What should I do if a student returns after an absence and says they’ve been sick but they don’t have a doctor’s note?

“I’d say this depends very much on the length of the absence. If it has been a couple of days, then I’d simply tell the student she’s responsible for catching up—and give a deadline beyond which you won’t accept the make-up work.

“If it’s a much longer period of time, you’ll need to work with the Dean of Students’ office.

“This is one good reason to keep careful attendance.”

“First of all, have a note on your syllabus and announce at the beginning of the semester that you cannot “excuse”  students from class.  The student who misses classes because of illness or family/other emergency should contact the DOS office; that office will refer the message to the appropriate persons, who will then send a message to each of the student’s instructors.

“Students who visit Schiffert Health Center are given notes to show to the professors.  However, unless the doctor/nurse has told the student to stay in the dorm, that note will reflect just the visit.  And sometimes students are legitimately sick, but don’t see a doctor.”


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