ABCs of School Information for Parents & Guardians
After-school care – The Madison's East YMCA, MSCR, Red Caboose, West YMCA and Wisconsin Youth Company provide after-school daycare. Please check your school's handbook and also our website to see which program is at your school.
Anti-Bullying – Bullying is the intentional action by an individual or group of individuals to inflict physical, emotional or mental harm or suffering on another individual or group of individuals when there is an imbalance of real or perceived power. Sometimes students being unkind to each other is incorrectly labeled as bullying. Click here to read more information about anti-bullying.
Appointments – Students who leave for a medical appointment should have a note sent to the teacher and the office. Parents must go to the office to sign out their child(ren). The office will call for the student(s). Parents cannot go directly to the classroom. Without a note from a parent/guardian the tardiness/absence will be unexcused. Please work to schedule all appointments outside the school day as much as possible.
Anticipated Absence – If your child(ren) plan on being absent from school, please complete an Anticipated Absence Form which is available at your school's office. Students are allowed to miss 10 days of excused absences per year.
Art – Art class in all MMSD schools is 60 minutes per week. Please click here for more information on art classes. Please contact your child's art teacher if you have any further questions.
Attendance – MMSD has an attendance goal of 94%. We encourage parents to work hard to meet that goal. Please call the school Attendance Line at your child(ren)'s school before 7:45 a.m (or 8:30 for late start school) if your child(ren) will be absent. We carefully monitor the attendance of our students as habits started in kindergarten tend to last over the course of a school career. Click here for more information about attendance.
Attendance Line – We use a daily process to ensure the safety of every child. When a child is marked absent in the morning, we work hard to contact the parent at work or home to be sure the child is absent. You can help us by calling the Attendance Line by 7:15 AM for early start schools and 8:00 AM for late start schools if your child is not in school. Please use this line rather than calling the main school number. This number can be accessed any time of the day or night. You will find the Attendance Line number in your school's handbook or newsletter or you can find a complete list on this page. Click here to see if your school has an early or late start.
Behavior Education Plan – The Behavior Education Plan outlines MMSD's approach to supporting and responding to student behavior. This replaces the old Student Code of Conduct and Discipline and emphasizes a teaching and learning approach to supporting positive behavior among all students. Click here for more information about the Behavior Education Plan.
Breakfast and lunch are served daily in the Madison schools. Menus are posted on each school's website or click here to view or download our menus.
Building Use – After-school programming is coordinated through Madison School Community Recreation (MSCR) at 442-1346. Click here for further information.
Busing – Pupil transportation is an integral part of our educational system. Therefore, the goal of the Madison Metropolitan School District is to provide safe, efficient and economical transportation for all eligible students residing within the school district boundaries, under provisions of the appropriate Wisconsin State Statutes and Board of Education policy. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the MMSD Transportation Office at 442-2898. Click here for transportation information.
Calendar – Every school's calendar is posted on their website or check out the MMSD calendar. This lists all of the vacations and early release days for all schools.
Code of Conduct – Please click here for the new Behavior Education Plan. This is information on our discipline program and expectations for schools.
Code Red Drill – This is a drill for when the school building needs to go in lockdown mode. This is used if there is an intruder in the building, and we practice it twice each year. Letters are sent home after this drill.
Combination or Multi-age classes are sometimes found in the MMSD. These are classes where the teacher has students from two grade levels in the same classroom. Many schools have combination classes at certain grade levels such as Grades 2/3 or 4/5. The MMSD recently has transitioned to straight grade classes though some schools still offer multi-age classes.
Concerns or complaints – They should first be directed to the responsible party and then the school principal at the school, if the concern was not yet resolved. The next step is to contact Michael Hertting, Chief of School Operations, at 663-1632. Here is a link for the MMSD Complaint Process.
Conferences – Conferences for parents are held in November and March. Parents can sign up for a time to meet their child(ren)'s teacher. Teachers are also available other times during the year to meet with parents. Please contact your child(ren)'s teacher if you wish to meet with them.
District Newsletter – The newsletter is sent electronically every two weeks. Click here for a link to the latest edition of the District Newsletter.
