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Attendance Monitoring - November 2010 Revision

Note: This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in May 2013. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please refer to the current procedural Directive.

State Statutes Governing Student Attendance

New Mexico Statute 22-12-2 states:

Any parent, guardian or person having custody and control of a person subject to the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law is responsible for the school attendance of that person.

Elementary and Middle School Attendance Procedures

Each school will, at a minimum, hold an annual meeting to explain attendance policies and procedures and to solicit recommendations and suggestions from families.

  1. Parents are urged to call the school to report the absence of their children.
  2. Calls regarding absences are requested as early in the school day as possible, but they will be accepted until the end of the school day.

     

  3. If the school has not been given prior notice by phone, the parent or guardian will provide the school with a written explanation concerning all student absences upon the student's return to school.
  4. Absences will be recorded daily.
  5. Parents will be informed on the nine-week and semester report cards of the number of absences for each student.
  6. Teachers will be informed of calls concerning student absences.
  7. The school should be notified by the parent or guardian of anticipated absences because of trips, family emergencies, and medical or agency appointments.
  8. Each school will attempt to investigate unexplained absences through telephone contact or home visits with parents/guardians as soon as possible and advise them regarding the importance of regular school attendance and the legal implications involved. This contact attempt must be documented by the end of the fourth day on any unexplained absences of three days consecutive.

Chronic Attendance Problems

  1. Conferences will be held by the principal or assistant principal, with parents/guardians, student, nurse, counselors, and teachers when the attendance problem appears to be developing. If family problems appear to be involved, families will be counseled to seek help from appropriate community services.
  2. Should the counseling described above fail, a summary of the problem with documentation of the school's efforts will be transmitted to the Children's Court Liaison. At this point, legal notice may be served on the parents/guardians or other persons having custody of the student. Copies of this summary will be available at the school.

    The legal notice immediate steps must be taken to return the student to school by reporting to the office of the principal. Such notice shall be sent by certified mail, should the effort to serve personal notice fail.

  3. If the student has not reported to school within ten (10) days following receipt of notice, the school shall notify the Children's Court under the provisions of State Statute 22-12-7, and the child must be disenrolled.
  4. Special Education

    Regular attendance is expected of special education students. Exceptions to this directive may be made, however, with respect to individual needs of such students. District special education specialists should be consulted regarding attendance problems of special education students.

    High School Attendance Procedures

    Each school will, at a minimum, hold an annual meeting to explain attendance policies and procedures and to solicit recommendations and suggestions from families.

    1. Parents or guardian are expected to contact the school regarding student absences within 24 hours after date of absence.
    2. Teachers will record absences each class period in their grade books, and a report of such absences will be sent to the attendance office to be recorded.
    3. The school will keep a record of excused and unexcused absences.
    4. Parents will be informed on the nine-week and semester report cards of the number of absences for each student.
    5. Each school will attempt to investigate unexplained absences through telephone contact or home visits with parents/guardians as soon as possible and advise them regarding the importance of regular school attendance and the legal implications involved. This contact attempt must be documented by the end of the fourth day on any unexplained absences of three days consecutive.

    Absence Limitations, Chronic Attendance Problems

    1. Students with eleven (11) or more absences per subject per semester may be subject to long-term suspension. This limitation is related to the requirement of regular attendance in order to receive credit but does not reflect an entitlement to any given number of absences or credits.
    2. A minimum of two (2) parent conferences will be held and a warning letter must be sent prior to a recommendation for suspension from school. The second conference should be held in person if possible. If unable to contact parents by phone or personal conference, school authorities will attempt to notify parents of the problem by certified mail.
    3. Students who have not been in school and who request to enroll late are to be enrolled. (New Mexico Statute 22-1-4, 1978.) Grades and credits for the semester will be determined by the teacher(s) in consultation with the principal and are dependent upon the effort and achievement demonstrated by the student during the time the student is enrolled. The student and his parents are to be made aware of the above upon enrollment.
    4. When a student's schedule has been reduced to attendance in fewer than three classes because of excessive absences, the principal may propose that the student be suspended from school for the remainder of the semester. The student and the student's parents must be notified of the proposed suspension in accordance with the Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy.
    5. A student must remain on class rolls but not the 20-day report until notification from the principal that the student is officially withdrawn or an official change of schedule has been made.
    6. Students Who Have Exceeded Absence Limitations and Who Move to New Attendance Areas

      A student in this category will be allowed to enter school in the attendance area to which the student has moved if the student has not been suspended from the prior school for excessive absences. The student and parents are to be advised that prior absences will be taken into consideration if a pattern of absenteeism recurs at the school of new enrollment.

      Special Education Attendance

      Regular attendance is expected of special education students. Exceptions to this directive may be made, however, with respect to individual needs of such students. Area special education coordinators should be consulted regarding attendance problems of special education students.

      Cross Ref.:

      Legal Ref.:

      • 22-12-1 to 22-12-7 NMSA 1978 (1986 Repl.)
      • 22-12-7 to 22-12-8 NMSA 1978 (1988 Supp.)

      NSBA/NEPN Classification: JHGBB

      Revised: May 1995
      Revised:
      April 1996
      Revised:
      June 1997
      Revised:
      July 1998

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