Attendance and Truancy

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Attendance and Truancy

Recording and Monitoring Student Absences

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

Recently Ohio law on how school districts record and monitor student absences were changed from days to hours. Foxfire School has worked diligently to align its policies and procedures to the changes in law and meet compliance standards set forth by the Ohio Department of Education. This brochure contains information about the new attendance procedures we are required to follow. Please review and ensure you understand the changes as they are critical to you and your child. The biggest change is the mandated requirement to automatically withdraw a student from a community school once they reach 72 hours (approximately 12 days) in a school year. 


*******PLEASE REVIEW HOUSE Bill 216 Effective November 2, 2018


*******Automatic withdrawal of community school students 

House Bill 216- The bill changes the current law requirement to automatically withdraw a community school student after failure to participate in a certain number of consecutive hours of learning opportunities, by lowering the number of hours from 105 to 72.  

*** This means if your child misses 72 unexcused hours of school we must automatically withdraw your student from Foxfire Schools.


The goal of Foxfire Schools’ attendance policy is that no student shall miss days of school without a legitimate excuse.  A significant correlation exists between school attendance and academic and lifelong success.  To ensure that our students achieve that success, Foxfire 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 development and implementation of truancy intervention strategies to address attendance and truancy is critical to ensure all of our students meet this requirement.  These strategies will include, but are not limited to providing a truancy intervention plan for any student that is excessively absent from school without a 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.  

Parent’s Role/Responsibility

The attendance of all children of compulsory age, ages 6 -18, is expected every day that school is in session. The laws of Ohio place the responsibility for school attendance squarely on the parents/guardians. You, as parents/guardians, are required to ensure that your child attends school regularly. Failure to do so may result in student disciplinary action and juvenile court charges for both parent and student.


*** ALL STUDENT ABSENT TIME MUST BE MADE UP- absences may be made up via Saturday school – diversion weekend program- and evenings. Each hour counts! Seniors must have 95% attendance to graduate

Foxfire School Attendance Requirements:

  • Upon missing 30 unexcused hours(approximately 5 days), a call, email, or home visit will be made to the parent or guardian.
  • Upon missing 42 unexcused hours(approximately 7 unexcused days), a notification letter of truancy will be sent home and the truancy team will develop an intervention plan and meeting 
  • Upon missing 54 unexcused hours (approximately 9 days), a mandatory meeting and intervention plan will be put in place. Parent/Guardians will be required to provide any documented excused absences.
  • Upon missing 66 unexcused hours (approximately 11 days), truancy charges will be filed against both the parent/guardian and the student
  • Upon missing 72 unexcused hours(approximately 12 day) the student will automatically be withdrawn back to their home district

Attendance Guidance – Definitions

  • “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.

  • “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.  

  • 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.  Foxfire Schools 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 and /or the Muskingum County Juvenile Court for charges.

  •  Excused Absence - Absence will be excused only under the following circumstances:    

  • 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., an excuse not provided within the proper time period, an excuse not written by a doctor, etc.). copy of the refused excuse will be maintained in the student’s file pursuant to the schedule of records retention.

  • Illness or Injury in the Immediate 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., an 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.

  • Medical, Dental or legal appointments-These require written verification from the provider

  • 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., an 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  •      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. 

  • 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.


IIIUnexcused AbsenceAny absence other than those described above: 30 Hours of consecutive unexcused absences – this is approximately 5 days. 42 hours of unexcused absences in one month. This is approximately 7 days. 72 Hours of unexcused absences in one year. This is approximately 12 days

  • Missing the school bus

  • Car Trouble 

  • Experiencing transportation problems at home or on the way to school

  • Remaining at home to complete a school assignment

  • Missing school without legitimate illness – non-medical documented 

  • Oversleeping

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

  • Babysitting

  • Any form of recreation

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

  • Non-school-related sports or athletics or other or non-school event

  • Hunting seas

IV.Absence Notification Procedures    

  • Immediate Notification: A student’s parent/guardian is required to contact the school office between 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on the day of the absence.

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

V. Methods of Reporting Absences: Absences will be considered reported if:  
  • A parent or guardian calls the school the day of the absence and provides the reason for the absence;

  • A parent or guardian emails the school the day of the absence and provides the reason for the absence 

  • 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

  • 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).


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