Students walking into school with colored backpacks

Getting into the habit of daily attendance is more important than ever. Nationwide, it is estimated that chronic absenteeism has doubled from pre-Covid 19 attendance rates (  Regular, on-time attendance to school helps to:  

●  reduce stress

●  make it easier to connect with friends and teachers

●  support learning and academic gains

Missing just two days of school per month can negatively impact a child’s progress in reading and their pathway to graduation (  Therefore, a student may be excused from school by the parent/guardian for not more than ten (10) days in the school year (WI Act 239, 1998).  Medically excused absences (excuses from a doctor, mental health provider, dentist, etc.) may not be counted as a part of these 10 days.  

According to Strategic Plan Goal 5: Culture and Community, Strategic Objective 5.3 outlines that all schools will decrease unexcused absence and habitual truancy rates.  Therefore, we have reestablished attendance processes for school staff, families, and students to ensure alignment with Wisconsin State Statute and Wauwatosa Board of Education Policy 5200.  

We also want to make sure you are aware of the Wauwatosa School District’s attendance procedures in the event you receive a letter or phone call from your child’s school.

  • Parents/guardians are sent a letter after their child has accrued 5 or more days (or 35 class periods) of excused absences.

  • Parents/guardians are sent a letter after their child has 10 or more days (or 70 class periods) of excused absences.  At this point, any further absences will require medical excuses.  If medical excuses are not received, the student will be marked unexcused.

  • If a student has 5 or more days (or 35 periods) of unexcused absences in a semester, we notify parents/guardians via letter that this attendance meets the criteria for habitual truancy.  The school principal will request a meeting with the parent/guardian per State Statute 118.16(2)(cg).  At this meeting, any barriers to attendance are problem-solved to improve attendance for the remainder of the year.

At home, you can help your child get to school each day by:

  • Call the school office any time your child may be late or absent.

  • Scheduling medical and dental appointments after school or during teacher work days when possible.

  • Provide the school office with medical excuses any time your child misses school for a medical appointment.

  • Send your child to school if they have just a slight stomach ache, headache or allergies, and do not have a contagious illness.  Call the school or a health provider for advice if your child complains regularly.  

  • Familiarize yourself with the WSD district illness guidelines.

We are working to ensure each school environment is a place where everyone can be safe, healthy and learning.  We will do our best to listen and partner with you so that your children have a successful year.