It is essential for students to attend school daily in order to acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to be college- and career-ready. Parents, guardians and students are all responsible for making sure students are on time and ready to learn.

School attendance is required by state law for students up to age 17 (Colorado School Attendance Law – C.R.S. 22-33-101 et seq.).

Students must attend a minimum number of hours of school in order to comply with the law. These minimum requirements are:

  • 1,056 hours in middle and high school; and
  • 968 hours in elementary school.

Below is an overview of the different types of absences.

Types of Absences

An excused absence requires approval by both the parent or guardian and the school. In some cases, documentation from the parent may be required so that the school can excuse an absence. Examples can include a note from a parent, guardian or healthcare provider.

Exceptions to the Colorado School Attendance Law

  • Temporary illness or injury
  • Enrollment in a private school
  • Physical, mental or emotional disability
  • Suspension, expulsion or denial of admission
  • Certificate to work
  • Legal custody by public agency
  • Religious holidays or observance
  • School-approved work-study program
  • Home-based instruction

Truancy is also known as an unexcused absence, which is an absence without parent or school permission.

Habitually truant is defined as four unexcused absences in one month and/or 10 unexcused absences in the school year.

Reporting Absences

The school may notify parents or guardians of absences by one or more of the following methods:

  • Telephone call
  • Letter
  • Parent conference
  • Home visit or Truancy Notice after the student is habitually truant.

In order to support the family of a student who is habitually truant, the school will attempt to understand reasons for the student’s absences. To do so, the school will provide support that could include meeting with the student, counseling, tutoring, meeting with both parent and student, referral to support programs and/or implementing an attendance plan or medical plan. We encourage families to stay in close communication with school staff to address reasons that the student might be missing school. A truancy court proceeding may be initiated if the student continues to miss school.