ASI / Truancy Policies / State Law

Silver Consolidated Schools Attendance, Tardiness and Truancy Policy 

The regular school attendance of a child of school age is required by state   law.  The Parent or Guardian is charged by law with the responsibility for   the student’s school attendance until the child is at least 18 years of age,    under the provision of the Compulsory School Attendance Act.   A “school age person” is defined by the State as a person who is at least five (5) years of age prior to 12:01 a.m. on September 1st of the school year and who has not received a high school diploma or its equivalent.  A child who has been evaluated and recommended for special services with a disability in accord with statute, and is at least three (3) years of age, may be admitted to preschool.

Regular school attendance is essential for success in school.  All students are expected to attend school regularly and be on time in order to benefit from the instructional program and to develop habits of punctuality, self-discipline, and responsibility.  Poor attendance at school will result in involvement of the Juvenile Probation and Parole Office (JPPO) with issuance of attendance   contracts and/or sanctions for non-attendance. 

Excused Absences:  Each year a student is allowed seven (7) parental excused absences.  A parental excused absence is defined as one in which a parent or guardian calls school to report absence of the student.  None of these absences need to be verified; however, a follow-up written note signed by parent should be sent with the student upon his/her return to school.  An absence will be considered unexcused if parent does not send a note within twenty-four (24) hours of student’s return.

On the eighth and any subsequent absences ONLY a doctor’s excuse or verification by court or hospital will be accepted and the excuse should contain:

  • Illness, injuries or treatment must be verified by a physician’s note, which mandates the student to miss school with the number of specific days and return date. 
  • Hospitalization—verified by hospital.
  • Court attendance—verified by court letter or other documentation.

Unexcused Absences:  An unexcused absence is defined as an absence not verified as excused by the school.  Any absence after the seventh parental excused absence will be considered an unexcused absence UNLESS it fits the criteria described above.

Each school will notify parents of attendance issues through written correspondence.  The first correspondence will be a phone call to the parent after the student has received three (3) unexcused absences.  Another phone call will be made after the student has five (5) unexcused absences.  A formal    letter will be hand delivered to the parent when the student has received   seven (7) absences, and then another letter when the student has a total of ten (10) unexcused absences.

 All absences, excused or unexcused, accumulating to more than ten (10) days in a semester may result in a loss of credit and/or grade level promotion.

In the event a parent knows in advance of a necessary absence, the parent is expected to inform the school office with a signed note or by telephone.  A note will be required within 24 hours of the child’s return to school if it is not provided prior to the absence.  

Tardiness:  A record of tardiness is kept by each school.  Disciplinary action for tardiness is determined at the school level.  For more information on how tardiness is recorded and dealt with, each building will notify parents/guardians and student of the attendance process and procedures at the beginning of each school year.

Truancy:  Truancy is defined as an absence that is unexcused.  A “habitually truant” student has accumulated ten (10) or more unexcused absences and is in need of early intervention.  Parents of such students will receive notice from the school requesting a meeting with school personnel by a student’s fifth (5th) unexcused absence to develop intervention strategies for keeping the student in school.  The parent/guardian and school staff will meet to determine the following:

  • The cause(s) for the absences
  • Preventive measures
  • Resources to address the causes
  • A corrective action plan with follow-up procedures

Continued unexcused absences may result in follow-up with the JPO office.  Such action could result in contact with or a referral to children’s court.  Schools will keep the following records for each student identified as habitually truant:

  • Copies of attempts to notify the parent/guardian of the students unexcused absences
  • Attempts to meet with the parents to discuss intervention strategies with results
  • Intervention strategies implemented to support keeping the student in school

 Only after intervention strategies have been exhausted may the school consider withdrawal of the student. 

 As per policy, exclusions and exemptions from school attendance take place when a student becomes eligible for homebound services.  Such services must be approved as per policy prior to taking place.  Eligibility is based on the following:

  • The recommendation by a licensed physician based on a severe illness or injury
  • The determination that the student will be absent from school for ten or more consecutive days
  • The decision of a Multi-Disciplinary team as documented in an IEP for a special education student for placement and services.

State law prohibits suspension and expulsion as a punishment for unexcused absences and habitual truancy.

For more information on notices, follow-up, and intervention, please contact the school administration.

              

22-12-7. Enforcement of attendance law (2009) 

A. Each local school board and each governing body of a charter school or private school shall initiate the enforcement of the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law [22-12-1 NMSA 1978] for students enrolled in their respective schools. 

B. To initiate enforcement of the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law against an habitual truant, a local school board or governing body of a charter school or private school or its authorized representatives shall give written notice of the habitual truancy by mail to or by personal service on the parent of the student subject to and in noncompliance with the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law. The notice shall include a date, time and place for the parent to meet with the local school district, charter school or private school to develop intervention strategies that focus on keeping the student in an educational setting. 

C. If unexcused absences continue after written notice of habitual truancy as provided in Subsection B of this section has occurred, the student shall be reported to the probation services office of the judicial district where the student resides for an investigation as to whether the student shall be considered to be a neglected child or a child in a family in need of services because of habitual truancy and thus subject P. 5 NEW MEXICO STATUTES - EXCERPTS to the provisions of the Children's Code [32A-1-1 NMSA 1978]. The probation services office may send a written notice to a parent of the student directing the parent and student to report to the probation services office to discuss services for the student or the family. In addition to any other disposition, the children's court may order the habitual truant's driving privileges to be suspended for a specified time not to exceed ninety days on the first finding of habitual truancy and not to exceed one year for a subsequent finding of habitual truancy. 

D. If, after review by the juvenile probation office where the student resides, a determination and finding is made that the habitual truancy by the student may have been caused by the parent of the student, then the matter will be referred by the juvenile probation office to the district attorney's office or any law enforcement agency having jurisdiction for appropriate investigation and filing of charges allowed under the Compulsory School Attendance Law. Charges against the parent may be filed in metropolitan court, magistrate court or district court.
NEW MEXICO STATUTES - ARTICLE 12

Compulsory School Attendance - Excerpts 22-12-2. Compulsory school attendance; responsibility. (2007)

A. Except as otherwise provided, a school-age person shall attend public school, private school, home school or a state institution until the school-age person is at least eighteen years of age unless that person has graduated from high school or received a general educational development certificate. A parent may give written, signed permission for the school-age person to leave school in case of hardship approved by the local superintendent.

B. A school-age person subject to the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law [22-12-1 NMSA 1978] shall attend school for at least the length of time of the school year that is established in the school district in which the person is a resident or the state-chartered charter school in which the person is enrolled and the school district or state-chartered charter school shall not excuse a student from attending school except as provided in that law or for parent-authorized medical reasons.

C. Any parent of a school-age person subject to the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law is responsible for the school attendance of that person.

D. Each local school board and each governing body of a charter school or private school shall enforce the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law for students enrolled in their respective schools.