Attendance Line: (708) 434-3104
Attendance Email for Questions: email@example.com
In accordance with the requirements of the School Code of Illinois and in recognition of the responsibilities of parents or guardians, it is the policy of District 200 that students must attend school on a regular basis. We regularly seek to increase student attendance and also respond to attendance concerns equitably. Ultimately, we are led by the knowledge that consistent, daily classroom instruction with as few interruptions as possible provides the best foundation for students to reap the obvious benefits in this learning environment. OPRF recognizes that many factors such as family needs, medical conditions and others contribute to a student’s ability to make it to school each day. Our procedures described below reflect our efforts to establish a system that takes these factors into account while also striving to achieve the desired outcome. Students are expected to attend each class and study hall daily. Parents are obligated to contact the school when their student is absent. If a parent/guardian is leaving their student in the care of another adult for a short period of time, please contact the Attendance Office ahead of time to provide the name and contact information of that adult.
Village Ordinance School Curfew
Under the School Code of Illinois, it is unlawful for any person over the age of five (5) and under the age of eighteen (18) who is enrolled in any public or parochial school to be present in any public place, building, street, or assembly in the Village of Oak Park, other than school, while school is in session during the regular school term. A police officer may stop and detain a person whom the officer reasonably suspects to be violating this ordinance. Any student violating this ordinance shall, if practical, be taken to school authorities or a parent/guardian and may be issued a notice to appear in the municipal court.
Attendance Awareness and Communications
It is imperative parents/guardians are aware of their student’s attendance status at all times, both for safety reasons and because students are only allowed a certain number of absences before risking loss of credit (explained below). We strongly recommend monitoring attendance on Family Access daily. Parents/guardians can also expect to receive a daily email that provides all attendance notations recorded for their student(s) for the day. The purpose of this daily communication is to ensure parents/guardians are aware of the attendance that is recorded for their students. It will include any notation recorded for a student other than Present, including, for example, if a student scanned into the Resource Center during their lunch period. It also serves as a reminder in case a student has been marked absent unexcused for the day and the parent/guardian forgot to excuse it. The parent can then go into Family Access and excuse the absence before the cut-off time of 9pm. Otherwise, there is no need to act on these emails unless a parent/guardian feels an attendance notation recorded for their student is incorrect. In the event a parent/guardian feels a student’s attendance is marked incorrectly by a teacher, they are to contact the teacher directly, NOT the attendance office staff. Since the teacher made the notation, they have to correct it if it is indeed an error. Parent/guardians should contact the attendance office if they notice an error on the attendance record that was made after contacting the attendance office staff to excuse an absence or after entering an excusal in Family Access
Reporting an Absence
Excused Full Day Absences
Parents/guardians should report absences using Family Access as described below. Email or phone calls may be made to the office in the event a parent/guardian is unable to access the online system.
In order for a full day absence to be considered excused, the student’s parent/guardian is required to submit an Absence Request via their parent Skyward Family Access account by 9:00 p.m. the day of the absence. Full instructions for submitting an Absence Request can be found at the links above. Parents/guardians will be asked to supply the following information in the mobile app or desktop version of Skyward Family Access under the Attendance section:
- Student’s name
- Start/end date of absence(s)
- Start/end time of absence(s)
- Reason for absence
- Comment as needed
Failure to submit an absence request the same day of an absence will result in an unexcused absence.
Excused Partial Day Absences
For the safety of all students, advance notice from or contact with a parent/guardian is required to excuse any absence related to an early dismissal or late arrival.
- For late arrivals where students will miss a whole period or more, parents/guardians must submit an absence request prior to the end of the period(s) missed in order for the absence to be excused. For example, if a student is going to miss periods 1 and 2, the request must be received prior to the end of period 2. In emergency situations when a parent/guardian is unable to submit the absence request online or via email, the parent/guardian may call the attendance office to excuse the class periods missed as a result of their student’s late arrival to school.
- When the need for an early dismissal is anticipated, parents/guardians are to submit an absence request in advance of the date/time needed. The request must be made by the end of the first period of missed class. For example, if a student needs to leave school after 6th period, the parent/guardian must submit the absence request by the end of 7th period in order for the partial-day absence to be excused. In emergency situations when a parent/guardian is unable to submit the absence request online or via email, the parent/guardian may call the attendance office to arrange for an early dismissal of their student. When a student is excused to leave school early, they must report to the Attendance Office (Room 1135) to receive an authorized early dismissal pass. This early dismissal pass must be presented to Safety and Support staff (security) when leaving the building.
- Students who return to school before the end of the day must report to the Attendance Office when re-entering the building. The Attendance Office will supply students with an excused admit pass to their next class.
- Students who need to leave school due to illness or injury MUST be excused by the OPRFHS Health Services Office. Students who are ill or have an injury must report to the Health Services Office and are not to leave the building on their own. The school nurse will contact a parent/guardian to authorize the early dismissal. For safety reasons, students authorized by the school nurse to go home on their own are to call the Health Services Office when they arrive home.
