Student Attendance

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is one of the most important factors in determining success or failure in high school and is the responsibility of both the individual student and his/her parents or guardians. Parents should notify the Attendance Office by 8:15 a.m. each day if the student is going to be absent from school. Attendance messages may be left on voicemail between the hours of 3:45 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. It is the school’s responsibility to make decisions whether or not an absence from school is valid. If an absence is not called in within 48 hours, the absence may be considered unexcused. Student attendance records will be available for parents to monitor via the District’s Campus Portal.

Student Attendance Policy – Age 17 and Older

  1. Students who miss 18 days in a semester or 25 days in a school year may be recommended for expulsion, may be recommended for withdrawal from school, or may have credit withdrawn. It should be noted that this number of absences exceeds the state definition of chronic truancy.
  2.  All absences (excused, unexcused, and suspension) will be included in the total count.
  3. The school will offer available services to the student, including working closely with parents to reduce overall student absences.
  4. The documentation process to inform parents of school services and procedures will be in five steps:
    • When a student has been absent four school days prior to February 1, a letter will be sent home by the high school Attendance Office to inform parents of the absences.
    • When a student has been absent eight school days prior to April 1, a second letter offering access to school resources will be sent home by the Attendance Office.
    • When a student has been absent twelve school days, a conference may be requested by the Assistant Principal or designee and may include the parents and the student. The student’s record will be reviewed, and additional strategies for intervention may be attempted. A physician’s note may be requested for additional illnesses.
    • When a student has sixteen absences from school, the principal or designee will request a conference with the parents and a final warning will be given. Should a student accumulate eighteen (18) absences in one semester or twenty-five (25) absences in the year, the student may be recommended for expulsion, may be recommended for withdrawal, may have credit for classes withdrawn, or be recommended for an alternative program.
    • Should they fail to maintain attendance in five classes, students who have had credit withdrawn in individual classes due to excessive absences will be placed on part-time status. Due process procedures will be extended to all students and parents.
  5. Partial day absences will be tallied to accumulate to full-day absences.

Student Attendance Policy – Under Age 17

  1. NOTE: Items 1-5 (listed above) apply to students under age 17 as well.
  2.  Identified at-risk students may be assigned to an individual program.
  3. The student may take advantage of:
    • Alternative programs
    • Various services, including social services that may be accessed by at-risk students in group and individualized situations
  4.  When students under age 17 are withdrawn from their first class:
    • They will be assigned to a study hall for the semester.
    • The DeKalb County’s Regional Office of Education’s truancy outreach officer may be informed for future intervention, if is not already taking place.
  5. When students under the age 17 are dropped from subsequent classes:
    • They may be placed in a second study hall for the remainder of the semester.
    • They may be placed in an alternative program.
    • They may receive additional disciplinary consequences.
  6. Sycamore High School may contact DeKalb County Juvenile Court Services for those students who are under court supervision.

Tardy Policy

Tardy policy: 5 minutes for all class periods.
Students who arrive tardy to class disrupt the learning environment for fellow students. Therefore, Sycamore High School institutes many interventions to discourage students from being tardy. The tardy policy described on the following pages has been instituted in order to avoid disruptions of the educational environment, thus serving the best interests of all students.

  1. For a student’s first tardy in a single class, the teacher will conference with the student and counsel the student to avoid further tardies. Students will be notified of their tardy status.
  2. Once a student is tardy three times in a two week span (all classes combined), the student will receive a thirty minute detention.
  3. For every two additional tardies that a student receives during the two week cycle, the student will receive additional consequences.

Excused Absence

“Valid cause” for absence means illness, death in the immediate family, court-related actions, and family emergency (as deemed valid by school administration). “Valid cause” absences shall be considered excused, and work missed is allowed to be made up for credit. Students who have an absence for a pre-arranged observance of a religious holiday will not be included in the 18 per semester and 25 per school year absence attendance policy. These arrangements should be made with the Attendance Office, either in writing or by phone. Only 16 absences will be allowed before a doctor’s note and/or with administration approval will be required to excuse further absences within the last 180 days of school.

Student Athletes Absent from School

Student athletes who are absent from school for more than three class periods or are truant for any period of the day will not practice or compete in any sport that day or evening without clearance from the Athletic Director.

Attendance at School Activities

Students must be in attendance during the school day to participate in, or attend, school activities. Students absent any part of the day due to truancy are not eligible to participate or attend activities. In addition, students absent more than 3 periods due to illness are not eligible to participate in or attend activities unless it is a prearranged absence or is approved by an administrator. If students have a note excusing them from physical education for health or medical reasons they cannot participate in athletic practices or events that day.

Planned Absences

A planned absence shall be defined as school field trips, athletic, music, academic or extracurricular trips (including state and national level events), family vacations, college visits and any other absence known to the student prior to the absence.

  • All make up work (homework and assignments that were completed by the class during the planned absence) are due on the day the student returns unless prior arrangements have been made with the individual teacher.
  • All assessments ( assessments that were completed by the class during the planned absence) shall be taken on the day of the return from the planned absence unless prior arrangements have been made with the individual teacher.
  • All work made up in the defined time frame will be given full credit.

Leaving the Building

In order to have an absence excused, students leaving the building during the day (other than juniors and seniors leaving during their lunch period) must have permission from administration and parents prior to their leaving. When students do leave, they must sign out in the attendance office. Students returning to school before the end of the day should sign in with the Attendance Office secretary. If this policy is not followed, the student will be marked unexcused.

