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Handbook Essentials

APS Attendance Information

Attendance for Success Legal Requirements

The State of New Mexico requires that students between the ages of five (5) and eighteen (18) attend a public or private school (including charter and alternative schools) or register with the New Mexico Public Education Department if a parent/legal guardian is providing home school or if the student is in a state institution.


Student attendance in school is a critical component of the educational process. Students, families, and APS personnel must all work together to promote student success through regular attendance in school every school day as it is an important element of academic success. Manzano High School is committed to student success. Parents/guardians will continue to receive messages regarding a student’s attendance through School Messenger for daily attendance issues, two-day absenteeism, five-day absenteeism and ten-day absenteeism. 


Attendance positively correlates to student success and academic achievement and should not be treated as a disciplinary issue, but rather lead to conversations with students and families about the means to improve attendance. 


Chronic absenteeism means a student who has been absent for ten percent or more of classes or school days for any reason, whether excused or not, when enrolled for more than ten days in the school. Students with chronic absenteeism receive early intervention strategies. 


Excessive absenteeism means a student who has been absent for twenty percent or more of classes or school days for any reason, whether excused or not, when enrolled for more than ten days in the school. Students with excessive absenteeism receive intensive support strategies.   


As a parent/guardian, assistance with attendance compliance is critical. Remember that Compulsory School Attendance Law (NMSA section 22-12-1) and City Ordinance (11-10-1 et. Seq.) require that a student must attend school every day with no unexcused absences.

Unexcused absences include the following:

  • Non-school sponsored activities or trips; and,

  • Family vacations outside of the normally scheduled school breaks.

The following are reasons for an excused absence with the appropriate documentation:

  • Illness

  • Limited family emergencies

  • Medical, health or legal appointments

  • Suspensions

  • Religious commitment

  • College visit (documentation from college/university must be provided to the school upon return)

  • Limited extenuating circumstances as approved in advance by the school principal

  • Deployment of a military parent


Principals may request additional documentation for excessive excused absences. Also, state law requires schools to withdraw a student after ten consecutive days of absence, but only after the school has exhausted its efforts to keep a student in school using a variety of interventions. MHS needs the help of parents/guardians to keep students in school. MHS is committed to student academic success.

If a student begins to show a pattern of absences, then parents/guardians may be contacted by the MHS and/or District Attendance Office liaison or school administrator. They are students’ resources to help. When a student is absent they lose instructional time, which impairs their opportunities to learn, grow, and achieve both personal and academic success.

Attendance Policy

Teachers will take attendance within the first 10 minutes of the class period for each instructional day.

A parent/guardian must notify the school that the student will be/is absent by email. This documentation needs to be emailed to the appropriate grade level secretary as soon as it is known when the student will be out of school. At the latest, a written note can be delivered to the secretary on the day the student returns to school. If this documentation is not received within three days of the absence, the absence cannot and will not be excused.  Absences may be excused for the reasons listed above.


Excessive Absences

If a student has excessive absences in a class, they risk being withdrawn with a failing grade and will not receive credit for that class. However, to mitigate this issue, the student will be placed on a Student Improvement Plan (SIP) as an intervention to help them overcome barriers and challenges impacting attendance and academic success. 

A student absent beyond nine days must have official documentation confirming one of the following circumstances for the possibility of earning course credit: medical appointment, court appointment, death in the immediate family, religious commitment, or diagnostic testing.

If the student has excessive absences they may be required to meet with administration and/or attendance personnel.  


Leaving Early

If a student must leave school before the end of the school day, a parent/guardian must come into the office to sign out a student. Students leaving early for an appointment must have a written note from the parent/guardian and must bring documentation of the appointment with the date and time upon return to the grade level secretary. The secretary will verify the appointment with the parent/guardian. The secretary will then give students an off-campus pass. If the student becomes ill at school, they should see the nurse and the nurse will work with the secretaries to obtain a pass. Students arriving late must either bring a note from their parent/guardian or see the appropriate secretary to receive an excused tardy pass to class. See MHS tardy policy below for more information.

Make-up Work

When a student is absent from school due to an absence (not long-term suspension or expulsion), that student shall be allowed to make up missed work. On the first day back to class, students are responsible for requesting make-up assignments. Failure to complete make-up work in the time allowed may place students at risk of not earning class credit. Students will have the opportunity to complete the work in a period of time equal to the number of days absent unless the student and the teacher have mutually agreed upon other arrangements. 

