2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 22 - Public Schools
Article 12A - Attendance for Success
Section 22-12A-6 - Public school attendance policies; reporting.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 22-12A-6 (2019)

A. A public school shall maintain an attendance policy that:

(1) establishes an early warning system that includes evidence-based metrics to identify students at risk of chronic absenteeism or excessive absenteeism;

(2) provides for early identification of chronically absent and excessively absent students;

(3) employs an attendance improvement plan that focuses on:

(a) keeping students in an educational setting;

(b) prohibiting out-of-school suspension or expulsion as the punishment for absences;

(c) assisting a student's family to remove barriers to the student's regular school attendance or attendance in another educational setting; and

(d) providing additional educational opportunities to students who are struggling with attendance;

(4) limits the ability of a student to withdraw to only after all intervention efforts by the public school or the children, youth and families department to keep the student in an educational setting have been exhausted;

(5) requires that accurate class attendance be taken for every instructional class and school day in a public school or school program;

(6) provides that a public school shall differentiate between different types of absences;

(7) requires a public school to document the following for each chronically or excessively absent student:

(a) attempts by the public school to notify a parent that the student was absent from class or the school day;

(b) attempts to improve attendance by talking to a student or parent to identify barriers to school attendance, identify solutions to improve the student's attendance behavior and discuss necessary interventions for the student or the student's family; and

(c) intervention strategies implemented to support keeping the student in an educational setting, including additional educational opportunities offered to the student;

(8) requires a student or the parent of a student who intends to claim excused absence because of medical condition, pregnancy or parenting to communicate the student's status to the appropriate school personnel and to provide required documentation; and

(9) encourages and supports compliant data sharing, pursuant to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, between a public school and community-based organizations that provide services to students for the purpose of providing more personalized interventions and specialized supports as part of the public school's attendance improvement plan.

B. Local school boards shall review and approve their public school attendance policies.

C. School districts shall report absences, chronic absences and excessive absences data to the department at each reporting date and the end of the school year and shall document intervention efforts made to keep students in an educational setting. The department shall compile school district reports as provided in Section 13 [22-12A-13 NMSA 1978] of the Attendance for Success Act and require school districts to certify that the information is being reported consistently and correctly. The department shall share information from state-chartered charter schools with the commission.

D. A public school shall provide a copy of the public school's attendance policy to all parents of students in that school and publish the policy on the public school's website. The attendance policy shall include:

(1) the rights and obligations of parents and students pursuant to the Attendance for Success Act;

(2) the prevention strategies that will be implemented to ensure that students attend classes; and

(3) details about consequences of failing to adhere to the attendance policy.

E. A public school shall provide a parent, within five days of the parent's written request, with access to the attendance data of that parent's child, including information about any intervention strategies that have been employed to help the student improve the student's attendance.

F. Upon request, school districts shall provide the chronic absence rate from the most current reporting date or end-of-year report, in the aggregate and disaggregated by subgroups, for all its public schools.

History: Laws 2019, ch. 223, § 6.


Cross references. — For the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, see 20 U.S.C. § 1232g.

Effective dates. — Laws 2019, ch. 223 contained no effective date provision, but, pursuant to N.M. Const., art. IV, § 23, was effective June 14, 2019, 90 days after the adjournment of the legislature.

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