Understanding the Attendance Policy of a Typical Childhood Program in Central Ohio

Attending school is an essential responsibility for students of all ages, and it is vital for their academic success. In Central Ohio, the attendance policy of a typical childhood program is outlined in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). According to ORC 3321.01, children between the ages of six and eighteen are of compulsory school age. A child under the age of six who is enrolled in kindergarten is also considered to be of compulsory school age, unless their parents or guardians choose to remove them from kindergarten.

ORC 3321.191 defines excessive absence as absences with non-medical excuses or without legitimate excuses for 38 hours a month or 65 hours a year. If a student is absent for 38 hours in a month or 65 hours in a year with medical excuses, the district is not required to notify the student's parents, guardians, or guardians in writing. Each district must have an approach to addressing attendance and excessive absenteeism described in its district absenteeism and attendance policies (ORC 3321,19). District policy outlines district interventions, supports, and processes to ensure that all students attend school every day. When a student is absent due to excess, the district must notify the student's parents or guardians in writing and follow its truancy and attendance policy to help the student and family go to school regularly (ORC 3321,191 (C) ().

The participation of the student and their parents or guardians in the plan helps to eliminate barriers to attendance and avoids the filing of criminal lawsuits against the student in juvenile court. In ORC 3321.16 (B) (), with respect to students who do not successfully implement their absence intervention plans, if the 61st calendar day after the implementation of the absence intervention plan falls on a day in the summer months, at the discretion of the school district, the absence intervention team or attendance officer may extend the implementation of the plan and delay the filing of the complaint by an additional 30 days starting on the first day of school of the following school year. Research has demonstrated that regular attendance is essential for academic success. Regular attendance means that students are not disrupted during their learning process, they spend less time on remedial tasks, and they benefit from participating and interacting with others in class. Additionally, many important lessons are learned through active classroom participation and other school activities that cannot be replaced by individual study. In ORC 2151.011 (B) (1), a student who is routinely absent is “any child of compulsory school age who is absent without a legitimate excuse for being absent from the public school he must attend for thirty or more consecutive hours, forty-two or more hours in a school month, or seventy-two or more hours in a school year”.

Attendance does not always need to take place on school premises; however, a student will be considered to attend if they are present anywhere where the school is meeting by authorization of the Board.

Maureen Gergen
Maureen Gergen

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