Attendance Requirement For Credit or Promotion

The Illinois School Code requires compulsory school age attendance (105 ILCS 5/26-I.-15). Valid cause for student absence shall be illness (including mental or behavioral health of the student), observance of a religious holiday or event, death in the immediate family, family emergency, situations beyond the control of the student, 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, or other reason as approved by the building principal. 

The Illinois School Code, Article 26-1, requires those who have custody or control of any child between the ages of 7 and 17 to cause such a child to attend school the entire time it is in session during the regular school term.

In the event of any absence, the student’s parent/guardian is required to call the school at 217-792-3209 to explain the reason for the absence. Up to nine (9) absences will be considered excused if a call is made into the high school office by 9 a.m. on the day of the absence. In the event that the office must contact a parent to determine the whereabouts of the student or for parents calling after 9 a.m., the absence will be considered unexcused.  If the office is unable to reach a parent to determine the whereabouts of a student or if a phone call is made after 9 a.m., then a note must be sent the next day to be considered excused. If a student-athlete arrives at school for a partial day, a note from a licensed medical professional or college or a funeral (parent notified) will be required for them to participate in practices or games.

When a student enters school after the start of the day, he/she must report to the school office, before going to class, to receive an admit slip from the secretary. The student should have a note with them explaining their absence for the morning, whether from a parent/guardian or from a licensed medical professional should the absence result from a medical appointment.

Students are limited to nine (9) days of absence per school year. Any absences beyond the allotted amount will be considered an unexcused absence unless a medical statement by a licensed medical professional is submitted to the school upon returning. Students who have used their allotted nine (9) absences per school year will be considered unexcused and therefore truant per class period missed.

Excused Absences

An excused absence can be defined as, but is not limited to:

  1. Students absent due to a valid cause as per Illinois school code law as confirmed by parent notification (see above).

  2. Up to 5 mental health days as confirmed by parent notification (noting that a conference with the counselor will occur after the 2nd mental health day is taken to develop a plan of action based on the student’s mental health needs)

  3. College Visit Days - Limit of 2 per semester. These days must be verified by the college or university visited. Additional days may be granted by the building principal for testing and assessment. (See Pre-arranged Absences.)

  4. Observance of a religious holiday.

  5. Illness confirmed by a note from a parent/guardian (parent/guardian verified absences may not be excused if total absences are in excess of 9 days per school year).

  6. Court appearance demanded by official summons or subpoena verified by court.

  7. Funeral (confirmation by a parent/guardian).

  8. School sponsored activities, i.e. field trips, athletic events or scholastic competitions (See Pre-arranged Absences.)

Medical appointments or illness verified by a medical note are excused absences and do not count against the 9 allotted absences per school year.

Additionally, 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.

Unexcused Absences

An unexcused absence can be defined as, but is not limited to:

  1. Any absence that is not confirmed with a parental/guardian, medical, or college note within the 48-hour grace period.

  2. Truancy

  3. An illness which lasts for more than two (2) consecutive days that is not verified by a medical note.

  4. Vacation days taken with family; however, credit may be given if the student meets the expectation of the building principal and classroom teachers. (See Prearranged Absences.)

  5. Personal reasons or business/work

  6. Failure to attend because of transportation problems, unless transported by school bus.

Parents will be notified after a student’s 5th and 7th absence in a school year. Another notification will occur at the 9th absence. Parents will be informed by letter and concern is shared about their student’s attendance. The letter informs parents that, if the student misses any more school for the remainder of the year (beyond the 9th absence), a licensed medical professional’s medical excuse will be required for the absence to be considered excused.

Unless there are very unusual circumstances, missing more than 9 days of school in a year is excessive. Students need to be in attendance to receive credit. With the exception of excused absences due to medical reasons, bereavement, college days, and religious holiday observance, both unexcused and excused absences count towards semester absence days.  

The following is a list of consequences for unexcused absences:

  • 1st unexcused absence: Conference between the Principal and the individual student. Parent email notification.

  • 2nd unexcused absence: After school detention and a letter sent home to parent/guardian.

  • 3rd unexcused absence: After school detention and a letter sent home to parent/guardian.

  • 4th unexcused absence: Saturday morning detention

  • 5th unexcused absence: Saturday morning detention and loss of school field trips and the student will be referred to the Regional Office of Education for Truancy 

  • 6th unexcused absence: 1 day in-school suspension

  • 7th unexcused absence: 2 day in-school suspension

  • 8th unexcused absence: 2 day in-school suspension and loss of all extra-curricular activities for the remainder of the school year (including athletic events and dances)

  • 9th unexcused absence: 3 day in-school suspension 

Please remember there is a positive relationship between attendance and success in school.

Pre-Arranged Absences

A Pre-arranged absence is an absence for the reasonable convenience of the student or parent (family). Pre-arranged absences can be excused or unexcused, depending on the reason for absence. (See Attendance Requirements for Credit.)

