Student Absences

Perfect attendance should be a goal of all Elmwood Park High School students.

Attendance is essential for developing the academic proficiencies required to pass coursework and earn credits. Regular and prompt attendance is also essential for developing good lifelong habits.

If a student is absent, the absence shall be treated as excused or unexcused. To ensure that an absence is excused, parents, guardians and students should familiarize themselves with the information and procedures listed below.

Reporting an Absence

To report an absence, call the Attendance Line Voicemail at 708-583-6400 or 708-452-7272 ext. 7134 before 9 a.m. the day of the absence.

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

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

Parents/guardians 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

► Name and daytime phone number of the parent/guardian calling

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

Excused Absences

Absences shall be excused only for the following reasons:

► Personal illness

► Bereavement

► Quarantine

► Family emergencies

► Observation of religious holidays (a special absence form is required in advance)

► Court appearance

All other absences shall be considered unexcused and interpreted as truancy.

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.

Days not counted toward chronic absences include the following:

► Hospital confinement with proper documentation

► Illness with a written doctor’s note (submitted within 48 hours of the absence) 

► Suspensions

► Field trips

If an absence is due to a doctor’s visit, please bring the doctor’s note to the school nurse upon returning to school. The note must include the name of the student, date(s) of absence(s), and diagnosis.

Unexcused Absences

Unacceptable reasons for absences include car problems, oversleeping, vacations without advanced notice, no calls or calls after 9 a.m., etc. These absences will be counted as unexcused.

Possible consequences of unexcused absences include Friday detention, loss of credit, and invocation of the truancy ordinance.

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.

Doctor's Notes

A doctor’s note is required after five consecutive absences. A doctor’s note is also required after 10 absences in any term or 20 days total in a school year.

Any undocumented students with chronic absence problems who do not get proper documentation from a doctor, judge or other qualified person, will be considered unexcused absent for the days missed.

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 within 48 hours of the dates of absence. Students with 10 consecutive undocumented absences will be administratively withdrawn from school for lack of attendance.

Work Missed During an Absence

Students with an excused absence will be allowed a minimum of one day for each day absent to make up work for a class.

Any work due on the day of an absence must be submitted on the first day back to the class or be subject to rules governing late work that have been established by the teacher. 

Students with an unexcused absence will not be allowed to make up missed work or assignments.

It is always the responsibility of the student to get all assignments missed due to an excused absence. It is also the student’s responsibility to schedule, with the teacher, the taking of tests or quizzes missed due to an excused absence.