With the start of each school year come changes. With the passage of House Bill 410, the Attendance and Truancy Laws of Ohio have changed.
The following started with the 2017-18 School Year.
A. TRUANCY INTERVENTION
HB 410 changes the Truancy definition to be based on Instructional Hours, rather than days of instruction. The designation of “Chronic Truancy” has been eliminated, and the designation of “Habitual Truant” is defined as any child of compulsory school age who has been absent without legitimate excuse for: (1) 30 or more consecutive hours; (2) 42 or more hours in a school month; or (3) 72 or more hours in a year.
2. Notice of Truancy Intervention
Schools must provide written notice to parents of a child of compulsory school age within 7 calendar days of a child’s being absent with or without legitimate excuse for 38 or more hours in a school month or 65 or more hours in a school year. At the time the notice is given, the school may take appropriate action as an intervention strategy contained in the board’s policy.
3. Absence Intervention Team
House Bill 410 requires school districts to attempt to address habitually truant student through Absence Intervention Teams and Absence Intervention Plans.
A student who becomes Habitually Truant base on hours missed will be assigned to an Absence Intervention Team, within 10 calendar days of becoming Habitual Truant. The Absence Intervention team will be selected within 7 school days and attempts to secure the participation of the parents/guardian must, occur within 7 school days. The Intervention Team will include a representative of the child’s school (Attendance Officer) another representative from the school who knows the child (Assistant Principal, Dean of Students, or Teacher), and the student’s Parents/Guardians.
4. Parent Involvement
Within 7 school days of the student being Habitual Truant the school shall make at least 3 meaningful, good faith attempts to secure the participation of the Parents/Guardians on the Absence Intervention Team. If 7 days elapse and the Parents/Guardians fail to respond to the attempts to secure Parent Participation, the school shall investigate whether the failure to respond triggers mandatory reporting to Children Services, the Intervention Team will proceed to develop a plan for the student.
5. Attendance Intervention Plan
Within 14 school days after the student is assigned to an Attendance Intervention Team, the team shall develop an Intervention Plan for the student to reduce or eliminate further absences. Each plan is to be based on the student’s needs. Each plan shall state the Attendance Officer shall file a complaint no later than 61 days after the date the plan was put in place, if the student refuses to participate or fails to make progress with his/her attendance. The Attendance Officer must file a complaint against the student who, during the enactment of the attendance plan is absent without legitimate excuse for 30 consecutive hours, 42 or more hours in a school month, unless the Intervention Team feels the student has made substantial gains.
6. Parent Notice
Parents will be provided with a written notice within 7 days after the plan was developed.
7. Late Arrivals/Early Dismissal
The student will be considered Tardy if they arrive up to 30 minutes after the first bell, but this will also count against Instructional Time of their 30 consecutive hours, 42 hours in a school month or 72 hours in a school year.
Early Dismissal will be the same, if the student needs to leave in the last hour of the school day this will also count against their Instructional Time of their 30 consecutive hours, 42 hours in a school month or 72 hours in a school year.
8. End of Year Absences
If a student becomes habitually truant within the last 21 days of the school year, the district may, in its discretion, assign 1 school official to work with the student’s parent and develop an Attendance Intervention plan during the summer. This plan is to be implemented not later than 7 calendar days prior to the first day of instruction of the next school year. In the alternative the school may wait to reconvene the absence intervention process on the first day of instruction in the next school year.
A school district may still adopt a policy requiring a parent or guardian of a student who is truant or habitually absent to attend a parental education or training program provided by the district.
Questions? Contact the Attendance Officer, Roger Cook, at (740) 450-1450.