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Reporting an Absence

Click here for a link to step-by-step instructions on how to report a student absence in Family Access for desktop users. Click here and click here for instructions for Skyward Mobile App users.


Excused Full Day Absences

Parents/guardians should report absences using Family Access as described below. Email or phone calls may bemade to the office in the event a parent/guardian is unable to access the online system.

Click here to report a positive COVID case.


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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 Illness

Appointments (doctor, dentist, therapy, etc.)

Hospitalizations 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 Isolation

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.

Unexcused Absences

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.

Tardy Procedures

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, or Dean of Students, Jonathon Silver,