Attendance & Late Arrivals


Perfect attendance and punctuality should be goals of all Elm Middle School students. Regular and prompt attendance at school is proven to be a key ingredient of academic success.

Attendance is essential for building good lifelong habits as well as developing the academic proficiencies needed to pass coursework and earn credits. In recent years, more than 90 percent of the Elm students who were required to attend summer school were also absent more than nine days of the school year.

Please note that if a student is absent, the absence shall be treated as excused or unexcused.


Attendance Procedures


A parent or legal guardian is required to phone Elm's attendance voicemail every day the student is absent from school.

  • Attendance Voicemail: 708-583-6660

If the call is NOT received on the attendance voicemail before 9 a.m. on the day of the absence, the absence will be considered UNEXCUSED.

Parents should be prepared to leave the following information on the attendance voicemail:

  • Student name and year in school
  • Student ID number
  • Date of absence
  • Reason for absence, and the name and daytime phone number of the parent calling

Excused Absences or Excused Tardies


Absences shall be excused only for the following reasons:

  1. Personal illness
  2. Bereavement
  3. Quarantine
  4. Family emergencies
  5. Observation of religious holidays (Advanced Absence forms required)
  6. Court appearance

Days not counted toward chronic absences:

  1. Hospital confinement with proper documentation
  2. Illness with a written doctor's note. Doctor's notes need to be submitted within 48 hours of the date of the absence.
  3. Suspensions
  4. Field trips

If a student feels ill while at school, the student is expected to check in with the school nurse or an administrator before contacting a parent/guardian to leave for the school day.

After a student accumulates 10 absences overall, a doctor's note will be required to excuse any future absences. A doctor's note will only be accepted within 48 hours of the student's absence.


Unexcused Absences/Tardiness


Absences/tardies will be considered unexcused for the following reasons:

  1. No call from parent/guardian
  2. Calls from parent/guardian after 9 a.m.
  3. Vacations without advance notice
  4. Oversleeping
  5. Other reasons as determined by the Dean's Office

Consequences of Excessive Absences


Please consult the 2021-22 Elm Student Handbook (pages 8-10) for the consequences of excessive absences, excused or unexcused.


Consequences of an Unexcused Tardy


Students arriving to school and their subsequent classes are expected to arrive on time. Students will be issued a consequence in accordance with the school discipline code. It is the student's responsibility to monitor, serve detention and contact a parent or guardian regarding having to serve a detention.

Excused/unexcused/suspended students will be granted the opportunity to make-up any and all missed work, quizzes, or tests. Students will be given the number of days excused, unexcused or suspended to make up the work, quizzes or tests.

It is the student's responsibility to contact teachers to get work missed.


Doctor's Notes


A doctor’s note is required after five consecutive absences.

After the accumulation of 10 absences overall in a school year, a doctor's note will be needed to excuse all future absences. 

A doctor's note must be the original, legible on the physician's stationery, and signed by the doctor or nurse. The note must specifically state the dates the student was unable to attend school, the reason for the absence and the date the doctor saw the student. Doctor's notes should be submitted by the end of the school day following the absence.


Physical Education Medical Restrictions


Medical notes restricting physical education participation for any reason must be presented to the nurse. The doctor's note must contain the following information: diagnosis, specific restriction, and specific length of time for the restriction.

The student will be sent to an assigned area during their physical education class time for the duration of the medical. Work will be provided and must be completed during that class period in order to earn credit for that specific class period.

Work will be graded and points awarded accordingly every day.