Did your child miss school today? Very few kids make it through the school year with a 100% attendance record. Regardless of the circumstances causing their absenteeism, many schools require the parent to write an excuse letter for being absent, outlining the reason for taking the day off.
The excuse letter is a formal communication between you and the school that explains the reason for your child’s absence. Without an excuse letter, the school administrator will suspect truancy, which could adversely affect your child’s grades.
This guide to writing an excuse letter outlines the process of writing it to ensure that you communicate the reason for your child’s absence with the school principal or administrator in a clear and professional manner.
Table of Contents
- Why Write an Excuse Letter for Being Absent in School?
- When Do You Need to Submit an Excuse Letter?
- Key Information to Include in the Excuse Letter
- Steps and Guidelines in Writing the Excuse Letter
- Excuse Letter Samples, Examples and Templates
- Tips for Writing an Excuse Letter for Being Absent in School
- Do You Need to Include a Medical Certificate with the Excuse Letter?
- Key Takeaways
Why Write an Excuse Letter for Being Absent in School?
Your child might take a day off from school for many reasons. Religious observances, family emergencies, health problems, and deaths in the family are some common factors causing student absenteeism.
An absence from school could last a day or several weeks, depending on the circumstances. Here are a few examples of why you might need to pen an excuse letter for your child’s absenteeism:
- Sickness – This is the most common reason for student absenteeism. Viral or bacterial infections can cause the child to be absent from school. Sending them to school in this condition not only endangers the child but also places the other children in their class at risk of contracting the illness.
- Doctor’s Appointments – The child may have a doctor’s appointment for a checkup on their health. Or they may experience a medical emergency, such as a broken limb, causing them to miss school for the day while they visit the emergency room or doctor.
- Family Emergencies – The family might experience the loss of a loved one, causing the student to be absent as they mourn the loss of the family member or attend the funeral.
- Vacations and Field Trips – The child may need to miss school because their parents are going away on business or vacation, and they can’t leave the child alone, requiring them to bring the child with them.
When Do You Need to Submit an Excuse Letter?
Typically, the parents must submit the excuse letter to the school administrator or homeroom teacher as soon as the child returns to school. Prompt communication between the parents and the school ensures that the child isn’t marked as a suspected truant.
If the parent expects a prolonged absence, they can call the school administrator to inform them of their child’s issue. When the child returns to school, they must give the excuse letter to the principal or administrator to formalize the absence and ensure accurate record keeping.
Key Information to Include in the Excuse Letter
The excuse letter must include the following elements to formalize the reason for absenteeism and clarify the situation to the school principal or administrator:
- A polite greeting,
- The child and parents’ names,
- A concise introduction,
- A mention of the reason for absenteeism,
- The duration and dates of absenteeism, and
- A closing comment.
The excuse letter must be factual, respectful, and to the point. It must include all the necessary information that the school administrator needs to verify and record the reason for absence.
Steps and Guidelines in Writing the Excuse Letter
There is a standard format for writing an excuse letter. Follow these steps to draft an excuse letter that provides the information that the teacher, principal, or school administrator needs to validate the reason for absence.
Step 1: Start with the formalities
The introduction to the letter must include the following information:
- The date,
- The school’s address, and
- A formal greeting to the teacher, principal, or school administrator.
Step 2: Write the statement of intention and purpose
The opening paragraph must concisely summarize the reason for writing the letter.
Step 3: Indicate the reason for absence
Give the reason for absence, whether it’s medical or family affairs. Don’t provide unnecessary details. Attach a doctor’s note if the child visited their physician or the emergency room.
Step 4: Request any missed schoolwork assignments
Ask the recipient to provide the child with any projects, homework, or tests they may have missed during their absence from class.
Step 5: End the letter with a formal closing
Finish the letter with a polite greeting, such as “Regards” or “Sincerely.” Close off by signing the letter and printing your name and contact information.
Excuse Letter Samples, Examples and Templates
If you’re having trouble drafting the letter, you can use these sample excuse letters to guide you in writing one. Be sure to replace any personal information and other pertinent details with your own.
Sample Excuse Letter Due to Sickness
Dear Ms. Michelle Santos,
I am writing to let you know that my child, Mary Mendoza, was not able to attend school from January 15 to 18, 2024. She was sick with colds and fever.
