Wertz gives update on school attendance,enrollment, and safety

By William Wertz - Attendance, Enrollment & Safety Officer - Vandalia-Butler City Schools

Attendance: The new attendance law, Ohio HB 410, will go into effect during the 2017-18 school years. One of the most noticeable changes in HB 410 revises the statutory definition of “habitual truant,” by using hours instead of days. Under the Act, a child is a “habitual truant” when absent without legitimate excuse for:

  • 30 or more consecutive hours
  • 42 or more hours in one school month
  • 72 or more hours in a school year

The law requires the establishment of a mandatory 60-day absence intervention plan for each student who exceeds the threshold for a habitual truant. The student and parent/guardian will be required to complete the intervention, or a complaint must be filed in the Montgomery County Juvenile Court. When appropriate, the ACT requires the district to make a referral to Montgomery County Children Services. If a student fails to improve their attendance, the district could take additional actions. Actions may include but are not limited to, in-school suspension and exclusion from extra-curricular activities such as athletics, clubs, dances, or sporting events. If the student is of driving age, the district shall notify the Ohio BMV, at which time the state will suspend the student’s operator’s license. The good news is a habitual absence is a problem that can be solved. Everyone can make a difference by helping a student and families understand that going to school every day and avoiding absences whenever possible is critical. While addressing some attendance barriers, such as health and unstable housing, it can require longer-term strategies. Too often, we do not realize how quickly absences add up; missing just two days a month can cause a child to fall behind.

Enrollment: Vandalia-Butler is a highly sought after school district. The purpose of the enrollment office is to maintain the integrity of the district’s residency policy and to ensure proper registration. We verify the residences of new enrollees, as well as current students who are enrolled in community (online) school. We also investigate all residential affidavits. Vandalia-Butler is a closed district, which means the parent/guardian of a student must reside within our district (some State / Federal exemptions may apply). Many hours are involved in conducting residential investigations. Year to date the district has saved approximately 175,000.00 dollars by enforcing our enrollment policies. All new enrollments to the Vandalia-Butler School system are by appointment only. Registration will open on the follow dates:

  • Preschool- May 15, 2017 (limited spaces available)
  • Kindergarten – April 5, 2017
  • All other grade levels are currently open

Safety: Safety continues to be a priority for our school district. Our goal is to begin the 2017-18 school year as an ALICE trained school district. ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) is a program of proactive strategies that teach students and staff members how to increase their chances of survival during a violent encounter. This will be a blended learning format of online training managed by the ALICE Institute followed by a practical exercise conducted by a certified ALICE instructor. With the support of Superintendent Bradley Neavin and the Vandalia-Butler School Board, an ongoing cooperative effort has allowed local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as local fire departments, to conduct training exercises at the former Murlin Heights School. Most recently, the FBI hosted an active shooter course at Murlin Heights to provide free training to surrounding law enforcement agencies. We are proud to be able to provide this location for our local first responders.

If students, parents or community members would like to report issues of bullying, threats, drugs, violence, abuse, suspicious behavior, weapons or other safety concerns, there are two hotlines available: Public School Works at 1-866-listen2me (1-866-547-8362) or Ohio Safer Schools at 844-SaferOH (844-723-3764).


By William Wertz

Attendance, Enrollment & Safety Officer

Vandalia-Butler City Schools

Reach William Wertz at william.wertz@vbcsd.com.

Reach William Wertz at william.wertz@vbcsd.com.