Oregon School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Chronic Absenteeism and Truancy

Discipline Compendium

Oregon School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Chronic Absenteeism and Truancy

Category: Discipline Addressing Specific Code of Conduct Violations
Subcategory: Chronic Absenteeism and Truancy
State: Oregon

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LAWS

327.871. Portion of funds for dropout-prevention strategies in high schools.

(1) A school district shall use a portion of the amount apportioned under ORS 327.859 to establish or expand dropout-prevention strategies in all high schools.

(2) For purposes of this section, the dropout-prevention strategies must include:

(a) Implementing activities designed to reduce chronic absenteeism;

(b) Establishing and maintaining data management systems that provide timely reports on students' grades, absences and discipline by school and by course;

(c) Beginning with grade 8, using attendance, course grades, credits earned and disciplinary referrals to identify students at risk of not graduating;

(d) Beginning in the summer after grade 8, providing academic and social supports for students at risk of not graduating to ensure that the students are on track to graduate by the time the students enter grade 10 and stay on track to graduate after entering grade 10, including such supports as summer programs, additional instructional time before and after school hours, tutoring or small-group instruction during the school day or counseling services; and

(e) Providing counseling and coaching to provide early exposure for students to employment opportunities and requirements and options for post-secondary education.

(3) The portion of funds to be used as described in this section shall be determined as provided by ORS 327.874.

339.055. Duties of attendance supervisors.

The attendance supervisor when notified of a truancy or unexcused absence shall investigate the truancy or nonattendance at school. If the child is not exempt from compulsory school attendance, the attendance supervisor shall proceed as provided in ORS 339.080 and 339.090.

339.071. Attendance notification policy.

(1) Each district school board shall adopt an attendance notification policy that satisfies the requirements of this section.

(2) An attendance notification policy must:

(a) Be implemented by each school in the school district; and

(b) Require that each school ensure that a parent or other person in parental relationship to a child is notified by the end of the school day on any day that the child has an unplanned absence.

(3)(a) Notification required by subsection (2)(b) of this section must be provided:

(A) In person;

(B) Directly by telephone; or

(C) By any other method identified in writing by the parent or person in parental relationship to the child.

(b) If a parent or other person in parental relationship to a child cannot be contacted in person or directly by telephone and another method has not been identified by the parent or person, a message shall be left for the parent or person, if possible.

(4) Notice of the child's absence shall be provided to the attendance supervisor, who shall proceed as provided in ORS 339.055, if:

(a) Notification is not provided in person or directly by telephone; and

(b) The parent or other person in parental relationship to the child has not confirmed within the timeline established by the attendance notification policy that the parent or person has received notification.

339.080. Nonattendance notice to parents, school officials and parole or probation officer.

(1) Except as provided in ORS 339.030, in case any parent or other person in parental relation fails to send any child under the control of the parent or other person to the public school, the attendance supervisor, within 24 hours after notification from the proper authority of the failure, shall give formal written notice in person or by registered or certified mail to the parent or other person.

(2) The notice required by subsection (1) of this section must inform the parent or other person in parental relation that:

(a) The child must appear at the public school on the next school day following the receipt of the notice.

(b) Regular attendance at school must be maintained during the remainder of the school year.

(c) The parent or other person in parental relation has the right to request:

(A) For a child who does not have an individualized education program, an evaluation to determine if the child should have an individualized education program; or

(B) For a child who has an individualized education program, a review of the individualized education program.

(3) At the same time notice is given to the parent or other person, the attendance supervisor shall notify the superintendent or principal, as suitable, of the fact of the notice. The superintendent or principal shall notify the attendance supervisor of any failure on the part of the parent or other person to comply with the notice.

(4) If the child who is the subject of a notice under subsection (1) of this section is a youth offender on parole or probation, at the same time notice is given to the parent or other person, the attendance supervisor shall notify the child's parole or probation officer of the child's absence.

339.090. Determination of compliance; notice to district superintendent.

The attendance supervisor shall determine whether the parent or other person given written notice of attendance requirements has complied with the notice. If the attendance supervisor determines that the parent or other person has failed to comply, the attendance supervisor, within three days after having knowledge of such failure or after being notified thereof, shall notify the district superintendent.

339.095. Compulsory school attendance violation procedure; rules.

(1) In addition to any other persons permitted to enforce violations, the school district superintendent or education service district superintendent, or any employee specifically designated by either superintendent, may issue citations for violations established under ORS 339.990 in the manner provided by ORS chapter 153.

