Excessive Absence Procedure

Excessive Absences/Loss of Instructional Time

** 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 either of the limits shown below in the same semester, the student is now AT RISK OF LOSING CREDIT in that class, REGARDLESS OF THE GRADE BEING EARNED. A notification will be made via automated email and by a member of the student’s PSS team to the parent/guardian warning of this risk of credit loss. Once the risk of credit loss has been communicated, 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. If a student earns an F in the class, that grade will be given and override the N described above. Any student reaching the following absence limits will activate the above process:

  • 12 absences (all excused or a combination of excused and five or less unexcused absences, partial absences or gross tardies)
  • Six (6) of any combination of unexcused absences, unexcused partial absences or gross tardies

If the loss of credit results in the student being in jeopardy of not graduating or needing to take a summer school class, parents will be notified by the student’s counselor or dean as soon as possible so that any arrangements can be made.

Reason for absence

Counts toward limit of 12

Does not count toward limit of 12

Observance of a religious holiday


School-sponsored field trip 


In-school meetings with school staff (counselor/dean/social worker, etc.)


School-sponsored athletic/activity travel


Administrative reasons


In-school and out-of-school suspensions


Visits to school nurse






COVID-related illness  

Gross tardies




Appointments (doctor, dentist, therapy, etc.)


Family reasons (emergencies, etc.)


College visits


Prearranged absence


Other non-school-related reasons

Mental wellness  

Tardies to class of less than 10 minutes: Beginning Jan. 4, 2022, every five (5) tardies to a single class period WILL NOW EQUAL ONE (1) UNEXCUSED ABSENCE. Unexcused absences are tallied within our existing excessive absence procedures described above. Note that six (6) unexcused absences or twelve (12) total absences in any class may lead to losing credit for that class.

Tardies to class of more than 10 minutes: These have traditionally been considered an absence and counted toward the 6UA and 12 total absence limits. That is still the case. However, we are changing the name. Instead of calling these absences, we are changing the name to gross tardy. This new term gives a more accurate report of students’ presence or absence to class. ALL GROSS TARDIES ARE UNEXCUSED AND COUNT TOWARD THE ABOVE ABSENCE LIMITS.

Partial-absence: 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). PARTIAL ABSENCES ARE UNEXCUSED AND COUNT TOWARD THE ABOVE ABSENCE LIMITS.

These current procedures allow for 24 total days of missed class--one day short of five weeks of school in a school year--before requiring documentation to explain additional absences. Our desire is to provide support for families who need it and to make the process of having to provide documentation as easy as possible. 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, ljparker@oprfhs.org or Janel Bishop, lead dean of students, jbishop@oprfhs.org

View the full attendance procedures beginning on page 41 in the Student Handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my student has three upcoming therapy appointments, and they have been absent only three other times. Should I bring in documentation for the three new appointments? 
No. All you have to do is call the Attendance Office (708-434-3104) to excuse the absences. Families don’t have to worry about providing any documentation for any absences (except hospitalizations) until after their student has reached 12 excused absences. We are trying to lessen the burden of acquiring documentation for every absence.

If I notify my child's teachers of a prearranged absence, will those absences still count toward the limit of 12?
Yes, those absences will still count. The purpose of giving notice of absences ahead of time is not to provide relief from the absence limit. It is for teachers to have advance notice when possible that a student is going to be out of school for an extended period of time. This allows them to prepare school work to send with the student if the student is able to do school work while out, as well as to let the student know what will be missed during their absence and what they can expect upon their return.

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 limit?
Parents/guardians should regularly check their student’s attendance via Family Access. Parents/guardians will also be notified via calls and emails from the attendance office, through Skyward, and from counselors and deans alerting them to their students’ attendance counts and how close they are to the limit. Automated calls also go out every day informing of unexcused absences to classes.  

Which absences count toward the 12-absence limit and which ones do not?
See table on the left or view page 45 in the Student Handbook.

What if I my child hits 12 days due to various appointments and then needs to go on college visits or be absent for another legitimate reason? Will those absences be excused?
In our experience, these instances are exceptionally rare. As a result, this is the only instance in which we will accept documentation for an absence after three days of the occurrence. So if that documentation is provided, then yes. Such absences would be excused. 

My student has 10 excused absences and two gross tardies. How many more can they get before reaching the limit?
The student has reached the 12-absence limit and is now at risk of losing credit. You will be notified of this status.