(1) The board of education of each school district shall designate one or more of the employees of the district to act as attendance officer for the district. It is the attendance officer's duty in appropriate cases to counsel with students and parents and investigate the causes of nonattendance and report to the local board of education so as to enforce the provisions of this article which relate to compulsory attendance.
(2) The commissioner of education shall designate an employee of the department of education whose duty it is to assist the individual school districts and to supervise the enforcement of compulsory school attendance for the entire state.
(3) (a) As used in this subsection (3):
(I) "Child who is habitually truant" means a child who has attained the age of six years on or before August 1 of the year in question and is under the age of seventeen years and who has four unexcused absences from public school in any one month or ten unexcused absences from public school during any school year. Absences due to suspension or expulsion of a child are considered excused absences for purposes of this subsection (3).
(II) "Local community services group" means the local juvenile services planning committee created pursuant to section 19-2-211, C.R.S., the local collaborative management group created by a memorandum of understanding entered into pursuant to section 24-1.9-102, C.R.S., or another local group of public agencies that collaborate with the school district to identify and provide support services for students.
(b) The board of education of each school district shall adopt and implement policies and procedures concerning elementary and secondary school attendance, including but not limited to policies and procedures to work with children who are habitually truant. The policies and procedures must include provisions for the development of a plan. The plan must be developed with the goal of assisting the child to remain in school and, when practicable, with the full participation of the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian. Appropriate school personnel shall make all reasonable efforts to meet with the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child to review and evaluate the reasons for the child's truancy. The appropriate school personnel are encouraged to work with the local community services group to develop the plan. The policies and procedures may also include but need not be limited to the following:
(I) (Deleted by amendment, L. 96, p. 1808, 4, effective July 1, 1996.)
(I.5) Procedures to monitor the attendance of each child enrolled in the school district to identify each child who has a significant number of unexcused absences and to work with the local community services group and the child's parent to identify and address the likely issues underlying the child's truancy, including any nonacademic issues;
(II) Annually at the beginning of the school year and upon any enrollment during the school year, notifying the parent of each child enrolled in the public schools in writing of such parent's obligations pursuant to section 22-33-104 (5) and requesting that the parent acknowledge in writing awareness of such obligations;
(III) Annually at the beginning of the school year and upon any enrollment during the school year, obtaining from the parent of each child a telephone number or other means of contacting such parent during the school day; and
(IV) Establishing a system of monitoring individual unexcused absences of children which shall provide that, whenever a child who is enrolled in a public school fails to report to school on a regularly scheduled school day and school personnel have received no indication that the child's parent is aware of the child's absence, school personnel or volunteers under the direction of school personnel shall make a reasonable effort to notify by telephone such parent. Any person who, in good faith, gives or fails to give notice pursuant to this subparagraph (IV) shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed and shall have the same immunity with respect to any judicial proceeding which results from such notice or failure to give such notice.
(4) On or before September 15, 2010, and on or before September 15 each year thereafter, the board of education of each school district shall report to the department of education the number of students identified as habitually truant, as defined in paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of this section, for the preceding academic year. The department shall post this information for each school district on its website for the public to access and may post additional information reported by school districts related to truancy.
(5) The department of education may post on its website information concerning effective, research-based, truancy- and dropout-prevention programs for the benefit of school districts.
Source: L. 63: p. 864, 8. C.R.S. 1963: 123-20-8. L. 84: (1) amended, p. 601, 1, effective April 5. L. 93: (3) added, p. 460, 6, effective April 19. L. 96: IP(3)(b) and (3)(b)(I) amended, p. 1808, 4, effective July 1. L. 2006: (3)(a) amended, p. 1213, 5, effective July 1, 2007. L. 2007: (3)(a) amended, p. 71, 3, effective July 1, 2008. L. 2008: (4) and (5) added, p. 517, 2, effective August 5. L. 2013: (3)(a) and IP(3)(b) amended and (3)(b)(I.5) added, (HB 13-1021), ch. 335, p. 1947, 2, effective August 7. L. 2015: (1) amended, (SB 15-099), ch. 99, p. 290, 4, effective August 5.
Cross references: For the legislative declaration contained in the 2006 act amending subsection (3)(a), see section 1 of chapter 265, Session Laws of Colorado 2006.
Law reviews. For article, "The Evolution of Colorado's School Attendance Laws: Moving Toward Prevention and Restoration", see 43 Colo. Law. 63 (July 2014).