If a student is absent without an excuse signed by the parent/guardian or if the student leaves school or a class without permission of the teacher or administrator in charge, the student shall be considered truant. An “habitual truant” shall be defined as a student of compulsory attendance age who has four total days of unexcused absences from school in any one month or 10 total days of unexcused absences during any school year. Absences due to suspension or expulsion shall not be counted in the total of unexcused absences for purposes of defining a student as an “habitual truant.”
In order to reduce the incidents of truancy, parents/guardians of all students shall be notified in writing at the beginning of each school year of their obligation to ensure that all children of compulsory attendance age attend school. Parents/guardians shall be required to acknowledge in writing awareness of their obligations and to furnish the school with a telephone number or other means of contacting them during the school day.
The school shall establish a system of monitoring individual unexcused absences. When a student fails to report on a regularly scheduled school day and school personnel have received no indication that the parent/guardian is aware of the absence, school personnel or volunteers under the direction of school personnel shall make a reasonable effort to notify the parent/guardian by telephone.
A plan shall be developed for a student who is at risk of being declared habitually truant with the goal of assisting the child to remain in school. The plan shall also include strategies to address the reasons for the truancy. When practicable, the student’s parent, guardian or legal custodian shall participate with district personnel during the development of the plan. Appropriate school personnel shall make reasonable efforts to meet with the parent, guardian or legal custodian to review and evaluate the reasons for the student’s truancy.
In accordance with law, the district may impose appropriate penalties that relate directly to classes missed while truant. Penalties may include a warning, school detention or in-school suspension. Academic penalties, out-of-school suspensions or expulsion shall not be imposed for any truancy.
The administration shall develop regulations to implement appropriate penalties for truancy. The school administration shall consider the correlation between course failure, truancy and a student dropping out of school in developing these regulations and shall implement research-based strategies to re-engage students with a high number of truancies.
Adopted: October 9, 2007
Revised: September 23, 2014
LEGAL REFS.: C.R.S. 22-14-101 et seq. (dropout prevention and student re-engagement)
C.R.S. 22-33-104 (compulsory school attendance)
C.R.S. 22-33-105 (suspension/expulsion)
C.R.S. 22-33-107 (enforcement of compulsory school attendance)
C.R.S. 22-33-108 (judicial proceedings to enforce school attendance laws)
1 CCR 301-78 Rules 1.00 et seq. (standardized calculation for counting student attendance and truancy)
CROSS REFS.: IHBG, Home Schooling
JEA, Compulsory Attendance Ages
JFC, Student Withdrawal from School/Dropouts
JH, Student Absences and Excuses
Huerfano School District Re-1, Walsenburg, Colorado