Student Absences

There are two types of absences: excused and unexcused. Excused absences include: illness, observance of a religious holiday, 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 safety or health, or other reason as approved by the principal. All other absences are considered unexcused. Pre-arranged excused absences must be approved by the principal. The school may require documentation explaining the reason for the student’s absence.

In the event of any absence, the student’s parent or guardian is required to call the school at (815)725-5321 before 9:30 a.m. to explain the reason for the absence. If a call has not been made to the school by 9:30 a.m..on the day of a student’s absence, a school official will call the home to inquire why the student is not at school. Failure to call the school prior to 9:30 a.m. will result in an unexcused absence. Upon request of the parent or guardian, the reason for an absence will be kept confidential.

If a student is absent 3 or more days or returning to school after a communicable disease, he/she should bring a doctor’s note/excuse to the office. A health certificate obtained from a doctor is required for any of the following: rashes, surgery and illnesses requiring treatment with a physician, and other contagious diseases not indicated in the health policy guidelines (see page 31). Written excuses are required. Additionally, after three consecutive days of absence from gym class, a note from a physician is required. Students who have been ill may stay in from recess for one day after returning to school if they can provide a note from a parent. If a student must stay inside for recess longer than one day, a written note is required from the physician. The physician may fax information to the school. Our fax number is 815-725-3099.

A student must notify the office when leaving school at irregular times. When it is necessary for a student to be dismissed early, a written request must be signed by the parent/guardian with the reason for early dismissal and the name of the individual who will be signing the student out of school. This request must be presented to the office. All children leaving school at an irregular dismissal time must be picked up in the school office. Parents will sign the dismissal log sheet. The office will notify classroom and homeroom teachers. The parents must meet with the principal to discuss extended absences.

NOTE: Students must be in attendance for 3 hours of the school day in order to be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities (sports, clubs, dances, etc.) that day. In addition, the student cannot be signed out of school for an illness and return to attend an extracurricular event the same day.

Make-Up Work

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, for equivalent academic credit.

If a student is absent, it is his/her responsibility to get the assignments from the teachers or a classmate. Students will have the same period of time to make up work as days they were absent, except in the case of prolonged illness. If a student is ill for a long period of time, they must call the office requesting that teachers fill out the week’s assignments. Teachers will bring assignments to the office, where they can be picked up.

Because the student would be missing critical instruction, scheduling of family vacations during the school year is strongly discouraged. Teachers are not required to provide assignments in advance for family vacations. Students may receive make up work when they return to school. Student work will be expected to be made up and returned as directed to the classroom teacher.

Students absent from class due to a field trip or special event with a student group are responsible for getting assignments and classwork from the teacher prior to the field trip. Assignments and work is due on the regularly scheduled due date, unless prior arrangements have been made with the classroom teacher.


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 5% or more of the prior 180 regular school days are considered chronic truants. This includes an accumulation of tardiness, early sign-outs, and absences for all or any part of the school day. 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 parent or guardian who knowingly and willfully permits a child to be truant is in violation of State law.

School Dress Code / Student Appearance

Students are expected to wear clothing in a neat, clean, and well-fitting manner while on school property and/or in attendance at school sponsored activities. Students are to use discretion in their dress and are not permitted to wear apparel that causes a substantial disruption in the school environment.

Attire should be in good taste for the school setting. Inappropriate clothing that causes a disruption to the educational process to staff and/or students may not be worn. Clothing displaying vulgar language, obscene gestures, alcohol, or containing references to drugs, tobacco, sexually offensive, suggestive, or violent content may not be worn in school. Revealing tank tops (exposed undergarments, spaghetti straps, camisole-style), low neck lines, and see-through clothing are not allowed. Male and female students must be covered from shoulder to mid-thigh. Undergarments are not to be exposed. Midriffs front and back must be covered. Clothing (including jeans and shirts) may not have holes or slits in them. Clothing made of spandex or similar material (biking shorts for example) may not be worn unless other clothing is worn over it from shoulder to mid-thigh.

Hats and other headwear including hoods on sweatshirts are not to be worn at indoor activities. Inappropriate jewelry (including spiked jewelry) and/or accessories are not to be worn. Males are not allowed to wear earrings. The only visible piercings allowed are in the ears. Students may be asked to remove earrings for sporting events or PE if deemed unsafe. Pocket chains are not to be exposed at any time. Silly bands and bracelets with inappropriate phrases are not allowed. Any clothing or footwear that can mark floors or walls are not to be worn. Shoes with wheels (Heelys), sound or other features that disrupt the learning environment are not allowed. Shoes must be properly tied at all times. Flip flops are highly discouraged as they present a safety issue. All students should have a pair of gym shoes for PE class. It is suggested that students keep a pair of gym shoes at school for PE class. Clothing designed for outdoor attire (coats, jackets, gloves, hats, etc.) are not to be worn during the school day. These items should be kept in lockers. Please remember to dress appropriately for the weather.