The Attendance Policy Has Changed

Amy Garcia

This year’s attendance policy has changed because the district has implemented a new attendance policy rule. The new rule is that a student can’t miss school more than five days. 

The CHS (Chaparral High School) attendance policy is if you miss five days, the attendance clerk Amy Garcia will have to call home. If she sees that a student is absent, she will write a report and then write a letter that will be sent home to the parent. Once the student misses five days, they have to send the truancy officer. Then they have a meeting. Garcia said “if the student hits more  than ten days, we have to host another meeting with a parent and at this point the counselors will be included.”

Once the student misses seventeen days they lose credit. She said “this year we’re not very sure if there would be any credit recovery and it should probably stay like that.” Garcia says, “You guys will have to face an attendance committee once you reach seventeen absences.” She said, “That’s why doctor’s notes are very important even though they are excused or unexcused still count against you.” 

The attendance policy affects Garcia by having to report it  every 40 days to the state. The state gives her certain rules to follow and enforce. Garcia said, “It’s like they give us money everyday you guys are in school, so we have to account for you guys everyday. If not, they’ll start questioning us why the student is not in school, if we are paying you for the student to be in school.”

The purpose of the attendance policy is to enforce that students are coming to school. She said, “It’s basically just like a guideline, like if you guys get a job there’s going to be a policy for you guys.”

The amount of absences that are considered excessive are ten absences she said, “With those ten absences, I can drop you guys or that’s when we have a meeting to see what’s going on.” The absences do affect graduation. Absences do not reset each semester; they stay the same. They only reset each year.”

All the school, state wide, have to go to submit these reports to NMPED  on these days: 40,  80, 120, 160, 180. Garcia has to be able to justify why the attendance count is low. The state mandates that we should have an attendance rate at 95 percent, and for the past two years, we have been at 92 and that’s not acceptable .