How many days of school should an elementary child be able to miss?

I’m just wondering what others opinions are. How many tardies and absences do you think are acceptable for an elementary school child? Thanks!


Every single time they’re actually sick or have had a fever within the last 24 hours. Sending sick kids to school benefits no one.


I dont know about absences but they shouldnt be late unless it is for a doc appointment

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97% attendance. So 1 a month.

It depends. My child has some chronic health issues and misses for those and sick days. So days they are actually sick or cannot go to school.


It would depend on excuses or unexcused… unexcused 10… but if they’re home sick with a drs note I wouldnt count it


Not a limit really. More like why missing them.


From a parent who had one illness take down their child for a week and a half, there shouldn’t be a limit on excused absences. Setting a limit encourages people to send their kid to school sick.


It depends I suppose. I have learned through my son having some health needs that require multiple absences for doctor appointments and testing to always ask for a note from the doctor to give to the school. It will be counted as a medical absence rather than an unexcused absence. My son never missed more than a day or two for actual sickness though.

They dont go by days. They go by hours. Id you have a doctor excuse then those are considered excused. I just actually had to go to my daughter’s school because of to many absences. She is in 8th grade and has had alot of health issues plus she was suspended for fighting so i just pulled her out and she does online school.

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I mean. My kids got hand foot and mouth followed by strep and missed an entire month of elementary. Thankfully a week of it was break. But any amount of time with Dr note is excusable. With no Dr visit, I’d say 7-10 is plenty of absences.

I don’t think that it is a cookie cutter set number for every child. My son has Diabetes and so his number would vary from my children who do not have an auto immune disease.

And constant tardiness is ridiculous for the most part.

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Only when my daughter is sick which hasn’t been at all this year as yet but she has a day off in a couple of weeks for the orthodontist

No limit. And this is for ALL ages in my opinion. If your kid is sick keep them home, fever keep them home. My daughter is in kindergarten and she has been sick so much it’s not even funny. I have no idea the number of days shes missed but i know they are all excused with doctor notes or notes from home. If other parents kept their kids home when they were sick maybe my kid wouldn’t be sick all the time too

Every district is different. Some go by # of days, some it’s a %. My son usually has 3-5 absence and 2 tardy a year.

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My 4yr old has missed 26 days due to being sick. Fever. Sinus infections. Ear infections . Pneumonia. Now tonsillitis.
First year has been rough on her .
I spoke to the principal and she seemed to get it.
Im not sending a kid to school burning up or so sick they can barely stand .

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see it’s not fair because sometimes your kid is just sick but not sick enough to run to the damn doctor or run to the ER they’re just too sick to send to school so that would be counted as an unexcused absence. It’s dumb it’s almost like they expect/want you to take your kid to the doctor or the hospital even if it’s just a cold, or a slight fever. They don’t count mother’s notes saying they were sick. They want doctor’s note

I always feel like mine misses too much, but he’s constantly picking up colds and whatnot from kids that go to school sick. So I make no apologies for keeping him home.

Some children have chronic illnesses (& other things) causing them to have to miss more. They should not be punished for that.

In general, doctor’s notes are classist, and are a terrible idea. Not everyone can afford that luxury, not everyone has insurance.

Do I have an exact number in mind? No, not really. At minimum, maybe 3 weeks. I think it going by hours, like they do now, is better than how they used to.

My child has only missed a few days due to asthma and illness. He also has a PCP who can write doc’s notes. Not everyone is that lucky.

Well, this is a tough one. I try to keep my kids home whenever they are sick because I absolutely despise it when parents send their kids to school sick. If we start giving kids and parents heck for children missing school, everyone suffers because then the sick kid will end up going to school and spread the virus around to everyone. It doesn’t make much sense to me.

That’s not up to Facebook that’s up to the school and their attendance policy


Our area does it by days. You get 5 days with a parent note and unlimited days with a medical professional note and only 3 days unexcused. I can’t remember what the handbook said about specifically being tardy as our elementary schools just started counting tardys a few years ago and this is my child’s first year in elementary. My daughter has only missed when she’s been sick.