I took Mary to the doctor, and she has been advised to rest at home until fully recovered. I have attached a medical certificate to this letter as proof of her illness.
I understand how important it is for Mary to be in school and I am concerned about the school work she missed. Could you please send me the homework or class notes for those days? This will help her catch up with the class.
Thank you for your understanding and consideration.
Sample Excuse Letter Due to Death in the Family
Dear Ms. Anne Reyes,
I am writing to inform you about the absence of my child, Dianne Santos, from school on January 18, 2024. We recently experienced a loss in our family, which has been a difficult time for us, especially for Dianne.
Due to this unfortunate event and the need for us to be together as a family during this time, Dianne was unable to attend school. We are working through this as a family and are supporting Dianne in coping with this loss.
I understand the importance of education and want to make sure Dianne doesn’t fall behind. To make sure that she does not fall behind in her studies, may I request for any homework or notes that she missed?
I appreciate your understanding and support during this difficult time. Thank you.
Sample Excuse Letter Due to Medical Appointment
Dear Mr. Eric Fajardo,
I would like to let you know that my child, John Dela Cruz, was not in school on January 25, 2024 because he had a medical appointment with his doctor.
This appointment was important for John’s health, and it was scheduled at a time when he had to be out of school. I tried to schedule the appointment outside of school hours, but it wasn’t possible.
I know that missing school can affect John’s learning, so I want to make sure he doesn’t fall behind. Could you please tell me if there is any homework or classwork from that day? I’ll make sure that John catches up.
I apologize for any inconvenience caused by John’s absence and thank you for your understanding. If you need any more information, please let me know.
Winona dela Cruz
Sample Excuse Letter Due to a Vacation
Dear Ms. Samantha Ong,
I’m writing to let you know about my child, Michelle Yu, and her absence from school. We had a family vacation from February 12 to 14, 2024, and Michelle was absent from school during this time.
I understand this isn’t the usual time for vacations, but this was the only time we could all be together as a family due to work and other commitments. I believe that this family time is important for Michelle’s overall well-being.
I’m aware that missing school can impact Michelle’s studies. To make sure that she keeps up, could you please give her any homework and assignments that she missed? This will help her catch up with her classmates.
Thank you for understanding and I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused by her absence. Please let me know if you need anything else.
Tips for Writing an Excuse Letter for Being Absent in School
Some parents might be at a loss on how to understand the information that they must convey to the school in the excuse letter. It’s important to communicate clearly and concisely to ensure that the school understands the reason for the absence.
Here are some tips on how to write an excuse letter for being absent in school:
- Be straightforward and honest with your letter. Avoid going into detail about the reason for the absence.
- Be respectful with your communication and take a professional tone.
- For instance, if the child’s absence is due to attending a funeral, state the significance of the event and its nature so that the school administrator clearly understands the situation.
- Write the letter using the guidelines discussed earlier in a standard business format.
- Ensure that you understand the school’s guidelines for absenteeism and letter-writing policies to guarantee the acceptance of your letter.
- Some schools might not require you to pen an excuse letter if they miss one random school day during the week. Others may demand an excuse letter if the student misses a Monday or Friday or when absent from exams.
- Attach the doctor’s letter or medical certificate indicating the reason for the absence.
- Proofread the letter and make any necessary edits before sending it.
- Keep a copy of the excuse letter for your records.
Do You Need to Include a Medical Certificate with the Excuse Letter?
If your child is sick and visits the doctor, you may ask the physician for a letter or note explaining the child’s condition. The letter outlines the doctor’s recommendations for a homestay to avoid health problems in the child’s early return and to prevent the spread of disease throughout the class.
The doctor’s note or medical certificate isn’t always necessary. For instance, if your child suffers a minor cold, they may need to take the day off school, but they aren’t sick enough to warrant a trip to the doctor for treatment.
A doctor’s note or medical certificate bolsters the credibility of the excuse letter. It allows the school administrator to confirm the authenticity of the letter.
Your excuse letter must convey the reason for being absent in a professional, concise manner that shows respect for the educational institution and its staff. The letter must feature a legitimate excuse for the child’s absence from school.
Be punctual with the letter and deliver it on the day of the child’s return to school. Respect the school’s absenteeism policies, and don’t waffle on with details that are irrelevant to the reason for absence.