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Handbook Contents

  • Albuquerque Public Schools Goals 
  • School District Authority and Jurisdiction 
  • Expectations of Students 
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Dress Code
  • What To Do If You Believe That Your Rights Have Been Violated 
  • APS School Attendance Guidelines
  • Disruption of the Educational Process
  • Consequences for Unacceptable Conduct
  • Extracurricular Substance Abuse and Tobacco Policy 
  • School Alternatives For Handling Unacceptable Conduct
  • Disciplinary Considerations for Students with Disabilities Under IDEA 
  • Disciplinary Considerations for Students Under Section 504 
  • Discipline Matrix
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
  • Student Records 
  • Child Custody Issues
  • Glossary of Terms

Parent/Student Handbook

Handbook Essentials


It is essential for students to attend school daily in order to acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to become college and career ready. Regular student participation in daily classroom activities plays a significant role in student’s school success. Students are expected to attend school regularly and on time. District policy and state law require daily school attendance for those between the ages of 5 and 18, or until graduation from high school.

Attending school regularly helps all students, whether receiving general or special education services, develop the skills and habits they will need to succeed as adults. APS provides instruction 180 of the 365 days in a year. This provides students with limited time to learn all that is needed at each grade level so they can successfully and confidently proceed to the next school year and beyond.

  • The State of New Mexico requires that students between the ages of 5 and 18 attend a public or private school (including charter and alternative schools) or register with the Public Education Department if a parent is providing home school or be in a state institution.
  • Schools will provide intervention strategies to support students and help parents in getting their student to school each day.
  • The State of NM and APS define a student with 5 unexcused absences as a Student in Need of Early Intervention Services.
  • The State of NM and APS define a student with 10 unexcused absences as a Habitual Truant
  • The State of NM and APS may report students who are defined as habitual truants and for whom interventions have not been successful in improving attendance to Juvenile Probation for additional intervention. Juvenile Probation may forward the case to the District Attorney where the parent may face fines or possible jail time.
  • Excessive absences are defined as more than 5 days in a semester or 10 days in a school year.
  • Schools may request documentation in order to excuse absences in excess of 5 days in a semester or 10 days in a year.
  • Schools will support students with interventions to help stop excessive absences.

Schools will do what they can to minimize absences.

  • School related activities that take a student out of class will not count toward excessive absence totals
  • Schools will not allow more than 10 school- related absences per class per semester
  • Schools may not suspend students for excessive excused or unexcused absences.
  • Schools may withdraw for absences only if the parent has not contacted the school, and the school cannot reach the student or family to provide supports.

It is understood that sometimes families may need support to help their child be successful. School staff can assist with locating possible resources within the school community.

Attendance Policy

Please notify the school each day your child is absent even if you know he or she will be absent for multiple days. Check with your child’s school to determine the best way to let them know about your child’s absence(s).

If your child needs to leave school early for any reason, please notify the school and follow the school’s rules for early dismissal.

Absences may be excused for the following reasons with appropriate documentation:

  • Illness, which prevents a child from being at school (including chronic illness documented on a health plan, IEP or 504 plan)
  • Limited family emergencies; family deaths
  • Medical, health or legal appointments
  • Suspensions
  • Religious commitment
  • College visit for 12th grade students or other students with principal approval.
  • Deployment of a military parent as defined in the “Military Children” procedural directive
  • Limited extenuating circumstances as approved in advance by the school principal
  • At least ten (10) days for students who provide documentation of the birth of the student’s child and parentage. Additional excused absences to the student after the birth of the child if deemed medically necessary by the student’s physician.
  • An additional four (4) days for the students who provide appropriate documentation of pregnancy or that the student is the parent of a child under the age of thirteen needing care.

Absences will be unexcused for the following reasons:

Illness of another sibling, parent or family member that is not an emergency.

Family activities or trips during the school day.

APS understands that life is sometimes complicated and seeks to support academic success for every student. Please reach out to staff at your child’s school if you are having problems getting your son or daughter to school on time.

Make-up Work

  • Upon return from an absence(s), students shall request makeup work and will have one day per one day of absence to make up the missed work unless the teacher and/or school administrator allow additional time.
  • Teachers will provide make up work but may need one full school day to gather the make-up work.
  • If families know ahead of time when an absence will occur, it is best practice to ask for make-up work before the absence occurs.
  • Students will be provided make up work for excused absences and up to 10 unexcused absences.
  • Students who have been identified as Habitually Truant (more than 10 unexcused absences) may request make up work.
  • The teacher and school administrator may grant the request or may request a meeting with the parent/guardian to determine if makeup work will be completed.
  • Students will be expected to take final exams and End of Course exams on the day they are scheduled. Students may be allowed to make up finals or End of Course exams if the absence is excused. Students requesting to make-up a final or End of Course exam will require advanced approval from the teacher and/or school administrator

Electronic Devices Policy

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.

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, pagers, smart phones, music and media players, gaming devices, tablets, laptop computers and personal digital assistants.

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.

  1. The student who possesses a personal electronic device shall be solely responsible for its care. 
  2. Student possession of personal electronic devices on all school campuses, including athletic fields, and school buses, at school-sponsored activities and while the student is under the supervision and control of school district employees shall be permitted.  All students may use these devices on campus before school begins and after school ends.  In addition, students in high school grades 9-12 may use such devices during their lunch period AS DETERMINED BY THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION.
  3. These devices shall be kept out of sight and powered off or silenced during the school day and during any school-sponsored activity meeting or practice held on Albuquerque Public Schools property.  The requirement that personal electronic devices be turned off may not apply in the following circumstances when the student obtains prior approval from the principal or his/her designee:
    • The student has a special medical circumstance for self or family member.
    • The student is using the device for an educational or instructional purpose with the teacher’s permission and supervision. 
  4. Personal electronic devices shall be permitted on school buses, as authorized by the driver, unless use of the personal electronic device causes a disruption on the school bus.
  5. Student use of personal electronic devices shall be prohibited in areas including, but not limited to locker rooms, classrooms, bathrooms, and swimming pool areas. 
  6. Students shall not use personal electronic devices on school property or at a school-sponsored activity to access and/or view internet websites that are otherwise blocked to students at school.  Blocked sites include, but are not limited to, social networking sites and You Tube. 
  7. Student use of personal electronic devices that disrupt the instructional day may result in disciplinary action and/or confiscation of the personal electronic device.  When a personal electronic device is confiscated, it shall only be released and/or returned to the student’s parent/legal guardian.  It is the student’s parent/legal guardian’s responsibility to retrieve the device according to school procedures.

Dress Code

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.

Schools may customize their individual dress codes to address the needs and standards of their communities and neighborhoods through use of a process that ensures input from students, parents, faculty and staff of the school, and other interested community members.

Some schools have adopted student dress policies in addition to the regular dress code. All schools that have adopted a uniform dress code policy also allow students to wear:

  • “Docker” style pants in black, navy or khaki color; and
  • Solid color Polo style shirts in white, light blue, dark blue or green
  • Schools may accept other colors of pant and shirt styles as well.

No student shall miss instructional class time for the first two weeks of the school year or within the first two weeks of the student’s date of enrollment (whichever is later) because they do not have a school uniform. However, the student’s dress must meet the regular dress code as outlined above. If your family cannot provide a school uniform, please let the school know and they will support you.

Students and their parents/guardians have the responsibility to be aware of the school specific dress codes and must conform to those requirements. The responsibility to interpret and enforce the dress code policy rests with each school principal.

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.

Handbook Updates