My child as asthma and on certain days I have to keep him home so he misses a lot more then some. But having asthma he gets sick a lot more then normal and if sick he don’t go to school either

Tardy really no excuse you get sacked for that in the adult world but sick days well if your sick not much can be done but for the hell of it having a day no excuse teach your kids young education is important

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No ‘perfect’ number. My oldest (10 yrs old 4th grade) gets migraines so with one migraine she could miss 1-2 days of school. She gets them frequently enough to where she has missed probably 6 partial days due to them.
My 8 yr old/2nd grader rarely gets sick and does get migraines so she has only missed 3 days for trips we have taken.
My 5 yr old/ preschooler has missed 3 days for traveling.
When I was in middle/high school I missed a couple days a month bc of my period but if I missed school then I didn’t do sports stuff or work or friends.
As for being tardy or late to class - if it is first one of day then is that a parents fault for not getting child there on time, did you have an early doctor appointment? If its classes later in the day why is kid late to class, not enough time for lunch or did they need to use bathroom?

Or school district should have a handbook for what they deem acceptable.

I have twins with autism in 1st grade their meltdowns sometimes cause them to be sent home early resulting in a absent for the day they also have other medical issues and have been marked absent 64 days this school year last school year it was 92 total absences due to sickness and removals so I really don’t think there should be a limit on how many absences a child should/can have, 4 of my 5 kids attend school and they too miss days for medical issues and tons of appointments

I feel like it shouldn’t matter how many days a child missed AS LONG as it’s for good reasons! Sick, appointments, etc. It should be up to the parent not the district in my opinion.

My daughter had all 10 excused absences from medical which included surgery and post op. Her principal wrote a HAND letter about not having her miss anymore because she would hate to have a meeting. It was a huge slap in the face bc my daughter is immune-compromised and getting sick to the point of steroids and breathing treatments just from a common cold.
Schools are a joke when it comes to medical excused absences.

The school I went to allowed 9 per semester

If they aren’t missing due to parental negligence or child skipping just to skip it shouldn’t matter. If they are sick they need to stay home and certain appointments such as dentist can’t be done on weekends.

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I know where I live they’re only allowed to have maybe 9 excused absences through the year without a doctor’s note. Otherwise you need a doctor’s note. Because if they start missing so many days the truancy officer shows up on your doorstep. Also where I live three tardies equals one unexcused absence. My girlfriend even had to get the death certificate I’ve her mom that dying so her son could miss a day of school for the funeral. now if your child is sick they have to stay home. They prefer you to get a doctor’s note. if our children have any type of throwing up or diarrhea they have to stay out of school for up to 24 hours.

Our district likes no more then 10 days a year. My kids have missed for stomach bug and when orthodontist or dentist had a day appointment I just couldn’t pass( sometimes they are booked months out)

I say your the parent u decide when child should stay home so many go to school sick that’s how everything spreads

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As many as are needed these are children not worker bee machines they should be allowed to be sick!


My kid has missed about 20 days this year. He’s eight and seems to catch everything. The school has signs everywhere saying to keep them home if they don’t feel well and if they have a fever they want them kept home for at least 48 hours, but then I’ll get emails from the school regarding my sons attendance. Yesterday the nurse called and asked me to come pick him up because he was pale and running a low fever and she advised me to keep him home for two days. I got an email from his teacher today regarding his attendance

We are allowed 5 per semester. .my son has missed zero …my daughter had missed 4 since August…

No tardies, and no unexcused absences.


It doesn’t really matter what we think. The district will decide for you. Parents don’t get an opinion. I believe ours is 9 days a semster, which would be a ton of make u work. They do treat parents approve and doctor approved differently.

I don’t feel like children should miss too much school… education is important. I don’t know about a specific number of days. If you have a child that is sick regularly, homeschooling might be a better option. We are raising our future… They should understand AND meet expectations. As an adult you will be expected to be to work or appointments by a certain time. Staying up late, taking vacations or needing “me time” is a luxury. Life can’t stop for a sniffle or a hangover.


My daughter has missed some days. But all are excused because of a doctor note. She has also been sent home but all were also excused again bc of doctor notes.

My son has missed a lot of days all with a doctors note past the first 10. His first year in kindergarten. They don’t want them in school when they have a fever and are really sick so what can you do?


