Attendance & Late Arrivals

Regular and prompt attendance at school is proven to be a key ingredient of academic success. However, if your child will be absent or late, please follow the procedures outlined below.

Each day a student is absent from John Mills Elementary School, the absence must be reported to our main office. To do this, parents/guardians have two options:

  • OPTION 1 — Contact the main office 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.

Option 1: Phone or Email

To report an absence by phone or email:

  • If calling, use the attendance voicemail at 708-583-6288 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 grade level in school (please spell your child's last name).
  2. Date of absence.
  3. Reason for absence.
  4. The name and daytime phone number of the parent/guardian calling.

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

A parent or legal guardian is required to contact the John Mills main office every day the student is absent from school.

If the contact is NOT made 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.

Doctor's Notes

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

The note must be the original, legible, written on the physician’s stationery and signed by the doctor or nurse. It 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.

Consequences Of An Unexcused Tardy

Students arriving at school and their subsequent classes are expected to arrive on time.

Tardy students will be issued a consequence in accordance with the school discipline code.

An accumulation of unexcused tardies will be responded to with a parent meeting. A student receiving five or more tardies in a trimester may result in disciplinary action.

Work Missed During an Absence

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/suspended to make up the work, quizzes or tests.

It is the student’s responsibility to contact teachers to get any work they may have missed.

Pre-Arranged Absences

Pre-arranged absences due to family vacations or other reasons must receive school approval prior to the absence.

When a future absence is expected, a note should be sent to the student's homeroom teacher, who will forward it to the main office.

The student is responsible for gathering assignments so a minimum of work will be missed. Any assigned work must be turned in a week after returning to school, or it will not be counted for grading purposes.

Dismissals During the School Day

If a child is to be dismissed during the school day, a note must be sent to the teacher, who will then forward it to the main office.

Parents must report to the school office when picking up their student.

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 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.