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Student Absence Policy & Procedures

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

All students are required to attend school every day and arrive promptly. In the event a student is going to be absent from school please ensure the following tasks are completed before 7:30am the day of the absence.

  1. Complete & Submit the Student Absence Form via Aspen Parent Portal (learn how here)

  2. Email child's teacher


All students are required to attend school every day and arrive promptly. Hamilton prefers parents complete the online forms linked above or if necessary call the school (773-535-2376) prior to 7:30 a.m. when a child will be absent. The office will call the home of any student whose absence has not been anticipated.

When returning to school after being absent, the student must bring a detailed note of explanation. (School Code of Illinois Chapter 122, Illinois Revised Statutes, Section 26-2)

We understand that scheduling appointments out of school time can be tricky. However, try scheduling doctor or dentist appointments outside of school hours.


Being present for fewer than 300 minutes of instruction but more than 150 minutes is considered a half-day absence; fewer than 150 minutes of instruction is considered a full-day absence.

PRESENT FULL DAY: A student has received a minimum of 300 instructional minutes.

  • Arrives at 7:45 and stays all day

  • Is present all day and departs after 2:45

HALF DAY ABSENT: A student has received between 150 and 299 instructional minutes. Recess and lunch excluded.

  • 2.5-4 hours 59 minutes

FULL-DAY ABSENT: A student has received less than 150 instructional minutes. Recess and lunch excluded.


Children who have been absent must have a written acceptable excuse from a parent or guardian to allow the child to return to classes. The note should include the child’s full name, the date of the absence, and reason for absence.

In the case of illness (non-COVID-19 related) students must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.

COVID-19 positive students must quarantine for 5 days and have a negative COVID-19 test result in order to return. They will be required to wear a mask on days 6-10. Find more information on CPS COVID-19 policies here.

Students who do not bring a note will be marked AUFD (Absence Unexcused Full Day) and may be referred for Adjudication for truancy.

The only acceptable reasons for absence are:

  1. Student’s illness

  2. Observance of a religious holiday

  3. Death in the immediate family

  4. Family emergency

  5. Circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for their child’s safety or health as approved by the principal

  6. Other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the principal

NOTE: A vacation is not an excused absence. Any missed work will be the responsibility of the student upon returning to school.

Mental Health Days

Public Act 102-0321 allows mental and behavioral health reasons as excused absences. Specifically, the School Code has been amended to include mental and behavioral health reasons. The changes include:

  • For up to 5 days, absences can be attributed to mental or behavioral health; the cause associated is illness

  • No requirement for a medical note for mental or behavioral health days

  • Allows a child to be given the opportunity to make up any school work missed during the mental or behavioral health absence”

  • The authority for a school to refer a student to the appropriate school support personnel after the second mental health day

Mental and/or behavioral health days are considered a ”student illness” and should be considered a valid cause for absence.


In order for a student to be released before 2:45 pm:

  • A parent must come in person to sign out the child.

  • Parents who take students out early for dismissal must indicate the reason.

  • When a child becomes sick while at school, the parent or guardian will be contacted and the child is to be picked up as soon as possible.

Please refrain from scheduling doctor or dentist appointments during school hours. Students’ time in school is very valuable for his/her education.

Questions? Email School Clerk Denise Pfeifer []

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