Dismissal times – All elementary schools are dismissed early on Mondays. We ask that parents wait near the entrances if they are picking up their child(ren). There is too much congestion at the end of the day to have parents pick up their child(ren) by their classrooms. Click this link to find out what time your school dismisses on Mondays.
Dual Language Immersion (DLI) – The MMSD has several DLI programs which start in kindergarten or first grade. Classes are made up of both native English speakers and native Spanish speakers. Instruction is 90% in Spanish in Kindergarten and gradually increases in English as students move up in grade level. If you are interested, please check out our DLI website.
Drop Off – Parents should check their school's website or handbook for the designated area to drop off child(ren). Safety is our foremost concern, and to avoid traffic hazards, please do not deviate from the established policy. If you walk your child to school, please wait outside the building until the bell rings. If you need to speak with a teacher, please set up an appointment.
Early Release – Please check your school's handbook or the MMSD calendar.
Email – our district uses Gmail for staff and students. Staff are encouraged to check their email during the day. The email addresses are typically the staff member's first initial then last name (Example: for Sally Smith – firstname.lastname@example.org), although some email addresses include a middle initial as well. Check our online staff directory for a complete listing.
Entrances – All school entrances are locked during the day, but they are open in the morning and after school is out. There is an intercom or buzzer at the office entrance for you to announce your name and state the purpose of your visit. The secretary will buzz you into the building. For the safety of our children, we request all visitors sign in at the office each time they come into our schools.
Gifted Education – Almost all the educational needs for every student can be met with in the classroom. There are a very few students (1-3%) who need additional support to flourish in our schools. As always, please be sure to contact your child(ren)'s teacher if you have any concerns. Each school has an instructional support person for advanced learners. Click here for more information on Gifted Education.
Health Services encompasses taking medication at school, food allergy information, immunization information, BadgerCare Plus and other health issues and forms. Every school has a nurse and a nursing assistant to serve the children at your school. Please click the link for health services information.
Immunization Information – This is available online here.
Individual Education Plan (IEP) – Some of our students need additional or specialized instructions to maximize their potential. Here are some links for more information: MMSD Special Education, Special Education in Plain Language: A brochure written or parents to explain the process for special education, and information from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).
Internal Transfer – This term is used when students transfer to an MMSD school that is outside their attendance area. Transfers are granted when there is space available in the receiving school and generally not granted during the second semester. You can fill out an application online. Contact our Enrollment Office at 663-4957 if you have questions.
Internet – It is the policy of the Board of Education to mandate and expect that students will use district-provided technology in a responsible manner. Please click here to read the internet policy.
Learning Problems? Please talk with your child(ren)'s teacher if you have any concerns about your child(ren)'s progress. Other resources include School Psychologist, School Social Worker, Instructional Resource Teacher and the school principal.
Library Media Center (LMC) is a wonderful resource for our students. Click here for more information on LMC. Each student receives instruction for 30 minutes a week and are allowed to check out library books at this time. Each elementary school is served by a full-time librarian. Please feel free to contact your child(ren)'s librarian if you have any questions.
Lost and Found – Please ask at the office or your child(ren)'s teacher to learn where the lost and found is located in your school. Each year students misplace items and they are not claimed. Items not claimed are donated to charity. Children often believe items are stolen when they are actually misplaced.
Lunch is served every day in our school cafeterias. Students can purchase a MMSD hot lunch or bring their own lunch. Milk can also be purchased. Students pay in advance for their lunch by having funds in their account. You can add money to your child(ren)'s account online. Checks can be made out to MMSD and sent with your child to school or dropped off at the office. You can also check your child(ren)'s balance or view the current menu here.
Madison Community Foundation – Each year our teachers can pursue grants through the Foundation. This is a great way to support the children and staff at our schools. Please click here for information.
Messages – We hope parents will make arrangements in advance for their child(ren) so getting messages to students is held to a minimum. We do not interrupt learning during the day in classrooms. We do understand that, sometimes, things come up and you need to get a message to your child(ren). For those rare times, we are happy to assist parents in getting messages to students. Please call the school office if it is near the end of the day so we can be sure the message is delivered.
