Some absences are valid and are considered excusable. A parent/guardian must notify the school for the absence to be excused. These absences are then marked excused in the student’s record.
* Personal illness
* Required legal appearances
* Designated religious holidays
* Medical/dental appointments
* Family emergencies in which the student is needed to ensure family well-being
* Driver examinations
* Educational or district-sponsored activities approved by the school principal
* All school suspensions, including any during the expulsion process, for up to 15 days
* Verifiable cases of bus not stopping at a designated bus stop
In addition, parents/guardians have the right to excuse a student’s absence from school for any reason by submitting written notification prior to the student’s absence from school. A student may be excused for up to ten (10) days per year under this provision.
Report an Excused Absence
An absence will be excused only when a parent/guardian notifies the school.
* Contact the office early in the school day or before school to report that your child will not be in school. Your child’s school will provide a phone number and specific steps that they want parents to take.
* You must also send a written note with your child when they return to class.
* If your child sees a health care provider, ask for a medical excuse that your child can give to the school.
* Work with your child’s teacher to make up any missed assignments or tests.
All other absences are unexcused. Five or more unexcused absences in a semester could result in disciplinary action.
A child is considered habitually truant if he or she misses a total of five (5) full or partial days without a valid excuse during a school semester. The school has the authority to reject excuses that do not appear to be valid. The school will schedule a meeting with the parent/guardian to discuss ways to improve attendance. For more details, see Administrative Policy 8.14.
Your child is considered truant if:
* He/she is absent for all or part of the school day and you, as the parent/guardian, have not contacted the school with a legal excuse as noted under the list of excused absences.
* He/she attends school irregularly but often enough that he/she is not in violation of the state laws that require children to attend school.
When to Keep a Sick Child Home from School
School is important, but sick children need to stay home. Please keep your child home if:
* They cannot sit up comfortably.
* They cannot pay attention.
* Their illness would disrupt others (such as coughing and sneezing).
* They are contagious and could spread sickness.
* They have symptoms listed below.
If your child has any of the following symptoms, please keep your child home from school.
* Fever (temperature 100.4˚ or higher)
* Blistery rash
* Frequent cough
* Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
* Muscle or body aches
* Nasal congestion or runny nose
* Recent loss of taste and smell
* Sore throat
* Vomiting or diarrhea
* COVID-19 symptoms
Milwaukee Public Schools welcomes families of all faiths. We recognize that important religious observances may fall on school days. Our schools take steps to support students who may have special requirements for dress, diet, fasting, or other religious expression.
You can help your school support your family’s religious observances.
* When your child starts school, talk to the teacher and school staff about your beliefs and needs.
* Consider carefully whether your child needs to miss school for a religious observance.
* Inform the school staff ahead of time when your child will miss school.
* Talk to your child’s teacher about making up any work your child may miss.
If you have any questions, please discuss them with school staff.
Check Your Child’s Attendance and Grades
Children generally perform better in school when family members are involved in their education. MPS offers a valuable tool to help families track children’s progress. By logging into Infinite Campus Parent Portal, parents/guardians can see their children’s grades and attendance. This is a great way to track any issues and catch problems early.
By checking the Campus Parent Portal regularly, you can also contact the school to report and correct any errors.
Visit the MPS Campus Parent Portal webpage for more information and to learn how to log in.
Tips to Improve Attendance
* Help your child develop daily routines such as going to bed and waking up on time, setting an alarm clock, and picking out clothes the night before.
* Try to schedule dental and medical appointments outside of the school day whenever possible. The student should attend class the remainder of the school day.
* Keep your child home ONLY if they are truly sick. Headaches or stomach aches may be signs of anxiety. Talk with your child about stress or other concerns.
* Watch academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Children who are falling behind sometimes have anxiety and want to skip school.
* Make sure teachers know how to contact you to discuss any concerns.
* Ask for help from school staff, after-school programs, other parents, or community agencies if you are having trouble getting your child to school on time.
What Can Parents and Guardians Do?
You can increase your child’s attendance and success in school. Try these tips!
* Talk to your child about school—every day, if you can. This will assure you that your child has been in school, and will help you find out if your child is having any problems. If you discover a problem, talk with the teacher or school staff so it can be addressed right away.
* Celebrate and praise your child’s successes. Children want you to be proud of them.
* Get to know your child’s teacher so you understand classroom procedures.
* Join the Parent-Teacher Association, support school events, or volunteer. When parents are involved, children feel a sense of belonging.
* Sign up for the Infinite Campus Parent Portal so you can check your child’s progress and get school updates.
* Ask to see your child’s homework each night. Offer help if needed. Be positive about what your child has done. If your child is struggling, encourage him/her to ask for help in class the next day.
* If you think your child might be skipping school, talk to the staff.
* Keep a calendar of important school dates: first day, last day, holidays, days off for teacher trainings, and so on. Find calendars on the MPS School Calendars webpage or ask for a copy at your child’s school.
* If you are having difficulty getting your child to school, speak to school staff. They may be able to help with tutoring, counseling, or other support to help your child feel comfortable in school.
How Can MPS Help Parents and Guardians?
MPS has staff and resources to help families through many types of difficulties. You can ask for assistance to get the help you need.
* Talk to your child’s teacher, principal, or parent coordinator.
* Ask to meet with the school counselor, school nurse, school psychologist, or school social worker.
* Ask about transportation options in the district.
* Find out about requesting an assessment to see if your child has special needs.
* Check out options for before- and after-school care.
* Contact the MPS Homeless Education Program and learn what resources are available.
School closure or delayed start decisions will be posted on the MPS website (www.mpsmke.com) and carried on local media. We encourage and support families in making attendance decisions for child(ren) based on travel conditions at your location. Please do not assume that school is closed when weather is bad—be sure to check the district website or local media.
Types of Weather Closures
Closure of all district schools and facilities
* All daytime and evening activities/events are canceled.
2-hour delay in opening school
* All schools will open two hours later than the regular start time.
Early closure of schools due to weather
* Refer to our website and local media for more detailed information.
* All daytime and evening activities/events are canceled.
For information on inclement weather
* Check your emails, voicemails, and texts for notifications from MPS.
* Follow Milwaukee Public Schools on social media.