Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning

GCSC Attendance

Family Involvement

Families can help children achieve good attendance and stay on track at every grade level by:

  • Understanding GCSC attendance expectations
  • Making sure their child is prepared for the school day
  • Notifying the school when their child stays home

On-Time Arrival

Arriving at school on time can make the entire day run smoother for students. When students are late, they can feel rushed, frustrated, and behind.

For elementary school students, being on time means that when the bell rings, students are in line with their class.
For high school students, being on time means that when the bell rings, students are in their classroom seats.
Students who are tardy must obtain proper documentation from the school office before proceeding to class.

School Attendance Procedures

Elementary schools take attendance during the first hour of the school day.
If a parent has not notified the school of a child’s absence, a school representative will phone the home of the student during the second hour of the school day.
GCSC District absentee robocaller automatically phones the home of every absent elementary student, even if their parent/guardian has previously informed the school of the absence
High schools take attendance during each class, but they are not required to call the home of absent students.

Family Vacations

Families can plan vacation travel and other commitments during holidays and on other non-attendance dates. For non-attendance dates during the school year.


Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year. Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school.


Chronic absence appears to have doubled by the end of the 2021-22 school year. We estimate that it now affects nearly one out of three students (or 16 million vs. 8 million students in the 2018-19 school year).


Absenteeism and its ill effects start early.


Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or be held back.


By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school. 


Research shows that missing 10 percent of the school, or about 18 days in most school districts, negatively affects a student’s academic performance. That’s just two days a month and that’s known as chronic absence. 


Students who live in communities with high levels of poverty are four times more likely to be chronically absent than others often for reasons beyond their control, such as unstable housing, unreliable transportation and a lack of access to health care. 


When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.


Attendance improves when schools engage students and parents in positive ways and when schools provide mentors for chronically absent students


Most school districts and states don’t look at all the right data to improve school attendance. They track how many students show up every day and how many are skipping school without an excuse, but not how many are missing so many days in excused and unexcused absence that they are headed off track academically. 


High school dropout, which chronically absent students are more likely to experience, has been linked to poor outcomes later in life, from poverty and diminished health to involvement in the criminal justice system.


Irregular attendance can be a better predictor of whether students will drop out before graduation than test scores.


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 (6) 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 the 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

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.

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

District Hours of Operation

M-F: 7:00am – 4:00pm


9th Avenue & Gerry Street Gary IN 46406  




Why Attendance Matters

Students who attend school regularly feel more connected to their school community and are more engaged in the learning process. As a result, they are more likely to earn better grades and test scores, and they have greater chances of graduating and achieving postsecondary success.

It is important to start setting good attendance habits in the child’s first year in school. Preschoolers who are chronically absent are likely to continue to be chronically absent as they get older in school.

From pre-K through high school, poor attendance can negatively affect students socially and emotionally:

They feel out of place
They fall behind in their work
They miss important opportunities that can inspire their future
They have a hard time working with others
They don’t see how school is connected to their future success
Students who are chronically absent or truant are more likely to have low grades and test scores, and they are less likely to be on track for high school graduation. Each week of absence per semester in ninth grade lowers the likelihood of graduating by 25 percentage points.

Attendance Requirements

From age 6 until reaching age 17, a child who lives in Indiana must be enrolled and attend school. Once a child enrolls, even if they are younger than 6 or older than 17, they must go to school regularly.

GCSC Attendance Goals

GCSC has set ambitious but realistic district-wide attendance goals: 

  • For schools under 95%, increase attendance to 95%
  • Decrease the chronic truancy rate at the district, network, and school levels
  • Decrease the chronic absence rate at the district, network, and school levels