- West Madison Elementary School
- West Madison Handbook
West Madison Student Handbook
Absences & Attendance Notes
Alabama state law requires that students are present during school hours. Parents will be notified of student absences by an automated telephone system and by written notification according to the following guidelines:
- An automated telephone call will be made after each absence.
- A letter will be sent home after a student has accumulated five unexcused absences.
- After the seventh unexcused absence, a petition will be filed by the system's attendance officer to the District Attorney's office.
A written note must be provided within three days of the absence to be accepted and coded excused. Please refer to the "Parental Responsibilities" and the "Attendance" sections in the MCS Student Code of Conduct for any other concerns you may have about the attendance policies.
Email Attendance Notes to:
Student Check Out Procedures
Students enrolled in the Madison City School System are required to be in attendance a full school day each day, regardless of the student's age. If possible, doctor and other appointments should be made outside school hours.
An adult who requests a child for check-out must show a picture ID. Verification will be made by school office personnel.
A staff member will call the child to the office. Parents should not go to the classroom without permission from the office. It is very disruptive when parents/visitors arrive unannounced in the classroom.
West Madison will adhere to the following guidelines for tardies:
- Warning letters will be sent after 5 unexcused tardies.
- The parents will attend a conference with the principal or principal's designee after 10 unexcused tardies.
- The parents must attend a meeting at Central Office with the Attendance Officer after 15 unexcused tardies.
Visible possession and/or use of cell phones, smart watches, earbuds, or any other one-or two-way electronic devies in the classroom during the instructional day is prohibited unless instructed by the teacher to use. Teachers and adminstrators may, at any time, require students to put away any/all electronic devices including electronic wearables.
Security and safety are of the utmost importance at West Madison. For a scheduled parent conference or to eat lunch with your child, we ask that you ENTER THROUGH THE FRONT OFFICE & SIGN IN WITH YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE. All other doors to the school will be locked for the safety of our students and faculty.Background checks are required for volunteers who may be alone with students.
Madison City Schools are blessed with dedicated, talented volunteers who help our students reach their goals. We certainly want to welcome volunteers into our schools. At the same time, we have a duty to make sure our schools remain safe for our students and free from distraction.
Volunteers who will be under the supervision of a teacher DO NOT need a background check. An example of this type of volunteer would be someone who comes to read to the class while the teacher is present. They are never alone with students. All volunteers MUST, however, sign in at the front office; they will be given a "Visitor" sticker that must be worn at all times.
Volunteers who may be alone with students MUST have an additional background check. An example of this type of volunteer would be a field trip chaperone who may be in charge of a small group of the students. It could also be a volunteer in the building who may tutor students individually in a location outside the classroom (media center, computer lab, etc.). These volunteers must have a background check approved by the BIB volunteer system. Please follow the link below to submit an application:
There is a small fee and it could take up to 3 weeks to receive your volunteer card in the mail. Your volunteer card must be submitted to the teacher and/or the school office prior to volunteering. This application process must be completed yearly.
Teachers cannot be interrupted by phone calls or visits to the classroom during school hours. Parents are urged to communicate with their child's teacher via email or through Class Dojo. Teacher's email addresses are listed on the West Madison Website under faculty.
Parent-teacher conferences provide an avenue for communication between parents and teachers. A conference may be arranged by email, a note to the teacher or by calling the school office between the hours of 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Your child's teacher will return your call as soon as possible. Conferences will be scheduled for the mutual convenience of parents and teachers.
Curriculum Night (K-5)
GIFTED STUDENTS are those who perform at high levels in academic or creative fields when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment. These students require services not ordinarily provided by the regular school program. Students possessing these abilities can be found in all populations, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.
A student may be referred by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents or guardians, peers, self, or any other individuals with knowledge of the student's abilities. Additionally, all second-grade students will be observed as potential gifted referrals using a gifted behavior checklist.
For each student referred, information is gathered in the areas of Aptitude, Characteristics, and Performance. The information is entered on a matrix where points are assigned according to established criteria. The total number of points earned determines if the student qualifies for gifted services.
For more information contact the Coordinator of Elementary Instruction. (256) 464-8370.
Educational field trips will be taken during the school year. The school will make arrangements for transportation. Parents will be asked to chaperone for most of our field trips. We request that siblings not accompany chaperoning parents as they will be responsible for taking care of a small group of students.
CHILDREN PARTICIPATING IN FIELD TRIP ACTIVITIES MUST HAVE A SIGNED PERMISSION FORM FOR EACH FIELD TRIP IN ORDER TO ATTEND.
Background checks are required for volunteers who may be alone with students. Please refer to our "Parent Visitors/Volunteers" section (under Communications) for more information.
At West Madison, we believe that a field trip is an extension of instruction students gain in the classroom. All students have the opportunity to go on a number of field trips here at our school. On the more expensive trips, we offer scholarships and fundraiser opportunities.
Students have the opportunity to go on a variety of field trip through out the school year. Field trips include Gillum Farms, the Botanical Gardens, Let's Pretend Hospital, Montgomery and Chattanooga as well as various theatrical performances in the Huntsville/Madison County area.