Lunch Periods

Juniors and seniors will be permitted to leave campus during their lunch periods. Students who are permitted to leave for lunch must return to the building through door E2 or the north foyer doors. Students are required to show valid student ID cards upon re-entry. Any abuse of this privilege, related truancies, community disruptions, etc., will result in disciplinary action and may result in having these privileges revoked.

Freshmen and sophomores are not permitted to leave for lunch and must remain on campus during lunch hour. Any underclass student who leaves the campus during a lunch period will be considered absent without authorization and will receive disciplinary consequences.

Unexcused Absence/Truancy

Students need to be present in order to learn and achieve success, and student truancy and absenteeism are disruptive to the entire educational process. Multiple unexcused absences are deemed by the Sycamore School District as gross misconduct and gross disobedience and may subject the student to suspension and/or expulsion as described below and in the district’s student discipline policy.

Multiple communication methods will be used to inform parents of unexcused absences. It is the responsibility of the parent to comply with Illinois School Code regarding satisfactory attendance. Please note that suspensions and expulsions are unexcused absences. Make-up work will be allowed at the discretion of the administration.

The following definitions are used to identify the various types of truancy:

  • Truant
    • The District, in accordance with Section 26-2a of the Illinois School Code, considers a student who is subject to compulsory school attendance to be truant if he/she is absent for the school day, or a portion of the school day, without proper permission. Students who are truant are also considered absent/unexcused.
    • Examples of unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, the following:
      • Failure to clear an absence by 8:15 AM of the next day of school may result in an unexcused absence, subject to administrative review.
      • Leaving school without checking out.
      • Skipping classes.
      • Obtaining a pass to go to a certain place and not reporting there.
      • Being in an unauthorized area.
      • Oversleeping.
      • Arriving late to school without parent notification.
      • Experiencing car failure at any time of the day, including over the lunch period, may not be excused. If a student leaves the campus, it is his/her responsibility to return on time for his/her next class.
  • Chronic or Habitual Truant
    • The District, in accordance with Section 26-2a of the Illinois School Code, considers a student who is subject to compulsory school attendance to be a chronic or habitual truant if he/she has unexcused absences for five or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days without proper permission.
  • Truant Minor
    • The District, in accordance with Section 26-2a of the Illinois School Code, considers a truant minor to be a chronic truant a student for whom either supportive services (including prevention, diagnostic, and other school and community resources) have been provided and have failed or a student who is in a situation where these services have been offered and refused by either the parent(s)/guardian(s) and/or the student.

Truancy Support Services and Interventions

Using the cited definitions, the school district shall determine if the student is a truant, a chronic or habitual truant, or a truant minor. Every attempt will be made to determine the reason for a student’s truancy through talking with him/her, having a parent conference, and other means.

The following resources and supportive services, as determined appropriate, are available to students who are truant, or a chronic or habitual truant, and their parent(s)/guardian(s):

  • Variety of internal administrative interventions
  • External truancy prevention/intervention programs

Sycamore High School institutes many interventions to discourage truancy from school or from individual classes. For repeated unexcused absences to a single class, students will receive progressive disciplinary consequences. The following sequence of interventions will be instituted:

Absence Number
Intervention/ProcedureIntervention/Consequence
1
Student meets with administrator or designee.
Parents will be contacted by a school official and/or written notification.
Progressive disciplinary consequences
2
Student meets with administrator or designee.
Parents will be contacted by a school official and/or written notification.
Progressive disciplinary consequences
3
Student meets with administrator or designee for final warning.
Parents will be contacted by a school official and/or written notification, meeting is arranged.
Progressive disciplinary consequences/attendance contract
4
Student meets with administrator or designee.
Parents will be contacted by a school official and/or written notification.
Progressive disciplinary consequences/attendance contract
5
Student and parents meet with Regional Office of Education (ROE) truancy outreach officer.ROE truancy training intervention

Additional Attendance Provisions

  1. Tardies and unexcused absences will be tracked separately, as they are different behaviors requiring separate interventions.
  2. Students under the age of seventeen must maintain five classes on their schedules; those students who persist in accumulating class truancies and tardies will remain in the class and receive disciplinary consequences. These students will also receive progressive disciplinary consequences for continued violations.
  3. Students classified as part-time students will lose all privileges afforded to full-time students in good standing with the school. Examples of privileges which may be lost to part-time students as a result of violations include, but are not limited to:
    • On-campus parking privileges.
    • The privilege of attending and participating in all extracurricular activities such as athletics, clubs, all homecoming activities, prom and all other similar school activities.
    • Participation in Senior Class Night and Graduation Ceremony, if applicable.
    • Other activities or events of any type not specifically related to the classes in which the part-time student is enrolled. Part-time students are allowed on campus only during their remaining classes.

Study Hall Truancy Policy

Continued study hall truancy will result in progressive disciplinary consequences from administration. Students who are truant will not be eligible for commons period.

Makeup Work and Assessments during Absences

  • Unplanned Absence – An unplanned absence is defined as an illness, accident, family emergency, funeral or “like” unexpected life occurrence. In these situations students shall be given a “day for a day” to turn in homework and assignments due during the absence and to take any assessments that were given to the class during the absence. All work made up in the defined time frame will be given full credit.
  • Planned Absence – A planned absence shall be defined as school field trips, athletic, music, academic or extracurricular trips (including state and national level events), family vacations, college visits and any other absence known to the student prior to the absence.
    • All make up work (homework and assignments that were completed by the class during the planned absence) are due on the day the student returns unless prior arrangements have been made with the individual teacher.
    • All assessments ( assessments that were completed by the class during the planned absence) shall be taken on the day of the return from the planned absence unless prior arrangements have been made with the individual teacher.
    • All work made up in the defined time frame will be given full credit.