When It's Okay to Stay Home

When It's Okay to Stay Home

We look forward to seeing your child every day – however there are times when it is OK for a student to stay home from school.

When It's Okay to Stay Home

We look forward to seeing your child every day–however, there are times when it is okay for a student to stay home from school. Valid excuses for missing school include:

  • Illness, including an absence to benefit the student’s mental or behavioral health. See below for details about when being sick should mean staying home.
  • Medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic appointments.
  • Justifiable personal reasons such as: Attending the funeral of an immediate family member, jury duty or court appearances, the observance of religious or cultural holidays and ceremonies, attendance at an employment or education conference, visiting a college or university, or participation in naturalization ceremonies. To be excused, these absences must be requested in writing by a parent or guardian and approved by the principal or their designated representative.   
  • Personal or family emergency, when approved at the discretion of the school administrator.

Please note: This is only a partial list of valid reasons to miss school. To see a complete list and learn what’s required to have an absence excused, visit the Student and Family Handbook page on Excused and Unexcused Absences

And remember: Any time your student needs to miss school, you should reach out to inform the school and discuss options.

What about make-up work?

For excused absences, students are allowed to complete all assignments and tests they missed. If they are completed in a reasonable period of time, they will be given full credit. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange with their teachers to make up missed work.

Short-Term Independent Study is available for students who are missing school for a limited period of time. If you would like to request short-term independent study, please follow the steps in the Family Checklist.

How do I know if my child is too sick to come to school?

Showing up every day is critical for children’s well-being, engagement and learning.

Please avoid keeping your child at home if they are healthy enough to participate. And know that in most cases, a note from a health care provider is NOT required to return to school.

We do ask that you keep your child at home if their illness:

  • Prevents them from participating comfortably in school activities.
  • Results in a need for care that is greater than staff can provide without compromising the safety and health of other students.
  • Causes acute changes in their behavior – including lethargy, lack of responsiveness, persistent crying or difficulty breathing.

Symptoms that can – but do not necessarily – require keeping a student home include abdominal pain, cough, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, earache, eye inflammation, fever, headache, mouth sores, rash, sore throat, stomach ache, swollen glands or vomiting. If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, refer to the Student and Family Handbook’s Recommendations for Temporary School Exclusion to see if they are severe enough to keep them out of school. 

What about COVID-19 symptoms or exposures?

Students who are experiencing severe COVID symptoms or test positive for COVID should stay home from school and seek medical treatment. 

Students who were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID should test within 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask for 10 days after exposure. However, unless symptoms develop, students may continue to take part in all aspects of school including sports and extracurricular activities. View our guidelines on when someone gets sick.

This page was last updated on December 15, 2023