District #209 Mental Health Day Policy
Public Act 102-321, the Excused Student Absence for Mental Health Reasons Act, went into effect January 1, 2022. This act allows students to have an excused absence due to the mental or behavioral health of the student. Students will be allowed up to five excused Mental Health Days per school year. These five days count towards the total excused absences already allowed per school year (five absences per semester). After using two Mental Health Days the student may be referred to the appropriate school support personnel. After the student uses five Mental Health Days, a doctor’s note will be required. Students are not allowed to call themselves in; a parent must call the school in order for the absence to be considered excused. In summary, Mental Health Days are simply excused absences in the same way as if a student were physically ill. Woodlawn USD #209 recognizes the importance of mental health and wants to support our families. The following process has been implemented:
Day One: Parent calls in student for Excused-Mental Health Day and an email will be sent with a list of resources to the parent.
Day Two: An in-person meeting will be made with the student and a school counselor. The parents may be contacted.
Day Three: Meeting with counselor, parent contact will be made; a letter will be mailed home with community resources.
Day Four: Meeting with counselor, parent contact will be made; a second letter will be mailed home with community resources.
Day Five: Meeting with counselor. Parents will be notified that there are no remaining Mental Health Days.
As a reminder, there are resources available to all students through our counselors: Mrs. Witzel, Mrs. Wiggins, and Mrs. Tate, as well as resources available in our community if needed. If you would like to discuss your child’s mental health with a social worker or counselor at school, please see the contact information below. Please do not hesitate to reach out.
Sara Wiggins, WGS/WHS 735-2631 ext 304
Leslie Witzel, WHS 735-2631 ext 316
Keli Tate, WGS 735-2661 ext 121
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
800-273-8255 available 24 hours everyday
Text HELLO to 741741