ATTENDANCE / TARDY POLICY / TRUANCY
COMMONLY USED ACRONYMS IN THE HANDBOOK
ADA = “Alternative Day Assignment” is an in-school suspension
ADL = “Alternate Day Lunch” is a lunch detention
ADS = “Alternate Day Saturday” is a Saturday detention
OSS = Out of School Suspension
At Riverside Brookfield High School we believe that student attendance is an integral part of the educational process. In addition, we believe that no classroom activity or experience can ever fully be replicated outside that time and place of its environment, so students need to miss as few classes as possible. Student absences can hamper course progress and lead to increased work for students and teachers in attempting to make up for lost experiences. Every course emphasizes the participation of students and needs their committed, regular presence to allow for the greatest educational success. It is the responsibility of parents/ guardians to ensure the regular attendance of his or her child. In partnership with the school, parents can instill the positive habit of responsibility and reliability in their student which regular daily attendance fosters. The attendance policy outlined in this section of the handbook complies with Illinois School Code and is designed to develop the most responsible, successful students possible. Regular class attendance will help to develop habits of self discipline and responsibility which translate into greater achievement academically and in all areas of life.
The Illinois Compulsory School Attendance Law (Article 26 of the Illinois School Code) holds the parent responsible for the enrollment and regular attendance of children enrolled. RBHS expects parents/guardians to make responsible efforts to ensure the regular attendance of their students and to inform the school of any absence and the reason for the absence.
When absences become excessive due to illness, RBHS will require parents/guardians to present medical documentation of physical and emotional conditions causing a student’s absence. Court appearance will necessitate authorized documentation.
GENERAL ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES
It is the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to call the Attendance Office on the day of the absence for the student to receive full make-up privileges. Parents or guardians may report absences by calling the RBHS Attendance Line, 708-442-8407, 24 hours a day. The expectation of parents/guardians is to call by 10:00 a.m. on the day of absence. Failure to call the school within 24 hours of the absence will result in an unverified absence. Any deviation from this procedure must be discussed with the Dean and is the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility. Only calls from parents or legal guardians will be accepted. The following information must be provided to excuse the absence for valid cause:
- Parent / Guardian must identify themselves
- Student Name
- Reason for the absence
If a parent/legal guardian anticipates being out of town and, therefore, will be unable to provide official notification of a student absence, the parent/legal guardian must provide written documentation of the adult designated to approve student absences. This written notification must be turned into the Attendance Office prior to the parent/legal guardian leaving town.
Section 26-2a of the Illinois School Code, considers VALID CAUSE for a student’s absence to be:
- Personal illness
- Observance of a religious holiday
- Death in the immediate family
- Family emergency
- Circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for the safety or health of the student.
- Situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the Board of Education of the District.
EXCUSED ALL-DAY ABSENCE:
Parents/guardians must call the Attendance Office, 708-442-8407, to make arrangements for the student to be excused following the guidelines listed above. Whenever possible, the call should be made a day in advance.
EXCUSED PARTIAL DAY ABSENCE:
- Parents/guardians must call the Attendance Office, 708-442-8407, the day before the student is to leave the building for the appointment. On those rare occasions when there is an unavoidable last-minute reason for removing a student from school, a call from the parent / guardian must be made at least 30 minutes before the requested release time to allow the Attendance Office sufficient time to contact the student.
- If any documentation is needed for a planned early release, (medical appointment, etc.) the student must report to the Attendance Office at the start of the school day and provide proper paperwork for early release approval.
- Students must report to the Attendance Office and sign out.
- Students may not be allowed to contact parents using their cell phones to obtain permission for early release; all such calls must be made in one of the following locations: Student Health Services, Attendance Office, Student Services or the Assistant Principal’s Office.
It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to notify the Attendance Office, 708-442-8407, if the student will be arriving late to school. The call must be made prior to the student’s arrival. If the reason for the late arrival is not a valid reason (see Unexcused Absences) the student will receive an unexcused tardy or absence on their record.