(2) Prior to issuing the citation described in subsection (3) of this section to the parent or guardian of a student not regularly attending full-time school, a school district superintendent or education service district superintendent shall:

(a) Provide a parent or guardian of the student and the student with written notification that:

(A) States that the student is required to attend regularly a full-time school;

(B) Explains that the failure to send the student and maintain the student in regular attendance is a Class C violation;

(C) States that the superintendent may issue a citation;

(D) Requires the parent or guardian of the student and the student to attend a conference with a designated official;

(E) States that the parent or guardian has the right to request:

(i) For a student who does not have an individualized education program, an evaluation to determine if the student should have an individualized education program; or

(ii) For a student who has an individualized education program, a review of the individualized education program; and

(F) Is written in the native language of the parent or guardian of the student.

(b) Schedule the conference described in paragraph (a)(D) of this subsection. A conference may not be scheduled until after any evaluations or reviews described in paragraph (a)(E) of this subsection have been completed.

(3) Notwithstanding ORS 1.525 or any provision of ORS chapter 153, the State Board of Education by rule shall establish the citation form to be used by superintendents in citing violations established under ORS 339.990. Notwithstanding ORS 153.045, each of the parts of the citation shall contain the information required by the state board.

REGULATIONS

581-020-0631. Definitions: Chronic Absenteeism.

The following definitions apply to Oregon Administrative Rules 581-020-0630 through 581-020-0651:

(1) "Chronic absenteeism" means not attending school for 10 percent or more than 10 percent of school days that the student is enrolled in a school year.

(2) "Community-Based Organization" as defined in 581-017-0550(6).

(3) "Community Voice" means that members representing the community served by the program will be involved in co-constructing the project design, implementation, evaluation and/or providing strategic guidance in the final decision-making.

(4) "Culturally responsive" means the implicit recognition and incorporation of the cultural knowledge, experience, and ways of being and knowing of students in teaching, learning and assessment. This includes identifying, valuing, and maintaining high commitment to: students' cultural assets in instruction and assessment; diverse frames of reference that correspond to multifaceted cultural perspectives/experiences; and behaviors in the classroom that can differ from White-centered cultural views of what qualifies as achievement or success.

(5) "Culturally Specific Organization" means an organization that serves a particular cultural community and is primarily staffed and led by members of that community; these organizations demonstrate: intimate knowledge of lived experience of the community, including but not limited to the impact of structural and individual discrimination based on structural and individual racism or discrimination, gender identity and/or sexual orientation as well as other intersecting oppressions on the community; knowledge of specific disparities, barriers or challenges documented in the community and how that influences the structure of their program or service; commitment to the community's strength-based and self-driven thriving and resilience; ability to describe and adapt their services to the community's cultural practices, health and safety beliefs/practices, positive cultural identity/pride, religious beliefs, etc.

(6) "Education partners" includes students, parents, guardians, other family members, local governments, Community- Based Organizations, local businesses, culturally specific organizations, health care organizations and providers, public health agencies, transportation providers, and education based agencies and organizations.

(7) "Education Service District" as defined in ORS 334.013(1).

(8) "Focal student groups" means student groups as defined in 581-014-0001.

(9) "Indian Community-Based Organization" means any organization that (a) is composed primarily of Indian parents, family members, and community members, tribal government education officials, and tribal members, from a specific community; (b) assists in the social, cultural, and educational development of Indians in such community; and (c) meets the unique cultural, language, and academic needs of Indian students.

(10) "Rate of chronic absenteeism" means the percent of students who are chronically absent attending a school district or education institution.

(11) "Root causes of chronic absenteeism" include barriers to attending school, aversions to attending school, misconceptions about attendance and engagement, disengagement from school, and other circumstances or beliefs that cause a student to not attend school regularly.

(a) "Aversion to attending school" means the result of a circumstance that causes a student to avoid attending school, including but not limited to unsafe school conditions, bullying, or harassment or embarrassment resulting from a lack of culturally responsive teaching, a disability, or discipline.

(b) "Barrier to attending school" means the result of a circumstance preventing a student from attending school, such as an illness, poor transportation, the need to work, the need to fulfill a family duty, or the need to fulfill an obligation for purposes related to juvenile justice.

(c) "Disengagement from school" means a circumstance that causes a student to become disconnected from school, such as not having a meaningful relationship with any adults who work at the school or not finding anything relevant to the student's life in school curriculum.

(d) "Misconception about attendance and engagement" means a misconception about impact of missing school on student learning that causes a student to not attend school.

(12) "Partnership" as defined in 581-017-0550(11)

(13) "Regional Support Participants" means school districts, charter schools, youth correctional education programs, juvenile detention education programs, long term care and treatment educational programs participating in the Regional Support Model.

(14) "Rural district" means a school district located in this state and in a city with a population of fewer than 2,500 people or in an unincorporated area. Rural areas consist of open countryside with population densities less than 500 people per square mile and places with fewer than 2,500 people, as determined by the US Census Bureau.

(15) “Student” means any youth enrolled in PreK through 12th grade; unenrolled youth in the PreK through 12th grade age range who have not yet been awarded a high school diploma; youth enrolled in high school completion or GED preparation programs; and youth enrolled in Adult Transition Services.

