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Newly passed House Bill 410 counts absences by hours not days

Ohio lawmakers recently passed House Bill 410 (HB 410) which governs student absenteeism and discipline. The bill affects how WHCSD, and districts statewide, report student absences. Formerly, absences were reported by number of days. HB 410 now requires reporting absent hours.

HB 410 defines excessive absence as a student who is absent:

  • 38 or more hours in a month with or without an excuse
  • 65 or more hours in a year with or without an excuse 
School districts and families also must develop an Absence Intervention Plan (AIP) for students who exceed the absent limits outlined in the law. Within seven days of your child reaching the limit of absent hours, you will receive a letter. The school will work with you to develop the AIP to avoid truancy.

HB 410 defines habitual truancy as absent:
  • 30 or more consecutive hours without a legitimate excuse
  • 42 or more hours in a month without a legitimate excuse
  • 72 or more hours in a year without a legitimate excuse
When a student is habitually truant, the school district is now required to create an Absence Intervention Team (AIT) and meet with the parents/guardians to develop an AIP. The purpose of the team, composed of staff members familiar with your child and the programs at school and you, the parent/guardian, is to identify specific barriers and solutions to attendance.

Once the AIP is in place, the goal is to see an improved attendance pattern. If the student refuses to participate in or has failed to make satisfactory progress on the plan within 61 days, the district is required, by law, to file a complaint in Juvenile Court.

Each WHCSD school has created an AIT and the team’s goals and objectives are to establish a student-centered plan for those deemed habitually truant or excessively absent.

“WHCSD is committed to educating your child; however, it is your responsibility as a parent to ensure your son or daughter attends school daily and is adequately prepared,” said WHCSD Superintendent Mr. Jolly. “We encourage you to go “MAD – Make a Difference” or be proactive by meeting with your child’s school administrator, counselor, secretary or teacher, if necessary, prior to his or her absenteeism becoming a major attendance issue.”

If you have questions, call your child’s school or Pupil Services Director Mrs. Constance Rudolph at 216-336-6600.