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Attendance Policies for Students

STUDENT ABSENCES AND EXCUSES
Regular attendance by all students is very important. In many cases, inconsistent attendance is a major reason for poor schoolwork.

However, there are situations that may cause a student to miss school. Parent or guardians are asked to notify the school, by phone, as early as possible on the day a student is absent. Also, a note from the parent or guardian explaining the reason for the absence is required when the student returns to school. The school will accept emails explaining the absence in lieu of a handwritten note as long as the email address is registered with the school.

Definitions of absences and excuses, both excused and unexcused, multiple tardies

A. A student’s absence may be excused for the following reasons:
1. Personal illness
2. Illness in the family
3. Quarantine of the home
4. Death of a relative
5. Medical or dental appointment
6. Observance of a religious holiday
7. College visit
8. Traveling out of state to attend a Board-approved enrichment activity or extracurricular activity (applies to absences of up to twenty-four (24) school hours)
9. An emergency, or set of circumstances, which, in the judgment of the Superintendent/designee, is a good and sufficient cause for absence.
Examples: court appearance, out-of-school suspension.

B. The first forty-five and one half (45.5) school hours of absence in a school year may be excused, if the absence is for one of the above reasons, and if the parent or guardian provides a note when the student returns to school explaining the reason for the absence. Such notes are required to be submitted no more than three (3) school days after the student’s return. If documentation is not provided within this time period, the absence(s) will be deemed unexcused. Early dismissals and late arrivals are counted toward the number of hours absent.

C. If a student accrues more than forty-five and one half (45.5) excused hours in a school year, the additional hours absent may still be excused; however, additional documentation may be required in some situations. In addition to the note from the parent or guardian required for any absence, the following situations may require this specified additional documentation:
1. Personal illness - doctor’s note verifying illness and date when student can return to school.
2. Illness in the family - parental note explaining the relationship and illness
3. Death of a relative - obituary noting family relationship
4. Quarantine of the home - doctor’s note
5. College visit - school-authorized documentation of visit
6. Court appearance - documentation from court verifying appearance
Such notes are required to be submitted no more than three (3) school days after the student’s return. If documentation is not provided within this time period, the absence(s) will be deemed unexcused.

D. All other absences are unexcused.

E. Any student who arrives after the designated starting time of a building’s school day and before the one-half (1/2) day absence time for that building will be considered tardy. Any time missed will count toward the number of hours absent.

Make-up Work

A student whose absence from school is unexcused shall be permitted to make up work, except for the student who voluntarily does not report for class as assigned or leaves school property without authorization by school officials. It is the student’s responsibility to secure the work. The work, when satisfactorily completed and submitted in a timely manner according to established procedures, will be accepted for a minimum of passing credit.

Vacations or other Non-emergency Trips

The Board does not believe that students should be excused from school for vacations or other nonemergency trips out of the District. The responsibility for such absences resides with the parent(s), and they must not expect any work missed by their child to be re-taught by the teacher. If the school is notified in advance of such a trip, reasonable efforts are made to prepare a general list of assignments for the student to do while he/she is absent.
Absence due to Out of School Suspension
A student who is out of school due to suspension shall be permitted to make up work. This work, when submitted in a timely manner according to established procedures, will be accepted for a minimum of passing credit. The absence for out of school suspension will be an excused absence.
Sent Home by the School Nurse
Students who are sent home from school by the school nurse, due to illness, will not require a note for the day they are dismissed.

Absences and Truancy

A. Habitual Truant
A student with thirty (30) or more consecutive unexcused school hours, or forty-two (42) unexcused school hours in one month, or seventy-two (72) unexcused school hours in one school year, may be considered “habitual” truant, under Section 2151.011 of the Ohio Revised Code.

B. Truancy Intervention
Prior to any student being considered an habitual truant, the student will be required to participate in the districts truancy intervention plan. Any student or parent that refuses to participate in the truancy intervention plan may be considered habitual truant.

Students who are “habitual” truants may receive a citation to the appropriate court. The student’s parent(s), guardian(s) or other person(s) having care of the student may also receive a citation to the appropriate court.

The Board authorizes the Superintendent to establish a hearing and notification procedure for the purpose of denying a student’s driving privileges if that student of compulsory school age has sixty (60) consecutive hours during a school month or a total of at least ninety (90) hours during a school year.

D. Retention of Truant Students
Under Section 3313.609 of the Ohio Revised Code the Board is required to adopt a policy on the retention of truant students. The Board shall prohibit the promotion of a student to the next grade level if the student has been truant (absent without excuse) for more than ten (10) percent of the required attendance days in the current school year, and has failed two (2) or more of the required curriculum subject areas in the current grade. These provisions may be waived if the student’s principal and teacher agree, in writing, that the student is academically prepared to be promoted to the next grade level.
 
(Revised: January 23, 2004; revised: August 21, 2008; revised: May 20, 2010: revised June 26, 2017)
LEGAL REFS.: ORC 3313.609: 3321.01; 3321.03; 3321.04; 3321.13; 3321.14; 3321.19; 3321.38; 4510.32
CROSS REFS.: IGAC, Teaching About Religion
IKB, Homework
JEDB, Student Dismissal Precautions
JHC, Student Health Services and Requirements
JHCC, Communicable Diseases
 
TRUANCY
The Board endeavors to reduce truancy through cooperation with parents, diligence in investigating the causes of absence and use of strict guidelines in regard to tardiness and unexcused absence.

