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How Many Days of School Can You Miss in 2023?

The United States currently has about 26,727 secondary and high schools, and about 61.8% of high school graduates attend college. These figures tell you how essential high school education is.

However, students miss school across all levels, with high school often leading the way. Besides, as great as these numbers are, another statistic threatens them – 29.2% of high school students are chronically absent.

In an ideal setting, skipping school isn’t much of an option for students since attending classes helps them learn better and faster. They also learn to develop social skills through interactions with other students and teachers. Unfortunately, sometimes people can’t make it to school, and it’s not always about truancy, even though it plays a huge role. Some students have health issues and family emergencies that make them miss school days.

Considering sicknesses, emergencies, and other factors, how many school days can you miss? Let’s find out!

How Many Days of School Can You Miss?

When something important happens, missing school can be overlooked. For example, a funeral of a loved one, a doctor’s visit, and a transmissible illness like the flu are good reasons to be absent from school.

You can be excused for those challenges, especially when missing school is the only option to attend to them. On the other hand, there are unexcused absences the school will ultimately deal with as the days pile up.

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So how many days can you miss? It depends on the school, the kind of program they run, and how rules are applied. However, it is generally believed that students in the United States can miss 10% of school days. Depending on the school calendar, that translates to between 16 to 18 days. Anything beyond that and devoid of cogent reasons is truancy or chronic absenteeism.

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You Must Have Good Reasons to Skip School

You can’t ring your school to tell them of your imminent absence or have your parents do so. It would be best if you had a good reason to be absent; without one, you should expect consequences. Some schools demand a doctor’s report or corroboration from your parents in case of family emergencies.

When you skip school for no justifiable reason, that’s a terrible thing that school will not accept. Do that 2 or 3 times, and you will be at risk of a suspension or losing the entire school year. Knowing permitted absences and those likely to get you in trouble is best.

Reasons for Missing School

The reasons for missing school are categorized into two major parts – excused and unexcused absences.

Excused Absences

Excused absences can mean different things to different schools. However, it often means that you have officially communicated the reason for your absence to recognized school authorities. Types of excused absences include:

  • Illnesses
  • Doctors appointments
  • Family emergencies
  • Accidents

These are some reasons for excused absences, and they all concern the student’s well-being. As a result, any student involved will find it challenging to be present in school or pay attention to lectures. In such a situation, the student should stay away from school.

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Doctor’s appointments are essential and can go beyond routine checks, so schools understand when that happens. Besides, illnesses like the flu can be transmitted to other students, and that’s a significant risk. In addition, family emergencies can affect the student. Think about how difficult it would be to focus on some activities while a loved one is lying ill in the hospital.

Ultimately, schools have to understand these unforced, excused absences

Unexcused Absences

This happens when a student is absent from school without any reason or for reasons not accepted by the school authorities. In most cases, schools try to find out why a student is absent, including contacting parents/guardians via letters and phone calls. If these measures prove abortive and the student continues being absent without a good reason, the school will declare such student truant.

Truancy is terrible and can leave lasting damage on your resume. That will affect the rest of your life and career, in some cases. In the United States, the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) must commence legal action against you if you receive three truancy letters.

Effects of Chronic Absenteeism

grumpy buy not wanting to go to schoolPin

When a student misses too many school days, that’s downright absenteeism, a growing trend in the U.S. Even if the absences are excused, and you go on to miss many classes, you will be labeled as truant and absentee, among other things.

You will then be classified as an academic risk, which means you might not complete school conventionally. Simply put, such a student is likely to drop out of school.

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Skipping too many classes or school days puts your entire education at risk. Besides, you’d be wasting your time and part of your life, especially during the most formative years. It’s already established that many schools can allow just 10% of absences for the entire school year. If you manage to go above that number, you are a chronic absentee in the making.

Tips to Help Your Child/Ward to School on Time

  • Set attendance goals: Draw clear objectives to help your child get to school on time daily. You can even throw in some little incentives, including treats or a fun weekend.
  • Try scheduling medical appointments before or after school time: If you can, schedule such appointments, so they don’t clash with school time or leave your child late. See the dentist, doctor, or other professional before or after school hours.
  • Make sure your kid is truly sick before leaving them at home: Some kids can be super tricky, especially when they have the urge to miss school. However, stay several steps ahead by ensuring they’re truly sick. Do basic checks on their breathing level, temperature, and other small tests. Sometimes they might have little illnesses, which may signify anxiety.
  • Have an honest, open conversation about why they do not want to go to school: Sometimes, children are victims of bullies. They can also face emotional struggles, like being new to a new school environment. Have an honest conversation with them about their fears and worries.
  • Track school attendance and performance: When you track their attendance, it’s easy to know when they miss a day. The same thing goes for their performance levels concerning tests and homework.
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Final Thoughts

Being absent from school is a big deal. Students might miss a lot, especially with many days involved. However, some issues make it impossible to attend every single school day. Illnesses, accidents, and family emergencies are some of them.

Further, it would be best if you had good reasons to be absent from school. Without a valid excuse, you’ll be called a truant and chronic absentee with more missed days. If you must be absent from school, ensure that the school administration is aware. That’s because truancy can get you into a lot of trouble, even as a job seeker.

Now that you know the number of school days students can miss, you can help your child avoid the penalties that come with them. Get them ready and ensure all medical appointments are made outside school hours.


About Martin Vernon

A lifelong learner, educator, and advocate for education as a means for individual and social change. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

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