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Referral Process

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The goal of the Attendance & Truancy Division (ATD) of the Lake County Regional Office of Education is to see that all students achieve to the best of their ability and if necessary, receive support in order to excel in their school setting. The Truancy Officer and Outreach Specialists work diligently with schools and local service providers to ensure students with cases of chronic truancy are given the proper services to best serve the student and their parent/guardian.  

Illinois School Code defines habitual truancy as: a student that misses 5% (9 days) unexcused of the previous 180 regular attendance days. This changed from 10% on July 1, 2011. Also, SB1307 was approved and took effect as of July 1, 2014 the compulsory school age in Illinois has changed from 7-17 to 6-17 (if the student has turned 6 by September 1st each year).

Please note that during a pandemic, school policies and procedures regarding attendance may differ. Due to this, please include your school’s policies in the referral noting the student’s unexcused absences that contribute to the 5% of days.

In order to successfully submit a referral, there must be a minimum of three attempted interventions on behalf of the school in order for the investigation process to begin (proof of these interventions need to be attached with the referral form). 


Interventions on behalf of the school can include things such as informational attendance letters, letters to parents/guardians, phone calls to parents, video conferences/in-person conferences with students and parents/guardians, consultation with school professionals (psychologists, counselors, social workers), home visits, community based services, mentoring, attendance contracts or alternative school programs. 

The Lake County Attendance and Truancy Division receives over 900 truancy referrals each school year. Please note that due to the large volume of referrals, unexcused absences take precedence. Visit for information and resources that can help address excused absences and excessive tardiness.

Upon receipt of a referral and if appropriate, a letter will be sent to the parents, signed by the Director, apprising them of the law and the consequences that could occur if attendance does not improve. In addition, an Outreach Specialist will be assigned to the case and a truancy assessment will be conducted. Recommendations as a result of the assessment will be tailored to the individual need of the student. If the attendance issues continue, a hearing at the Regional Office of Education may be held followed by a court referral, if necessary.

Instructions for Completing a Truancy Referral Form

It is extremely important to complete all information on the truancy referral form. Excluding any data may delay the processing of the truancy referral and the assignment of an outreach specialist.

  • Student Data: Please complete with all known phone numbers (home, work, and cell phone numbers). If student lives with one parent/ guardian, include both parents/guardians addresses and phone contact numbers.


  • Student Identification System (SIS): The SIS number that is needed is the state-issued, 9-digit unique number that follows the student throughout their educational career. Please do not enter the district student id number here. If you are unaware in your schools system where to find the SIS number, please ask your Information Technology department where to locate the number.


  • School History: Attach a copy of the current school attendance, grades to date and prior school history, including cumulative card. This will allow us to understand when the attendance problem began as well as identify attendance patterns.


  • Interventions Attempted: Please indicate specific interventions attempted including dates and outcomes. This will enable the outreach specialist to assess the appropriate level of intervention. Provide an attachment of a minimum of three documented attempts the school made to intervene.

  • Please indicate if the student currently has contact with probation and/or court.

Important to note: A referral can only be made by the school. If a student attends a therapeutic day school or you are a Community Resource Agency, then the home school district would need to refer the student. 

We look forward to working with you this school year. Please feel free to call Molly Ryan at (224) 504-2370 with any questions or concerns.

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