Lisa WososzynekBeginning October 17, 2019, a student’s medically excused absences are no longer included in Ohio school districts’ calculations toward “excessive absences” under Ohio truancy laws.

Since 2017, Ohio school districts have been required to calculate student hours of absences, including those with or without a legitimate excuse.  Previously, medically excused absences were included in the calculation to determine when the excessive absence threshold had been met. The threshold triggers parental notification and absence intervention implementation obligations.

When the change goes into effect, a student will continue to be considered excessively absent when the student’s non-medical and unexcused absences exceed 38 hours in one school month or 65 hours in a school year. Additionally, a student will continue to be considered habitually truant when the student’s unexcused absences exceed 30 consecutive school hours, 42 hours in one school month, or 72 hours in one school year. These thresholds will continue to trigger school district parent notification and absence intervention team obligations.  However, absences that are medically excused cannot be utilized when calculating the total hours of absence for H.B. 410 purposes.

School districts should ensure that their policies regarding student absences are up to date and that staff members responsible for completing H.B. 410 absence calculations are aware of this change.

Lisa Woloszynek is an associate at Walter | Haverfield who focuses her practice on education law. She can be reached at lwoloszynek@walterhav.com and at 216-619-7835.