The unit-based nature of the CIS program makes attendance extremely important. Significant unexcused absences will lead to academic and/or disciplinary consequences, as will repeated tardiness. Significant excused absences will lead to academic consequences.
The Federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires that states, school districts and schools be held accountable for ensuring that all students meet high academic standards. On time, daily attendance is a critical component of this educational process. New Mexico law dictates that:
Students between the ages of five (5) and eighteen (18) years of age are mandated to attend public school, private school, home school or a state institution.
Corrales International School reports habitual truants (after 4 unexcused absences) to the Children’s Court Liaison Office and to the State of New Mexico.
A student who has accumulated five unexcused absences in any twenty (20) day period will be identified as a student in need of early intervention. A student who has accumulated the equivalent of ten (10) or more unexcused absences within a school year is considered a habitual truant. State law requires a school to withdraw a student after ten (10) consecutive days of absence, provided that withdrawals do not include truants and habitual truants.
An excused absence is the absence from school or class for reasons such as illness, death in the immediate family (parent or step-parent, sibling or step-sibling, child or step-child, husband, aunt, uncle, first cousin, niece, nephew, grandparent), court summons, short and long-term suspensions, family emergencies, religious activities, or doctor appointments that cannot be scheduled outside of school hours. If the student is absent for more than three days, a note from a medical care provider will be required to document an excused absence for illness prior to the students return.
ALL absences must be documented. Students returning from a health care appointment, court appointment, religious commitment, or diagnostic testing must have a written excuse from the health care provider, pastor or a legal authority in reference to the circumstance, which must be received within 48 hours of return to school or the absence will be deemed to be unexcused. Regardless of what reason is used for an absence, a maximum of ten (10) excused absences per year will be allowed. Absences above ten 10 will be deemed ―unexcused, except in extraordinary circumstances at the sole discretion of the Head of School.
Students with 4 or more unexcused absences will be referred to the internal attendance committee. This committee will be comprised of four employees and one parent. The employees will be the registrar, the student facilitator, and teachers. These employees may be substituted at the discretion of the Head of School.
The function of the committee will be to review the circumstances of the unexcused absences and make recommendations to the Head of School as to action needed to ensure the child’s future attendance. This will be done in a written format.
An unexcused absence is any absence not meeting the definition of an excused absence stated above. Students will not be allowed to make up work for unexcused absences.
Family trips, vacations and non-school related activities are considered unexcused absences.
CIS requests that families schedule vacations or special programs so as not to conflict with school. In particular, the final two weeks of any semester are critical, as they culminate in the student exhibitions and presentations upon which teachers base their final assessments. Absences for family vacations will be unexcused. Students will not be allowed to make up work.
In the event of a necessary absence, the attendance staff needs your assistance in providing us with the following information:
1. Please call CIS by 8:30 a.m. the same day your child is absent . If no call is received on the same day, the absence will be considered unexcused.
2. We encourage you to schedule appointments before or after school. However, we understand that sometimes missing school cannot be helped.
3. If your child needs to be excused early due to a doctor or dental appointment, let the attendance office know before the appointment, either by a call or a note. Please bring in a note from the doctor on the students return.
4. Your child will be given an early dismissal slip to be excused from class. You must come into the office and sign your child out of school at the front desk.
5. Emails will be sent home at 4 pm giving you notice of any absences.
Procedures for Excessive Absences
Regardless of what reason is used for an absence, a maximum of ten (10) excused absences per year will be allowed. Absences above ten 10 will be deemed ―unexcused, except in extraordinary circumstances at the sole discretion of the Head of School.
The following actions will be taken to ensure that parent(s)/guardian(s) are aware of student absenteeism and school attendance policies:
Third (3rd) unexcused absence, a letter will be mailed via certified mail to the parent/guardian explaining New Mexico‘s Compulsory Attendance law. Again, the school will require a written explanation of the unexcused absences.
Fourth(4th) unexcused absence, will result in a referral to the absentee committee. A certified letter will be sent to parents with a date, time and place for a meeting with school officials to develop intervention strategies that focus on keeping the student in an educational setting.
If the parent/guardian fail to attend this meeting or if the unexcused absences continue, the school is required to report the matter to the probation services office of the judicial district in which the student resides for an investigation as to whether the student shall be considered to be a neglected child or a child in need or services because of habitual truancy.
Fifth (5th) or subsequent unexcused absences, a notice of truancy will be sent via certified mail to the parent(s) or guardian. Also all unexcused absences of 5 or more will be reported to the Truancy Court for parents to participate in the Truancy Prevention Program.
After CIS has exhausted the above described efforts to keep the student in the educational setting, without a meaningful attempt on the part of the parent to ensure student attends school, the student will be withdrawn after ten consecutive days of unexcused absences.
Arriving Late to School or Class (Tardy)
Students who arrive late to class not only disrupt the education of others but also fall behind in their school work. As a result, academic achievement suffers. When students are late, parents/guardians must sign the student in at the front desk. When your child will be late for school, a call is preferred but not required.
When students have accumulated 3 tardies they will receive lunch detention. Every tardy following will result in another lunch detention. Children that have lunch detention will be cleaning up, taking out trash, etc.