My daughter’s school district days 20 unexcused absences. As there is a note written its excused. My daughter had missed 45 days as if when i last talked to her scho nurse last week but had missed more since then. My daughter is in kindergarten this year and has never been around other kids in a preschool or day care so she having a hard time adjusting to all the new germs.

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I really think this should be case by case, and definitely not a straight across the board answer. For instance, a child that has been in daycare and/or pre-k will likely have fewer absences because they’ve been exposed to illness and built up more of an immune system than children that have been kept at home until kindergarten. Some kids are immunocompromised, and will struggle with getting sick throughout the year. Some children will end up having to have surgeries like tonsillectomy, tubes in their ears, adenoidectomy, etc. while they’re in elementary school. This is also the time when a lot of children are diagnosed with psychological and emotional challenges that previously weren’t readily diagnosable. I really don’t think it’s fair to say “all students are allowed x amount of days per year”. I for one am totally fine with my daughter (third grade) needing to take time for a mental health day here and there. School is hard on kids, we expect a lot of them, and expect them to not complain or need time off. I don’t even know adults that could live up to that.

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I find that our schools harass us beyond the attendance policy and have threatened to go to the board ed. My daughter had 10 absences that were excused with doctors notes and i was harassed. I later found out that it is all about their ratings!!! I told them if i get harassed again i will file a complaint or maybe even a lawsuit. That is how fed up i am with this subject.

Our system in GA allows only 5 days a YEAR!
But here’s the thing… my kids figured it out early on in result I’ve ended up in truancy court over it twice now. All a child has to do is say the magic words “I threw up” or “I do not feel good” and once that comes out of their mouth the office calls me and I have no choice or say so in the matter I HAVE to go get them. So when they start it the moment they open their eye on the morning I tell them go back to sleep. Because as soon as they walk in the door there in the office calling me and I have to go get them.
So I have a helluva statement to the courts when I go again. It’s their fault. I can clearly tell when mine is faking.

Idk, I think 3-5 in a semester. My kid missed about 2 weeks total because he broke 2 bones in 2 different incidents and he had surgery for 1 of them.

As many as they are sick

My youngest missed 2 days my oldest missed 2 weeks an middle missed 2 because of been sick with strep throat all been excused

My daughter has missed 8. That was after having surgery.

Our district allows 10 absences a year. There can be 5 parent note excuses and 5 doctor’s note excuses, but nothing more than that or it becomes a truancy matter.

My daughters first year of school and she’s only missed one day due to having a fever and the nurse excusing the next day to stay home. I think no more than once a month, if possible

My sons school has 9 days total for the school year. He has missed about 5 already because he broke his arm and had lots of doctors appointments.

My kids school seems to think 5 days is the limit… its unrealistic in my opinion…


If they are sick days then there is no limit!


Most schools differentiate between excused and unexcused absences.
They really don’t tend to cap excused absences because that means the child is under the supervision of a doctor…or the school felt it was best to send them home.
But there is a cap on unexcused absences…and while a lot of people disagree I’m somewhere in the middle on agreeing and disagreeing. Because i really do see both sides of it.

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Our policy is 5 unexcused absences per semester. Parental
Notes, DR Notes, Government/ Military excuses all count as excused. Undocumented reason count as unexcused, 5 tardies count as 1 absence. We’ve been out a lot this year but because I take her to DR when it’s necessary, keep her home when I should and everything is documented properly we’ve had no issues.

Depends… If they are sick, as much time as needed! For “mental health” days or just a fun day with mom/dad, 10 days a school year 🤷

There are guidelines per your state. For example in arizona a student can accumulate nine excused absences per semester and 18 excused absences for the entire school year. Any additional absences after nine per semester will require a doctor’s excuse note and are considered excessively absent. Excessively absent means you will get a letter from the truancy department.


As many as is nessicary for the child to be healthy and in a learning mindset. I believe there shouldn’t be a number or days as long as the kid is getting work done when they are there. I fully believe in sick days and mental health days, teach children their health comes first from the beginning.

No you can not send one to school sick for sure. However that is alot of missed time. I think I would be asking doc if there might be something else going on. I know could be from other children but is still alot. I think I would also be worried about her falling behind. Hope things end up ok for her and you.