- Absences for students who leave school without proper authorization as outlined above will be unexcused and are subject to the school’s procedures for unexcused absences and truancy.
Students are allowed full make-up privileges for all excused absences. Students must speak to their teacher for guidelines for makeup work. The following is a list of acceptable reasons for absences to be excused.
- Observance of a religious holiday
- Appointments (doctor, dentist, therapy, etc.)
- Mental wellness
- Death in the immediate family
- Family emergency/personal reasons
- Pre-arranged absence (explained below)
- School-sponsored field trip
- Visits to school nurse
- In-school meetings with school staff (counselor/dean/social worker, etc.)
- In-school and out-of-school suspensions
- College visits
Extended Pre-Arranged Absences
Extended absences from school can have a negative impact on a student’s learning and are, therefore, discouraged. In unavoidable cases, parents/guardians should notify their student’s teachers and counselor of an extended pre-arranged absence. This allows the teachers to provide work to be done during the student’s absence, if appropriate.
Failure to submit an absence request the day of the absence will result in an unexcused absence and the student will be considered truant. In addition, any absence not covered by the reasons listed for excused absences will be considered unexcused. Single-period absences must be requested prior to the absence as explained above. Oak Park and River Forest High School does not recognize or condone any “ditch days.” Truancy is an infraction as described in the Behavior Education Plan. The Dean of Students handles all attendance-related infractions.
Student gradebooks will reflect accurately for all assignments/work missed as a result of an unexcused absence.
This is considered unexcused. Teachers will enter this notation when a student has missed too much instructional time during class. This notation will be used when students arrive more than 25 minutes late to class, arrive to class on time but leave and/or are gone from class more than 15 minutes (8 or more minutes late/absent from Advisory).
Parent or Guardian Notification of Unexcused Absences
Unexcused full or partial absences and gross tardies will be reported to the parent or guardian via a daily email and robocall via the automated calling system. Robocalls will be made to the primary phone number listed in Skyward. It is extremely important that the parent/guardian promptly notify the school when there is a change in phone numbers.
Excessive Unexcused Absences/Loss of Instructional Time
The School Administration reserves the right to adjust the below procedures as needed based on pandemic-related circumstances.
Once a student has lost significant instructional time due to reaching SIX UNEXCUSED ABSENCES, PARTIAL ABSENCES or GROSS TARDIES, the student is now AT RISK OF LOSING CREDIT in that class, REGARDLESS OF THE GRADE BEING EARNED. **Tardies can contribute to the accumulation of six (6) unexcused absences, as described below. A notification will be made to the parent/guardian by the student’s teacher informing that the student has reached the allowed unexcused absence limit and warning of this risk of credit loss. Once this notification has been made, the student must refrain from accumulating more absences, partial absences or gross tardies and pass the class in order to be eligible to receive credit. At the end of the semester, the Dean of Students will review the files of all students who reached the limits as explained below to determine whether or not credit should be given. This decision will be made in collaboration with each student’s PSS team members and will include consideration of feedback from the classroom teacher. The outcome of this review will be printed on each student’s report card. If credit is lost, a notation of N (No Credit due to excessive absences) will appear. If credit is given, the grade earned in the class will be printed.
Tardies can contribute to the accumulation of six (6) unexcused absences, as described below.
When students are not in the classroom when the bell rings, they will be marked Tardy. Arrivals to class of less than 10 minutes: These are notes as a Tardy in Skyward. Every five (5) tardies to a single class period EQUAL ONE (1) UNEXCUSED ABSENCE. As noted above, six (6) unexcused absences in any class may lead to loss of credit for that class.
Gross Tardy = Tardy to class of more than 10 minutes: These are unexcused and count toward the six unexcused absence limits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can school staff provide any support to my family if we have a student struggling with attendance?
Yes. Your student’s Pupil Support Services (PSS) team (counselor, dean, social worker, and Multi-Tiered System of Support [MTSS] specialist) will work with your family to determine the needs and what interventions and supports can be provided. Please reach out to your counselor to request support if they haven’t already reached out to you.
How will I know that my student is getting close to the absence limit?
Parents/guardians should regularly check their student’s attendance via Family Access. Parents/guardians will also be notified via calls and emails from their students’ teachers and through Skywards, from PSS team members and teachers alerting them to their students’ attendance counts and how close they are to the limit. Automated emails and calls also go out every day informing of unexcused absences to classes.
If I call in to say my student will be late to a class, can the tardy be excused?
Tardies of less than 10 minutes will not be excused. Students are allowed to be tardy four times per period before a penalty (One Unexcused Absence) is applied on the 5th tardy. Tardies of more than 10 minutes will be treated as absences and can be excused but the excusal will be for the entire period.
We will continue to work toward addressing attendance needs equitably and increasing student attendance. We welcome your feedback. Please direct it and any questions/concerns to Assistant Superintendent/Principal Lynda Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dean of Students Andrea Neuman, email@example.com.