Students are expected to attend school regularly. Attendance in school is often reflected in a student’s grades and achievement. Many studies show that chronically absent students are less likely to be readers in the early grades and less likely to graduate.
In December 2016 the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 410 to encourage and support a preventative approach to excessive absence and truancy. Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, a number of changes take effect that includes how and when parents will be notified of students’ absences. The district will work to partner with parents to identify and redirect barriers to regular school attendance.
The law defines excessive absence as a student who is:
Absent 38 or more hours in a month with or without an excuse, or
Absent 65 or more hours in a year with or without an excuse.
Within 7 days of your child reaching the number of hours identified, you will receive a letter. The district will need to work with you to develop a truancy intervention plan to prevent truancy in the future.
Further, the law defines habitual truancy as:
Absent 30 or more consecutive hours without a legitimate excuse
Absent 42 or more hours in one month without a legitimate excuse
Absent 72 or more hours in one year without a legitimate excuse.
When a student is habitually truant, the district is now required to assemble an absence intervention team and meet with you to develop an absence intervention plan. Parents are an important member of the team.
The purpose of the team is to identify specific barriers and solutions to attendance. The team will be composed of staff members who are familiar with your child and the programs at school as well as you, the parent. Once the plan is in place, the goal will be to see an improvement in school attendance. If the student refuses to participate in or has failed to make satisfactory progress on the plan within 61 days, the district is required to file a complaint in juvenile court.
Please check the online Student Code of Conduct & Handbook for more information regarding attendance, absences and possible consequences for tardiness and truancy.
The Attendance Supervisor assists families with interventions and strategies that promote positive school attendance and is available to meet with students and families to mitigate barriers to on-time, all day, daily school attendance.
For more information, please contact Brenda Wilson, Attendance Supervisor at 216-691-2134 or Wilson@sel.k12.oh.us.
Click here for the Ohio Department of Education's Fast Facts for Families on Excessive Absences and Truancy.