Teachers may need 24 hours from the time of the request to compile assignments. It is expected that students will take semester finals on the days final exams are scheduled. Students will be permitted to make up finals if they are missed due to an excused absence as listed above. Requesting permission to take a final exam early is discouraged. Approval of such a request will rest with the teacher in consultation with the Curriculum Assistant Principal.

School-Imposed Absences

Absences imposed by MHS (e.g., suspension, referrals by counselor, nurse, or administrator, etc.) will count as a school-related absence.


All students that are late to school must report to the front office before going to class. Students will be admitted to class for all tardies. If students have a written note from a parent/guardian excusing the tardy, they must take it to the secretary to receive an excused tardy slip and present the tardy slip to the teacher. No consequences will be given if a student has an excused tardy. Excused tardies are given only for medical/dental/judicial appointments. Consequences for unexcused tardies are:

  • 1st/2nd Tardy: Verbal warning (Teacher) 

  • 3rd Tardy: Lunch Detention (MSC) 

  • 5th Tardy: After-School Detention (MSC)

  • 7th Tardy: Students must attend “Resilience” Course (MSC)

  • 10th Tardy: Students must attend “Resilience” Course (MSC)

Random tardy sweeps do take place at Manzano High School. When a student is caught up in a random tardy sweep they will serve 1 day of lunch detention in the MSC the following school day. Students caught in a tardy sweep must present their tardy pass to be admitted to class. Lunch detentions must be served the following school day. Failure to serve a lunch detention will result in an after-school detention. Students will have two days to attend after-school detention. Failure to show for an after-school detention will result in a Saturday school detention.

Students who miss more than 50% of the class period are considered absent for the entire period. Parents must notify the school in accordance with the notification procedure listed above.

Skipping School or Class 

Students who are out of class without permission (see “Hall Passes” below), on or off campus, will be referred to the office for disciplinary consequences. If a student leaves class and does not return for any reason, a referral for disciplinary action will be issued. If an underclass student leaves school during lunch, a referral for disciplinary action will be issued.


Dress Code

The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education supports equitable and equal educational access and a student dress code that fosters an educational environment that values, affirms and welcomes ALL students. Dress codes shall be enforced consistently. equitably, equally, and in a manner that does not lead to differential treatment on the basis of racial identity, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, cultural or religious identity and observances, household income, body size/type or body maturity.

All students should be able to dress comfortably and the primary responsibility for a student’s dress lies with the student and the family, with the exception of schools that require a uniform.  Schools shall not impose punishment related to student dress and dress code enforcement should not result in barriers to student attendance or participation, unless related to safety. Student dress choices should respect the district’s intent to sustain an inclusive community. Student attire shall not interfere with students’ health or safety, nor contribute to a hostile or intimidating learning environment. All students and staff are responsible for managing their own distractions without regulating another student’s dress.

Individual schools may adopt student uniform dress codes. If a school adopts a student uniform dress code, the school shall develop, implement and document processes used to ensure student, family, and community input and support for a student uniform dress code. Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide accommodations for families who require financial assistance with the cost of uniforms.

While each individual school may adopt its own dress code, no student in any APS setting may wear clothing that contains:

  • obscene or violent language or images
  • depictions of alcohol or drugs or other illegal item or activity
  • racist content, hate speech, profanity or pornography
  • accessories that could be considered dangerous or used as a weapon

School dress codes are an opportunity for student, family, and community engagement.

Personal Electronic Devices

From the APS district policy on cell phones:

**Albuquerque Public Schools shall permit student possession of personal electronic devices on all district property and at all district sponsored activities while the student is under the supervision of district staff. These devices shall be kept out of sight and silenced or powered off during the instructional day unless otherwise permitted by district or school procedures. Use of personal electronic devices that disrupt the instructional day or include unauthorized use shall be prohibited. For purposes of this procedural directive, “instructional day” means the period of time between the first scheduled bell and the last scheduled bell of the school day and any other time in which instruction occurs. Albuquerque Public Schools shall not be responsible for restricting, monitoring or controlling the electronic communications of students; however, it reserves the right to do so.

For purposes of this policy, “personal electronic device” means any device that a student is in possession of which electronically communicates, sends, receives, stores, reproduces or displays voice and/or text communication or data. These include, but are not limited to cellular phones, smart phones, music and media players, gaming devices, tablets, laptop computers and personal digital assistants.**


As instructed in the procedural directive, MHS further defines this policy as follows. The instructional day is defined as 7:20 a.m. to 2:25 pm.

Electronic Devices include, but are not limited to: cell phone, tablets, laptops, speakers or any device with an ON/OFF switch.

