Regular attendance is essential to a student’s success in school. Most subjects are taught in sequence, requiring the understanding of each concept in the order of its presentation. Persistent absenteeism creates a hardship for a student and is regarded a serious problem. Class attendance is taken and maintained by instructional hours. Over ten minutes up to fifty percent or three hours late equals half day absence. Over three hours late equals half day absence. Over three hours missed instructional time equals one day absence.
Pursuant to NMSA-22-12-7 New Mexico Compulsory School Attendance Law a parent or guardian is responsible for the attendance of their child. Violations will be reported to the authorities for enforcement of the law.
Parents are required to contact the school concerning absences and notify TCS of extenuating circumstances that may hamper school attendance by a child. The excuse must be received within 48 hours of the absence or the absence will be recorded as unexcused. State law requires that after 3 days of illness a written doctor’s excuse be provided for documentation.
Students having 10 days of unexcused absences will be reported to the Children, Youth & Families Department and/or the Juvenile Probation Office. Students having 20 total days of absences will be considered for retention in their grade level. Any student showing a consistent pattern of unexcused absences will be reported to the Children, Youth & Families Department and/or the Juvenile Probation Office. Taos Charter School prohibits out-of-school suspension and expulsion as a punishment for unexcused absences and habitual truancy. Disenrollment due to consecutive absences will only be used after exhausting intervention efforts to keep a student in school.
Excused absences include: a student’s religious observation, a student’s illness, death in a student’s family or a student’s medical appointments and district sports participation. Unexcused absences include: vacations, shopping trips, family visits, parent unable to bring student to school (bus service is provided to all students in the district), etc.
Intergovernmental Agreements: While all children attending public schools are subject to the Compulsory School Attendance Law reporting, TCS takes into consideration the sovereignty of Native American tribe members (with 506 documentation) and will excuse absences due to tribal customs and religious practices. Native American students who are habitual truants will be referred to the JPPO and Tribal Government.
Students are expected to be on time and in attendance when classroom lessons begin. Being on time is a critical life skill, especially relating to future work activities.
Students are required to check in at the office for an admit slip when they are tardy. Teachers will not accept students into class without an admit slip.
Unexcused Absence Consequences
Three (3) days tardy, will count as one (1) unexcused absence for attendance purposes. Any student showing a consistent pattern of days tardy will be reported to the Children, Youth & Families Department and/or the Juvenile Probation Office. There are no “excused” tardies.
1 unexcused absence: It is the parent’s responsibility to call in to provide a reason their child was absent from school. Excused absences include: religious observation, illness, and death in family or medical appointments. Unexcused absences include: vacations, shopping trips, family visits, parent unable to bring student to school, etc. Parents have 24 hours to call in to excuse their child’s absence. After 24 hours, the child is considered unexcused.
3 unexcused absences: Referral to TCS’ Truancy Prevention Specialist, who will send a 3-day unexcused attendance letter by mail with personal receipt informing the parents that their child has 3 unexcused absences and if the absences continue, according to the NMSA-22-12-7 New Mexico Compulsory School Attendance Act, the child and parents will be referred to the Juvenile Probation Office.
5 unexcused absences: 5-day unexcused attendance letter goes home via mail with personal receipt informing the parents’ of their child’s unexcused absences and possible referral to the JPO. A presentation on the problems associated with excessive absences will be available for parents to view.
7 unexcused absences: 7-day unexcused attendance letter goes home via mail with personal receipt informing the parents’ of their child’s unexcused absences and a final warning that if the child should accrue 10 unexcused absences, he/she would be considered a Habitual Truant and referred to the Juvenile Probation Office. At this time, parents are required to schedule a meeting with the Truancy Prevention Specialist and a corrective plan shall be established. This plan will have follow-up procedures that address the causes of the child’s truancy and referral to community organizations for assistance if needed.
10 unexcused absences: 10-day unexcused absence letter goes home via mail with personal receipt informing the parents’ of their child’s unexcused absences with a date, time, and a place to meet to discuss what will happen if the child should accrue another unexcused absence. Pre-JPO referral paperwork is filled out and an attendance contract is designed to address the causes for the student’s unexcused absences and to establish a corrective action plan.
Documentation will be kept listing notification, communication, and interventions for each student in need of early intervention and habitual truancy.
11+ unexcused absences: Within 7 days a referral will sent by the school to the JPPO. Noncompliance with the conditions of probation will result in a referral to the District Attorney for prosecution, per NMSA-22-12-7 New Mexico Compulsory School Attendance Law.
Excusing Student Absences
- Call attendance line, 751-7222 press 2 for attendance, and state the date and why your child is absent.
- DO NOT rely on verbal communication or notes left with office staff or the teacher.
- Messages left on a teacher’s voicemail are not sufficient; you must leave a message with the office.
- Absences are only excused if called in within 48 hours.
- Doctor’s excuses must be provided after the third consecutive absence and within 48 hours.
- There are no excused tardies. Keep in mind 3 tardies = 1 unexcused absence. Instructional time begins promptly at 7:50am and 8:20am.
- Even 1 minute late is a tardy.
Attendance is critical to academic success! Plan vacations during Fall, Spring, Winter and Summer Breaks!