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Attendance impacts education

Posted on: October 15, 2020
Kevin Casey, Director of Student Services

Kevin Casey, Director of Student Services

As we conclude the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year, we would like to remind students and families that the success of our students is directly connected to regular attendance. Regular attendance allows students to learn the material as it is presented, and gives them time to comprehend and practice the curriculum as the lessons continue to build on the previous material. When students miss one or a few lessons, they must catch up to prepare for the next lesson; this happens often, due to sickness and other factors, and is usually manageable. However, when a student misses instruction regularly, it can be difficult to comprehend the material and get back on track with the class -- new material is constantly presented, often building on the material the student has missed. 


At Madison Local Schools, we are committed to helping our students attend school regularly by working with families to address any barriers to attendance. We as a district are in our fourth year of implementing House Bill 410, passed by the State of Ohio to encourage and support a preventative approach to excessive absences and truancy. While the state of Ohio’s lawmakers have made some minor changes in light of COVID-19, the processes and steps required of the district still remain intact, regardless of whether the student’s family has chosen remote or in-person learning. 


As required by law, if a student has excessive absences, a letter will be sent to the family. Additionally, when a student is habitually truant, the district is required to create an Absence Intervention Team that will meet with the parents or guardians of the student to develop an Absence Intervention Plan. This team will be composed of staff members who are familiar with your student, programs at school, and the parent/guardian. The purpose of the team is to identify specific barriers and solutions to attendance issues. 


Once the plan is in place, the goal will be to see an improvement in school attendance. If the student refuses to participate or has failed to make satisfactory progress on the plan within 61 days, the district is required by law to file a complaint in Juvenile Court. 


Madison’s commitment to our students attending school, as well as the state requirements, are designed to help ensure our students are receiving the instruction and support they need to be successful in the Madison school district and in their lives following graduation. For additional information about our district’s attendance policies, please visit our website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your student’s school building administrator.