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Handbook Essentials


APS Attendance Information

Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to student success. Reducing truancy in school will improve a child’s academic and personal success. You will continue to receive messages regarding your child’s attendance through School Messenger for daily attendance issues, two-day truancy, five-day truancy and ten-day truancy. When a child reaches ten unexcused absences he/she is considered a habitual truant:

NMSA 22.12.9 (A) states that (1) “habitual truant: means a student who has accumulated the equivalent of ten or more unexcused absences within a school year: and, (2) “student in need of early intervention” means a student who has accumulated five unexcused absence within a school year.

As parent your 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
  • 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. We need your help to keep your child in school. We want your child to have academic success.

If your child begins to show a pattern of absences, then you may be contacted by the school and/or a District Attendance Office liaison. They are your resources to help. Welcome the help. When a child is absent he/she loses instructional time, which impairs his/her opportunities to learn, grow, and achieve both personal and academic success.

Attendance Policy (MHS)

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

A parent/guardian must notify the school in writing that the student will be/is absent. This documentation can be emailed to the appropriate grade level secretary as soon as you know 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. Phone calls are not accepted. If this documentation is not received within 3 days of the absence the absence cannot and will not be excused.

Absences may be excused for the reasons listed above.

Excessive Absences

Teachers and the school will put interventions in place to help the student get to school and be successful. 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.

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
  • Diagnostic testing

If the student’s consecutive absence will exceed three days, please contact the grade level secretary to communicate the need for an approved extended absence.

Leaving Early:

If the 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. The secretary will verify the appointment with parent/guardian. The secretary will give student an off campus pass. If the student becomes ill at school, he/she must obtain a pass from the nurse to leave. Students arriving late, must 1) bring a note from their parent (or medical/legal), or 2) the parent may come in to the appropriate secretary to receive an excused tardy pass to class (See MHS tardy policy).

Make-up Work: Students may complete work for all excused and for up to 10 unexcused absences. Once a student is identified as a habitual truant (10 unexcused full day absences) make-up work may be provided for the student unless the principal and teacher determines otherwise based on the data provided. On the first day back to a 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 credits. Students will have the opportunity to complete the work in a period of time equal to the number of days absent unless other arrangements have been mutually agreed upon by the student and the teacher. 

Teachers may need 24 hours from the time of the request to compile assignments. Check the Manzano school website for up-to-date assignments. It is expected that students will take semester finals on the days that they 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 Manzano High School, e.g., suspension, referrals by counselor, nurse, administrator, etc., will count as a school-related absence.

Tardies: If a student is late to school, they should go directly to class. All students will be admitted to class for all tardies. Teachers are expected to give consequences for all tardies, with the exception of an excused tardy. If students have written note from parents excusing the tardy, they must take it to secretary to receive an excused tardy slip to present to teacher. No consequences will be given if student has an excused tardy. Excused tardies are given only for medical/dentist/court appointments. 

1st/2nd Tardy: Class consequence

3rd Tardy:     Class consequence and teacher will contact parent.

4th Tardy: Class consequence, parent contact and referral for three days lunch detention

Subsequent tardies: Class consequence, parent contact, and referral for additional consequences

In addition to classroom consequences, random tardy sweeps will be conducted: ID’s will be taken from tardy students in order to consequence the students, without keeping them out of class any longer than necessary. Consequences for being tardy at Manzano can include time in an alternative academic or community service setting (i.e. lunch, after school).

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 found out of class without permission, on or off campus, will be referred to the office for consequences and possible citation for truancy, requiring an appearance in court. Students will not be allowed to make up work for administratively documented truancies.

Dress Code

Manzano High School is a place of learning and business. We believe that appropriate dress contributes to a productive learning environment. Students are expected to dress in a manner that reflects an attitude and spirit attuned to learning and which enhances academic, personal and social growth.

Consequences at MHS will include being sent to Monty’s Closet to get school appropriate clothing, being sent home, suspension and/or parent conference. If the staff or administration determines the clothing or accessory to be disruptive, unsafe or unhealthy, students will not be able to appear with that item on campus. These item(s) will be confiscated and may be returned to a parent after school the following day.

