High School Attendance/Truancy Policy

Our attendance policy is based upon the firm belief that students are most successful when they are present in class and in school:

  1. In accordance with Illinois compulsory attendance requirements, it is the District’s policy that students shall attend school on a regular basis. We believe that daily attendance, timeliness to class, and preparedness and participation in class will increase the student’s probability for successful performance and fosters the development of self-discipline and responsibility. It is the intention of the instructor of each course to not only teach the subject matter, but also to encourage the positive attribute of regular attendance, punctuality, and participation.

  2. Students are expected to attend every class.

The school has an obligation to inform both students and parents/guardians of the student’s progress and attendance in all classes. Parents/guardians are to follow proper procedures to inform the school when their child is absent and to provide a reason for the absences.

Attendance Procedures

Steps to Follow When Absent From School

It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to call the attendance clerk and give the reason for the absence. The parent/guardian is requested to call prior to 7:25am the day of the absence. The attendance clerk’s phone number is 224-990-7101.

Parents/guardians who cannot call must write a note explaining the reason for the absence. The note should be written by the parent in its entirety and signed. The note can be scanned and emailed to the attendance secretary or turned in at the main office.

Refer to the Categories of Absences to determine if the absence is excused or unexcused. If there is a question about the type of absence contact the Assistant Principal for Student Behavior and Environment.

Leaving School Early

Students who need to leave school early must bring a note to the attendance office before leaving school. The note must be written by the parent in its entirety. The note should include: (1) the requested dismissal time, (2) the reason the student needs to leave early, and (3) a parent/guardian signature.

Parents/guardians will pick up the student at Door 8. Parents/guardians will need to present photo identification to pick up a student without prior notification.

If a student is ill during the day, the student must check out in the nurse’s office before leaving the building. Students should not arrange for parents/guardians to pick them up, or to leave school using their own car, without first having been seen by the Nurse. When the nurse is not in the building, a student who is ill should report to the main office.

Students will sign out with the dean assistant at Door 8.

  • Tech Prep or Middle College: Students who leave school early to participate in the work program should leave the building after their last academic class, unless given prior permission from Administration. All students participating in the Tech Prep or Middle College programs are required to check out with the dean assistant at Door 8 prior to leaving the school. Attendance issues related to this program will be addressed on an individual basis.
  • Regional Pathway Students: Students enrolled in classes through Regional Pathways are responsible for attending those classes and are expected to attend class daily. All students participating in the Regional Pathway program shall sign in upon arrival to Central High School with the dean assistant at Door 8. Attendance issues related to this program will be addressed on an individual basis.

Absences (Board Policy 7:70)

Three Categories of Absences

  • Excused absences
  • Unexcused absences
  • Truant absences (after the 9th unexcused absence)

Excused Absence

Central High School will recognize an excused absence as:

  1. A student’s personal illness;
  2. A death in the immediate family;
  3. A family emergency;
  4. Observance of a religious holiday;
  5. Medical appointment;
  6. Vacations up to 5 school days
  7. Other circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for the student’s safety or health;
  8. Other situations beyond the control of the student (e.g., court appearances);
  9. Other reasons approved by the Superintendent or designee.

A physician’s note may be required to excuse a student and/or for returning to school after the third consecutive day of being reported ill. If medical documentation is not provided, the absence may be marked “unexcused.”

Students who have 9 or more days of absences due to being sick may be required to provide a doctor’s note to excuse the absences. 

School work missed because of excused absences must be made up in accordance with the Make Up Work section below. 

College and Vocational Visits, and Military Exams

Central High School recognizes the importance of college visitations, job interviews, and military exams. Upperclassmen may be excused two school days per college visitation, job interviews, or military exams for up to three college visits during a school year. Whenever possible, these visits should be scheduled during non-school time; however, in the event they cannot be, students must complete the following:

  • Students and parents are responsible for completing the “College and Vocational Visit, or Military Exams” Form prior to the absence. The form must be signed and completed by all of the student’s teachers.
  • Students are required to submit, on college/university/business/military letterhead, documentation of their visit for the absence to be considered excused.
  • School work missed because of a college visit, job interview, or military exam must be made up in accordance with the Make Up Work section below.

Unexcused Absence

An unexcused absence is defined as an absence from school for a reason other than those listed above as an Excused Absence and/or an absence not authorized by the student’s parent/guardian or the Superintendent or designee. When a student’s absence is unexcused, the parent/guardian may recognize the absence as being valid or legitimate; however, the school does not. The following are unexcused absences (even with parental/guardian consent):

  • Working
  • Missing the bus
  • Car not starting
  • Cutting class 
  • Vacations 6+ school days
  • Needed at home
  • Other avoidable absences

School work missed because of unexcused absences must be made up in accordance with the Make Up Work During Absences section below.

Truant Absences

Truancy is defined as absence without valid cause for one or more periods of the student’s school day. A truant absence is an unexcused absence. After the 9th school day (5% of regular attendance days) on which a student is absent without valid cause, he/she is deemed to be truant under Illinois law. Interventions to address truancy may include attendance letters, parent-teacher/administrator conferences, student counseling, and/or involvement of the Kane County Truancy officers and/ or local law enforcement. No punitive action, including out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, or court action will be taken against a chronically truant student unless available support services and other school resources have been provided to the student, or offered to the student and refused. Any person who has custody or control of a child subject to compulsory attendance who knowingly or willfully permits the child to persist in truancy, if convicted, is guilty of a Class C Misdemeanor and may be subject to up to 30 days imprisonment and/or fine up to $1,500.

Vacation Absences

The District strongly encourages families to plan vacations to coincide with the school calendar so as to avoid taking valuable educational time away from their students. Students may ask their teachers to provide advance assignments. However, it is up to the individual teacher to determine whether he/she can honor the request. School work missed because of unexcused absences must be made up in accordance with the Make Up Work section below.

Class Cut

A class cut is defined as an absence from part (10 minutes or more) or an entire class period, without permission from the student’s parent/guardian or approval of school officials. A class cut is an unexcused absence and may result in disciplinary consequences. 

Students who arrive after 8:08am and do not have an excused absence will be marked unexcused for the periods missed. This is considered a class cut for which the student may receive disciplinary consequences.


Students are expected to be in class on time, so they may maximize their learning opportunities. Teachers and the Administration will monitor student’s tardies. Students may be considered tardy if they arrive after the bell has rung. Students who arrive between 7:58am and 8:13am will be marked tardy to 1st period. On the 4th tardy per semester, students may receive disciplinary consequences for excessive tardies.

Make Up Work

Students who are absent from school (in-person or remote) will be allowed to make up work for equivalent academic credit. The time allowed to makeup work will generally be one school day for every school day missed, starting with the first day the student returns to school (in-person or remote). In extenuating circumstances a student may ask his/her teacher, school counselor, or the principal for additional time to make up work. It is the responsibility of the student (and his/her parent/guardian), not the teachers, to get the assignments, complete them, and turn them in, and to arrange a time with the teacher to make up any missed quizzes or tests. Incomplete work or failure to do the work may result in a lowering of grades.

The makeup rule applicable for students who are receiving home or hospital instruction is set forth in the Student Services section of this Handbook under the heading Home and Hospital Instruction.

From Central High School Handbook, Pages 27-30, Board approved 7/18/2022