My son’s school allows 15 before you fail. But they also say 6 unexcused is considered excessive

My son 4 times a month because of his depression,some days he just need a day where there no stress or worries,he is in grade 6

Parents can offer to augment the childs education assiggnments according to their class cirriculum…if physically being there is the problem…they can have fun at home making assignments a game etc…stuff like that. It kills me when childhood malice between students is echoed by adults. Kids need approval unconditionally!

Our school allows 10. But they take 4 tardies or early dismissals and those are considered a full day absence. So if my kids are 2 mins late 2 times it counts as a whole day against them. Hate that policy because stuff happens.

Depends on the child. I skipped all of k-7th grade and started school 8th grade and was still in honors classes with a 3.9 GPA when I graduated high school.

Honestly? However many they bloody need. The focus on perfect attendance that is so harshly policed is ridiculous. Kids get sick. Parents get sick! Shit happens. Sometimes you need a day off to collect your mental health. Sometimes you get the opportunity to go on an amazing once in a lifetime trip that unfortunately coincides with school.
As long as your child is not struggling, not behind, not having extended unexplained absences… then I think it shouldn’t matter.
As a kid my parents would take us out of school for 2 weeks each year for a family trip, would ask the teacher for worksheets months in advance. Make us read at least 5 books in that time. As well as learn about the places we went. Learning and life isn’t all about sitting in a tiny box and listening to a single teacher…

As little as possible…this is their foundation…you want them to have the structure of doing their best, being on time…it is rude to be late without a valid reason… disrespectful to the teacher and classmates…

Well, opinions are like assholes…

Quite frankly the only one that matters is what your school decides. That being said, do you really think there is a certain number of days to say, “ok, this is fine, but no more.”? You should be missing as little as possible. Obviously if there are certain medical conditions, more days missed are to be expected. But you should TRY to aim to miss as little as possible.

Not all schools accept Dr’s notes as a reason why. My son missed 2 weeks of school WITH a Dr’s note and a couple days without and they still were about to talk to the authorities about truancy. Needless to say I pulled him and home schooled after that.

I’m a stickler for education… It’s the one thing no-one can take from you… My kids have perfect attendance since 3 yr old head start.

There’s certain number of days kids can miss before truancy is called…

If a kid misses school they are missing valuable lessons and it’s hard to catch up…

Where I live they have to go to school for 91% of the year. We had to hold my daughter back because she was hospitalized and sick for about two months and other countless days due to constantly catching viruses. These ladies are right. You cannot win. Don’t send them to school to infect other kids but also don’t keep them home for too many days

Just have him so his homework and work with him. The Amount of its excused absences they allow is not based on quality of education it’s based on the amount of funding that they lose for poor attendance

Ask the school, there’s a set amount of days they are aloud to miss

Unless my kid has something coming out uncontrollably…their in school…

It depends, if legitimately sick then absences are ok. If not then they should be in school. I will say if a child is absent more than 10 times a marking period it is technically considered educational neglect. I’m a teacher.

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The schools all my children attended had a set amount and each school has differed. The teen I have in school right now, can have 5 unexcused absences before they have a meeting.

If they have a fever, diarrhea or are vomiting they should stay home otherwise they should be in school.

My area only allows 5 days total for the entire year, that includes excused or unexcused. MY opinion, that’s stupid!! I miss more than 5 days in a year from work from being sick or just not feeling good or just wanting a break.
Kindergartners get exposed to SOO many “new” germs than what they have been used to and all 5 of my kids went through soo much sickness in their kindergarten year. I would say maybe 5 unexcused would be more legitable as long as they do in fact have Dr notes for any others.

My son gets 1 mental health day a semester, he’s also on the honor roll and a straight A student. He’s never late and I only schedule drs Apts for after school. Every kid is different though, if your child will fall behind by missing a day then your answer is no absences are acceptable.

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They should be there as much as possible. Kids should only miss school if they have a fever/vomiting/diarrhea/or contagious viruses. Missing 10 or more days can put your child at risk for not graduating on time. Family trips and vacations should be planned around school. My goal every year as a parent is for them to not miss any days my kids this year have missed 1 day. But I work in attendance so I understand the importance of it. However I believe in kids needing a “mental” day here and there school is hard

I think its 5 Unexcused ( no doctor note) at my kiddos Jr high per semester.

