Attendance

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT FOR CREDIT OR PROMOTION

The Illinois School Code requires compulsory school age attendance (105 ILCS 5/26­I.­15).

Valid cause for student absence shall be illness, observance of religious holiday, death in immediate family and family emergency, and shall include such other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the board of education. The Illinois School Code, Article 26­1, requires those who have custody or control of any child between the ages of 7 and 17 to cause such child to attend school the entire time it is in session during the regular school term.

In the event of any absence, the studet’s parent/guardian is required to call the school at High School 792­3209 and Grade School at 792­7222 to explain the reason for the absence. If a call to the school has not been made by 9:00 a.m. on the day of the absence, school personnel will call a parent/guardian to inquire as to why the student is not in attendance. A signed note must be turned in the office, within two days of the student’s return to school, for the absence to be considered excused, even if the absence was phoned in by a parent. Any absence due to illness which lasts for more than two consecutive days must be verified by a medical note, which must be produced within two days of the student’s return for the absence to be considered excused.

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 physician should the absence result from a medical appointment.

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

Category 1 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 (see above)
  2. Medical appointment verified by a medical note.
  3. College days for Seniors Only – Limit of 2 per school year – Must be verified by college or university. Additional days may be granted by the building principal for testing and assessment.
  4. Illness confirmed by a medical note.
  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 semester).
  6. Court appearance demanded by official summons or subpoena verified by court.
  7. Funeral (confirmed with a parent/guardian note or memorial leaflet).
  8. School sponsored activities, i.e. field trips, athletic events or scholastic competitions (see Prearranged Absences).

Category 2 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 two day grace period.
  2. Truancy
  3. An illness which last for more than two consecutive days that is not verified by a medical note.
  4. Vacation days taken with family (credit will be given if student meets the expectation of the building principal and classroom teachers) see Prearranged Absences.
  5. Personal reasons or business
  6. Failure to attend because of transportation problems, unless transported by school bus.

Parents will be notified after a student’s 9th absence in a semester. The 9th absence in a semester qualifies not only for a school day absence, but for individual classes as well. Parents will be informed by letter, and concern is shared about their student’s attendance. The letter informs parents that, if student misses and more school for the remainder of the semester, a licensed physician’s medical excuse will be required for the absence to the considered excused.

Unless there are very unusual circumstances, missing more than 9 days of school in a semester 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 which can result in loss of credit. Work that was due or completed in class on the day of an unexcused absence does not earn credit. Therefore, a student’s grade is seriously affected by unexcused absences. In addition, each teacher has his/her own policy on late grades. The procedure will be explained at the beginning of each class. Please remember there is a positive relationship between attendance and success in school.

PREARRANGED ABSENCES

A prearranged absence is an absence for the reasonable convenience of the student or parent (family), or for school sponsored activities. Prearranged 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 Prearranged Absence form which can be obtained from the building principal. The student will not be allowed to attend a school sponsored activity unless the completed form is returned to the office at least one day before the scheduled absence. 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 retuned on time.

TRUANCY

Students who exhibit habitual absenteeism and/or truancy will be offered all support services by the Mt. Pulaski CUD #23. Those services will include but not be limited to involvement with in conjunction with the Regional Office of Education S.P.I.R.I.T program. 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 the following discipline

  1. First Offense - Saturday school (2 hours)
  2. Second Offense - Saturday school (2 hours)
  3. Third Offense - Three Saturday suspensions (4 hours each)
  4. Fourth Offense - Five days out of school suspension

TARDINESS

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. At the high school, students are allowed four (4) minutes to pass between classes. At the elementary level, students are allowed three (3) minutes to pass between classes. This will give students more than ample time to move orderly between classes, go to the restroom, and get to their lockers. Tardiness is defined as not being in your seat when the second bell rings. If a student is chronically tardy for more than 9 (nine) times per semester, for any one particular class, they may completely lose credit for that class. Tardies will be dealt with on a per semester basis:

1. Fourth & Fifth total tardy in all classes - Detention
2. Sixth & Seventh total tardy in all classes - Saturday school (2 hours)
3. Eighth and subsequent tardies for all classes - One Saturday
                                                                             suspension (4 hours)

ATTENDANCE – EXTRA CURRICULAR PARTICIPATION

Any student who is not in school at the start of the school day or leaves school will not participate in practice or any extra­curricular 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. 

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