Attendance Policies & Procedures

The West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board, in recognition of the statutory requirements for school attendance (WI Statutes 118.15 and 118.16) and the overwhelming public interest in an educated society believe that school attendance should take precedence over non-school activities.

Reporting an Absence
When ever student is going to be absent from school, the parent must inform the school by calling prior to 9:30 a.m. each day the student is going to be absent.  Call the attendance office at (414) 604-3201.  This is a 24-hour phone line, therefore a message may be left at anytime, day o night.  If a live attendant is not available, please leave a detailed voice mail message indicating that your child will be absent.  All attendance messages are listened to promptly in the morning of each school day.

Excused Absences will Include the Following:

  • Illness (mental or physical).  An excuse from the physician or dentist should be brought in whenever possible.  If excessive absences occur, medical verification may be required.

  • Appointments with medical specialists.  Such appointments should be made, whenever possible, when school is not in session.  An excuse from the medical specialist should be brought in to the attendance office.  It is highly recommended that students bring in a “doctor’s excuse” anytime a visit with a medical professional occurs.  These absences are coded differently in the attendance system.

  • Family emergency or crisis.

  • Funeral leave.

  • Planned vacations.  We discourage planned vacations during the school term.  A parent is required to notify the building principal in writing of the pending absence no later than one week prior to the planned departure date.

  • Attendance at special events of educational value as approved by the building principal.

  • Required legal appearance.  Student should supply verification of the court appearance.

  • Designated religious holiday.

  • Approved school district-sponsored activities.

  • Drivers license examinations

  • Inclement weather (when school is in session)

Important Note: All other absences will be regarded as unexcused.  All student absences are subject to review by the building principal, whose decision will be final.  If a student is absent part or all of ten school days over the course of a semester, that student will require medical verification of all future absences.  A conference with the parent, student, counselor,and administration will take place to develop a plan to improve the student’s attendance.

Attendance Procedures

Attendance and Extra-/Co-Curriculars/Athletics- A student must attend the last 50 percent of his/her classes the day of an event in order to participate in that event.  All absences must  conform to the school’s attendance policies.  Any student suspended from school may not participate in any rehearsals, practices, or events while under suspension.

Early Dismissals- Students who must leave school for a pre-approved reason must bring a written parent note to the attendance office, Room 102, prior to 7:40 a.m.  If approved, an early dismissal pass will be issued to the student.  Upon return to the school, the student must sign in at the desk in Room 102 and be issued an admittance pass for the class(es) missed. A student should never leave the building without permission, and if this occurs, a parent contact will be attempted. Students who leave school without proper permission may be considered truant.

Homework Requests- For any excused absence that extends for three or more school days, a parent may request homework through the attendance office.  The parent should contact the attendance secretary at (414) 604-3201 and ask that a Homework Request be processed. This request will be circulated to all the student’s teachers and can be picked up at 3:00 p.m. twenty-four(24) hours after the request has been made.  For absences that are less than three days, parents or students should contact the individual teachers for homework.

Illness–A student who has a rash, sore throat, runny nose, fever, or cough should be kept home as these symptoms may be the first sign of contagious diseases.  Please report contagious diseases to the Milwaukee County Public Health Division and our Attendance Office.

School District personnel are responsible for reporting communicable disease to the County Health Department.  Students who are suspected of having a communicable disease specified by the Department of Health and Social Services or the Milwaukee County Public Health Division may be sent home by any teacher or principal.  A parent will be notified as soon as practical of any student who is suspected of having a communicable disease.  If a student becomes ill or is injured at school, the school will try to notify parent(s) by telephone.  If this fails, the school will call the alternate contact for assistance in transporting the child.  In severe cases where the situation requires immediate medical attention, 9-1-1 will be called.

Inclement Weather– Inclement weather sometimes causes school to be canceled for the day.  This is especially true in the winter with snow and ice storms. Students are advised to listen to local radio and TV stations for early announcements regarding the closing of schools.  The announcements will be made periodically starting at about 6:00 a.m. over the following local radio/TV stations:


WTMJ 620 AM                          
WOKY 920 AM                        
WEMP 1250 AM         

WLWK 94.5 FM                        
WLTQ 97.3 FM                         
WMYX 99.1 FM

WXSS 103.7 FM                       
WMIL 106.1 FM


WTMJ Channel 4                        
WITI Channel 6                          
WISN Channel 12

WDJT Channel 58                       
West Allis Cablevision

Physical Education- A student who is unable to participate in a physical education class on a particular day must bring a written excuse from a parent or doctor. This excuse must be presented to the physical education instructor on the day of the absence or the day immediately following the absence. Only a doctor’s excuse will be accepted if the student is to be excused for more than three days in succession.  Any student excused from physical education class for medical reasons on any given day will not be allowed to participate in any athletic practice or competition on that day.  Students who choose not to participate or suit up for physical education classes will need to meet with their instructor to determine when to make up any missed days.Students may fail the class for chronic non-participation.


Returning to School- If the parent informed the school of the absence, nothing further needs to be done.  If the parent did not inform the school, he/she must write a note stating the reason for the absence and the date(s) of the absence. The student must bring the note to the attendance office, Room 102, by 7:40 a.m. on the day of the return.

Tardiness- Our mission is to prepare our students to be successful by “promoting student achievement at the highest level” and “to develop the necessary living and working skills to lead a quality life as a contributing member of today’s society.”  Teachers will be closing their classroom doors when the bell rings at the start of the day.  Students who are late to school will be swept to the commons for the first 15 minutes of the day to receive a pass.  After the first 15 minutes if a student is late to school, students must report directly to the security desk located at the Lincoln Avenue entrance.  Students will be issued a tardy pass and a detention, unless the tardy is excused.  An excused pass will be issued only if a parent informs the school of the reason for the tardy and the reason is deemed excused by an administrator.  

Students who accumulate three or more unexcused tardies may receive before/after school detentions, lunch detentions, Weekend School Detentions, and/or a truancy ticket. 

Tardiness to a class or study hall during the school day will be handled by the individual teacher.  Additionally, hall sweeps may take place during any hour of the day.  If a student is not in their class on time when a hall sweep is implemented, the student will receive an automatic detention.  Disruptive, disrespectful behavior will result in additional consequences.  Failure to serve detention time may result in additional consequences.

Truancy– Truancy is defined as any absence for a portion of a school day or absence for one or more days from school during which the Attendance Office has not been notified by the parent of the student who is absent.  Tardiness that is not excused shall be considered truancy, and the student will be subject to disciplinary procedure, including, but not limited to detention, suspension, or municipal citation.  As well, repeated truancy may result in Nathan Hale High School’s revoking a student’s work permit and/or parking permit.

Student truancy is taken very seriously at Nathan Hale.  Any student who is truant for part or all of a school day may be ticketed by the West Allis Police Department.  Fines are currently in the $110 range for first-time incidents and can range up to $270 for parents for students who are deemed habitual truants.