Attendance matters - missing just 2 days per month can affect your academic success


Attendance matters!  Daily attendance and engagement in learning is essential to student success at all grade levels.  Colorado law directly connected to attendance focuses on compulsory school attendance, truancy and school finance. Important student attendance definition of rates and terms include:

  • Truancy: Truancy is defined as an unexcused absence.  The rate is calculated by dividing the reported Total Student Days Unexcused Absences by the Total Student Days Possible.
  • Habitually Truant (Student Count): A student is counted as habitually truant if the student has four unexcused absences in one month and/or 10 absences in one school year.
  • Chronically Absent: A student absent 10 percent or more of the days enrolled during the school year is chronically absent. All absences are included – unexcused, excused and suspensions.  The rate is the percentage of students enrolled who are chronically absent.

Attendance is important at all levels within the K-12 education system.  For preschool, students with good attendance develop skills and good attendance habits to prepare for kindergarten. By third grade, children who missed too much of kindergarten and 1st grade fall behind in reading.  Chronic absenteeism in middle school is a warning sign that students are on a path to disengagement and dropping out. In ninth grade, attendance is a clear predictor, more than test scores that a student will leave before completing high school.

Improving school attendance and addressing chronic absenteeism aligns with Colorado Department of Education (CDE) mission and strategic plan. In Colorado in 2021-22, 1 in 3 students was chronically absent.

As part of Colorado’s state ESSA plan, chronic absenteeism rates are collected as part of the CDE School Discipline and Attendance data submission. The submission includes the reporting of the number of chronically absent students by school, overall and disaggregated by ethnicity/race, gender, special education, English language learner status, homeless status and free-and-reduced lunch status.  To learn more about ESSA in Colorado, please click here.

Colorado collects and reports on attendance data in four main categories at the school, district and state level: attendance rate, truancy, habitually truant, and chronic absenteeism (at the district and state level only).  See how your school or district compares to state data on the Attendance Information webpage.



State Attendance Rate

State Truancy Rates

Habitual Truant Count

Chronic Absence


























2022-2023 90.8% 3.5% 90,453**


*Attendance data was collected August 2019 – March 2020

**The process for count of students was updated in 2022-23 to avoid potential duplicate counts.

Courtesy: Colorado Department of Education


This year, Academic Systems and DC Student Assistance teams are working to build the capacity of schools to address attendance issues more comprehensively. 

Attendance Teams:
Attendance teams are comprised of various individuals from the school, including administrators, counselors, support staff, teachers, health aids, etc. The team meets on a regular basis to review attendance data in order to identify students to recognize for good or improved attendance as well as determine supports and interventions for chronically absent students. 

Professional Development:
Every other month, we train deans and assistant principals in the best practices related to attendance.

Information Technology:
The Information Technology team has created prioritized reports to allow schools to access chronic absence data regularly to better understand trends readily.


  • Talk to your child about why going to school daily is critical and essential unless they are sick. If your child seems reluctant to go to school, find out why and work with the teacher or school to find ways to create excitement about going to school.
  • Establish and stick to the basic routines (going to bed early, waking up on time, etc.) that will help your child develop the habit of on-time attendance.
  • Come up with backup plans for who to turn to (another family member, a neighbor, or fellow parents) to help you get your child to school if something arises.
  • Avoid extended vacations that require children to miss school. Try to schedule vacations with the school calendar. The same goes for doctor’s appointments.


For more information on how attendance matters, visit

Colorado Attendance Laws

School Attendance Act – Residence of child (§22-1-102, C.R.S.)

  • Every public school shall be open for the admission of all children, between the ages of five and twenty-one years, residing in that district without the payment of tuition.

School Attendance Act – Compulsory School Attendance (§22-33-104, C.R.S.)

  • Requires that each child between the ages of six and 17 shall attend public school unless otherwise excused. 

Standardizing Truancy Reporting and Expanding the Resources (§22-33-104, C.R.S.)

  • Requires the Colorado State Board of Education to adopt guidelines for the standardized calculation of unexcused absences of students from school.

School Attendance Law of 1963 - Truancy Court (§19-1-104, C.R.S.)

  • Allows a criminal justice agency investigating a matter under the "School Attendance Law of 1963" to seek, prior to adjudication, disciplinary and truancy information from the juvenile's school.

Truancy enforcement (§22-33-107, C.R.S.)

  • Requires school district to have policy for a truancy plan with the goal of assisting the child to remain in school.

FINANCE ACT OF 1994 (§22-54-103, C.R.S.)

  • “Pupil enrollment" means the number of pupils enrolled on the pupil enrollment count day within the applicable budget year, as evidenced by the actual attendance of such pupils prior to said date.
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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 303-387-0127.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.


Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records at this link ( Douglas County School District Transcripts and Records Requests ).