2.12 COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
2.12.1 Compulsory education is required for:
A. Any student who is at least five (5) years of age prior to 12:01
a.m. on September 1 of the school year.
B. Any student who has not graduated from high school.
C. Any student who has not reached the age of majority (18
The New Mexico Children’s Code provides that if a child has more than
ten unexcused absences per semester, the child’s family may be
designated a “family in need of services,” or a “family in need of court-
ordered supervision.” A child of a parent who willingly and/or
knowingly allowed habitual truancy by his or her parents may also be
a "neglected child.” State law requires that schools report violations of
the Compulsory School Attendance Law to the Probation Services
Office of the judicial district in which the student resides for
investigation to determine whether the student may be a neglected
child or a child in a family in need of services, and thus subject to the
provisions of the Children’s Code. Violations of the compulsory school
attendance laws can subject parents to criminal sanctions as provided
by New Mexico law. In addition to any other disposition, the Children’s
Court may order the habitual truant’s driving privileges 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.
2.12.2 Any person subject to compulsory education shall attend
school for at least the length of the established school calendar year.
2.12.3 All registered students shall attend school at the public
school in the district in which he/she resides during each school term.
The Superintendent will make exceptions to this policy, except in cases
of building transfers. Requests for transfer from one attendance area
to another must follow policy (Sec. 2.22) and are approved by the
receiving school principal.
2.12.4 All secondary level students shall be in their scheduled
classes all day, every day, Monday through Friday. All absences
require verification from a parent or guardian.
Maintaining regular school attendance is the joint responsibility
of parents and educators. In keeping with the obligation, the school
will be required to take and maintain attendance by class period for
every instructional day. Schools are required to report unexcused
absences of two or more classes up to fifty percent of an instructional
day as one-half day absence, and the unexcused absence of more than
fifty percent of an instructional day to be counted as one full-day
absence. The following rules for school attendance shall be observed
and enforced for secondary students.
1. Unexcused Absence: an absence or tardy (as defined
by student handbooks) for which no appropriate excuse has been
provided by the student’s parent or legal guardian within the time
limits provided by this policy. Special family situations may be
considered appropriate for excused absence or tardy when prior
approval is received from the principal or his/her designee. (See B.1)
2. Students in Need of Early Intervention: a student who has
accumulated five unexcused absences within any school year.
3. Habitual Truant: a student who has accumulated ten or more
unexcused absences within a school year.
B. Attendance Requirements
1. Parent Notification of Absence: A parent or guardian shall
notify the school each day his or her child will be absent from any
class and the reason for the absence; or shall provide a written and
signed verification of the reason for the student’s absence, to be
presented upon the first day a student returns to school from any
absence. If a student has been absent for three (3) or more
consecutive days due to illness, the principal or his/her designee may
require written verification from the student’s professional health-care
provider. Any absence that goes 3 (three) school days without being
verified will remain an unexcused absence.
2. Prolonged Illnesses: In cases of chronic or prolonged illnesses
expected to last 10 days or more, during which the student is able to
do school work, the student’s parent or guardian shall present written
verification by the student’s professional health care provider of the
expected length of the illness and of the student’s ability to do
schoolwork at home, and the student shall be placed on home-bound
study until he or she can return to school.
3. MakeUp Work Missed; Grades: Following an excused absence,
a student shall be given a reasonable time by his or her teacher within
which to make up the work the student missed during the absence. A
student shall not be provided the opportunity to make up work missed
during an unexcused absence.
At applicable grade levels, if an absence is unexcused, or if the student
fails to make up the work missed during an excused absence within
the time permitted, any work for which a grade was taken will be
counted as a zero for such student in the teacher’s grade book, and
averaged into the student’s grades for the relevant grading period.
4. Discipline: In addition to the other measures to be imposed
according to this policy, students may receive detention, in-school
suspension, or other discipline designed to keep the student in school
and progressing academically, for each unexcused absence, at the
discretion of the principal or his/her designee. Out-of-school
suspension and expulsion will not be used as punishment for truancy
or unexcused absences.
5. Notice to Parents of Unexcused Absence: If a student is
absent from school without a parent notification of absence, as
required by paragraph B.1, above, the principal or his/her designee
will, as soon as practicable, contact the parents or legal guardians by
telephone or mail to give notice of the student’s absence and to
ascertain and document the reason for the absence.