Student dress and grooming is to reflect high standards of personal conduct so that each student’s attire promotes a positive, safe and healthy atmosphere within the school. Unacceptable clothing and accessories include, but are not limited to: ( )

●  Gang-related attire (bandanas will be considered gang attire and be confiscated)

●  Hats will be worn with bill facing straight forward or straight backward

●  Excessively tight or revealing clothing

●  Short shorts, skirts and dresses - length should be longer than end of fingertips when arms are fully extended at sides of body.

●  Clothing that exposes the stomach or midriff

●  Low-cut blouses

●  Spiked jewelry

●  Chains

●  Hair of a color or style that creates a distraction or safety hazard.

●  Clothing or accessories promoting: Drugs (including alcohol and tobacco), Sexual activity/connotations, Violence and/or Disrespect or bigotry toward any group.

●  Sagging pants. (Pants below the waistline) If the shirt is too long to determine if pants sag below the waist, students may be required to tuck in their shirt. Pants must fit at waist. Underwear/shorts cannot be visible above pant waistband.

●  Headgear of any kind such as hats, bandanas, do rags, scarves, hair nets, sunglasses, and gloves are prohibited inside any school facility. One exception will be permission to wear hats inside the gymnasium only during after-school sporting competitions. Albuquerque Public Schools shall encourage students to wear hats and caps while participating in activities outdoors due to health concerns of prolonged or excessive exposure to direct ultraviolet radiation of sunlight. Outdoor activities include, but are not limited to, recess, athletic and sports activities, music rehearsals and other extracurricular activities. Hats or caps shall not be worn while inside buildings unless there are specific instructional, safety, religious or medical reasons for the student doing so.

The following items are also prohibited:

  • Clothing, hairstyles, jewelry, or accessories that:
  • Advertise, display or promote any drug (including tobacco and alcohol), gang affiliation, sexual innuendo, violence, nudity, weaponry, profanity, hate, or bigotry towards any group.
  • Tattoos fitting this description must be totally covered at all times.
  • Disrupt the educational process, including, but not limited to, excessive body piercing, muscle shirts, white tank undershirts, shredded/frayed, off the shoulder, low cut, see-through, or minimal clothing, are prohibited. Shoulder straps must be a minimum of four (4) inches wide. (Cleavage must be completely covered.)

Parents or guardians may be contacted to bring more appropriate clothing or the students may be referred to Monty’s Closet (school clothing bank).

In line with this philosophy, students need to remain “covered up” at all times. Attire should be no shorter than the point where the fist ends when the student is standing up straight. No skin should show between the bottom of the shirt/blouse and the top of the pants/skirt. Modesty is the key word. Clothing with holes, cut, or worn in a manner to reveal underlying skin is usually not appropriate for school. If you have practical difficulties meeting these dress code requirements, please see a counselor or Monty’s Closet for assistance.

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.

Student Drop-off / Pick-up / Visits

It is not safe to drop children off more than 15 minutes before school or to leave them more than 15 minutes after the school day ends

Parents must not leave their children on a school campus longer than fifteen (15) minutes either before or after the school day.

School grounds are not supervised except during the school day.

If extenuating circumstances prevent a family from picking up a student on time, the school must be notified within fifteen minutes of the end of the school day.

If students are repeatedly left on campus outside of the school day hours, an administrator will attempt to contact the family to discuss and resolve the problem.

If your child is often on school grounds during unsupervised times school staff may provide parents/guardians with information on before and after school programs in the area.

Schools are required to contact law enforcement if a child is left on school grounds during unsupervised times and the parent/guardian cannot be reached.

APS schools will do their best to abide by parenting plans provided to them but are not responsible to enforce specific pick-up days.

Parents/guardians on campus during the school day need to check-in at the main office and wear a visitor or volunteer nametag at all times.

Visits to classrooms should be arranged 24 hours prior to the visit and should be limited to twenty minutes. Parents/guardians may only visit classrooms where their child is enrolled.