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Attendance Information

School starts at 8:30.  The first bell rings at 8:25.  Students arriving after the tardy bell are asked to check in at the office and get a tardy slip.  Thank you, parents!

When your student is absent from school for any reason, please call the Whittier Elementary School Attendance Line at 255-2008 and select option 2. State your student’s name, your name, the date of the absence, and the reason for the absence. Please report all absences to the attendance line no later than 9:30 a.m. on the day of the absence.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

Teachers will take attendance by class period for each instruction day. 
• A parent/guardian must notify the school that the student will be absent in accordance with the notification procedure established by the school.
• A parent/guardian must notify the school each day that a student is signing out before the end of the instructional day in accordance with the notification procedure established by the school officials. 

Absences may be excused for the following reasons with appropriate documentation:
o Illness (including chronic illness documented on a health plan, IEP or 504 plan)
o Limited family emergencies; family deaths
o Medical, health or legal appointments
o Suspensions
o Religious commitment
o College visit
o Deployment of a military parent as defined in the “Military Children” procedural directive
o Limited extenuating circumstances as approved in advance by the school principal

All absences for other reasons are unexcused including:
o Non-school sponsored activities or trips
o Family vacations outside of the normally scheduled school breaks

New Mexico State Law dictates that:
• Students between the ages of 5 and 18 years of age are mandated to attend public school, private school, home school or a state institution.
• Schools will provide intervention strategies that focus on keeping students in school.
• Habitual truants are reported to appropriate authorities such as the APS Attendance Office, CYFD staff, Juvenile Probation & Parole, District Attorney, Truancy Court, and the State of New Mexico.
• Consequences in New Mexico law include: license revocation, fines, and loss of New Mexico Works Program monetary assistance.
• Students receiving financial assistance from the New Mexico Works program must comply with school attendance requirements, or the student’s financial assistance may be removed.

It is understood that sometimes families may need support to help their child be successful. School staff can assist with locating possible resources within the school community.

• In APS, a student is considered “a student in need of early intervention” (truant) at five (5) unexcused absences and a habitual truant at ten (10) unexcused absences in a year.
• School staff will make an attempt to contact the parent/guardian if the school has not received notification of absences by a parent for three (3) consecutive days.
• Principals may request additional documentation for excessive excused absences.