Last week, I wrote about the importance of regular school attendance. This week, I would like to update the community on a law passed by legislatures in December 2016 that impacts how student absences are calculated. H.B. 410 supports a preventative approach to excessive student absences and tardiness. It also required local Boards of Education throughout Ohio to update attendance policies to align with the requirements for student attendance outlined in H.B. 410. One of the most significant changes is that student absences are now calculated by hours, not days. This means every hour a student is not in school is tracked, including tardiness.
Under H.B. 410, a student who is absent without a legitimate excuse for 30 or more consecutive hours, 42 or more hours in one month, or 72 or more hours in a school year is considered a “habitual truant”. Once a student is identified as a “habitual truant”, the student is assigned to the absence intervention team. It is the responsibility of this team to develop a student specific intervention plan targeted at reducing and/or eliminating any additional student absences. Parents and/or guardians are contacted to be a part of their child’s absence intervention plan. The absence intervention plan is a student-centered plan that includes strategies and supports designed to help improve the student’s attendance. It must also include a statement that the school district will file a complaint in juvenile court within 61 days after the date the plan is implemented if the student refuses to participate or fails to make satisfactory progress.
Students with regular school attendance are more likely to become productive citizens and successful members of the workforce. It is very important that we work together to support regular school attendance for each and every student in our schools. As always, if you have questions about our schools, please contact me at the Administrative Offices (237-6300) or through e-mail at Susan.Gunnell@huberheightscityschools.org.