The Illinois Compulsory School Attendance Law (Article 26 of the Illinois School Code) holds parents responsible for the enrollment and regular school attendance of children between the ages of 6 and 17.
A truant, as defined in Section 26-2a of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/26-2a], is a child subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for more than 1% but less than 5% of the past 180 school days.
A chronic or habitual truant, as defined in Section 26-2a of the School Code, is a child subject to compulsory school attendance and who is absent without valid cause from such attendance for 5% or more of the previous 180 regular attendance days.
A dropout, as defined in Section 26-2a of the School Code, is any child enrolled in grades 9 through 12 whose name has been removed from the district enrollment roster for any reason other than the student’s death, extended illness, removal for medical non-compliance, expulsion, aging out, graduation, or completion of a program of studies and who has not transferred to another public or private school and is not known to be home-schooled by his or her parents or guardians or continuing school in another country.
A potential dropout is any student subject to compulsory attendance, as defined in Article 26 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/Art. 26], and whose school absences or pattern of school attendance impedes the student's learning or contributes to the student's failure to meet State and/or district learning standards. Attendance problems may include chronic truancy, truancy, selective absences, excessive absences, or a pattern of absences or tardiness.
Once a student has been determined to be chronically truant, and a school district has exhausted all resources and interventions, district must complete the Truancy Referral Form (link is below).