If a student knows ahead of time that they will be absent from school, the student is required to complete a Pre-arranged Absence form which can be obtained from the building principal. All assignments are due as the teacher notes on the form. Any outstanding late work may be required to be turned in prior to participating in a school sponsored event. Credit for the student’s work is dependent upon the form being returned on time. A student who fails to complete a Pre-Arranged Absence form or fails to turn in a Pre-Arranged Absence form to the office prior to attending a family or school event can be subjected to disciplinary actions. The absence could also be considered unexcused.

Family Trips

A vacation or family trip taken during the school year is an unfortunate interruption to classroom work. We realize that the choice of vacation time may be dictated by an employer so that the student and parents are faced with a choice between a family trip during the school term and no trip at all. During the school year, such trips will be considered an excused absence if the following guidelines are followed:

  1. No more than five (5) school days will be excused. Days in excess of five (5) will be marked as unexcused.

  2. The office must be given at least one week's notice by the parents that their intention is to take such a trip.

  3. The student will present a pre-arranged absence form to each teacher five (5) days prior to leaving in order to secure all work that will be assigned.

  4. All work missed must follow the Assignment Make-Up Policy.

  5. No absences will be approved during semester or final exams without prior approval of the administration.

  6. Pre-arranged family trips will count against the 9 allowed excused absences.


A truant is defined as a child subject to compulsory school attendance who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for a school day or a portion thereof. Examples of truancy include oversleeping, missing the bus, shopping, working, babysitting, going on vacations that were not prearranged, having car trouble, and leaving school without administrative approval. 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 more than 1% but less than 5% of the prior 180 regular school days without valid cause (a recognized excuse) are truant.  Students who miss 5% or more of the prior 180 regular school days without valid cause 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

  • Appropriate school discipline

A student who misses 15 consecutive days of school without valid cause and who cannot be located or, after exhausting all available support services, cannot be compelled to return to school is subject to expulsion from school.

Appropriate supportive services and available resources which must be provided to the chronic truant may include, but not be limited to: 

1. Conference 2. Letter to parent/guardian 3. Telephone contact 4. Saturday Detention 5. In-School Suspension 6. Referral to ROE #17

7. Home Visit 8. Truancy Review Board

In addition, the State of Illinois requires every parent to properly care for, train, educate, discipline and control each child. To educate means to see that your child is in all classes every day. If this does not occur, the law states that parents can be fined from $25 to $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail or both. Students who “skip” or who miss all or any part of a school day without parent or school consent will be subjected to discipline according to the unexcused absence policy and/or at the discretion of the principal.


Tardiness is a part of permanent records at the high school and may have an effect on the student’s ability to secure jobs in the future. Students are allowed four (4) minutes to pass between classes. This gives students more than ample time to move orderly between classes, go to the restroom, and use their lockers. Consequences for being tardy to class:

  • 1st - 3rd Tardies – Conference with Principal

  • 4th Tardy - After school detention assigned

  • Every following set of 4 tardies - After school detention assigned

    Exception: If a student is extremely tardy to a single class, a disciplinary consequence will be assigned at the discretion of the building principal.

Attendance – Extra-Curricular Participation

Any student who is more than 15 minutes late to school without valid cause from a parent/guardian, or leaves school, will not participate in practice or any extra-curricular event that night. Students who leave school because of sickness, who are tardy or absent for any reason other than for medical appointments, or who miss school because of college visits or funerals (all must be verified), will not be allowed to attend or participate in extracurricular activities or practice on the same day. This pertains to that day only. Any student who is failing any course is not allowed to attend any extra-curricular event (including practices, team travel to away games, managing school teams, etc.) per the weekly eligibility list.

Assignment Make-Up Policy

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. Parents may request homework be sent home for a student.

  1. For every day a student is absent, a student will be given one (1) school day to make up assignments missed during the absence. A maximum of five (5) school days will be allowed for make-up work. Unusual circumstances will be subject to the discretion of the teacher.

  2. Students with a medical condition could be given additional time to make up assignments. A licensed medical professional’s note requesting additional time is required.

  3. If an assignment and or test has been assigned prior to a student being absent, even with an excused absence, the student will be expected to take care of the assignment and/or test the day the student returns. Unusual circumstances will be subject to the discretion of the teacher.

  4. It is the responsibility of the student to contact each teacher for the assignments missed, preferably before or after class, on the day the student returns to school.

  5. A student has two (2) school days following an unexcused absence to change it to excused absence or the student will remain unexcused.

  6. Certain long-term assignments and projects may have specific due dates set and are announced to all students in advance. These projects are due on or before the due date unless specific arrangements are made and approved in advance by the teacher involved. Students missing a due date due to illness may be required to provide a licensed medical professional’s excuse to be exempt for the due date.

  7. Students who are suspended out of school are responsible for collecting their work and completing it. Students will be given one (1) day for every day suspended to make up work. A maximum of five (5) school days will be allowed for make-up work. Students will be allowed full credit for the work.