Attendance Policy & Procedures

Each day a student is absent from Elmwood Park High School, the absence must be reported to our attendance clerk. To do this, parents/guardians have two options:

  • OPTION 1 — Contact the attendance clerk by phone or email.
  • OPTION 2 (new) — Submit an absence form via PowerSchool's parent portal or app.

For more information about each option, please scroll down.

A parent or legal guardian is required to contact the EPHS attendance clerk every day the student is absent from school. If the contact is not received before 9 a.m. on the day of the absence, the absence will be considered unexcused.

Option 1: Phone or Email

To report an absence by phone or email:

  • If calling, use the attendance voicemail at 708-583-6400 before 9 a.m. on the day of the absence.
  • If emailing, use before 9 a.m. on the day of the absence.

Parents/guardians should leave the following information:

  1. Student name and year in school (please spell your child's last name).
  2. Student ID number.
  3. Date of absence.
  4. Reason for absence, and the name and daytime phone number of the parent.

Option 2: PowerSchool

To report an absence via PowerSchool's parent portal or app, follow the directions in this video:

Daily Reporting of Absences Is Required

Regardless of which option is chosen, a parent or legal guardian is required to contact the EPHS attendance clerk by phone or PowerSchool every day their student is absent from school.

If the contact is not received before 9 a.m. on the day of the absence, the absence will be considered unexcused.

Importance of School Attendance

Perfect attendance and punctuality should be goals of all EPHS 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.

Illinois law requires that whoever has custody or control of any child between 6 (by Sept. 1) and 17 years of age shall assure that the child attends school in the district in which he or she resides, during the entire time school is in session (unless the child has already graduated from high school).

Illinois law also requires that whoever has custody or control of a child who is enrolled in the school, regardless of the child's age, shall assure that the child attends school during the entire time school is in session.

Excused Absences

Absences shall be treated as excused or unexcused. Absences shall be excused only for the following reasons:

  • Personal illness
  • Bereavement
  • Quarantine
  • Family emergencies
  • Observation of religious holidays (advanced absence forms required)
  • Court appearance

Days not counted toward chronic absences:

  • Hospital confinement with proper documentation
  • Illness with a written doctor’s note (submitted within 48 hours of the absence) 
  • Suspensions
  • Field trips

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

Students who have an excused absence from school will be given the same number of days excused to make up missed homework and classwork assignments. A student and the student's parent/guardian are responsible for obtaining assignments from the student's teachers prior to or during any excused absences and for ensuring that such assignments are completed and submitted by the student prior to or upon his or her return to school.

Planned absences of more than five consecutive days must be pre-arranged and approved by the building principal in order to be considered excused absences.

If a student accumulates more than 10 excused absences or more than five consecutive excused absences, the school may require documentation explaining the reason for the student’s absence prior to granting any additional absences as excused.

Unexcused Absences

Absences not designated as excused are considered unexcused absences. Absences will be considered unexcused for the following reasons:

  1. Car problems
  2. Oversleeping
  3. Vacations without advanced notice
  4. No call from parent/guardian
  5. Calls from parent/guardian after 9 a.m.
  6. Other reasons as determined by the Deans' Office

For all unexcused absences, students may not be given opportunities to make up missed work and are subject to school interventions and discipline.


Student attendance is critical to the learning process. Absenteeism, or truancy, the action of staying away from school without good reason is therefore a serious issue and will be dealt with in a serious manner by the school and District.

Students who miss more than 1 percent but less than 5 percent of the prior 180 regular school days without valid cause are considered truant.

Students who miss 5 percent or more of the prior 180 regular school days without valid cause are considered chronic truants. Students who are chronic truants will be offered interventions and resources aimed at improving a student's attendance.

If chronic truancy persists after interventions and other resources are made available, the school and District will take further action, including:

  • Parent contact (may include phone call, letter, and/or home visit)
  • Conference with student and parent
  • Referral to the West 40 Truancy Outreach Advocate
  • Reporting to officials under the Juvenile Court Act
  • Appropriate school discipline

A student who misses 15 consecutive days of school without valid cause and who cannot be located or, after exhausting all available support services, cannot be compelled to return to school is subject to expulsion from school.

A parent or guardian who knowingly and willfully permits a child to be truant is in violation of Illinois law.

Special Absence Forms

If parents/guardians and students are aware of an upcoming absence, a "Request for Special Absence" form should be filed with the attendance office at least three days before the anticipated absence.

Absences are counted within a nine-week (approximately 45-day) term. The number of absences is reset to zero at the beginning of each term.

Final Exams

Students will take final exams during the last week of attendance each semester. Any student who is absent for the final exam will be required to make arrangements with the teacher to make up the exam outside of normal class time.

A student may be allowed to take a final exam early, during the week of the scheduled exams, if the student's absence is pre-planned by completing a Special Absence Request Form available in the attendance office.

However, final exams will not be administered prior to the week of scheduled exams. If a student will be unavailable during that window, the student will be issued an incomplete for the course grade, and a plan to remedy the incomplete will be determined.

Doctor's Notes

A doctor's note is required after five consecutive absences. It must be the original note and must be legible, written 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
  • Specific length of time for the restriction

The student will be assigned 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.