Per House Bill 410, a preventative approach to habitual and chronic truancy has been mandated in the state of Ohio. Below is a summary of the changes to BCS truancy and discipline procedures.
Habitual and Chronic Truancy
It is important for every student in Ohio to attend school every day. Missing too much school has long-term, negative effects on students, such as lower achievement and graduation rates. There are many reasons students miss school, but districts often can directly impact their students' attendance. By using data to identify and support students who may need extra resources and services, districts can target supports to get students to school every day.
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 will take effect. Schools cannot suspend or expel students for missing too much school. Districts will amend or adopt policies that outline their interventions and plans for students who miss too much school.
To support academic success for all students, the district will partner with students and their families to identify and reduce barriers of 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;
- Counseling; parent education and parenting programs;
- Intervention programs available through juvenile authorities;
- Referral for truancy, if applicable
- Personal illness or accident
- Family Illness necessitating presence of child
- Quarantine of home
- Death in family
- Work at home necessitated by absence or incapacity of parent or guardian
- Observation or celebration of holiday
- Out of state travel (up to 24 hours) for a district approved extra-curricular activity
- Medical or Dental appointments
- Others as reviewed and approved by the Superintendent
- Medically necessary leave for pregnant student
- Service as a precinct officer at a primary, special, or general election with principal approval (must be 18 years old)
- Pre-approved family vacations up to 5 days
- Missed the bus
- Running late
- Car trouble
- Family vacations without prior approvals or any days over 5
- Student refusal
Medically Excused Absences and HB 410
As of October 17, 2019, HB 166 has removed medically excused absences from HB 410 excessive absence calculations. As such, public school districts have been tasked with defining medically excused absences as they pertain to the school district.Definition of Medically Excused Absence (as defined by BCSD): any absence in which a medical note is provided to cover such absence. Medical notes must include the dates in which the student was excluded from school. Medical notes must be provided within 3 school days of the student’s return to school. Failure to provide an acceptable medical note within the timeline, will result in the absence being processed in accordance with district attendance procedures including HB 410 calculations.