Policy

YOUNGSTOWN CITY SCHOOLS


Student Attendance Policy

 


The goal of Youngstown City School District’s attendance policy is that no student miss days of school without legitimate excuse.  A significant correlation exists between school attendance and academic and lifelong success.  To ensure that our students achieve that success, Youngstown City Schools works with parents, guardians, families and students to intervene and resolve truancy and unexcused absences so that students subject to compulsory education consistently attend school when school is in session. As a solution to resolving the issues causing truancy, parents may be required to attend an educational and/or truancy prevention program as warranted by the facts and circumstances of the situation.  


The Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) authorizes and directs the Supervisor of Attendance to oversee the development and implementation of intervention strategies to address attendance and truancy at Youngstown City Schools.  These strategies will include, but are not limited to providing a truancy intervention plan for any student that is excessively absent from school without legitimate excuse, counseling for habitually truant students, requesting or requiring parents to attend parental involvement programs and/or truancy prevention mediation programs, notification to the registrar of motor vehicles, involvement with juvenile court alternatives to adjudication, and taking legal action to address truancy.  The CEO will develop written procedures regarding the use and selection of juvenile court alternatives to adjudication to ensure fairness to all similarly situated students.

  1. Attendance Guidance


  1. “Habitual truancy” is defined as a student subject to compulsory education who is absent without legitimate excuse for thirty (30) or more consecutive hours, forty-two (42) or more hours in a month, or seventy-two (72) or more hours in a school year.


  1. “Excessive absence” is defined as a student absent 38 or more hours in one school month with or without a legitimate excuse or absent 65 or more hours in one school year with or without a legitimate excuse.  


  1. The parent of each student subject to compulsory education (or an adult student) must submit within forty-eight (48) hours a written statement of the cause for such absence, which may be verified by the building Attendance ESA.  The CEO is authorized to establish a parental education program for parents of truant students.  Parents who are required to attend and who fail to attend may be reported to the local children services agency for educational neglect.


II. Excused Absence


Absence will be excused only under the following circumstances:


  1. Short Term Personal Illness: The parent or guardian of a student may write an excuse for a student experiencing illness for up to sixty (60) hours in a school year or thirty (30) consecutive hours of school.  After sixty hours in a year or thirty hours consecutive, a doctor’s excuse must be provided, signed by the doctor and indicate the reason for the student’s inability to attend school.  Any absence greater than sixty (60) hours in a school year or thirty (30) consecutive hours, due to illness that is not accompanied by a doctor’s excuse as described above will be unexcused.  A doctor’s excuse must be provided to the school within forty-eight (48) hours, i.e. two business days, of the student’s return to school or the absence will be unexcused. If the school does not accept an excuse, the original will be returned to the student with a notation as to why it was refused (e.g., excuse not provided within the proper time period, excuse not written by a doctor, etc.). A copy of the refused excuse will be maintained in the student’s file pursuant to the schedule of records retention.


  1. Illness or Injury in the Family:  Independent verification by a physician explaining the nature and severity of the illness or injury to the family member requiring the student to be absent will be required within forty-eight (48) hours, i.e. two business days, of the student’s return to school. If an excuse is not accepted by the school, the original will be returned to the student with a notation as to why it was refused, e.g., excuse not provided within the property time period, excuse not written by a doctor, etc. A copy of the refused excuse will be maintained in the student’s file.


  1. Quarantine of the Home: Absences will only be excused for the length of quarantine as determined by health officials.  Verification from relevant health officials explaining the nature and length of the quarantine must be submitted within forty-eight (48) hours, i.e. two business days, of the student’s return to school. If an excuse is not accepted by the school, the original will be returned to the student with a notation as to why it was refused, e.g., excuse not provided within the property time period, excuse not written by a doctor, etc. A copy of the refused excuse will be maintained in the student’s file.


  1. Death in the Family: Three days excused absence will be permitted, unless a parent or guardian offers a reasonable explanation that more school absences are necessary. The parent or guardian may provide a note to the school to advise the school of the absence, however under certain circumstances, the school may require additional documentation to confirm the student’s absence was legitimate i.e., funeral service documentation, etc.


  1. Observance of Religious Holidays: Any student shall be excused if his/her absence was for the purpose of observing a religious holiday consistent with his/her truly held beliefs and the parent or guardian has notified the school in writing at least forty-eight (48) hours prior, i.e. two business days, to the absence.