When the Board determines that a student has been truant and that the parent, guardian or other person having care of a child has failed to ensure the child’s attendance at school, State law authorizes the Board to require the parent to attend a specified educational program.

This program has been established according to the rules adopted by the State Board of Education for the purpose of encouraging parental involvement in compelling the child’s attendance at school.
On the request of the Superintendent, or when it comes to the attention of the school
attendance officer or other appropriate officer of the District, the designated officer must investigate any case of supposed truancy within the District and must warn the child, if found truant, and the child’s parent in writing of the legal consequences of being a “habitual” truant.

A “habitual truant” is any child of compulsory school age who is absent without a legitimate excuse for thirty (30) or more consecutive hours, forty-two (42) or more hours in one (1) month or seventy-two (72) or more hours in a school year.
The parent is required to have the child attend school immediately after notification. If the parent fails to get the child to attend school, the attendance officer or other appropriate officer, if directed by the Superintendent or the Board, must send notice requiring the child’s parent to attend a parental education program.

Regarding “habitual” truants, the Board must take an intervention strategy any appropriate action contained in the Board policy.

The Board directs the administration to develop intervention strategies that include all of the following actions if applicable:
1. providing a truancy intervention plan meeting State law requirements for any student who is excessively absent from school;
2. providing counseling for a habitual truant;
3. requesting or requiring a parent having control of a habitual truant to attend parental involvement programs;
4. requesting or requiring a parent of a habitual truant to attend truancy prevention mediation programs;
5. notification to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles; or,
6. taking appropriate legal action.

The attendance officer provides notice to the parent of a student who is absent without excuse no later than thirty-eight (38) or more hours in one (1) school month or no later than sixty-five (65) or more hours in a school year. Notification will be given within seven (7) calendar days after the date of the absence triggering the notice. At the time of notice, the District may take any appropriate action as outlined in this policy as an intervention strategy.

Absence Intervention Plan
Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, when a student’s absences surpass the threshold for a habitual truant, the principal or the Superintendent assigns the student to an absence intervention team within seven (7) school days of the triggering event. The absence intervention team must be developed within seven (7) school days of the triggering event and is based on the needs of the individual student. The team must include a representative from the student’s school or District, a representative from the student’s school or District who knows the student and the student’s parent or their designee, and also may include a school psychologist, counselor, social worker or representative of an agency designed to assist students and their families in reducing absences. During the seven (7) school days while developing the team, the Superintendent or principal makes at least three (3) meaningful, good faith attempts to secure participation of the student’s parent. If the student’s parent is unresponsive the District investigates whether the failure to respond triggers mandatory reporting to the appropriate children’s services agency and instructs the absence team to develop the intervention plan without the parent.
Within fourteen (14) school days after a student is assigned to a team, the team develops a student specific intervention plan to work to reduce or eliminate further absences. The plan includes, at minimum a statement the District will file a complaint in juvenile court not later than sixty-one (61) calendar days after the date the plan is implemented if the student refuses to participate or fails to make satisfactory progress. The District makes reasonable efforts to provide the student’s parent with written notice of the plan within seven (7) calendar days of development.

The absence intervention plan for a student may include contacting the juvenile court to have a student informally enrolled in an alternative to adjudication. The Board directs the Superintendent to develop written procedures regarding the use of and selection process for offering these alternatives to ensure fairness.

If the student becomes habitually truant within twenty-one (21) school days prior to the last day of instruction of a school year, the District may either assign a school official to work with the student’s parent to develop an intervention plan during the summer and implement the plan no later than seven (7) calendar days prior to the first day of instruction of the next school year, or reconvene the absence intervention process on the first (1st) day of instruction of the next school year.

Filing a Complaint with Juvenile Court
Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, the attendance officer must file a complaint against the student in juvenile court on the sixty-first (61st) calendar day after implementation of the absence intervention plan when:
1. the student’s absences have surpassed the threshold for a habitual truant;
2. the District has made meaningful attempts to re-engage the student through the absence intervention plan, other intervention strategies and any offered alternatives to adjudication and
3. the student has refused to participate in or failed to make satisfactory progress on the plan or any offered intervention strategies or alternatives to adjudication as determined by the absence intervention team.
If the sixty-first (61st) calendar day after intervention falls on a day during the summer months, the District may extend the implementation of the plan and delay the filing of the complaint for an additional thirty (30) calendar days after the first day of instruction of the next school year.

Unless the absence intervention team determines the student has made substantial progress on their absence intervention plan, the attendance officer must file a complaint against the student in juvenile court if the student is absent without legitimate excuse for thirty (30) or more consecutive hours or forty-two (42) or more hours during a school month at any time during the implementation phase of the intervention plan or other intervention strategy.

(Approval date: December 20, 2001; Revised: June 26, 2017)
LEGAL REFS.: ORC 3313.663; 3313.668
3321.03-04; 3321.07-09; 3321.19; 3321.191; 3321.22; 3321.38
CROSS REF.: JED, Student Absences and Excuses
JEG, Exclusions and Exemptions from School Attendance
JK, Employment of Students