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Law Impacts Student Absences and Truancy

Posted on: September 7, 2017

The Ohio General Assembly recently passed House Bill 410 to encourage and support a preventative approach to excessive student absences and truancy.  Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, several state-mandated changes will take effect. HB 410 changes the truancy definition to be based on instructional hours, rather than days of instruction. Under the new definitions, the designation of “habitual truant” is defined as any child of compulsory school age who has been absent without legitimate excuse for:

  • 30 or more consecutive hours

  • 42 or more hours in a school month, or

  • 72 or more hours in a year

 Another significant change:

Schools are now mandated by state law to provide written notice to parents within seven days of a child’s excused or unexcused absence of 38 or more hours in a month or 65 or more hours in a school year.

A student may be considered a “habitual truant” if unexcused absences continue. At this point, the student and the student’s family will be required to meet with a team to develop a Truancy Intervention Plan. If the student and family fail to participate in this plan, a referral will be made to Juvenile Court.

What does this mean for Milford students?

As mandated by state law, our schools will now track student attendance by hours, not quarter day, half day or full day. Arriving late to school and leaving early will now be counted as hours missed. For example, missing a class period will be the equivalent of one hour of absence.

Note: this policy does not follow what is outlined in our parent/student handbooks because the state mandate was released after our 2017-2018 handbooks were approved by the Milford Board of Education.  The mandate has not changed which absences are excused; however, excused absences now must be counted in the total hours absent.

As in years past, we will continue to work cooperatively with our students and their parents to improve school attendance. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact your building principal.