November, 2017

House Bill 410 became law in April 2017 – with many of its provisions effective at the beginning of the 2017 – 2018 school year.  All community schools (and school districts) must adopt discipline policies to comply.

  • Schools MUST change their zero tolerance policies, removing “excessive absences” as a cause for disciplinary action.

  • Schools CANNOT expel or suspend a student only for being absent.

  • School policy on truancy must include these intervention strategies:

                         > Truancy intervention plan for student. 
                         > Counseling.
                         > Request or require parent to attend parental involvement programs.
                         > Request or require parent to attend truancy prevention mediation program.

  • Schools must recognize the difference between excessive absenteeism and habitual truancy.


  • Tracking and reporting attendance:

                      >   Schools must report and track attendance based on hours, not days.  This means                               that schools must track time due to tardies and early dismissals and report to                                     nearest hour.  This time must be counted toward absences.  It is no longer                                           acceptable to track and report attendance in half-day or full-day increments.

  • Schools have additional EMIS reporting requirements:

                     >   Date school notifies parent of a student’s excessive absences – must be reported                                on EMIS.

                     >  Date student absent without legitimate excuse 30 or more consecutive hours, 42 or                           more hours in one month, or 72 or more hours in one school year – must be                                       reported on EMIS.

                     >  Date student, who is adjudged an unruly child for habitual truancy, violates a court                           order regarding that adjudication – must be reported on EMIS.

                     >  Date absence intervention plan has been implemented for a student – must be                                     reported on EMIS.

  • Schools must establish Absence Intervention Team, which must include: (1) school representative; (2) school representative who knows student; and (3) parent.  Others may be included as well.

  • Schools must make three “good faith efforts” to secure parent participation on student’s Absence Intervention Team.  Parent may appoint designee to participate or participate via phone.  School should define “good faith efforts” in its policy.

  • Timeline for Habitual Truancy:

                >  Within 7 days of triggering absence the school will do the following:
                >  Notify parent in writing of excessive absenteeism.
                >  Select Absence Intervention Team members.
                >  Make three good faith efforts to secure parent participation.

  • Within 10 days of triggering absence, the school will assign student to Team.

  • Within 14 school days after assignment, the school will develop student’s Absence Intervention Plan.

  • Within 7 days after Plan is developed, school will provide parent in writing.

  • The student has 60 days to make progress under the Plan.

  • Filing a Complaint with Juvenile Court for Habitual Truant:

                >  On the 61st day after implementation of Absence Intervention Plan, school
                    attendance officer must file a complaint against student in Juvenile Court if the                                    following apply:

                                 >  Student was absent without legitimate excuse for at least 30 consecutive                                             hours, at least 42 hours in one school month, or at least 72 hours in a school                                       year;

                                 >  School has made meaningful attempts to re-engage the student through an                                         Absence Intervention Plan and other intervention strategies and there was                                           no significant progress.

  • Timeline for Excessive Absenteeism (with excuses):

                                  >  Notify parent within 7 days of the triggering absence.

                                  >  Follow truancy plan outlined in Absence Intervention Policy.

                                  >  Student and family may be referred to community resources.  There is NO                                              complaint filed in Juvenile Court.