NH Truancy Law

189:34 Appointment.

I.         School boards shall appoint truant officers for their districts.

II.        School board policies on truancy shall include but not be limited to:

(a) A definition of “excused absence” and a process for considering exceptions to absences not otherwise excused.

(b) A process for intervention designed to address individual cases of truancy as quickly as possible and to reduce the number of habitual truants in the school district. The board shall provide for the participation of parents in the development of the policy. The policy shall include early parental involvement in the intervention process. The policy shall also designate an employee in each school as the person responsible for truancy issues.

189:35-a Truancy Defined.

I.  For the purposes of this subdivision, “truancy” means an unexcused absence from school or class and “unexcused absence” is an absence which has not been excused in accordance with RSA 189:34, II(a).

II. Ten half days of unexcused absence during a school year shall constitute habitual truancy.

III.   A school district shall define the term “half day of absence.’‘ Pace Career Academy defines a half day of school to be 1 and a half hour of a 3 hour school day.

IV.   Nothing in this section shall affect or limit a school district’s power to adopt bylaws concerning truancy pursuant to RSA 193:16.

V.  Nothing in this section shall affect or limit the duties of a parent pursuant to RSA 193:1.

VI. School district attendance records shall be presumed to be true and accurate unless evidence to the contrary is presented.

189:36 Duties.

I.  Truant officers shall, when directed by the school board, enforce the laws and regulations relating to truants and children between the ages of 6 and 18 years not attending school or who are not participating in an alternative learning plan under RSA 193:1, I(h); and the laws relating to the attendance at school of children between the ages of 6 and 18 years; and shall have authority without a warrant to take and place in school any children found employed contrary to the laws relating to the employment of children, or violating the laws relating to the compulsory attendance at school of children under the age of 18 years, and the laws relating to child labor. No home school pupil nor any person between the ages of6 and 18 who meets any of the requirements of RSA 193:1, I(c)-(h) shall be deemed a truant.

II.    A truant officer or school official shall not file a petition alleging that the child is in need of services pursuant to RSA 169-D:2, II(a) until all steps in the school district’s intervention process under RSA 189:34, II have been followed.