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In December 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 410. This bill is intended to define and prevent excessive absenteeism (including late arrivals and early dismissals) and to outline procedures schools must take to track and intervene when attendance issues arise.

The most important thing for you to understand is that schools are now required to track student attendance in terms of hours instead of days. When a student is absent between 8:50 and 3:15, those minutes will accumulate into hours eventually reaching one of two levels of absenteeism: Habitual Truancy or Excessive Absenteeism.

Habitual Truancy is defined as:

  • Absent 30 or more consecutive 
    hours without a legitimate excuse
  • Absent 42 or more hours in one school month 
    without a legitimate excuse
  • Absent 72 or more hours in one school year 
    without a legitimate excuse

Excessive Absence is defined as:

  • Absent 38 or more hours in one school month
    with or without a legitimate excuse
  • Absent 65 or more hours in one school year 
    with or without a legitimate excuse

According to the Ohio Revised Code, legitimate excuses can include:

  • Personal illness
  • Death of a relative
  • Illness in the family
  • Quarantine of the home
  • Medical/dental appointments
  • Pre-approved absences
  • Observance of a religious holiday
  • Medical leave ordered by a doctor
  • Emergency

Additional Attendance Resources

Please note that the total hours of absences, whether legitimate or not will accumulate and trigger contact from the school regarding either Habitual Truancy or Excessive Absenteeism when the limits stated above are met. An intervention team, including parents, must then work to create and implement an absence intervention plan to improve attendance and avoid a possible referral to the juvenile court system.

Click Ohio Department of Education Absence reference.