(16) "Suburban district" means a school district located in this state and in a city that is a suburb of Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Medford, Portland, or Salem.

(17) "Town district" means a school district located in this state and in a city with a population of 2,500 or more people.

(18) “Trauma-Informed Practice” and “Trauma-Informed Principles and Practices” refers to a strengths-based, person-centered framework that recognized the physical, psychological, spiritual, and emotional impacts of trauma, and prioritizes creating safe spaces to promote healing. It recognizes and honors the inherent strengths, resilience and funds of knowledge within each person, and works to increase awareness of how these assets can be accessed, within the trusting spaces of human relationships, to promote healing and flourishing.

(19) “Tribal Nation” or “Tribe” as defined in 581-017-0675(10).

(20) "Urban district" means a school district located in Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Medford, Portland, or Salem.

581-020-0634. Chronic Absenteeism Support Program.

A Chronic Absenteeism Support Program is established to:

(1) Reduce chronic absenteeism;

(2) Identify school districts that have a high rate of chronic absenteeism;

(3) Inform identified school districts of their high rate of chronic absenteeism;

(4) Provide identified school districts with information related to best practices for reducing chronic absenteeism and the technical assistance necessary to reduce chronic absenteeism;

(5) Include stakeholder voice that mirrors the diversity of the community to facilitate an equitable and inclusive approach to reducing chronic absenteeism;

(6) Develop regional consortia for the purpose of reducing chronic absenteeism throughout the state; and

(7) Provide targeted assistance to school districts that have the highest rates of chronic absenteeism.

581-020-0637. Identifying School Districts with a High Rate of Chronic Absenteeism.

(1) Each biennium, the Oregon Department of Education shall identify school districts with a rate of chronic absenteeism that is 10 percent or more than 10 percent of students attending the school district.

(2) The department shall inform school districts identified under this rule of the rate at which chronic absenteeism occurs in the school district.

(3) School districts identified under this rule may elect to be a part of a regional consortium as described in OAR 581-020-0639.

(4) If selected by the department under OAR 581-020-0642, a school district identified under this rule may agree to receive targeted assistance under OAR 581-020-0645.

581-020-0640. Regional Consortia.

(1) The Oregon Department of Education shall implement a regional consortia model for the purpose of reducing chronic absenteeism throughout the state.

(2) The regional consortia model implemented under this rule must use regional consortia to provide regional support to school districts identified under OAR 581-020-0636 as having a high rate of chronic absenteeism that are located in the geographic area governed by the regional consortium.

(3) Each regional consortium must:

(a) Have a regional governance structure;

(b) Use a regional coordinator to establish communications between the department and school districts that are members of the consortium;

(c) Disseminate to school districts that are members of the consortium information developed by the department related to best practices for reducing chronic absenteeism;

(d) Conduct activities to reduce chronic absenteeism;

(e) Develop plans to reduce chronic absenteeism in conjunction with school districts that are members of the consortium, and with the timely and meaningful involvement of stakeholders;

(f) Provide school districts that are members of the consortium with available resources for the purposes of participating in activities conducted under this rule and implementing plans developed under this rule;

(g) Collect data from school districts that are members of the consortium on the effectiveness of activities conducted under this rule and plans developed under this rule; and

(h) Provide data collected under this rule to the department.

(4) In fulfilling its duties under this section, a school district must:

(a) Consider the root causes of chronic absenteeism;

(b) Identify student populations disproportionately affected by chronic absenteeism;

(c) Include stakeholders when developing a plan pursuant to subsection (3)(e) of this rule; and

(d) Include stakeholders when implementing and evaluating the plan developed pursuant to subsection (3)(e) of this rule.

(5) Plans developed pursuant to subsection (3)(e) of this rule must:

(a) Target the circumstances or beliefs identified as causing chronic absenteeism, including any barrier to attending school, aversion to attending school, misconception concerning school, or disengagement from school;

(b) Account for student populations disproportionately affected by chronic absenteeism;

(c) Be equitable and inclusive in their application to those student populations;

(d) Be culturally responsive; and

(e) Be trauma sensitive.

581-020-0643. Selecting School Districts to Receive Targeted Assistance.

From among school districts identified under OAR 581-020-0637 as having a high rate of chronic absenteeism, the Oregon Department of Education may select school districts and education districts to receive targeted assistance under OAR 581-020-0646. In selecting school districts under this rule, the department shall consider:

(1)  Which urban districts among all urban districts have the highest rates of chronic absenteeism;

(2)  Which suburban districts among all suburban districts have the highest rates of chronic absenteeism;

(3)  Which town districts among all town districts have the highest rates of chronic absenteeism;

(4)  Which rural districts among all rural districts have the highest rates of chronic absenteeism;

(5)  Whether a school district has a student population disproportionately affected by chronic absenteeism; and

(6)  Whether a school district has a lower than average rate of graduation.

