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How to Write an Absence Letter for School

Mar 12 2024

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7.5 min



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Discover how to craft a clear and professional absence letter for school. Get tips and tools for everything you need to know about writing, formatting, and working with an absence note from start to finish.

Heading back to school after an unexpected absence can be daunting, but fear not, because crafting the perfect school absence note doesn't have to be!

Whether your absence was due to illness or a family emergency, a well-written absence letter is your key to smoothing the transition back into the classroom.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the ins and outs of writing a letter of absence from school, covering the following points:  

  • Common questions about absent letters
  • Writing an absent letter for school
  • Working with an absent letter for school
  • Templates to create an absent letter for school

From providing necessary details and structuring your letter, we've got you covered.

But if you need to write an absent letter and don’t know where to start, we’ve got answers to put everything into perspective first.

What is an absence letter?

An absence letter is a formal document written by an individual to inform your child’s school about their absence from school or a particular school event.

It typically includes the reason for the absence, the duration, and any relevant details or documentation required.

Why do you need absence letters for school?

Absence letters for school serve several purposes:

  • Communication: Aside from informing the school about your child’s absence, the letter ensures that you’re transparent, responsible, and accountable for your child.
  • Compliance: If schools have attendance policies and regulations set by educational authorities, an absence letter can easily meet those requirements.
  • Documentation: An absence letter can be useful for tracking attendance patterns and addressing any concerns about prolonged absences that your child’s teacher may have.
  • Legal Requirements: In some cases, schools are legally required to maintain accurate attendance records, and absence letters can help fulfill those needs.
  • Parental Involvement: Writing absence letters encourages parents to be active and communicate with the school, fostering a relationship between your home and the school.

An absence letter for school can easily streamline the communication process and alleviate any concerns about why your child isn’t in school.

When do you need an absence letter?

So when do you need a school absence letter? What occasions would require one? Here are the most common:

  • Illnesses: If your child is sick, staying home to get well is the most common reason for an absence letter that can easily excuse your child from classes for a few days.
  • Appointments: Sometimes appointments being scheduled during the school day or can’t be avoided. An absence letter would be needed if your child will be missing a half day or an entire day because of it.
  • Emergencies: Unexpected emergencies can crop up from time to time, and notifying the school with an absent letter should be sent so they know about why your child was absent at the last minute.
  • Family Vacations: Because family vacations can occur over a few days, you will need to send in a letter of absence from school detailing the vacation duration.
  • Events: You’ll also need an absence letter notifying your child’s school for external events. This could be for sporting team events your child is part of, attending college or high school open houses, or recitals they’ll be performing in.

What do you write in a school absence letter?

The next thing to cover is how to write an absence letter and what you put in it. You’ll essentially want to include your child’s information, details about the absence, and any other information that the school may need. We’ll cover more details on that below.

Tips for working with an absent letter

Once you have a standard letter drafted, it’s ideal to keep a digital copy you can easily access, share, and work with digitally. It eliminates having to constantly rewrite one and is more efficient to update, edit, or send in.

And with your letter as a digital document, you can use tools like Xodo’s PDF Editor and DOCX editor to update, revise or manage your absence letter either as a PDF or Word document.

How to write an absent note for school

Now that you have a better idea of what an absent note is, we’ll dive into some tips on creating one.

Information to include in your absence letter

When writing an absent letter for school, include the essential information:

  • Your child’s information: Your child’s full name, date of the absence and return, classes or projects being missed, your child’s teacher’s name.
  • Reason for absence: Mention the specific reason behind the absence. This means whether it is an illness, appointment, emergency, or family event.
  • Details to consider: Include details you need to address, such as catching up on assignments or arranging to pick them up for prolonged absences.
  • Additional documentation: You may need to include a doctor’s note or appointment slips. These you can include by merging PDFs or merging Word documents.

