Important Changes to Know
August 25, 2017
The truancy laws in Ohio have been amended and now require that all schools keep track of the number of hours each student is in school and out of school. The schools will no longer report absences from school as full days, half-days or tardies. Commencing with the 2017-2018 school year, the schools will report time out of school as an “occurrence”. Those occurrences will be marked as excused or unexcused.
Generally, twelve (12) occurrences of time not in school in the school year, which include full days, half-days, leaving early and tardies, may be documented by a parent/guardian phone call and follow-up note. That is to say that those hours will be “excused”. If a parent/guardian does not make contact with the school and follow-up with a note the occurrence will be unexcused. A parent has five (5) school days to contact the school and follow-up with a note before the occurrence is marked unexcused.
The twelve (12) occurrences rule does not entitle a student to be absent or tardy twelve (12) times. The foregoing is a general rule for the convenience of the family and school officials in the administration of this truancy law.
If a student accumulates 38 hours or more of a combination of excused and unexcused occurrences in one month or 65 hours of excused or unexcused occurrences in one school year, a warning letter will be mailed home to the parent/guardian.
If a student accumulates 45 hours of unexcused occurrences a group Truancy Education Meeting will be scheduled in the student’s home district.
If a student acquires 30 or more consecutive unexcused hours or, 42 or more unexcused hours in one month, or 72 or more of unexcused hours in one school year, an Absence Intervention Team meeting will be assigned and scheduled for the purpose of developing an Absence Intervention Plan.
If a parent/guardian or their designee fails to appear or otherwise respond and participate in the Absence Intervention Team meeting, the school shall investigate whether the parent/guardian’s failure to appear triggers a mandatory reporting to Warren County Children Services or instruct the team to develop an Intervention Plan without the parent/guardian’s input. If the student fails to comply with the Intervention Plan, a complaint of truancy will be filed in Warren County Juvenile Court.