SECTION III: ATTENDANCE
POLICY (Ref. Section 5200)
The Board of Education requires all students enrolled in the schools of this District to attend school regularly in accordance with the laws of the State. The District’s educational program is predicated upon the presence of the student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. The regular contact of students with one another in the classroom and their participation in a well-planned instructional activity under the tutelage of a competent teacher are vital to this purpose.
The State of Ohio adopted new legislation effective for the 2017-2018 school year regarding school attendance and habitual truancy. Therefore, attendance policies and practices continue to be revised and developed. This handbook reflects many of the changes. Students and parents will be advised of any additional changes as they develop. Should you have any questions which are not addressed in this handbook, please contact your Building Principal. Current Board Policies and Administrative Guidelines can be found at www.mthcs.org.
The District will accept verbal/written excused absences provided by the parent/guardian. Parents need to call the school’s attendance hotline to report a student absent on or before the day of the absence, and send a note explaining the absence to school with the student on the day the student returns. Parents are encouraged to provide documentation from a healthcare provider in order to excuse absences if available. The District may accept the following ways to excuse an absence from school:
phone call or email from parent/guardian
written note with explanation, signed by parent/guardian
or note from a medical provider
The excuse shall be submitted to the office and filed as part of the student’s school record.
EXCUSABLE REASONS FOR ABSENCE
The District accepts only the following as an excusable reason for absence from school:
Personal illness/Recovery from Accident (The principal may require a doctor’s confirmation if s/he deems it advisable.)
Illness in the Family Necessitating the Presence of the Child (The principal may require a doctor’s confirmation and an explanation as to why the child’s absence was necessary.)
Quarantine of the Home (This is limited to the length of the quarantine as fixed by the proper health officials)
Death of a Relative
Necessary work at home due to absence or incapacity of parent(s)/guardian(s). Any absence arising because of this condition shall only apply to a child over fourteen (14) years of age.
Observance of bona fide Religious Holiday. Any student shall be excused for the purpose of observing or celebrating a religious holiday consistent with his/her creed or belief.
Out-of-state travel to participate in a District-approved enrichment or extracurricular activity. Any classroom assignment missed due to the absence shall be completed by the student.
Emergency or Other Set of Circumstances (The superintendent shall determine whether the reason for the absence constitutes good and sufficient cause.)
Service as a precinct officer at a primary, special, or general election in accordance with the program set forth in Policy 5725.
Absence during the School Day for Professional Appointments. Parent/Guardians are to be encouraged to schedule medical, dental, legal, and other necessary appointments other than during the school day. Since this is not always possible, when a student is to be absent for part of the day:
1. The student shall have a statement to that effect from his/her parent/guardian;
2. The student shall bring a signed statement from the doctor, dentist, lawyer,
counselor, etc. to the effect that s/he reported promptly for the appointment;
3. The student shall report back to school immediately after his/her appointment if school is still in session. HABITUAL TRUANCY– Section 5200 of Bylaws & Policies
In January, 2017, Ohio’s truancy law set new requirements for school attendance and interventions for absent students. A student will be considered “habitually truant” if the student is absent “without a legitimate excuse” for 30 or more consecutive hours, for 42 or more hours in one school month, or 72 or more hours in one school year. For this purpose, a school day is considered six (6) hours.
Students who are “habitually truant” will be assigned to an Absence Intervention Team, and an Absence Intervention Plan will be developed with the student and parent/guardian to increase the student’s attendance. If the student refuses to or fails to make satisfactory progress on the plan after 60 days, a complaint will be filed in juvenile court.
Students who are absent (excused or unexcused) 38 or more hours in one school month or 65 hours in one school year will receive notification of excessive absences.
GUIDELINES FOR DETERMINING ABSENCES AND TARDINESS
South students should not arrive at school before 8:35 a.m. North students should not arrive at school before 9:05 a.m. Parents bringing students to school or picking students up after school should drop off and pick up children at the area designated by the School. Students should walk to class independently. This will encourage students to be more self-reliant, assist in classroom management, reduce traffic congestion, and assist us with building security.
Students who arrive at South at 8:50 a.m. are considered tardy. Students who arrive at North at 9:20 a.m. are considered tardy. Students who are tardy need to check in at the office and receive a note to be admitted to class. The amount of time a student misses school accumulates toward absenteeism.