Music meets two times per week at all MMSD elementary schools. You can click here for more information about music. Please free to contact your child(ren)'s music teacher if you have any questions.
Newsletter – Most of our elementary schools have a monthly newsletter. Please check your schools website for the up-to-date newsletter.
Non-custodial or shared placement parents – We want all parents to have the information they need for their child(ren). Please be sure to let both the office and the classroom teachers know if you need duplicate copies of the newsletter, classroom newsletters or report cards. We are happy to provide these. Click here for more information about Non-custodial or shared placement parents.
Open Enrollment – is the process used in Wisconsin to allow students to enroll in school districts outside their home district. This is a process regulated by the Department of Public Instruction. For more information, you can call the MMSD Enrollment Office at 663-4957 or the Department of Public Instruction at 266-3390.
Parent Group (PTO) – These groups usually meet the second Tuesday of each month. This group is a major source of support for our schools. Please check your schools website for specific PTO information. They provide invaluable support for our school.
Physical Education class meets for three 30-minute classes each week. Please click here for more information about Physical Education.
Recess is an important of the day for our children. Each student has a 15 minute recess in the morning or afternoon and usually go outside. Students also have a 10 minute break during the other part of the day that is usually held indoors and used as a snack time. The district follows MMSD Policy and keeps children inside when it is bitter cold outside. We try and go outside because having some time outside each and every day makes a big difference in learning. Children can go outside up to a -10 windchill depending on conditions. Click here for windchill information.
Report Cards are issued 3 times per year: at the end of the semester and after the 3rd and 4th quarters. The 3rd quarter report card is an abbreviated report card. Here is a link to MMSD standards.
School Supply Lists – Click here to find your school's list.
School Newsletters – Your school newsletter is sent home several times during the school year. It may also available online on your school's website. Please be sure to read this publication for important information about your school.
School Visitation – We are happy to have prospective parents visit our schools. We give tours of our schools and can answer your questions. While visits to many classrooms are part of the tour, we are not able to allow parents to observe for extended periods of time in our classrooms. Please call the school office to set a visit with the principal.
Specials Classes provide an opportunity for children to develop many strengths outside of academics. All MMSD students have physical education 3 times per week, music 2 times per week, computer class one time per week, library one time per week and art class which also meets once per week. All classes are 30 minutes per week except art which is 60 minutes. Some schools may have two 30-minute sessions.
Student Support Intervention Team – Teachers and parents are encouraged to speak with the Student Support Intervention Team when a student is experiencing problems in any area, including academic, behavioral, emotional, etc. There is a local team at every school typically made up of the principal, school psychologist, school social worker, instructional resource and other staff as needed. Click here for more information on our Student Support Intervention Teams.
Student teachers or practicum students are ever-present in all of our schools. We love helping the next generation of teachers.
Tardiness is problematic at all of our schools. Students who are late miss important instruction and interrupt classroom time when they arrive late. We are continuing to work on this issue and have made some progress. Students who miss less than 10 minutes for 1/3 of the day will be marked tardy. Please be sure your child(ren) are checked in at the office anytime they are late. This allows us to change the absence to a tardy. Click here for more information about tardiness.
Telephones – District telephones do not ring in the classrooms during the instructional day. The phones automatically transfer to the office where the caller can be transferred to voicemail. We do not connect calls to the classrooms during instructional time. Here is a link to our staff directory.
Tornado Drills are conducted once each spring in coordination with a statewide drill. Click here for more information on Tornado Drills.
Volunteers are valued members of our school team. Volunteers can be literacy tutors, math tutors, field trip helpers, lunchroom helpers or classroom helpers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact our Schools of Hope Coordinator at 441-7895, or click here for more information about volunteers.
Weather – When the weather is bad, the Madison Metropolitan School District follows a set of guidelines for deciding if school will be open or closed. The district makes the decision that is in the best interest of our students. For more information, please check our website, our social media pages, or watch our local TV stations.