John Meixner, Regional Superintendent of Schools
Fulton | Hancock | McDonough | Schuyler

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Project Stay-In: Truancy Intervention Program

What is the attendance requirement in Illinois when schools are in e-learning and remote learning situations?

School Code offers the legal definition for truancy (see below). Truancy codes remain in place during permanent or temporary e-learning and remote learning situations. A school day in Illinois is five hours. Students who are enrolled in e-learning or remote programs are required to “attend” school each day that the school designates as a school day. Attendance during these days may be virtual, however, students are expected to be engaged and completing course assignments.

Project Stay-In

The goal of Project Stay-In Truancy Intervention Program is to provide support to schools as the schools provide K-12 students early assessment, intervention, and remediation of the factors related to Chronic Truancy. The focus of Project Stay In is to aid students and their families in re-establishing regular attendance, normal school habits, and academic success. If attendance does not improve following intervention services provided first by the school and subsequently our staff, the student may be subject to truancy proceedings initiated by the Regional Office of Education. These proceedings can include referral to the court system.

Truancy is defined as absent without a valid cause. A student’s school will mark a student absent unexcused when the student is absent without a valid cause. Valid causes for absences can include: illness, death of an immediate family member, doctor/dentist/counseling appointment, religious need, and more. (See your school’s handbook for local policy.) Schools typically allow parents to “call in” these types of absences. When a student exceeds the school’s limit for excused absences, or when a student misses school without a valid cause, the school may determine that an absence is unexcused. Unexcused absences are taken into consideration while determining if a student is considered chronically truant.

In the state of Illinois, a Chronic Truant is any student subject to compulsory school attendance who is absent without valid cause for 5% of the previous 180 school days. A school year has approximately 180 days. 5% of the school year is 9 days. A student’s truancy may be contained to one school year or fall over a period of more than one school year.

An example of this would be a fifth grader who shows 4 unexcused absences during the fourth quarter of fifth grade, and as a sixth grader has 5 unexcused absences in the first semester. This student would be chronically truant, as the student missed 9 days/unexcused over a period of 180 school days.

Students with attendance problems are eligible for participation in the Project Stay In Program. These students may be referred to the ROE26’s Project Stay In Program by the school district.

Project Stay-In Information for School Use/Referral Process:

The forms below are all fillable PDFs.  For best results, download the form to your computer and open in Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free at

Download a One-Page Summary for School Use

The forms below are all fillable PDFs.  For best results, download the form to your computer and open in Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free at


Attendance and Family Resource Specialists 
for Fulton, Hancock, McDonough, and Schuyler Counties:

Cari Collins
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (309) 575-3257

Maddie Shutwell
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (309) 575-3257

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.