Excused Absences

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

Valid Reasons for Student Absence

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

  • 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. 
  • 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, GCSC 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

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

Unexcused Absences

When a student misses school and the student’s family/guardian has not communicated a valid reason for the absence to the school, the student is considered truant.

Truancy can have serious immediate and long-term negative consequences for students. Statistics show that students who are chronically truant are at risk for not completing high school, drug use, and criminal behavior. 

While local schools determine consequences for truancy, as a district we view truancy as a symptom of social and emotional issues that we can help families address. Absenteeism can occur for many reasons, and some reasons are outside of the student’s control. GCSC teachers and other staff members work with families, schools, and community groups to provide support and resources that can remove obstacles to school attendance. 

Download Absence Forms

Reason for Absence Note

Contact GCSC
Strong. Resilient. Built for Education
  • 9th Avenue & Gerry Street
  • (219) 881-5466
  • info@garycsc.k12.in.us