Know your child's rights about education in NM

Know your Rights A Parent/Guardian Guide to Public School Enrollment
Posted on 11/25/2020
Know your Rights

In New Mexico, you may enroll children - of any grade level - in their local public school at any point during the school year. Specifically, 22-1-4 NMSA states, “Except as provided by Section 24-5-2 NMSA 1978, a free public school education shall be available to any school-age person who is a resident of this state and has not received a high school diploma or its equivalent.” Further, the law states, “Any person entitled to a free public school education pursuant to the provisions of this section may enroll or re-enroll in a public school at any time.” Enrollment To enroll at your local school, you should call in advance to see what documents will be required (typically proof of residency, a birth certificate or other identifying document, and health forms), and whether the school is accepting in-person or on-line enrollment due to COVID-19 safety measures. Parents may opt-in to virtual learning for their children during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their district or charter school may not disenroll them if you choose this option. Your children should not lose their seats in a lottery or special school if you choose a remote option. Please contact the Public Education Department’s constituent services hotline at 505-827-5800 if you have questions or concerns. It is the school’s responsibility to provide intensive outreach and support to students and their families prior to disenrolling any student for lack of attendance. School efforts to address student absences may include, but are not limited to:  Individualized outreach for students who are missing class  Student mentoring  Meetings with the students and families to discuss any barriers to attendance  Referrals for struggling students to ENGAGE New Mexico for coaching and extra support  Attendance contracts developed in collaboration with students  Individual attendance intervention plans that address student barriers to attendance  Family linkage to community services, such as physical or mental health supports Attendance We know that attendance and engagement can be a challenge as we balance our home, work, and school lives amid the global pandemic. Remote and hybrid learning are unfamiliar and present unique circumstances. Now, more than ever, it is critical to establish and maintain consistent routines for your child that support regular attendance and participation. Some important things to know about attendance: All students are expected to attend in-person or remote instructional programs as provided by their school. School attendance policies include how attendance will be taken during periods of remote learning, and a copy of the policy should be provided to all parents of enrolled students. In addition, the 2019 New Mexico Attendance for Success Act requires that:  Accurate school attendance be reported to the NM Public Education Department.  All school districts, and schools with a chronic absence rate of 5% or more, have an Attendance Success Plan that provides a process to identify and address student absences through a tiered-system of strategies, supports and resources for all students.  All school districts have at least one attendance team focused on.

If you need support, please contact ENGAGE NM for information about academic coaching and other engagement supports. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s enrollment options, please contact ENGAGE New Mexico at 505-219-2661.improving student attendance.