As we begin the year, we need to remind you about a state law that changes how Ohio schools must report student absences and other time out of school. This law is meant to address student truancy and excessive absenteeism but applies to all Ohio students. Schools must develop Absence Intervention Plans for students who exceed the absence limits outlined in the law.
The goal of the law is well intentioned: Require schools to do everything in their power to ensure students attend school since good attendance is key to students’ academic success. However, in practice, the requirements will be very apparent to families whose students miss school with any regularity. Families will receive warning notifications from the school if their children reach the new absence thresholds, which must now be reported in hours, not days.
Requirements of the law.
All time out of school – including time missed for coming in late and early dismissals – is included in student attendance totals. Limiting scheduled appointments to before or after-school and weekend hours will help students avoid reaching the new absence limits. Please be sure to report absences to the school office (attendance line) each day as well as submit a doctor’s excuse for verification of any student absences for medical reasons.
Families will receive an Excessive Absence Notification when a student misses:
- 38 or more hours in one school month (with or without a legitimate excuse)
- 65 or more hours in one school year (with or without a legitimate excuse)
The law also requires schools to address Habitual Truancy, which occurs when a student misses:
- 30 or more consecutive hours without a legitimate excuse
- 42 or more hours in one school month without a legitimate excuse
- 72 or more hours in one school year without a legitimate excuse
If absences continue after students reach the above thresholds, the school will invite families in for a conference to create an Absence Intervention Plan to help improve student attendance.
Thank you for your support as we implement these state-mandated attendance reporting requirements.