  1. Out of State Travel (up to a maximum of twenty-four hours per school year): To enable the student to participate in a District-approved enrichment or extracurricular activity. The student must complete classroom assignments missed due to the approved absence.  If the absence is more than twenty-four hours, a classroom teacher shall accompany the student during the travel to provide the student with instructional assistance.  


  1. Good Cause:  Absence for good cause that is acceptable to the school superintendent, who must approve, at his or her discretion, the excusal of absences not otherwise covered in this section.


Students with excused absences will be permitted to make up classroom work and assignments and receive credit for completed work meeting the standards applicable to the student. Students whose physical or mental medical needs exceed the District’s excused absence policy will be referred for evaluation to determine eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or other accommodations determined applicable and necessary.


III. Unexcused Absence


  1. Any absence other than those described above.


  1. The Attendance Intervention Specialist (“AIS”) will make the final determination as to whether an absence is excused, but in general, unexcused absences include, but are not limited to:

    1. Missing the school bus

    2. Experiencing transportation problems at home or on the way to school

    3. Remaining at home to complete school assignments

    4. Missing school without legitimate illness

    5. Oversleeping

    6. Working at a job during the school day without a proper work permit

    7. Babysitting

    8. Any form of recreation

    9. Personal business that can be done after school or on the weekends

    10. Non-school related sports or athletics or other or non-school events

    11. Pictures or portraits

    12. Hunting season


IV. Absence Notification Procedures


  1. Immediate Notification:  A student’s parent/guardian is required to contact the school office between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on the day of the absence.


  1. If the school does not hear from the parent/guardian, the Attendance ESA is obligated to attempt to make contact with a parent/guardian to verify the absence.  We will attempt to contact the parent by phone.  If phone contact is unsuccessful, a District AIS or parent engagement coordinator may visit the home.  


  1. A reported absence still may be determined to be unexcused according to the absence policy.


  1. Methods of Reporting Absences: Absences will be considered reported if:


  1. A parent or guardian calls the school the day of the absence and provides the reason for the absence;


  1. A parent or guardian writes a note or provides other required documentation to the school listing the day(s) missed and the reason for the absence(s); or


  1. One or more of the above-referenced school personnel make contact with a parent or guardian and receive a satisfactory explanation for the absence(s).



V. Truancy Definitions and Intervention Procedures


  1. If a student is absent with or without an excuse as provided herein for thirty (30) hours in a month or fifty (50) hours in a school year, the parent or guardian will be notified by letter and an attendance intervention assessment will be initiated by the AIS to determine the cause of the absence and whether interventions are necessary.


  1. If a student is absent without legitimate excuse for thirty (30) or more consecutive hours or forty-two (42) hours in a school month, or seventy-two (72) hours in a school year, the student will be assigned by the AIS to an absence intervention team within ten (10) days of the triggering event.  The absence intervention team will be developed during a seven (7) day period, during which the student’s parents will be invited to participate.  If the parent(s) are unresponsive to invitations to participate, within fourteen (14) days of having assembled the team, the team will develop an absence intervention plan without the involvement of the parent(s) and will evaluate whether the failure to respond may require reporting to the local children’s services agency.  Should the parent(s) fail to participate, parents will be notified of the goals of the absence intervention plan within seven (7) days of its development.


  1. The absence intervention plan will be student-specific with the goal of reducing or eliminating further absences, and will include a provision that if after sixty (60) days, the student refuses to participate or fails to show satisfactory progress on the plan, the District will file a complaint alleging habitual truancy.  


  1. Once a student becomes habitually truant, the school will intervene with the student for a period of sixty (60) days (as noted above). Said intervention may include the participation of an absence intervention team, if required, or referral to an alternative to adjudication through juvenile court.


  1. If the student accumulates significant absences or does not make progress during this sixty-day period, truancy charges will be referred to the juvenile prosecutor for court filing.


  1. If the sixty-first day of intervention pursuant to the absence intervention plan occurs during the summer, the District may extend implementation of the plan and delay the filing of a complaint in juvenile court for an additional thirty (30) days after the start of the next school year.  


  1. Charges may be brought against the parent or guardian of a truant student for failing to send a child to school or contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor. (R.C. 2919.24 & RC 3321.38)


  • Preschool