Reporting School Absences Rule 12/15/14

December 15th, 2014

There have been some major changes in the report rule for school absences:

Here is the reference for the law:  512 IAC 1-1

Also Appendix D in the “Communicable Disease Reference Guide for Schools” has information and links about this rule:

In 2004 the “Counterterrorism Symptom and Health Syndrome Data Collection” (IC 16-19-10-8) law was enacted in an effort to better monitor and track symptoms and health syndromes from outbreaks or suspected outbreaks of diseases or other health conditions that may endanger public health.

As a result of this law, the IDOE developed and enacted  5 12  IAC 1 , “ Threshold o f Student Absences  for Re porting Purposes to Local health Departments”  (a.k.a. “20% Absenteeism Rule”) as a means to give guidance to schools on their responsibilities for reporting excessive absenteeism to support this effort.

This rule (512 IAC 1) requires school corporations and accredited nonpublic schools to:

  1. Develop, in consultation with the school nurse, a local attendance system for reporting symptoms and health syndromes from outbreaks or suspected outbreaks of diseases or other health conditions.
  2. Report to the local health department the percentage of student absences when the percentage of student absences from a school is equal to or greater than 20% of the enrolled students (Exceptions: days immediately before or after school vacation days or scheduled instructional day that is canceled due to any weather-related emergency unless otherwise determined by the superintendent).
  3. Report to the IDOE State Attendance Officer the percentage of student absences when the percentage of student absences from a school  is equal to or greater than 20% of the enrolled students.

Note: The report should be made based on a 20% rate of absenteeism for a school rather than a school corporation.

The LHD and/or ISDH staff investigates each case of a reportable illness as designated by the Communicable Disease Reporting Rule referenced earlier in this document.  The local health department staff can provide assistance to school personnel on non-reportable communicable diseases as well.  They will assist school staff with implementing exclusion requirements and control measures as they become necessary. The input of school nurses towards the successful monitoring of disease activity in the community and school environment is a very valuable part of the public health process.

State Attendance Officer Contact Information
Contact information for the IDOE State Attendance Officer can be found on the IDOE Office of Student Services website at http://www.doe.in.gov/student-services.

Thanks.

Questions call Deb McMahan, MD