581-020-0646. Targeted Assistance.

(1) If selected by the Oregon Department of Education under OAR 581-020-0642, a school district may agree to receive targeted assistance under this rule.

(2) A school district that receives targeted assistance under this rule must file with the department a report assessing the school district's needs related to chronic absenteeism. The report must:

(a) Identify the root causes of chronic absenteeism in the school district;

(b) Identify student populations disproportionately affected by chronic absenteeism in the school district; and

(c) Identify resources that may reduce chronic absenteeism in the school district.

(3) In consideration of the report, the department shall develop a plan to reduce chronic absenteeism in the school district in conjunction with the school district and stakeholders. The plan must propose solutions to chronic absenteeism that:

(a) Target the circumstances or beliefs identified as causing chronic absenteeism, including any barrier to attending school, aversion to attending school, misconception concerning school, or disengagement from school;

(b) Account for student populations disproportionately affected by chronic absenteeism;

(c) Are equitable and inclusive in its application to those student populations;

(d) Are culturally responsive; and

(e) Are trauma sensitive.

(4) In implementing a plan developed under this rule, a school district must collaborate with a coach approved by the department pursuant to OAR 581-020- 0648.

(5) Upon request, school districts shall submit to the department data on the effectiveness of plans developed under this rule.

581-020-0649. Chronic Absenteeism Coaches.

(1) For the purpose of assisting the implementation of a plan developed under OAR 581-020-0645, a school district must collaborate with a coach approved by the Oregon Department of Education who is knowledgeable about chronic absenteeism. A coach with whom a school district collaborates under this rule must be able to:

(a) Identify students who are at risk of being chronically absent;

(b) Identify student populations disproportionately affected by chronic absenteeism;

(c) Propose solutions to chronic absenteeism that:

(A) Target the circumstances or beliefs identified as causing chronic absenteeism, including any barrier to attending school, aversion to attending school, misconception concerning school, or disengagement from school; and

(B) Account for student populations disproportionately affected by chronic absenteeism;

(C) Are equitable and inclusive in their application to those student populations;

(D) Are culturally responsive; and

(E) Are trauma sensitive.

(2) In addition to the other requirements described in this rule, a coach with whom a school district collaborates under this rule must:

(a) Be experienced working with, and be able to engage, a wide variety of stakeholders; and

(b) Have a demonstrated history of using a collaborative approach to problem solving.

581-021-0050. Minimum standards for student conduct and discipline.

(1) School district boards shall prepare written rules of pupil conduct and discipline that shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following topics:

(a) Assembly of students;

(b) Dress and grooming;

(c) Motorized and nonmotorized vehicles;

(d) Search and seizure;

(e) Attendance;

(f) Freedom of expression;

(g) Alcohol, drugs, and tobacco;

(h) Student records;

(i) Discipline, suspension, and expulsion.

(2) School district rules pertaining to these topics shall include statements on student rights, responsibilities, and conditions which create a need for these rules.

581-021-0077. Compulsory Attendance Notices and Citation.

(1) Definitions for purposes of this rule:

(a) "Parent" means parent, guardian or other person having control of a minor child who has not completed the 12th grade or is not otherwise legally exempt from compulsory attendance under ORS 339.030.

(b) "Student" means a minor between the ages of 7 and 18 who has not completed the 12th grade, and who is not exempt from compulsory attendance under ORS 339.030.

(c) "Superintendent" means the superintendent of a public school district or the superintendent's designee.

(d) "Attendance supervisor" means an official appointed under ORS 339.040.

(e) "Regular attendance" means attendance which does not include more than eight unexcused one-half day absences, or the equivalent thereof, in any four-week period in which the school is in session.

(2) Notice of Attendance Supervisor. When an attendance supervisor determines a parent has failed to enroll his or her child and to maintain such child in regular attendance at a public school, the attendance supervisor shall give written notification to the parent within 24 hours of being informed of the failure. The notice may be served personally or by certified mail.

(a) The notice shall state that the student must appear at the public school on the next school day following receipt of the notice and maintain regular attendance for the remainder of the school year.

(b) The notice shall state that the parent has the right to request for a child who does not have an Individualized Education Program, an evaluation to determine if the child should have an Individualized Education Program; or for a child who has an Individualized Education Program, a review of the Individualized Education Program.

(c) The attendance officer, at the time the notice is served to the parent, shall notify the district superintendent, principal or other appropriate school official.

(3) Notice of Superintendent. If the parent receiving the notice of the attendance supervisor does not comply with that notice, the attendance officer, within three days of knowledge of such noncompliance, shall notify the superintendent. Upon notification by the attendance officer, the superintendent may issue a c

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