School attendance policies are put into place for the benefit of the child. Continually missing lessons and work will cause the child to fall behind and may result in a struggle for the rest of the school year. Missed days due to family vacations, trips and other miscellaneous reasons generally will not be excused; however, there are a few good reasons, or excuses, for a child to miss school.
Illnesses such as a cold, flu, rash, fever, sore throat, ear infection and pink eye are all valid reasons for missing school. A child who is ill typically will feel too badly to be able to properly focus and engage in educational activities. Illnesses that are contagious will also quickly spread from child to child and impact the entire class. Most schools will excuse missed days due to illness, although some may require a doctor's note.
Family emergencies are unplanned and generally occur without any warning. Some family emergencies may require an out-of-town trip to take care of an ill family member or bereavement days due to a death in the family. In some cases, a family emergency will negatively impact a child's transportation to and from school. For these reasons, children may miss school due to family emergencies generally without facing any consequences.
Religious holidays may fall on the same date every year or approximately the same time every year much like Thanksgiving. These dates are prespecified and do not change, which oftentimes results in children missing school. Allowing children to miss school due to a religious holiday is a subject that causes some debate; however, many schools consider this a valid reason and an excusable absence. In some areas, the religious holiday must be recognised by the school board to qualify as an excused absence.
Severe and hazardous weather conditions such as violent storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or tornadoes are valid reasons for a child to be absent from school. Most of the time, the local schools will close due to weather conditions; however, in some instances, the child's home may be negatively impacted by the harsh weather, while the school is not. In any case of unsafe travel conditions, it is best to allow the child to miss school and avoid the possibility of injury or an accident.