Student Attendance

Student Attendance

The following section contains general information about student attendance. Parents are reminded that under Public Act 84-178, each student's parent or guardian has a duty to notify the school district of any absence on the part of the student. The parent should call the school as soon as the absence is anticipated so the school will know the whereabouts of the student on a given day.

Starting / Dismissal Times

Willow Grove Early Learning Center

  • Kindergarten
    • Full-Day KDG: 8:40 a.m.–3 p.m.
    • Half-Day AM KDG: 8:40–11:55 a.m.
  • Early Childhood Preschool
    • EC Blended AM Preschool: 8:30–11 a.m.
    • EC Blended PM Preschool: 12:30–3 p.m.
  • Structured
    • 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. 

Country Meadows, Ivy Hall, Kildeer Countryside, and Prairie Elementary Schools

  • Elementary Schools: 8:25 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Twin Groves and Woodlawn Middle Schools

  • Middle Schools: 7:45 a.m. -2:30 p.m.
  • Optional activity period: 2:30 p.m.- 3:15 p.m. Mon., Wed., and/or Thurs.


Half-Day Schedules:

  • Blended AM EC meets 8:30–11 a.m. ONLY on these designated Half Days: 8/19/21; 1/14/22; 5/27/22
    • Blended AM EC students do not attend on other Half Days.
  • Blended PM EC meets 8:30–11 a.m. ONLY on these designated Half Days: 10/1/21; 4/22/22; 6/2/22
    • Blended PM EC students do not attend on other Half Days.
  • Willow Grove Structured meets 8:30–11:45 a.m.
  • Half-Day Kindergarten dismisses at 11:45 a.m.
  • Full-Day Kindergarten dismisses at 11:45 a.m.

MIDDLE SCHOOL HALF-DAY LEARNING SCHEDULE (Grades 6–8, 11:10 a.m. dismissal)

Early-Release Schedules:

  • AM KDG/EC Preschool AM dismisses at 10 a.m.
  • PM KDG/EC Preschool PM dismisses at 2 p.m.
  • Willow Grove Structured dismisses at 2 p.m.



Reporting Student Absences

The primary responsibility for notifying the school when a child is to be absent lies with the child’s parent/guardian. Therefore, it is the expectation of the District that if a child is absent, the parent or guardian is asked to call the school during the first hour of the school day to report the absence. Voicemails may be left with the required information. This information is helpful in checking attendance Notification of any absences, other than illness, should be made in writing, by e-mail, or by phone to the school office if their child is to be absent from school on any given day. Any parent/guardian failing to notify the school of an absence will be contacted by telephone at home or work to verify the absence. The exact hours for reporting school absences will be communicated to you by your local school principal.

The parent or guardian should also supply at least one telephone number at which the parent and/or guardian can be reached by school employees during school hours. School officials will attempt to call the numbers provided by the parents within two hours following the start of school if notification of a student’s absence has not been provided. If your phone number has changed or you have not notified the school of an appropriate phone number during the day, please call the school office as soon as possible.

The District is required to maintain attendance records on all children. The Illinois State Board of Education has established guidelines for half-day and full-day attendance. The guidelines are based on instructional time with the following general parameters:

                                           Kindergarten        First Grade               Grades 2-8

Full Day Credits           4 hrs/240 mins          4 hrs/240 mins       5 hrs/300 mins

Half Day Credits          2 hrs/120 mins         2.0 hrs/120 mins     2.5 hrs/150 mins

Consistent with the requirements of state law, if any child in grades K-8 is absent from school, and there is no record that the absence has been authorized and is for valid cause, the school will, within 2 hours after the first class in which the child is enrolled, make a reasonable attempt to contact the parent or guardian of the child’s absence. This notice will not be given for those absences authorized by the parent/guardian.

These attendance guidelines do not apply to disabled children below the age of 6 who, because of disability, cannot attend a two-hour session or to home/hospital bound children.

