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School Attendance / Absence Procedures
National studies show that the average number of school days that most students miss is six. The Illinois School Code and Juvenile Court Act consider an absentee rate of more than 10% of the last 180 school days (or an average of 18 days per year) to be at risk of not completing an education. There is a close relationship between student attendance and academic success. If a student is not in the classroom, valuable information is lost, some of which can never be made up. School personnel and parents need to work together to ensure that students attend school on a regular basis. When a student is absent, a parent should call the school, 483-6704, by 9 a.m. Parents may call the school attendance line or school office. If no phone call is received, the school will attempt to contact the parent or guardian. If no phone contact is made, the student must bring a written excuse signed by a parent or guardian. If no contact is made between the parent and the school, the absence will be unexcused.
Absences are excused for:
Illness of a student
Death in the family or of a close friend
Critical illness of a near relative (mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent or corresponding step relation)
Dental or medical appointment when prior arrangements have been made
Pre-arranged family trips
If the absence is excused, the student will be given make-up privileges for the day(s) missed
Absences are unexcused for:
Ordinary weather hazards
Staying home to care for younger children
Visiting friends or relatives without the pre-arrangement form
Minor aches and pains (persistence may indicate a more serious problem)
Other, as determined by the administrator
If the absence is unexcused, it may result in no make-up privileges.
Pre-planned absences: (Excused)
Whenever possible, the Ball-Chatham School District recommends that you take your vacations during school holidays or breaks. Not only is your student missing out on valuable information from the classroom, but the financial support of the district is impacted as well. State aid is directly associated with the number of students in attendance on a daily basis. If for a valid reason a parent is aware that their student is going to be out of school prior to the absence, a pre-arranged absence form must be completed. The policy for making homework plans prior to the pre-arranged absence or making this work up upon return is up to the discretion of the teacher and building principal.
To download the Pre-Arranged Absence Form, please click here.
Absenteeism and student placement
Students with a history of frequent absences are at risk of not being eligible for special programs or extra-curricular activities. Attendance can impact a student's placement, ability to play sports, participate in clubs and organizations, or receive special support programs. Attendance histories can also be taken into consideration during promotion and retention decisions. Therefore, it is imperative that parents and schools work together to ensure those students attend school on a regular basis. Students with chronic attendance problems will be considered truant. Along with their parents, truant students will be referred to the truancy official of the Regional Superintendent of Schools.
Reporting attendance concerns K-4
Attendance reports will be reviewed at least quarterly. Data collection will begin for students that are absent 10% of the year, and parents will be sent a letter addressing these concerns. (If students are absent 5+ days 1st quarter, 10+ days 2nd quarter, 15+ days 3rd quarter, and 18 or more days 4th quarter attendance letters should be mailed.) When a child has been absent 10+ days, and there is a history of attendance concerns, parents will be informed that their child will need to be excused by a licensed physician or the school nurse. If no medical excuse is received, the absence will be considered unexcused. At the discretion of the administrator, any student who has missed 10% of the previous 180 days without valid cause may also be required to submit a medical excuse.
Upon request, identified at-risk families may be referred to the Home-School Prevention Coordinator for follow-up. Parent follow-up contacts will be made by phone or home visit to discuss the attendance concerns. Failure to produce a desirable change in the student's school attendance after the following efforts have been made will result in a referral to the Sangamon County Truancy Officer for possible prosecution.
You must call the school’s attendance line before 9 a.m. or your child’s school after 9 a.m. if your child is absent. (Attendance numbers are located on the inside of the front cover of the handbook.) The school is required by law to contact the parent/guardian when a call has not been made to the school. When your child is absent for two consecutive days, the teacher may send homework with a sibling or neighbor upon your request. If you desire to pick up your child’s homework or have it picked up, please notify the school before 11 a.m. so the teacher can have it ready for you when school is dismissed. All homework is to be picked up in the office.
If you bring your child to school, please make every effort to have your child at school by the start of the day. It is very important that each child is in his or her classroom prepared for class. Arriving late causes a disruption to the learning of other students in the classroom. The late-arriving child starts the day behind by missing assignments. Students arriving after the starting bell must first come to the office to receive an admission slip to class. The teacher will not allow them to enter class without this slip.