Truancy Code Public Meeting

Notice of New Tribal Truancy Code & Request for Tribal Member Comments

At the direction of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council, the Tribe’s Legal Department is seeking comments on the proposed new Truancy Code. A copy of the new Code can be found at this link on the Education Department website: Proposed Truancy Code. Please use the contact numbers at the end of this notice to obtain a hard copy of the proposed Truancy Code or to submit comments.

This is a new Code developed by the Tribe’s Truancy Team and representatives of various departments, including Education, Social Services, Justice & Regulatory, and Legal. The new Code will appear as Title 31 in the Southern Ute Law and Order Code.

Summary of the proposed Code:

  1. The purpose of the Code is to ensure that all Tribal member children and those eligible for Tribal membership, as well as all Native children residing or attending school within the exterior boundaries of the reservation, have the benefit of a fulfilling educational experience.
  2. The Truancy Code makes school attendance mandatory and ensures that children and families follow school attendance policies, or the progress requirements of on-line or home-schooling educational programs that do not have attendance policies.
  3. The Code requires that parents, guardians, and custodians ensure their child’s attendance at school (or progress in their on-line or home school educational program) and participate in any process that occurs if their child is not attaining school attendance (or on-line and home school progress) goals.

Truancy Team:

  1. The Truancy Team is made up of representatives of the Education, Social Services, and Justice and Regulatory Programs, and may include others at the family’s request such as school representatives, elders, or community representatives.
  2. If a child is not meeting attendance or on-line/home school progress goals, the Truancy Team will meet with the family and develop an individualized plan to help support the child and family.
  3. The individualized truancy plan may include assistance with tutoring, counseling, and access to services to eliminate or remediate the causes for the child’s unexcused absences, or for student’s enrolled in online/home school programs, insufficient progress.


  1. If a child or family fails to cooperate with or follow the Truancy Plan, the Code contains several enforcement options, including:
    1. Law enforcement returning the child to school or home.
    2. The Education Department or CRO filing a petition in Children’s Court and requesting the Court issue an order requiring school attendance.
  2. If a case is referred to the Children’s Court, the Court may issue orders not only requiring school attendance, but also community service for both the parents, custodians, or guardians and the child, tutoring for the child, behavioral health or drug and alcohol assessments, counseling, curfew, removal of electronics from children’s possession, or home detention. As a last resort, the Court may also impose financial penalties, issue contempt citations, or take other measures as described in Article 5 of the Truancy Code.

Public Comments:

The Tribal Council requests that all Tribal Members review the entire code and provide comments no later than May 17, 2023 to the Legal Department at:

  • Email: or
  • Mail: David Smith or Leslie Barnhart, Legal Department, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, P.O. Box 737, Ignacio, Colorado, 81137.
  • Hand delivery: Legal Department, Leonard C. Burch Tribal Administration Building, Ignacio, Colorado, 81137.
  • Phone: 970-563-2144
  • Website:


Public Meetings:

Two public meetings for Tribal Members are scheduled to discuss the proposed Truancy Code. Parents, guardians, and K-12 students are encouraged to attend: April 12, 2023 – Sun Ute Community Center Capote Room from noon to 1:30 p.m. April 26, 2023 – Multi-Purpose Building from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

For further information please contact: Leslie Barnhart, Legal Department, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, P.O. Box 737, Ignacio, Colorado, 81137; telephone (970) 563-2144; email:

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