I think as long as the child is keeping up with work, and the absences are parent-approved (not skipping) it shouldn’t be an issue. I taught at a school where it was 9 days a semester, regardless. And it didn’t matter if the parents had the child submit all work. Some kids are sick, freak things come up, once-in-a-lifetime-trip opportunities happen, and I dont think the parents should have to grovel to the school to make decisions for their child.
That being said, if it’s truancy, that’s a completely different thing.


Lol…with all the flu going around my child was out for a whole week…plus I have a big family so on get sick well all get sick goes in a circle…

My child was out of school for almost 2 weeks bc of the flu. She’s in Kindergarten. I just kept the office and her teacher informed. They never asked for any Drs notes.

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And I left on the Rez…so I have really no ppl to relay on because if drugs and alcohol abuse…so if my child sick I miss work and the kids school…im a single parent.

The less, the better. 🤷

Depends on the situation. My daughter missed 6 days (unexcused)of school and was tardy 1 time, 3 were because we evacuated due to a hurricane (we were hit hard in 2018, so not taking chances) prior to school cancellation and missed 3 because went to visit the in-laws for Thanksgiving week (school was only out Thursday and Friday). And the tardy was because we woke up late. The school usually works with you if you keep up communication. My daughter’s school limits 10 unexcused absences.

Our kids get 10 parental excuses a year per the school. Anything above that requires a note from a professional.
I allow my kids to miss a day here and there but they are either sick or there’s another reason.

I honestly don’t think my son’s elementary school has a limit for kindergarten. We’ve been out quite a bit this year between stomach flu (3 times already :sob:), the actual flu, impetigo, lice and doctor’s appointments.

My province has had ongoing strikes for the last 2 months and kids have been out of school a lot.

I think the rules of 10 days is stupid. My one child was out a month for flu A. My other child has 22 specialist he sees on a regular basis. I try to make at least 3 appointments a day when we have to travel to children’s. It’s over an hour away. Yet my oldest only misses maybe 3-5 days a year. So I really think it should depend on the student.

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Of course the very minimum however each case should be taken on a case by case issue. Some have health issues that prevent them from attending. It’s still considered flu season… So those cases as well as strep throat, etc should be a no brainer and the children kept home until the contagiousness factor is gone. Sometimes even a common cold can be enough to have someone down and out but the odds of needing a doctor treating one is slim and the recommendation would be for you to be home resting until it passes. Yet still required to have an doctors excuse? Other situations beyond the parent and child’s control should also be considered such as funerals, etc.

I think this has so many depends. Depends on how well the child does in school and if it would affect their schooling. Depends on age. Depends on circumstances. I think this is a case by case situation

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My pre-k child has missed 20 days due to being sick and her brothers that are under the age of 2 being sick. One had hands foot and mouth. Just had a meeting with the principal and they are thinking about taking her out of school. Didn’t know pre-K was a requirement.

I changed my whole entire career around because my daughter has severe asthma and several environmental & food allergies. She couldn’t be outside unless it was above 40 degrees, she wasn’t able to participate in PE because she physically couldn’t run at lengthy times like dodgeball days without running out of breath. Some days she was so exhausted from the day before I wouldn’t send her yet she was able to function in class and participate when it came to actual work. I had letters from her family doctor, her asthma team I called it in every time she was absent and I still received truancy letters and an actual visit to be sure she was “really sick”
I now home school her, she is a grade ahead and I own and operate an in home daycare.

I’m a teacher in a school in the UK and children over 5 years old need a 98% attendance record ot steps start to be taken

If they are sick keep them home. I know that is hard for some but it sure would cut down on the spread of illnesses in schools.

Depends on the reason for the absence. The teachers are still held accountable for their lessons, grades, and test outcomes.

My daughter has missed 22 days of school. My kids never got sick before they started school and she has brought nasty stomach bugs home multiple times this year🤦‍♀️ in Michigan they don’t hold absences against you until they’re 6 years old

10 days is allowed if more than 10 days they will get a junvile officer