Madison Middle School Attendance & Tardy Policies
Every absence matters. Education in the middle grades provides a solid foundation upon which students will build their futures. Missing just two days a month can mean a student accumulates enough absences over the course of the school year to be categorized as chronically absent by the state (whether the absences are excused absences or unexcused). Furthermore, chronic absenteeism is one sign (of three) that a 6th grader may be on the road to dropping out of school later. By ninth grade, attendance is a better predictor of future graduation than one’s test scores. Late arrivals and early dismissals add up too—missing 10 minutes of a class is considered an absence, according to district policy. If you’re interested in reading more about how attendance impacts a student’s future, there is an informative document at this link.
If you need guidance about when to keep your child home for illness, please refer to the document at http://bit.ly/tooSickForSchool
Madison adheres to the Seattle Public Schools’ attendance policy. Read the 2016-17 Compulsory attendance letter here: http://bit.ly/SPSattendanceLetter. At the middle school level, attendance is tracked by the period. All absences must be cleared within 3 days by email, phone or parent-signed note. For your convenience, we have a printable/editable form for you to use, just fill it out and have your child bring it in. For an absence to be excused a parent/guardian must provide a reason for the absence to the attendance specialist.
phone: 206.252.9204 (Please, do not call the main line to report absences).
Absences fall into one of two categories, planned, or unplanned.
Planned absences include:
participation in a school-approved activity (field trips, etc.)
religious holiday (you must notify the attendance office)
high school visits
Unplanned absences include:
illness or injury
Absences are not excused for:
late/missed metro bus
a car breaking down or traffic
For planned absences the expectation is that you notify the attendance office 3 days in advance of the absence, via email, phone or parent-signed note/form. It may be appropriate to use the pre-planned absence form (if the absence is longer than a day, or is an educational trip). The Pre-Planned Absence Form
is available in the attendance office, and in the forms section of the Madison website. It should be turned in 3 days in advance of the absence. For unplanned absences, notify the attendance office at the contact point listed above within 3 days of the absence.
Students are considered tardy if they arrive within the first 10 minutes of class. Students arriving later than that are considered absent for that period. All students who arrive late to school should sign in at the attendance office on the “Late Student Sign-In” sheet.
Students who are late due to an appointment should come with a note from the health-care/service provider.
Although many Madison Middle School students ride metro buses, being late due to a metro delay is not an acceptable excuse, according to district policy. Being late due to a parent’s car trouble is also not accepted as an excuse by the district. Students late due to a delayed yellow bus are excused, however.
Robo emails & calls
Middle schools and high schools in the district use an automated email and calling system to notify parents/guardians of absences that have not been cleared in the attendance record-keeping system by 4:30 pm. If you get a call and you know you reported an absence, please give the attendance specialist another day to get the absence cleared before reporting the absence again. Every effort is made to get all the absences cleared on the same day, but sometimes the calls go out before the attendance specialist is able to make the change.
Students who need to leave campus early should bring a note to the attendance office requesting an early dismissal. Parents may also email the day before to notify the attendance office of an early release. Without early, advance notice parents should allow extra time for an office TA to run a pass the student’s class. If a student is in gym at the scheduled release time, you will also need to allow extra time to allow the student to change into school clothes. To keep students safe, students will only be released to a person on the contact list provided to us at the beginning of the school year or on the list from the previous year (if there were no changes). We verify the identity of anyone picking up a child from Madison Middle School, so please be prepared to show an ID/passport, etc. The adult must come to the attendance window and sign the student out, noting the adult’s name, the student’s name and the time out. If the student returns to school after leaving, he/she should sign back in at the attendance office, and provide the attendance specialist with any documentation from the healthcare provider, if the student had an appointment.
Students who are going home sick need to be evaluated by the school nurse before being released.
When you’ll hear from the attendance office
We’ll be in touch with a letter if we notice that your child is on pace to hit that 10% excused absence mark, or if we notice any unresolved, unexcused absences. Additionally, we’ll alert the parents of students who seem to be making a habit of being late to school. Keep in mind that students who have absences above a certain level may be excluded from participating in the 8th grade graduation trip and/or graduation ceremony and other choice activities.