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How To Write A Sick Note For Your Child'S School – Save Our Schools March

Writing a Sick Note to Excuse Your Child‘s Absence

As all parents know, kids sometimes wake up with debilitating headaches, stomach bugs, or sore throats that prevent them from attending school. When illness arises, you need to notify your child’s school promptly and provide documentation explaining their absence.

This comprehensive guide will equip you with everything needed to craft effective sick notes your school will accept whenever your child requires homecare. Let’s start with an overview of some key points:

  • Inform schools immediately when keeping your child home sick
  • Write brief but detailed sick notes, signed by you as the parent
  • Get doctor’s notes for extended or contagious illnesses
  • Save copies of submitted notes for your records
  • Understand school policies around number of absences permitted

Follow the recommendations outlined below to develop excellent school communication that prioritizes your child’s health and education on sick days.

When Should You Notify the School Your Child is Sick?

Consistency is key when building relationships with your child’s school. Establish open communication from day one so that educators view you as an engaged, responsive parent.

According to recent surveys, 78% of administrators say parental involvement plays a crucial role in student success and attendance. Get ahead by notifying schools early and often when sickness occurs in a timely, responsible manner.

Specifically, you should contact school staff any day your child wakes up noticeably ill, including:

  • Stomach bugs with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Sore throats, coughs, and other cold/flu symptoms
  • Headaches, body aches that require rest and recovery
  • Allergies acting up with repeated sneezing, runny nose
  • Any symptoms necessitating a visit to the pediatrician

School policies likely permit 1-3 sick days per term without a doctor’s note. But you still need to call or email staff on these routine sick days both as a courtesy and to prevent truancy triggers.

How Many Absences Are Typically Allowed?

Understand that schools monitor student attendance very closely these days due to funding related to daily participation. Multiple unexcused absences often prompt nagging phone calls and letters warning of truancy consequences.

According to national data, students miss an average of 4-8 school days per year for illness, though estimates increase with age:

  • Ages 5-11: Average 4 days for sickness/injury
  • Ages 12-17: Average 8.5 days for sickness/injury

The highest absence rates appear among high school students nearing graduation. Luckily, most K-12 schools still permit around 5-10 parent-approved sick days depending on district policies.

Carefully read through all paperwork sent home regarding attendance rules. Temporary illness should classify as an “excused absence” when followed with a legitimate sick note from you or your child’s doctor. But don’t forget to confirm allowable quantities as these vary significantly across school systems.

How Should You Notify the School on Sick Days?

When an excusable situation like illness or doctor visit prevents attendance, follow protocol by reporting the absence before school starts. Utilize whichever communication channels your school has in place:

Call the School Office
Dig up the front office phone number from the school website or your records at home. Call first thing in the morning to inform staff of the specific reason your child cannot attend that day. Office managers log all absences called in and note whether parents say they will send a follow-up written notice.

Email Your Child’s Teacher
Introduce yourself to all teachers early on and request contact information like email addresses and conference times. Adding these details directly to your contacts allows easy access when needed. Simply draft a short email to all current classroom teachers summarizing dates missed and illnesses present. Kindly request send-home worksheets, handouts or assignments your little one can safely complete from home to stay on track.

Submit Notification Through Online Portals
If offered, web-based student information systems represent the most efficient absence reporting method. Schools create parent portals allowing you to log in securely and enter details like sickness symptoms or medical visit reasons. Information entered through the portal flows right into the school’s attendance-tracking and educator alert systems.

No matter the notification channel, follow up ASAP with a signed sick note for proper documentation.

Follow Up With a Written Sick Note
Here’s what should be included in effective sick notes for school records:

  • Full name and grade level of your child
  • Exact date(s) absent
  • Specific symptoms/condition causing absence
  • Parent signature + contact info

For example:

Dear Mrs. Thompson,

My daughter Katie Smith in 2nd grade will be out sick March 7th and 8th with severe strep throat symptoms (fever, sore throat, headache). Please email any classwork/assignments to complete at home during recovery.

Thank you,
Mary Smith
(123) 555-1234

This brief paragraph gives the teacher and attendance clerk all details necessary to excuse those days missed. Submit notes via email, hand delivery, or mail within a day or two after calling the absence in.

Should You Obtain a Doctor’s Note or Parent Sick Note?

For short-term absences spanning 1-3 consecutive days, a parent sick note typically suffices without physician verification. But the school may require doctor’s clearance if sickness lasts longer or poses high contagion risk (like flu or pink eye) to other students.

Doctor’s Notes vs. Parent Sick Notes

Category Doctor’s Note Parent Sick Note
Provided By Physician Parent/Guardian
Verifies Diagnosis & treatment Presence of symptoms
Required For Extended absence
Contagious diseases
Routine sickness <3 days
Format Formal document/letterhead
May include medical orders Informal written paragraph

Doctor’s orders also outline contagion period details and any activity restrictions necessary to prevent community spread. Notes printed on letterhead represent legal documents admissible for certain education laws.

Craft Careful Sick Notes to Meet School Needs

Follow these expert tips when drafting sick explanations for your child’s school:

Keep It Brief Yet Thorough
Teachers and administrators appreciate brevity in absence notifications. Summarize key details in just 1-2 sentences noting dates, symptoms, projected duration and any requests for send-home work.

Maintain a Professional Tone
Like business correspondence, all school communications should adopt a polished, respectful voice. Reserve humor, sarcasm or emoji for personal emails. Demonstrate your responsibility through formal language.

Notify ASAP After Deciding to Stay Home
Don’t wait days after an illness arises to speak up. Call the front desk early morning the same day missed to allow class coverage planning. Send any follow-up written sick notes within 24 hours.

Retain Your Own Records
School files get buried easily. Cover your back by storing copies of sick notes in organized folders at home by school year and date submitted. Photos taken on your phone also work for documentation.

Align to School System Policies
Carefully read all attendance notification guidelines in handbooks or on school websites. Follow all rules around number of parent notes allowed before physician notes become necessary.

Sick Notes Demonstrate Commitment

Taking these steps to properly report sick days shows schools you take attendance seriously. It also helps educators safeguard sick students by preventing contagion spread. Submitting notes promptly and retaining copies organizes records on your end as well.

By communicating child absences accurately right from the start, you pave the way for seamless relations with staff down the road. Before you know it, they’ll have your child’s administrative needs mastered and collaboration will feel effortless!

In Conclusion

As a parent, making that tough call to keep your under-the-weather kiddo home from school protects their health but can stress you out. Ensure proper documentation by:

✔️ Calling the front office early the same morning missed
✔️ Emailing teachers directly regarding send-home work
✔️ Following up with a signed sick note summarizing dates and symptoms
✔️ Obtain doctor‘s notes for long-term or highly contagious absences
✔️ Retaining copies of all notifications submitted

This protocol demonstrates responsibility, complies with absence reporting policies and keeps everyone on the same page. While no parent hopes for recurring sick days, mastering the standard sick note process removes hassles when they do occasionally arise. Use the guidelines above to craft excellent school communications so you can simply focus on nursing your child back to health!