6. Third Unexcused Absence – Parent Conference Requested:
Upon a student’s accrual of a third unexcused absence, the school will
provide written notice to the student’s parent or legal guardian that
the parent/guardian may be requested to meet with the principal or
his/her designee for the purpose of identifying the cause(s) of the
unexcused absences, and to establish a plan to prevent future
unexcused absences. The plan will be confirmed in writing and signed
by the principal and the parent or legal guardian during the
7. Fifth Unexcused Absence – Parent Conference and Notice to
Probation Services Office: Upon the student’s accrual of a fifth
unexcused absence during the school year, the school may notify the
student’s parent/guardian that he or she is required to attend a further
conference to review the plan to prevent unexcused absences.
8. Tenth Unexcused Absence/Notice and Reports of Truancy:
The school shall provide written notice of truancy by mail to, or by
personal service to, the parent/guardian of the student. The notice
shall include a date, time and place for the parent to meet with the
local school district or charter to develop intervention strategies that
focus on keeping the student in an educational setting. If a student
continues to accrue unexcused absences after written notice of truancy
has occurred, (within seven days) 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 may be
considered to be:
a. a neglected child
b. a child in a family in need of services because of habitual
truancy and subject to provisions of the Children’s Code.
c. child of a parent determined to have willingly and/or knowingly
allowed truancy and is therefore subject to the provisions of the
compulsory school attendance law.
9. Excessive and Pattern Absences: Habitual student absences
shall be monitored for patterns (i.e., every Monday or Friday), and
reported as required herein.
10. Distribution of Policy; Acknowledgment of Receipt: A copy of
this policy will be included in the schools’ student handbooks and
distributed to every student at the beginning of each school year.
11. The school district shall provide a data base in which they
can report attendance in accordance with 22.214.171.124 NMAC.
2.12.5 Any student may be excused from school to participate in
religious instruction for not more than one class period each school
day under the following conditions:
A. the student must provide the written consent of the parent;
B. the time period must not conflict with the academic program
of the school;
C. the Board of Education has approved student participation in
2.12.6 Any parent, guardian or person having custody and control
of a person subject to provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance
law are responsible for the school attendance of that person.
2.12.7 Native American Students Farmington Municipal Schools
works through the Office of Indian Education and the Navajo Nation to
ensure we have an understanding of customs, religion, and laws,
which might affect student attendance.
The District Attorney’s office and the San Juan County
Truancy Task Force representatives communicate with Navajo Nation
through the Indian Education Office, Johnson O’Malley and Chapter
House meetings to ensure the District has respectful and effective
ways to notify parents of Native American students in need of early
intervention or who are habitually truant.
Farmington Municipal Schools Native American counselors at
the secondary level are responsible for follow-up and reinforcement
procedures for Native American students.
2.12.8 Attendance Policy for Students Charged with a Capital Crime
Any student charged with or convicted of a capital crime unrelated to
his or her status as a student who wishes to continue his or her
education may do so only according to the terms and conditions, and
under the circumstances, provided herein:
A. Any such student who wishes to continue his or her education
during the pendency of his or her criminal proceedings must submit a
written request to do so to the building principal;
B. Upon receipt of such a request, the building principal shall
develop and submit to the Superintendent for approval a plan to
provide continued educational services to the student on an off-
campus, homebound, or other alternative basis;
C. Upon such approval by the Superintendent or his or her
designee, the student shall be limited to the alternative educational
1. he or she is acquitted of the charge or charges; or
2. he or she is removed from or leaves the District.
2.12.9 Exemptions From Compulsory Attendance Law for Students
Section 22-12-6 exemption from the Compulsory School Attendance
Law requires that a student who is at least seventeen (17) years of
age and has been excused by the local school board or its authorized
representative, upon a finding that the person will be employed in a
gainful trade occupation or engages in an alternative form of education
sufficient for the person's educational needs, and the parent, guardian
or custodial parent having custody and control consents.
2.12.10 Procedures for Enforcement
Each building will provide procedures and forms to use in their student
handbooks for implementation of the district attendance policy.
(NOTE: Numbers 2.13 through 2.19 are reserved for future policies)