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:
“Chronic truant” is removed from the law
Definition of “habitual truant” changed from days to hours
Introduction of “excessive absences”
Inclusion of “chronic absenteeism”:
Hours per school month
Hours per school year
30 without legitimate excuse
42 without legitimate excuse
72 without legitimate excuse
38 with or without legitimate excuse
65 with or without legitimate excuse
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
Parent education and parenting programs
Intervention programs available through juvenile authorities and referrals for truancy, if applicable
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.
When a student is excessively absent from school, the following will occur:
The district will notify the student’s parents in writing within seven days of the
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:
Select members of the absence intervention team;
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.