House Bill 410 Addresses Attendance Issues In December 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 410 to encourage and support a preventative approach to excessive absences and truancy.
Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, several changes have taken effect. Excessive absences interfere with students’ progress in mastering knowledge and skills necessary to graduate from high school and prepare for higher education and the workforce.
To support academic success for all students, the district will partner with students and their families to identify and reduce barriers to regular school attendance.
The district will utilize a continuum of strategies to reduce student absence including, but not limited to:
• Notification of student absence to the parent or 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
• Referral for truancy, if applicable.
The following is the definition of “habitually truant,” as defined by law:
• Absent 30 or more consecutive hours (equivalent to approximately 4 ½ days) without a legitimate excuse; • Absent 42 or more hours (equivalent to approximately 6 ½ days) in one school month without a legitimate excuse; or
• Absent 72 or more hours (equivalent to approximately 11 days) in one school year without a legitimate excuse.
Students deemed “habitually truant” in any of these circumstances will be turned into their building Absence Intervention Team (AIT). The AIT will contact the parent regarding the date and time of a meeting set by the team that the parent is required to attend. Failure to attend may result in the school district contacting Children’s Services.
During this meeting, the AIT will develop an absence intervention plan. The school’s AIT will monitor and evaluate the intervention plan during implementation. Failure to follow and meet the plan requirements will result in the district filing an official complaint with the Stark County Juvenile Court.
House Bill 410 also defined “excessively absent” as the following:
• Absent 38 or more hours (equivalent to approximately 6 days) in one school month with or without a legitimate excuse; or
• Absent 65 or more hours (equivalent to 10 days) in one school year with or without a legitimate excuse.
Students deemed “excessively absent” in either of these circumstances will be sent a letter from the school district notifying them of excessive absences. No further action will need to be taken at that time, but further action may be required if the absences continue.