In the case of a prolonged, legitimate absence, parents will not be expected to call every day of the absence, but they are asked to keep in touch with the building or attendance secretary at their child’s school. If the child is absent for five or more consecutive days, upon return to school he or she is expected to bring a doctor's note explaining the reason for the absence.

Student Participation Following Absence
Any student who is absent from school due to an illness will not be allowed to participate in or attend any school activity the same afternoon, evening, or the following day (Saturday) unless the student arrives at school by noon (for the middle school students) or by the beginning of afternoon classes immediately following lunch (for elementary school students). A student who, per doctor's direction, cannot participate in physical education class also may not participate in after-school/extra-curricular sports.

Student Absence Due to Vacations
While removing students from school for vacation is generally discouraged, the District recognizes that family vacations are important. Whenever possible, early notification is appreciated. Arrangements should be made with the attendance office, principal, and teachers so that the reason for the absence and plans for keeping up with school work are known.

In the event students are taken out of school, specific assignments replicating classroom instruction will not be assigned by the teacher before or during the absence. General academic activities such as keeping a journal and reading books while on vacation are almost always beneficial activities. If assignments are provided upon return to school, a timetable for making up missed work will be developed with the student after he or she has returned.

Any vacation exceeding ten (10) consecutive school days during a school year shall result in the student being unenrolled. Upon return to school, a parent or guardian must re-enroll the student and comply with all registration requirements.

Sign-Out Procedures During the School Day
No child may leave the school grounds without the permission of the principal, assistant principal, or member of the office staff. Students may not leave the building at any time without being signed out by the parent or guardian at the appropriate area in the office. Dismissal during the day requires notification from a parent or guardian by telephone, e-mail, or written note. Parent phone calls, e-mails, or written notes for student dismissal during the school day should be received no later than one hour after the start of the school day on the day of dismissal; however, earlier notification is appreciated.

Family Trips

Parents are strongly urged to coordinate travel plans and other such activities with school vacations. All family trips are considered unexcused absences and can lead to further intervention support.  It must be realized that some classroom experiences cannot be repeated for students who are absent.

While most families do not take extended trips during the school year, some find it necessary to take their children out of school. Families who plan to be gone for more than 10 school days are advised to withdraw their child and re-enroll upon return. Any trip exceeding ten (10) consecutive school days during a school year shall result in the student being unenrolled.  Upon return to school, a parent or guardian must re-enroll the student and comply with all registration requirements.

In the event students are taken out of school, specific assignments replicating classroom instruction will not be assigned by the teacher before or during the absence. General academic activities such as keeping a journal and reading books while on vacation are almost always beneficial activities. If assignments are provided upon return to school, a timetable for making up missed work will be developed with the student after he or she has returned.

Compulsory Attendance Laws

The Illinois compulsory attendance law requires all children ages 6-17 to attend school. Children below the age of 6 years or above the age of 17 years who are enrolled in grades Kindergarten – 12 are also required to attend school while in session during the regular school term.

It is the responsibility of a parent or guardian to ensure his/her child attends school regularly in order to obtain the maximum benefits from the educational program. In order to obtain maximum efficiency in the use of school buses, the starting and ending times of the schools are staggered.

The lunch periods also may differ among schools to provide maximum use of available instructional time.


The School District will determine if the student is a truant, chronic or habitual truant, or a truant minor.

A “truant” is a child subject to compulsory school attendance who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for a school day or portion thereof.

Valid cause for absence (Excused Absence) – A child may be absent from school because of illness, mental health, medical appointment, observance of a religious holiday, death in the immediate family, family emergency, and approved school activities.  

In the event that a child is absent for the purpose of observing a religious holiday, the absence will be considered excused and the student will be given an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirement. Excessive health-related absences without doctor’s notes are not valid causes for absence.

Chronic or habitual truant – A “chronic or habitual truant” is a child who is subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for 5% percent or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days. Students who are identified as chronic or habitual truants will be reported to the appropriate Intermediate Service Center.