Formatting your absence letter

Next, you’ll need to structure your note for school absence in a logical and coherent manner. Some key paragraphs and elements you should include:

  • For more formal letters, include a few lines as a header displaying your and your child’s name, the date of the letter, the school address, and a subject line.
  • An opening salutation addressing the person or persons who need to read the letter.
  • One or two main paragraphs stating the reason for the letter and explaining the reason for the absence, the date on which it occurs, and who will be absent.
  • One paragraph that covers any measures that need to be considered.
  • One or two lines in thanks and closing, offering contact details if they have questions.
  • A closing sign off with your signature.

A well-written absence letter ensures that the school is informed, and your child's academic progress can remain on track.

Note that if your child needs to get caught upon reading PDF class material, Xodo’s AskPDF AI PDF Summarizer can help them summarize and ask direct questions about the content of their PDFs quickly.

Save a digital copy of your absence letter

Saving a digital copy is a good way to keep your absent letters organized and easily accessible if you need to reuse one or keep different versions for separate occasions.

You can store all your digital documents and absent letters online with Xodo Drive. Because Xodo Drive is an online platform, you can instantly access your cloud storage from any device.

Edit and update your absence letter

You can use Xodo PDF Editor to update your absence letter for school. This can be ideal if you have multiple kids and need to modify your main letter for only one of them.

Editing letter of absence from school

By opening your PDF in Xodo’s PDF Editor, you can easily modify and add text to update the content on the spot. Change names, dates, and lines of text where needed. For letters in a Word document, you can use the online DOCX editor.

Adding a signature to your absence letter

As with most letters, you’ll need to sign it. You can use Xodo’s Sign PDF tool to add a signature to the document without having to print it up first or scan it back in.

Simply open your PDF in the Xodo Sign PDF tool and you can either draw your signature, type it out, or upload an image of your signature to drag and drop it where needed on the page.

Sharing and downloading your absence letter

Depending on the school’s policy and how they accept absent letters, you may need to either need to download and print it out or share and email it. Xodo has you covered on all fronts.

To download the file, click on the Download button when you’re done editing your letter. Or, if you saved it Xodo Drive, go into your Xodo Drive dashboard and click on the 3 horizontal dots beside your file and select “Download” from the list of options.

To share your file, simply click on the hyperlink icon, and turn on the Anyone with this link can view and edit a copy of the file option. Then click on the Copy Link button. You'll be able to send a 30-day linked copy of your absence letter to the school administrative office or your child’s teachers.

Sharing school absence letter

School absence note templates

If you need a general template to get your letter started, you can use the rough outline below by copying and pasting the template into your document using our editor tools:


[Your Name]

[Your Child's Name]



[School Name]


[School Address]


Subject: Absence Notification for [Your Child's Name]

Dear [Principal/Teacher's Name],

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to inform you that my child, [Your Child's Name], in [Grade/Class], will be absent from school on [Date(s)] due to [reason for absence].

We kindly request that you mark this absence as excused. [Your Child's Name] will promptly make up any missed assignments and catch up on lessons.

If there are any further procedures or documentation needed, please let us know.

Thank you for your understanding.


 [Your Signature]


If you're looking for something else, however, here are a few resources along with a couple of quick tips on how to find more:

-Check out your child’s school’s website. A quick search can dig up absence note and absence letter templates that may be posted, such as the ones linked here. You can also try the educational district and school board websites for your area.

-Try template websites. They can give you more ideas on how to craft your own. A few of them offer downloadable absence letter templates you can get ideas from such as Templates.net. 

Use Xodo to help with your letters of absence

You’ve learned all you need to know to start crafting an absence letter – what it is, when to use one, what to include, and even a few Xodo tips for effectively working with it.

And as parents, you can use Xodo to help navigate, manage, and organize absence letters with ease among educators.

Xodo has over 30 tools, is easily accessible, and is cross-platform compatible with devices so you can access your absence letters from anywhere. Check out Xodo below.

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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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