What Are the Laws Surrounding Student Attendance?

Laws focusing on school attendance set a minimum number of hours or days that a student must be in the public school classroom and set exceptions for private school, homeschooling and illnesses, among other factors, notes the Colorado Department of Education. Laws vary from state to state.

As of 2015, in the state of Colorado, students have a minimum number of hours they must attend during a school year: 1,056 for secondary students, 968 for elementary students above kindergarten and 900 for full-day kindergarten. Schools are required to hold a minimum of 160 days of classes during each school year unless the commissioner of education has granted a waiver, as stated by the Colorado Department of Education.

The law provides specific exceptions for students who attend 172 days in private or parochial school. Excused absences are granted for emotional, mental and physical disabilities, and students who have school certificates and work permits may also be granted excused absences. Homeschooling has its own exceptions, as long as students receive home instruction from a licensed teacher or with a home-based educational program. The law also requires the state board to set a maximum number of permitted daily absences per year for students, reports the Colorado Department of Education.