The passing periods and lunch period are designated as non-instructional times. Students MUST receive authorization and be under the direct supervision of a Manzano Staff Member in order to use device(s) during instructional time. Devices used in connection with any other discipline issues will be confiscated; proper cell phone etiquette is expected.

  • Teachers may grant the use of electronic devices during the instructional day for instructional purposes only. Students must have a specific task to accomplish and a specific time frame for use. Teachers are required to confiscate any student cell phone; (and any other electronic device) they see or hear that violates this policy.
  • It is worth pointing out that in most cases, students report using their electronic device to respond to a call or text from their parent. If you need to contact your student, please call the office and we will relay the message.  This eliminates the interruption of instruction and keeps your student from having to violate this policy. Every classroom and office space at Manzano has a telephone that will be made available to students needing to contact parents.

Cell Phone Policy :


Dear Manzano Families,

We hope this letter finds you well. We wanted to take a moment to remind you of our school wide technology policy which is strictly enforced. This includes, but is not limited to, cell phones, airpods, smart watches, gaming devices, tablets, personal laptops, school distributed chromebooks, and other electronic devices. Manzano’s policy is as follows:

Electronic devices shall be kept out of sight and silenced or powered off in a designated space as decided by the instructor during the instructional day. Use of personal electronic devices that disrupt the instructional day or include unauthorized use are prohibited. For purposes of this procedural directive, “instructional day” means the period of time between the first scheduled bell at 8:40 am and the last scheduled bell of the school day at 3:40 pm, and any other time in which instruction occurs.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd and Subsequent Offenses

Upon confiscation, the device will be turned into MHS Office Staff and the teacher may write a behavior referral. 


The student may retrieve the device between 3:40-4:10 pm the same day.


If parent/guardian and/or student refuse to comply/cooperate there may be up to 3 days OSS/MSC assigned.

Upon confiscation, the device will be turned into MHS Office Staff and the teacher may write a behavior referral. 


The parent/guardian may retrieve the device between 3:40-4:10 pm the same day.


If parent/guardian and/or students refuse to comply/cooperate there will be up to 3 days OSS/MSC assigned.

Upon confiscation, the device will be turned into MHS Office Staff and the teacher may write a behavior referral. The school may hold a parent-teacher conference to address the issue with the student directly.


The parent/guardian may retrieve the device between 3:40-4:10 pm the same day.


If parent/guardian and/or students refuse to comply/cooperate there will be up to 3 days OSS/MSC assigned.


While we understand that technology, including cell phones, has become an integral part of our daily lives, their presence in the classroom significantly impacts the learning environment and hinders academic progress. Research supports our policy in the following ways:


1. Distractions and Disruptions: Electronics often serve as a source of distraction for students. Constant notifications, social media updates, and access to various apps and games diverts student attention away from the instructional content. This leads to decreased focus, reduced engagement, undesirable behaviors and ultimately lower academic achievement. For this reason, students will be required to leave their phones in the classroom to get a hall pass. 

2. Negative Impact on Social Interaction: Electronics impede face-to-face communication and social interaction among students. Instead of actively participating in class discussions or collaborating with their peers, electronic devices make students more likely to isolate themselves from meaningful interpersonal connections that are critical to learning and socialization.

3. Academic Integrity: Access to electronics during assessments or exams pose serious challenges to maintaining academic integrity. The temptation to access unauthorized resources or engage in cheating practices is heightened when students have unrestricted access to their devices. Implementing an electronics policy promotes a fair and honest testing environment.

4. Development of Life Skills: It is crucial that we prepare our students for the future and teach them responsible and appropriate technology usage. By encouraging them to limit their reliance on electronics during class, we can foster essential life skills such as time management, focus, and the ability to balance technology use with real-world interactions.

5. Emotional Well-being: Numerous studies have highlighted the negative impact excessive cell phone use can have on mental health, including increased stress levels, anxiety, and a sense of social isolation. By limiting cell phone use during class time, we aim to create a supportive environment that promotes student well-being and reduces potential emotional distress.


At Manzano, we are committed to providing the best possible learning experience for our students. When adhered to by students, families, and educators, the school-wide technology policy will lead to more focus, engagement, and academically stimulating classroom environments. By eliminating technology-based distractions and fostering an atmosphere conducive to learning, we can enhance student achievement, facilitate meaningful connections, and prepare our students for success in their academic and personal lives.


Thank you for your continued support and collaboration. For more information about how this policy will affect each individual classroom, please refer to each instructor’s syllabus. Together, we can ensure that every student at Manzano High School receives the quality education they deserve.


Manzano High School Educators