ILLNESS DURING SCHOOL DAY
If a student should become ill during the school day, the student must first secure a pass from their teacher and then go to Health Services, Room 139. The nurse will contact the parent/guardian. If it is determined that the student will go home, the student must report to the Attendance Office prior to leaving. Students may not text parents during the day to go home sick. Students must use a school phone.
MULTIPLE & PROLONGED ABSENCES
For prolonged absences due to illness or emergencies, special arrangements may be made with the Attendance Office to avoid a call having to be made daily. If a student is able to do homework, arrangements may be made through the Attendance Office. If paperwork is not filed in advance, the absences may be considered unexcused, and all work performed on those dates will be issued failing grades, including but not limited to work completed during the class period, quizzes, tests, quarterly and semester exams, etc.
Pre-Arranged Absence forms may be obtained from the Attendance Office. The form needs to be filled out for the following absences: college visits, vacations, or participation in a non-school related activity or sport. Students need to give themselves enough time, approximately a week, to complete this process in order to ensure that the absence will be excused.
- The student must pick up the Pre-Arranged Absence form in the Attendance Office.
- Fill out the top of the form with details regarding the reason for the absence and the relevant dates. Have the parent/legal guardian sign it.
- Bring the form back to school in order to: inform all the teachers of the absence, list on the form all homework that must be completed during that time, have each teacher sign the form after the student lists the homework, and have the form signed by the counselor.
- Turn the completed form in to the Attendance Office two days before the absence for approval by the Dean.
- Parents or guardians will need to contact the Attendance Office in order to verify the absence.
If the form is not turned in/or on time for college visits, the absence will be counted in determining excessive absences. Vacations and participation in a non-school related activity or sport are not recommended when school is in session and may be counted towards excessive absences.
If the Attendance Office has not received a phone call from the student’s parent or guardian within 24 hours . the day of the absence, the student will be considered unexcused. Unexcused absences are defined as those absences which are not authorized and/or school related. In order to comply with School Code, the school reserves the right to determine if an absence is unexcused. The school considers the following reasons as examples of absences without valid cause, thereby resulting in an unexcused status:
- Car trouble
- Missing the bus
- Missing one class to study for another or make-up test/quiz
- Message on school voicemail with no reason given for absence
The above list is used for illustrative purposes only and is not to be considered all-inclusive.
Unexcused absences are subject to disciplinary action and may result in, but are not limited to the following:
- Administrative/Lunch Detention: twenty minute detention served during lunch
- ADA/OSS(Alternative Day Assignment/Out of School Suspension: refer to SUSPENSIONS ADA/OSS)
- Truancy tickets issued by Local Law Enforcement
- Building / Event restriction
- Parking Pass revoked
- Parent Meetings
- Referral to West 40 for Truancy
- Building/Hallway Restriction
- No make-up privileges allowed for the period(s) in which the unexcused absence(s) occurred.
- Home visits by local law enforcement
Multiple period unexcused absences will result in an ADA. Parental contact will also be made by the Administration via Auto Dialer, email, mail, or phone call.
After ten consecutive unexcused school days. Any student can be dropped from Riverside Brookfield High School.
Any student who is absent for 5% in one semester, excused or unexcused, will be considered as having excessive absences. Absences that result from participation in a school-related activity will not be counted in determining excessive absences; however, absences due to vacations and non-school related activities/sports may be counted.
Once a student has been absent for 5% of the semester, a doctor’s note (licensed M.D. or nurse practitioner) will be required for each absence before an illness-related absence will be excused. The doctor’s note must be the original, legible copy on physician’s stationery signed by the doctor or nurse, and presented to the Attendance Office upon the student’s return. The note must state the date(s) the student was not able to attend school.
A student who is excessively absent will be referred to the building Small Team, which will develop an individualized intervention plan designed to remediate the attendance pattern.
HALLWAY RESTRICTION LIST
Students are placed on this list for excessive tardies, truancies or other behaviors which are disruptive to their education or the education of others, as determined by the administration. Once in their designated class, students on the hallway restriction list are prohibited from leaving without being escorted by a security member. The length of time that a student is placed on the list will be for two-week periods. The list will be updated as needed; students may be added, removed or kept on the list for longer than two weeks, depending on their adherence to school guidelines. Parents will be notified when students are placed on the list, via email or by phone.
