ATTENDANCE

House Bill 410 Fact Sheet


Passed by the Ohio General Assembly in December 2016 House Bill 410 encourages and supports a preventative approach to excessive/chronic absences and truancy. Research shows that the reason a student misses school does not matter, but the amount of hours he/she misses has an impact on learning. Missing too much school has long-term, negative effects on students, including lower achievement and graduation rates.  Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year several changes take effect:

  1. “Chronic truant” is removed from the law
  2. Definition of “habitual truant” changed from days to hours

       3.    Introduction of “excessive absences”

       4.    Inclusion of “chronic absenteeism”:



Consecutive

hours

Hours per

school month

Hours per school year

Habitual

truancy

30 without legitimate excuse

42 without legitimate excuse

72 without legitimate excuse

Excessive 

absences

__

38 with or without legitimate excuse

65 with or without legitimate excuse

Chronic

absenteeism**

__

__

10% with or without legitimate excuse


 

While chronic absenteeism, habitual truancy and excessive absences are not interchangeable, there is overlap in the definition. Truancy only looks at unexcused absences, whereas, chronic absenteeism and excessive absenteeism take all absences into account. 


The District will partner with students and their families to identify and reduce barriers to regular school attendance.  The district will use a continuum of strategies to reduce student absence including but not limited to:

  • Notification of student absences to the parent and guardian
  • Development and implementation of an absence intervention plan, which may  include supportive services for students and families
  • Counseling
  • Parent education and parenting programs
  • Mediation
  • Intervention programs available through juvenile authorities and referrals for truancy, if applicable

STUDENT DISCIPLINE CHANGES

1. Students can not be suspended or expelled for missing too much school

2. Schools may permit students to make up missed work due to out-of-school suspensions per district policy

3. Schools cannot apply any remaining part or all of a suspension to the following school year, but the superintendent may require a student to participate in community service or an alternative consequence for the number of hours equal to the time left on the suspension.

District Responsibilities

When a student is excessively absent from school, the following will occur:

  1. The district will notify the student’s parents in writing within seven days of the
    triggering absence;
  2. The student will follow the district’s plan for absence intervention; and the student and family may be referred to community resources.

When a student is habitually truant, the following will occur:
1.
Within seven days of the triggering absence, the district will do the following:

  1. Select members of the absence intervention team;
  2. Make three meaningful attempts to secure the participation of the student’s parent or guardian on the absence intervention team.

       2.   Within 10 days of the triggering absence, the student will be assigned to the selected absence intervention team;  

       3.   Within 14 days after the assignment of the team, the district will develop the student’s absence intervention plan;

      4.   If the student does not make progress on the plan within 61 days or continues to be excessively absent, the district will file a complaint in juvenile court.


Why do excused absences count toward excessive absence triggers?HB 410 includes excused absences as part of the definition of excessively absent because when a student is missing a lot of school, the student is missing instruction time, and there may be a larger problem contributing to the absences. Furthermore, excessive absences may serve as an early warning indicator districts can use to address absences before a student becomes habitually truant. Likewise, a student still may need district support to get to school every day even though the student’s absences are excused


Do tardies and early dismissals count?

Time missed due to a student being tardy or dismissed must be tracked by the district and does count toward HB 410 requirements.


**Chronic absenteeism, as defined by the Every Student Succeeds Act, is missing 10 percent or more of the school year for any reason.  It includes excused and unexcused absences. Schools and districts do not have to wait until a child has missed 10 percent of the school year to offer supports to the student and his or her family.


Do absences caused by suspensions count toward truancy or excessive absences triggers? 
Though suspensions are considered unexcused absences, they do not count toward truancy triggers because suspensions represent a legitimate excuse to be out of school. Suspensions do count toward excessive absences because the definition of excessive absences does not distinguish between legitimate and not legitimate reasons for missing school.


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