the immediate family, family emergency, and shall include such other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the Board of Education in each district, or such other circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent for the safety or health of the student. “Chronic or habitual truant” shall be defined as a child subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for 10 out of 40 consecutive school days or for 5 percent (5%) of the previous 180 days).
The high schools in District U-46 are committed to the philosophy that every student should attend all of his or her classes every day. Regular attendance and promptness are expected in all classes and are essentials of good performance of any job. Learning to participate in group discussions, developing an appreciation for the views and abilities of other students, and forming the habit of regular attendance to one’s task are legitimate objectives of any course. Each student should be aware that participation is part of his or her evaluation in each class. A student should understand that excessive absences, whether excused or unexcused can drastically affect the class grade. Absence from school is the greatest single cause of poor achievement in school. If a student is not regular in attendance, his/her performance lags, he/she soon loses interest, and then tends to fall further behind in his/her work. Successful students are seldom absent or tardy. District U-46 schools must enforce the State of Illinois law regarding compulsory school attendance. The law is specific that the parent has the obligation to see that the student is in school. The school will make every effort to inform the parents of excessive student absences. However, it is the responsibility of the parents to see that their child is in regular attendance.
ATTENDANCE OFFICE PROCEDURES
Parents are responsible for notifying the Attendance Office of their student’s absence on the day of the absence. Recorded messages are accepted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the Attendance Office number. Please give the name, grade, reason, and
I.D. number to the attendance secretary. A student will be considered truant if a phone call explaining the absence is not made to the Attendance Office within 72 hours.
All students must remain in the school building for their entire day after arrival at school unless excused by a building administrator or their parents prior to leaving. Students are not allowed to visit their cars or be in the parking lot area except at the beginning or end of the school day. They must follow their assigned program throughout the school day unless excused by the teacher or supervisor in charge prior to the absence. Students who violate these provisions will be considered truant.
Students who wish to leave the building early for medical, court, or family appointments must have a parent contact the attendance office prior to leaving the building and must sign out in the attendance office before he/she leaves. Any student, who leaves before 2:55 p.m., excluding students with approved early dismissal schedules, must sign out in the attendance office. A phone call must be received prior to the student’s signing out for them to be excused.
Absences are excused for illness, medical appointments, and death in the family, court appearances, and religious holidays. An excused absence carries with it a privilege of making up class work under teacher direction and assistance. Students have the responsibility to make up work missed for all absences. Teachers have the option of waiving make-up work (not to count against student) which requires special facilities/supplies or provide alternative assignments for work. The approval of an administrator is required in cases of extenuating circumstances. There is NO sanctioned “Senior Skip Day” in U-46.
LEAVING (EXCUSED) EARLY
If you become ill, or need to leave because of an emergency, you must be excused by the Attendance Office, Nurse’s Office, or an administrator. In other than emergencies, the proper procedure for being excused early (i.e., for an orthodontist appointment, a medical appointment, out of town, etc.) is as follows:
- Parents/guardians must call the Attendance Office prior to the student leaving In other words, any early dismissal from school should be pre-arranged in the Attendance Office. We would appreciate advance notice of at least 1 hour.
- Student must sign out at the Attendance Office or the Nurse’s Office before leaving Students returning to school must sign in at the Attendance Office. Failure to do this will result in being truant from those classes. Students who leave early without signing out may receive a discipline consequence.
- Calls for early dismissal for medical appointments must be pre-arranged with the Attendance Office. A note from the medical office must be given to the Attendance Office when the student returns to school.
All school-sponsored field trips must be approved by the school administration. As an approved school function, the time spent on a field trip will not be considered as an absence. Trips will be paid for by students in accordance with district policy. There will be no field trips the last two weeks of the first semester, within one week of the end of the first and third grading periods and the last three weeks of the second semester.
Field trips expose students to many diverse educational experiences fostering many of the multiple intelligences. Students are expected to be in school all periods prior to going on a field trip. Failure to attend school prior to a field trip may result in the student not being allowed to participate. Field trip money is non-refundable.
HOMEWORK AND MAKE-UP WORK
The responsibility for missed work rests with the absent student. The student must make arrangements with the classroom teacher for missed assignments and class work according to the following guidelines:
- Excused absence – prolonged absence arrangements for missed work may be made by contacting the counselor or the student may contact the classroom teacher for assignments and the deadline for turning in the missed One day is given for make-up for each day absent.
- Prearranged absences – the student is to contact the teachers for homework to be missed and plan to have the work completed within a reasonable length of time after returning to
- Suspension – make-up work and completion of missed assignments are the responsibility of the The number of days allowed to make up work is equal to the number of suspended days. Students will be provided homework for any/all suspensions.
LATE ARRIVAL/EARLY DISMISSAL PRIVILEGE
There will be no convenience schedule changes to accommodate “late arrival” or “early dismissal”. “Late arrival” students are asked to remain in the union until the dismissal bell rings for that period. “Early dismissal” students are asked to leave the building with-in the five-minute passing time after their last class. Consistent failure to follow these guidelines may necessitate cancellation of this privilege.
Absences for educational purposes such as college visits, participation in civic, educational, religious programs and court appearances must be arranged at least two days in advance by parents and students. The student has the responsibility for making prior arrangements with his/her teachers. Students with prearranged excuses are expected to have all assignments completed within a reasonable length of time after returning to school. The appropriate form must be obtained from the Attendance Office and signed by the teachers in advance of the absence.
The law requires that children be in attendance at school whenever the child’s school is open for instruction. The only approved vacation periods for School District U-46 occurs during Winter Recess, Spring Recess, and Summer Vacation. Therefore, extended absences and/or vacations during the school year are discouraged. Valuable educational experiences are lost and grades may be affected. If an extended absence/vacation during the school year is unavoidable, the absence will be marked as unexcused and teachers will not be required to provide assignments during this absence.