JE: Student Attendance
Compulsory Attendance Ages
Under Ohio law, children between the ages of 6 and 18 are of compulsory school age. Every child of compulsory school age must attend a school that conforms to the standards prescribed by the Ohio Board of Education until one of the following occurs.
- The child receives a diploma or GED granted by the Board or other governing authority indicating such student has completed all State and local requirements.
- The child receives an age and schooling certificate (work permit) and is enrolled in a GED program.
- Standards adopted by the Ohio Board of Education following Ohio law excuse the child from school.
The parent/guardian of any child of compulsory school age must send such child to school unless they are exempt as listed above.
Exclusions and Exemptions from School Attendance
A child of compulsory school age residing in the School District may be legally excused from full-time enrollment by:
- Holding an age and schooling certificate, being regularly employed, and attending school on a part-time basis in a program approved by the Chief Executive Officer or their designee
- Receiving approved home instruction
- Attending a private or parochial school
- Having received a diploma or GED from an approved high school
The District may temporarily deny admittance to any student if they have an existing suspension or expulsion from another district. The student and parent/guardian will have an opportunity for a hearing before the Chief Executive Officer or their designee to determine the admittance or non-admittance of the student.
Absences and Excuses
Regular attendance by all students is essential. The District encourages all students to make appointments, do personal errands, and complete other tasks outside school hours.
Reasons for which students may be medically excused include, but are not limited to:
- Personal illness of the student
- Dental appointment
- Illness in the student's family necessitating the presence of the child
- Quarantine for contagious disease
The District will not penalize students for absences related to contracting COVID-19 or having to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure/symptoms, regardless of whether the student is participating in person, remotely, or both. The District may extend any limits regarding the number of authorized medical excuses without a doctor's note if the student or someone in the student's family is in quarantine due to COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Reasons for which students may be nonmedically excused include, but are not limited to:
- Needed at home to perform necessary work directly and exclusively for parents or legal guardians for a limited time when approved by the Chief Executive Officer (applies to students over 14 years of age only)
- Death in the family (applies to absences of up to 18 school hours unless student or family provides reasonable cause for a longer absence)
- Observation of religious holidays consistent with a student's truly held religious belief
- Traveling out of state to attend a Board-approved enrichment activity or extracurricular activity (applies to absences of up to 24 school hours)
- College visitation
- Absences due to a student's placement in foster care or change in foster care placement or any court proceedings related to their foster care status
- Absences due to a student being homeless
- Temporary internet outage for individual students or households
- Technical difficulties for individual students or families at inconvenient times, such as during a teacher-led remote learning lesson
- Non-medically excused absence due to COVID-19 until the student, family, and school can make alternative arrangements
The Chief Executive Officer may approve other medical and nonmedical excuses.
The District attempts to contact the parent, guardian, or other person caring for a student who has not notified the school of the student's absence that day regarding that student's absence without legitimate excuse within120 minutes of the start of the school day. The Board authorizes the District to determine and use the appropriate notification procedure and methods consistent with State law.
Upon return to school, absent students must arrange with their teacher(s) to make up work missed. Students absent from school for reasons not permitted by State law may or may not be allowed to make up work. The principal determines whether the student may make up work in consultation with the respective teachers. The District requests students to bring a note to school after each absence explaining the reason for the absence or tardiness.
The Board of Education does not excuse students from school for vacations or other non-emergency trips. Therefore, parents and guardians must not expect any work missed by their child to be retaught by the teacher. However, if a parent or guardian notifies the school before such a trip, the school makes reasonable efforts to prepare a general list of assignments for students to do while absent.
The Board authorizes the Chief Executive Officer to establish a hearing and notification procedure to deny a student's driving privileges if the student is absent without legitimate excuse for more than 60 consecutive hours during a school month or at least 90 hours during a school year.
The Board of Education endeavors to reduce truancy through cooperation with parents, diligence in investigating the causes of absence, and the use of strict guidelines regarding 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/guardian to attend a specified educational program. The program must follow the rules adopted by the State Board of Education and encourage parental involvement in compelling the child's attendance at school.
At the request of the Chief Executive Officer, or when it comes to the attention of the appropriate District staff member, the District must investigate any case of supposed truancy within the District. If found truant, the District must warn the child and their parent/guardian 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 30 or more consecutive hours, 42 or more hours in one month, or 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 a notice requiring the child's parent to attend a parental education program.
Regarding "habitual truants," the Board must take any appropriate action contained in Board policy as an intervention strategy.
The Board directs the administration to develop intervention strategies that include all of the following actions, if applicable:
- Providing a truancy intervention plan that meets Ohio requirements for any student who is excessively absent from school
- Providing counseling for a habitual truant
- Requesting or requiring a parent/guardian having control of a habitual truant to attend parental involvement programs
- Requesting or requiring a parent/guardian of a habitual truant to attend truancy prevention mediation programs
- Notification to the Registrar of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
- Taking appropriate legal action.
The attendance officer notifies the parent/guardian of a student absent without excuse for 38 or more hours in one school month or 65 or more hours in a school year within seven days after the absence triggering the notice. At the time of notification, the District may take any appropriate action as outlined in this policy as an intervention strategy.
Consistent with Ohio law, the School District shall not suspend, expel or remove a student from school solely based on the student's absences from school without a legitimate excuse.
Absence Intervention Plan
When a student's absences exceed the threshold for a habitual truant, the principal or the Chief Executive Officer assigns the student to an absence intervention team within ten days of the triggering event. The absence intervention team must be developed within seven school days of the triggering event and supports the individual student's needs. 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 designee. In addition, the team 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 days of developing the team, the Chief Executive Officer or principal makes at least three meaningful, good faith attempts to secure the 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 14 school days after the District assigns a student to a team, the team develops a student-specific intervention plan to work to reduce or eliminate further absences. The plan includes a statement that the District will file a complaint in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court not later than 61 days after implementing the plan if the student refuses to participate or fails to make satisfactory progress. In addition, the District makes reasonable efforts to provide the student's parent/guardian with written notice of the plan within seven 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 Chief Executive Officer 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 21 school days before the last day of instruction of a school year, the District may either assign a school official to work with the student's parent/guardian to develop an intervention plan during the summer and implement the plan no later than seven days before the first day of instruction of the next school year or reconvene the absence intervention process on the first day of instruction of the next school year.
Filing a Complaint with Juvenile Court
The attendance officer must file a complaint against the student in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court on the 61st day after implementation of the absence intervention plan when:
- The student's absences have surpassed the threshold for a habitual truant.
- 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.
- The student has refused to participate in or failed to make satisfactory progress on the plan or any offered intervention strategies determined by the absence intervention team.
If the 61st day after intervention falls on a day during the summer months, the District may extend the plan's implementation and delay filing the complaint for an additional 30 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 a legitimate excuse for 30 or more consecutive hours or 42 or more hours during a school month at any time during the implementation phase of the intervention plan or other intervention strategy.
- Adopted: June 27, 2017
- Amended: May 24, 2022
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3313.609
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3313.66
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3313.663
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3313.668
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.01
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.03
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.04
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.07
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.08
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.09
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.13
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.14
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.141
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.16
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.19
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.191
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.20
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.22
- Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.38
- Ohio Revised Code Section 4510.32
- Ohio Administrative Code 3301-69-02