Students begin dismissal procedures at 3:10 at South. Students begin dismissal procedures at 3:40 at North. Students who leave before dismissal begins from school are considered absent for that amount of time. The amount of time a student misses school accumulates toward absenteeism. Students leaving school must be signed out in the office by the parent/guardian or other adult designated by the parent.
Mt. Healthy South Elementary
8:35-8:50 a.m. Student Arrival procedures
8:50 and after: Student is marked “absent” for the amount of time the student misses school.
3:10-3:25 p.m. Student Dismissal procedures
3:10 and before: Student is marked “absent” for the amount of time the student misses school.
Mt. Healthy North Elementary
9:05-9:20 a.m. Student Arrival procedures
9:20 and after: Student is marked “absent” for the amount of time the student misses school.
3:50-4:00 p.m. Student Dismissal procedures
3:40 and before: Student is marked “absent” for the amount of time the student misses school.
The Building Principal may adjust these times due to specific traffic or weather conditions around the school building on a particular day.
ABSENCES AND ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES
In accordance with Ohio Revised Code 3313.205 and Mt. Healthy School District Policy, a parent/guardian must notify the school on the day the student is absent, unless previous notification has been given. We ask that you call the school as soon as possible to report your child’s absence. We do not accept calls from students or unauthorized adults.
As per district policy, each teacher shall check the attendance of each student and report absentees and reasons for such absences. Students shall provide a written excuse from a parent or guardian to file with the student’s attendance record.
When a student’s unexcused hours of absence reach 30 or more consecutive hours, or 42 or more hours in one school month, or 72 or more hours in one school year, the student will be identified as “Habitually Truant.” An Attendance Intervention Plan will be written. If habitual truancy has been established and satisfactory progress on the Attendance Intervention Plan has not occurred, a complaint will be filed in Juvenile Court.
The policy shall prohibit the promotion of a student to the next grade level if the student has been absent for more than ten percent of the required attendance hours of the current school year and has failed two or more of the required curriculum subject areas and/or the Math and Reading Achievement tests. The student’s principal and the teachers of any failed area may agree to place the student in the next grade level if the student is deemed academically prepared.
South students not in class when the late bell rings (8:50 a.m.) and North students not in homeroom or in class when the late bell rings (9:20 a.m.) are considered tardy.
All students who are tardy to school must report to the school office to sign in.
When a teacher detains a student after class, s/he shall issue a late pass for the next class.
Teachers are to refer cases of chronic tardiness to the principal.
EARLY DISMISSAL (STUDENT EXCUSED DURING SCHOOL DAY)
If possible, please try to schedule appointments outside the school day. Principals may release students before the end of a school day upon presentation of a written request from the child’s parent or for emergency reasons. Requests for early dismissal should be submitted to the principal as early in the school day as possible. Requests after 3:00 p.m. (South) or 3:30 p.m. (North) are strongly discouraged for safety reasons.
Students may be released only to a parent whose signature is on file in the school office or to a properly identified person authorized in writing by the parent to act on their behalf. A student may be released “on his/her own” only with verified parental and administrative permission.
When a parent telephones a request that a child be released early from school, the identity of the caller and any custodial arrangements should be confirmed before the child is permitted to leave. If the parent is calling from home, the school can verify the request by a return telephone call. In the event the telephone call is not being made from the child’s residence, the caller should be asked detailed questions about the child.
Whenever a student travels from his/her school to another school for lessons or to clinics, etc., during school hours, signed permission must be obtained from the parent before the principal approves such trips.
If you plan to take your child out of school for a family vacation or other special circumstances, you must obtain permission in advance from the Superintendent in order to have the days excused. Please send a letter to the Principal detailing the dates and reason for the absence. The Principal will forward your letter to the Superintendent for approval. The student’s teachers/counselor/principal should have an opportunity to express their views on the potential effects of the absence. The student is responsible for obtaining any assignments from the teacher before leaving and is to turn in the work when returning to school.
For information or assistance with Attendance or Truancy, please contact:
Mr. Mark Walden
Truancy & Foster Care Coordinator
Mt. Healthy City School District
7615 Harrison Ave