Attendance Policy & Procedures
Every day in school counts and helps build the foundation for your child's academic success.
Daily attendance supports academic success. The habit of regular and punctual attendance is a quality that will follow a student throughout life. We expect all U-46 students to arrive on time and attend school daily.
The Board of Education has established the 2023-24 school year calendar and consists of 176 instructional days for students, with five emergency days built into the calendar. A full day of attendance for students must be a minimum of four clock hours of instruction for students in full-day kindergarten or 1st grade and five clock hours of instruction for students in 2nd through 12th grade.
On a regular school day, students in full-day kindergarten or 1st grade who received less than 240 minutes of instruction but at least 120 minutes, can be claimed for a half day of attendance. Students in 2nd through 12th grade who receive less than 300 minutes of instruction but at least 150 minutes of instruction can be claimed for a half-day of attendance.
Study halls count toward the instructional time requirement. Lunch hours and recess are considered non-instructional time.
Parents/guardians are expected to call their child’s school before any absence. Just as concern would be felt if a student did not arrive home after school, the same concern exists if a student does not come to school. In addition to the call, schools may require notes from home following the student’s absence. Parents are asked to follow the individual school policy on this matter.
The principal has the responsibility for monitoring student attendance and potential truancy. Truancy is excessive unexcused absences. Chronic truancy refers to a student who is absent without valid cause for 5 percent or more of the previous 180 school days, or approximately 9 unexcused absences. Generally, 10 absences and 15 tardies to school are used as a guideline to establish truancy, generating a warning letter to parents and a parent conference with the principal. If truancy continues, a referral can be made to a county attendance officer for further action and support.
Valid Causes of Absences
- Illness (including mental or behavioral health)
- Exclusion related to an infectious disease as mandated by IDPH
- Observance of a religious holiday
- Death in the immediate family
- Family emergency
- Circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent or guardian for the safety or health of the student. The reasonableness of the concern shall be subject to evaluation by the principal or principal’s designee, on a case-by-case basis.
Excused absences are those with a valid cause and which have been reported to the school by a parent or guardian. Unexcused absences are absences for which there is no legitimate cause.
In case of an extended absence due to illness, the student’s parents or guardian should contact the school so that arrangements can be made to discuss the student’s progress and homework with the classroom teacher. Parents may consider applying for home/hospital instruction. For more information, please contact the school nurse.
Parents are discouraged from taking vacation during the school year, except during regularly scheduled breaks in the school calendar, such as winter break, spring break, and summer vacation. If an extended absence/vacation during the school year is unavoidable, the absence is marked as unexcused.
Request for Early Dismissal
We encourage parents and guardians to schedule student appointments such that they do not conflict with regular school hours. If an appointment must be scheduled during school hours. The parent or guardian must notify the school of the time, the purpose of the appointment, and the name of the person who will pick up the student.