Truant minor – A chronic truant to whom supportive services, including prevention, diagnostic, intervention and remedial services, alternative programs, and other school and community resources have been provided and have failed to result in the cessation of chronic truancy or have been offered and refused.

Parents or Guardians may obtain assistance to approve attendance by contacting the school administration, counselor, or nurse.

The Educational Services Department will function on a consultative and remedial basis in truancy matters. Families and students seeking help with truancy may be referred to Educational Services after a principal/teacher conference.

Visitation By Parents and Community Members
One of the school District's responsibilities is to maintain a safe and orderly environment free from activities that may be disruptive to the educational process. All visitors to the school buildings and classrooms must conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, and the school District retains the right to take such action as deemed necessary, including, but not limited to, the restriction of visitation by parents and community members to times and places that will enhance the likelihood of maintaining a safe and orderly environment.

At this time, due to COVID-19, visitations at school will be limited. All visitors who will be in classrooms and in close proximity to students and staff will either need to present proof of vaccination or a negative covid test within 48 hours of the visit.  If the visit to a child's classroom is for observation of the classroom activities/instruction, parents must seek approval for the observation and arrange the date and time for the visit with the building principal at least ten (10) school days before the visit.

When requesting an opportunity to visit, parents and community members should state clearly the purpose of the visit. In addition to the impact of the visit on the learning environment, principals may consider a variety of other factors, including the impact of the visit on the child, other children, and peer relationships.

From time to time, and when deemed appropriate, parents and community members may also visit classrooms other than those attended by their own children. Requests by parents or community members to visit classrooms other than those of their own children must be made in writing two (2) weeks in advance and preapproved by the building principal.

The building principal retains the right to decline a request if he or she feels the visitation might be potentially disruptive or not be in the best interest of creating a safe and orderly environment in the school. The decision of the building principal is final.

Parent Meetings
Parents may request meetings with their child's teacher or building principal. In order to ensure the appropriate information is available and prepared, these meetings should be scheduled in advance.

School Visitation By Students
Outside student visitors will not be permitted during the school day.

Statutory Restrictions On Sex Offender Proximity and Visits to Schools
The Illinois Criminal Code generally makes it unlawful for a child sex offender to be present in any school building, on real property comprising any school, or in any conveyance owned, leased, or contracted by a school to transport students to or from school or a school-related activity when persons under the age of 18 are present in the building, on the grounds, or in the conveyance, except in very specific cases. In all cases where a sex offender is allowed to be present in a school building, on school grounds, or at a school activity, permission must be granted in advance by the superintendent or his or her designee.

Proof of Residency
Parent/guardians of all students new to District 96 will need to provide photocopies of two (2) proofs of residency when registering their student. A student’s teacher assignment/class schedule will not be provided until the required proof of residency document photocopies are received.

Photocopies of two documents showing proof of residency will be required for each student new to the District and periodically thereafter. Families who register with a valid lease one year in length or shorter will be required to re-submit proof of residency upon expiration of the lease or prior to the start of the next school year, whichever occurs sooner. One document photocopy must come from the following list: tax bill, real estate closing document, bill of sale, warranty deed, monthly mortgage statement, or a current and valid lease. (You may block out any confidential financial information.) The second document of residency must be a photocopy of one of the following: a current utility bill, home insurance bill, auto registration, or driver’s license (including the certificate of extension on reverse side, if applicable).

Education of Homeless Children and Youth   Homeless person, child, or youth includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: (1) An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime place of abode; and (2) An individual who has a primary nighttime place of abode that is (A) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and traditional housing); (B) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or (C) a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. Whether a child or youth meets the definition of homeless depends on the living situation and the individual circumstances.

District 96 ensures that students enrolled have full and equal opportunity to succeed. Consideration shall be given to issues concerning transportation, immunization, residency, birth certificates, school records and other documentation, and guardianship on a case-by-case basis.

Families are encouraged to contact the Educational Services Department at the District Office should they believe they meet the homeless criteria.