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Excused Absences

When your student must stay home from school, follow CPS procedures to notify the school and provide a valid explanation so your student is not considered truant.

Valid Reasons for Student Absence

CPS recognizes six reasons for an absence to be considered excused: 

  • Sounding taps at a military funeral for a deceased veteran
  • Parent or legal guardian is an active duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone
  • Student illness
    • This includes mental or behavioral health (As of January 1, 2022, absences can be attributed to mental or behavioral health for up to five days based on Public Act 102-0321. Learn more here: (ENGLISH | SPANISH)
  • Observance of a religious holiday (absence note required)
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Family emergency
  • Circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent for their child's safety or health (must be approved by the principal)
  • Other situations beyond the control of the student (as determined by principal)

Communicating Your Child’s Absence to School

If your child must stay home, call your school to inform them your child will be absent.

Historically, CPS has only been allowed to receive hard-form paper notes but we now can receive calls that can be honored to determine Excused and Unexcused absence status.

Home to school communication that qualifies for excused absence status must:

  • Meet one of the valid causes for absence indicated above. AND
  • Be memorialized through a paper, signed and dated note the first day your child returns to school from an absence. OR
  • Be logged by the school in response to a direct phone call/voicemail to the school

Your written note and call should include the following information:

  • Student's name
  • Room/division
  • Date(s) of absence
  • Reason for absence (must be one of the six valid reasons), with details explaining if there is a family emergency, concern for child's safety, or situation beyond the student's control.
  • Parent/guardian signature, date, and phone number

Download Sample Absence Note
English  |  Spanish  |  Polish ]

Medical Information and Conditions

  • Inform your school if a physician diagnoses your child with any contagious/infectious disease, such as chicken pox, measles, etc.
  • Get a written release from a doctor for your child to return to school if he or she is diagnosed with or suspected of having a communicable/nuisance disease
  • Submit required medical reports to the appropriate school personnel
  • Keep up-to-date on all your child's health examinations and immunizations so your student does not miss school

Download Absence Forms

Reason for Absence Note