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Absences Excused Unexcused

Students that regularly miss school are at heightened risk for falling behind academically. Parents/guardians should make every effort to ensure students are in school daily. Student absences will be excused for the following reasons: Illness, doctor appointment, family emergency, death in the immediate family, concern for the student’s safety and observance of a religious holiday, and concern for the student's mental, emotional, or physical health or safety. For information regarding vacations, please see Extended Absences below. Parents/guardians must provide a reason for all absences. If no reason is given, the absence will be unexcused.

Extended Absences Up to 10 Days

Parents/guardians may request an extended absence from school for their student for up to 10 days. Requests must be made to the building principal in writing at least a week prior to the extended absence for approval. If the parent/guardian fails to request an extended absence for up to 10 days and their student is not in school, those days will be unexcused.

Extended Absences in Excess of 10 Days

Only in rare cases will an absence in excess of 10 days be excused. Requests for extended absence in excess of 10 days must be made to the Superintendent in writing at least a week prior to the extended absence for approval.

Extended Absences in Excess of 3 Weeks

Parents/guardians requesting an extended absence in excess of three weeks will be required to withdraw their student from school. Parents/guardians are highly encouraged to consider homeschooling their student or enrolling them in another school pursuant to Illinois’ Compulsory School Attendance laws.

Chronic Absenteeism and Chronic Truancy

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) defines chronic absenteeism as absences in excess of 10% of total school days. In Palos 118, students are considered chronically absent if they miss more than 17 days of school. Palos 118 is required to report all students missing 17 total days or more of school (both excused and unexcused absences) to ISBE as chronically absent.

Illinois defines chronic truancy as missing 9 or more days of school unexcused. Palos 118 is required to report students missing 9 or more days of school unexcused to the South Cook Intermediate Service Center (ISC) as chronically truant. The ISC can investigate all students reported as chronically truant.

Attendance Notifications

To assist parents/guardians in tracking the number of days students have been absent BEFORE Palos 118 is required to report your child to the Illinois State Board of Education and/or Cook County, parents/guardians will receive automated attendance reminders after the following days:

5 Days Unexcused
8 Days Unexcused
9 Days Unexcused – student reported to Cook County as chronically truant

10 Days Total (Excused and Unexcused)

15 Days Total (Excused and Unexcused)
16 Days Total (Excused and Unexcused)
17 Days Total (Excused and Unexcused) – student reported to ISBE as chronically absent

Absence Make-up Work

Parents of students who are absent from school due to illness may request make-up work prior to 10 a.m. by calling the school office. In the event that a child is ill for 2 days or longer, it is strongly recommended that parents call the office and request make-up work. Homework may be picked up in the school office from dismissal until 4 p.m. (East & West) and 3:45 p.m. (South). A student who is excused from school attendance shall have the equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirements which he/she missed during the excused absence (schedule to be determined by the teacher).

Vacation Make-up Work

Academic success is dependent upon regular student attendance. Parents are encouraged to plan family vacations when school is not in session. It is impossible to replicate the classroom experience by virtue of make-up classwork. Class discussions and conceptual development cannot be made up through missed assignments. Should it be impossible to schedule vacation without impacting the school schedule, the teacher will provide make-up work upon the student’s return to class. Students will be given the same number of days to complete make-up work as the number of days out of school for vacation.


Policy 7:70 Attendance and Truancy
Full Board policies