At the start of any period, security and/or staff will be “sweeping” random hallways for tardy students and issuing lunch detentions. Students who have not passed through the threshold of their classroom when the tardy bell rings will be considered tardy and may be issued a lunch detention that will need to be served that day (or the next student attendance day). Failure to serve the detention issued during a hall sweep will result in a Saturday Detention. Failure to serve a Saturday detention will result in a full day ADA and failure to serve the full day ADA will result in a one day OSS. Hall Sweeps are a separate disciplinary action from the Tardy Policy for students late to class.
Students who have excused absences will normally be allowed to make-up the work they missed. Nevertheless, there are some classes that, due to the content or nature of an assignment, will not permit make-up of particular assignments. Students are responsible for make-up work following an excused absence. It is the student’s responsibility to contact his/her individual teacher about their make-up assignments the day they return to school.
STUDENT ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL-SPONSORED EVENTS
To attend any school-sponsored event, such as, but not limited to, prom, graduation, athletic competitions, student performances, etc., a student must have served, or attempted to serve, existing detentions or other disciplinary actions issued by the Administration. All outstanding fees due to the Business Office must also be paid in full in order for students to attend any dance.
STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN ANY ATHLETIC OR EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES/NON-COMPETITIVE ACTIVITY
Student participation in any athletic or Extra Curricular activities/non-competitive activity requires a student to be present in school for 50% of their classes on the day of a practice, event, contest, competition, or performance. Students must contact their coach, sponsor, or teacher on the day of a practice or event to report that they missed part or all of the school day. This is true whether the practice is before or after school. The goal is to have the students stay home in order to get well, to concentrate on lessons they missed that day, and to limit the spread of illness to teammates and classmates.
105 ILCS 5/26-1 – Penalties on parents for non-compliance: Class C Misdemeanor.
Illinois School Code 105 ILSC 5/26-2a defines a “truant” as a child subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for a school day or portion thereof. “Chronic or habitual truant” shall be defined as a child who is subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for 5% or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days. When a student turns 17 years of age, a student can be dropped because of poor academic progress. 105 ILCS 5/26-2
Truancy - Parent Liability (122:26-10)
Any person having custody or control of a child to whom notice has been given of the child’s truancy and who knowingly and willfully permits such a child to persist in his truancy within that school year, upon conviction thereof shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be subject to not more than 30 days imprisonment and/or a fine of $500 - $1,500 (105ILCS 5/26-1 – penalties on parents for non-compliance: Class C Misdemeanor). If a student is found to be truant, it may be required by RBHS for the parent/guardian of the student to accompany the student back to the school for re- admittance. Failure to do so may result in Out-of-School Suspension. Truancy tickets may also be issued by the local authorities. Truant students will receive 5 days lunch detention, ADA, Activity Building Restriction, Saturday Detention or OSS. Student discipline will be progressive.
Truancy - General Liability (122:26-11)
Any person who induces or attempts to induce any child to be absent from school unlawfully, or who knowingly employs or harbors, while school is in session, any child absent unlawfully from school is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
Truancy Ordinances exist in the communities served by District 208. Truant students are subject to the tenets of the local ordinances as well as school consequences. Riverside Ordinance 6-1-26 states “To prevent, reduce or control juvenile delinquency within this village, as provided in 105 Illinois Complied Statutes 5/26-1, it shall be unlawful for any minor between the ages of seven (7) and seventeen (17) years of age who is a truant, chronic or habitual truant, or truant minor, as defined in 105 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/26-2a, to be found on any public street or public way or in any public park or public building or in any establishment within the village during school hours of a school day in which classes are being held (Ord. 2523-A, 1-3-2005).”
Truancy is considered leaving the building without permission and/or not attending school without a valid cause. A Cut is a student who does not attend a single class throughout the school day.