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Reporting a Student Absence

Please call the main office of your child’s school or use the “Report an Absence” button in the upper right-hand corner of our website to report your child’s absence. If your child is sick with the following symptoms - fever (100.4°F or higher), new onset of moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue from an unknown cause, muscle or body aches from unknown cause:

  • Keep your child home.

  • Call the main office of your child’s school or use the “Report an Absence” button in the upper right corner of our website to report your child’s absence. Indicate your child’s symptoms and the start date of those symptoms.

  • Your child MUST be free from fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, and free from diarrhea/vomiting for 24 hours prior to returning to school.  

Absence from School: The parent/guardian of a student who is enrolled must authorize all absences from school and notify the school in advance or at the time of the student’s absence. A valid cause for absence includes illness, pregnancy, observance of a religious holiday, death in the immediate family, family emergency, other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the Board, other circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for the student’s mental, emotional, behavioral or physical health or safety, or other reasons as approved by the Superintendent or designee. If a student begins to accumulate excessive absences, the principal may require a doctor's verification for subsequent absences. We urge parents/guardians to arrange doctor, dentist, orthodontist and all other appointments for times when school is not in session. 

Reporting Absences: If a child will be absent from school, parents/guardians must report the absence online via the “Report An Absence” form on the district website or call the school office before 9 a.m. each day of the absence to report/explain the cause of the absence. Report specific symptoms if the student is ill. This also applies to extended vacations taken during the school year. Note that vacations are not excused absences under Illinois School Code.

Absence Call Back System: Schools are required to call a parent/guardian to inquire about a student if the student has not been marked present when attendance is taken, and his/her parent/guardian has not notified the school that the child will be absent. If a child's whereabouts cannot be determined, the police will be called. "Call in, call back" systems are designed to alert authorities as soon as possible that a child is missing after not reporting to school so that a search can begin quickly.

Absence for Religious Observance by law, students with excused absences for religious reasons are counted absent on our official records. 

Unauthorized Absences: Students must attend all classes unless an absence is authorized. Daily attendance is required by the Illinois School Code, and is essential for the successful completion of the student's schooling. Hawthorn will respond to every unauthorized absence. Examples of unauthorized absences include class cutting, oversleeping, missing the bus, car problems and leaving the school grounds without following proper procedures. Unauthorized absences will require a conference with parents/guardians and an administrator. Students who exhibit excessive absence patterns will be referred to the social workers for possible referral to Omni Youth Services and/or Project PASS (Positive Alternative Services for Students) of Lake County. Chronic truancy is referred to the regional office of education (see below).

Truancy: Truancy is defined as absence without valid cause for a school day or portion thereof. Valid cause is defined as illness, death in the immediate family, family emergency, and situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the Board or circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for the safety and health of the student. When a student is truant, school personnel will initiate action to bring the student back into regular attendance. The schools will offer supportive services, alternative programs and outside resources in an effort to correct the student's truant behavior. Hawthorn responds to chronic truants in accordance with state law. The regional office of education is notified when a student misses 5% (nine days) or more of the academic year. 

No punitive action, including out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, or court action, shall be taken against a chronic truant for his or her truancy unless available supportive services and other school resources have been provided to the student. Additionally, the District will take reasonable diagnostic measures to identify the cause of the absences (such as interviews with relevant persons, etc.)  

Enrollment Termination After 10 Days: A student's enrollment will be terminated after any absence exceeding 10 consecutive school days. The only exception is when the absence is medically documented. Upon return, the student and guardian must complete the in-person re-registration process at the District Office. This process requires parents/guardians to prove residency and provide additional documentation, as would be required by a new enrollee. Students will be re-enrolled and placed in a classroom based upon space availability. There is no guarantee that a student will be placed in the same classroom upon re-enrollment.

Homework for Absentees: Parents/Guardians are asked to adhere to the following guidelines when requesting homework assignments for students absent from school:

  • If it appears that the student will be absent for only one day, homework will not be sent home. Homework deemed absolutely essential to a student's progress will be provided upon the student's return to school.

  • A request for homework may be made on the second day of absence if it appears the absence will be prolonged.

  • Please allow 24 hours for staff to gather assignments. Please call before visiting the school to pick up the homework to ensure that it is available. This is particularly important if a student has more than one teacher.

  • Please check with your child’s teacher, assistant principal, or principal for additional guidelines.

  • Homework will not be provided to students who are missing school due to an extended vacation.

Tardiness: If a student is late coming to school, a parent/guardian must notify the school and the student must sign in with the office before going to class so that he/she can be counted as present. If a student who is late does not sign in upon arrival, the office is unaware of the student's presence and he/she may not receive credit for attendance. Parents/Guardians: Please stress the importance of reporting to the office if your student is late. Unexcused tardy arrivals will result in disciplinary consequences as determined by your school. A parent/guardian phone call does not necessarily make a tardy arrival "excused."

Permission to Leave School: It is important that the school know the whereabouts of each student at all times. If students are leaving the building prior to dismissal, a parent/guardian (or properly authorized adult with written permission) must come into the school office to pick up the student. Each student must be signed out of the office and leave in the company of the responsible adult. No student may leave school grounds without permission from the office.

Home and Hospital Instruction: A student who will be absent from school for more than 10 school days, or whose physician anticipates that the student will be absent from school on an intermittent basis throughout the school year, because of a medical condition may be eligible for instruction in the student’s home or hospital. For further information, please contact Asst. Superintendent of Student Services, Alicia Corrigan at 847-990-4273.

Family Vacations During the School Year: Family vacations and other recreational absences during the school year are discouraged. Parents/guardians who are planning a vacation that will require a student's absence from school are asked to discuss the matter first with the teacher(s) and principal, well in advance of the date of the absence. The principal and teacher(s) will discuss the probable effects upon your child's academic progress. Absences for vacation purposes are not considered excused under the Illinois School Code. Homework will not be provided to students who are absent while on a vacation.

See Board Policy 7.70, Attendance and Truancy for more information.