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.
Madison adheres to the Seattle Public Schools’ attendance policy. 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)
- medical appointments
- high school visits
- family trip
Unplanned absences include:
- illness or injury
- family emergencies
- disciplinary actions
Absences are not excused for:
- late/missed metro bus
- sleeping late
- 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 and 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.
Contact Madison’s attendance office at 206-252-9204 or firstname.lastname@example.org to report your early dismissal request. Call 206-252-9204 when you arrive and we’ll walk your child outside to you at the front of the building on 45thAve. SW. Contact the attendance office if your student will be absent or late. Thank you for your understanding as we are limiting parents and visitors in the building at this time. 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.
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.
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.