Those attending out of the County or overnight field trips will be asked to complete the form below:
Progress Reports and Report Cards
Report cards for students in grades K through 5 will be sent home every nine weeks. A progress report will be sent home every three weeks for students in grades 3-6 and every 4 1/2 weeks for students in grades K-2.
Parents will be requested to attend a parent-teacher conference at the end of the first reporting period. Parents may also access INOW Home Portal for grades and assignments.
Research shows that time spent reading both in and out of school is directly related to student literacy achievement. This includes improving fluency, increasing vocabulary, and building background knowledge. There is also evidence that unless children read substantial amounts of print, their reading will remain laborious and limited in its effectiveness. It is our belief that the students at West Madison will improve in all academic areas by providing students with books that are appropriate in level as well as providing the time to practice reading.
Textbooks and Library Books
All classroom textbooks and library books are loaned to the students for their use during the school year. Textbooks and library books are to be kept clean and should be handled appropriately. Parents are required to pay for any lost or damaged textbooks and library books.
West Madison Discipline Policy
West Madison Elementary School implements a school-wide discipline plan. The consistency of our rules and consequences will not only benefit students, but the teachers, administrators, and parents. Parents will be notified of any severe, inappropriate behavior.
Everyone at West Madison Elementary School is committed to making our school a safe caring place for all students. We will treat each other with respect, and we refuse to tolerate bullying in any form at our school.
West Madison Elementary defines bullying as follows:
Bullying is an intentional act of aggression causing embarrassment, pain, or discomfort to another person. Bullying is a consistent pattern of disrespect for others and can take many forms: Physical, verbal,
, extortion, and exclusion. a gesture
Bullying will not be tolerated at West Madison.
Please refer to Madison City Schools Code of Conduct for information on violations and consequences.
Food and Nutrition
Breakfast and Lunch
Lunch and breakfast are provided daily in the cafeteria. Each student has an account that he/she uses when purchasing a meal. Money should be put into this account to cover the cost of meals as well as snacks, extra milk, etc. Price lists will be provided at Open House as well as the first day of school. Any amount can be deposited into your child's account. We will accept cash or checks, with the appropriate information.
The Madison City CNP Program offers an alternative form of prepayment. Parents can go online to http://www.paypams.com/ and register to view their child's account online as well as make prepayments and transfer money from one child's account to another. There is a nominal fee to deposit money as well as a minimum amount of $25 for deposit. Please access the Madison City Schools website under Child Nutrition for more detailed information. Or you may call 1-888-994-5100 and follow the instructions.
Students are expected to use good manners and quiet voices in the cafeteria. We also expect the students to clean up their eating area before leaving the cafeteria and to exit in an orderly manner.
Parents are welcome to join their children for lunch. However, please sign in at the office and get a visitor's badge prior to entering the cafeteria.
Distribution of Food During the School Day and/or Classroom Parties
West Madison Elementary School adheres to the nutritional guidelines set forth by the Alabama State Department of Education. As a result of these guidelines, the following procedures have been developed to provide you with helpful information regarding the distribution of food items during the school day and/or classroom parties.
Distribution of food to students during a normal school day:
- Parents may send/bring food items to the school that is only for their own children and no one else.
- Food items such as cupcakes, birthday cakes, cookies, candy, and etc. sent /brought to school will not be distributed to other students by parents or teachers.
- We encourage parents to celebrate with non-food items for birthdays such as pencils, stickers, erasers, rather than food.
- Parents may send/bring food items to the classroom party (one per semester) based on the menu provided by the teacher, but these items must be store bought and follow the nutritional guidelines set forth by the Alabama Department of Education.
- No exception - homemade food items will not be allowed during classroom parties.
- The food provided during the party remained sealed until its arrival in the classroom. All items must contain an ingredient label.
- Please check with the classroom teacher before purchasing food items for classroom parties due to the possibility of a student(s) in the class having a food allergy.
The faculty and staff appreciate your assistance in this matter. As always, our top priority is the students and providing them with a productive school environment.
Healthy Snack List for Classroom Parties
In order to assist in improving the health and well being of the students in our schools, there have been changes that have impacted all areas of the school where food is sold and served.
Parents must adhere to the following guidelines if providing food items for snack or celebrations:
- Carbonated drinks and high fructose sugar/drinks- carbonated drink or drinks that are high in fructose or sugar may NOT be sold or given free of charge to students at the elementary level.
- Food or drink with minimal nutritional value may NOT be sold or provided free of charge as identified by the USDA. These are listed below:
- Icees, slushes, popsicles (except those containing fruit juices)
- Chewing gum
- Certain candies processed predominantly from sugars, corn syrups, or artificial sweeteners including, but not limited, to hard candies, sour balls, fruit balls, candy sticks, mints, sugar wafers, rock candy, cinnamon candy, breath mints, cough drops, jelly candies, marshmallow candies, fondants, candy corn, licorice, cotton candy, and candy coated popcorn.
This information is provided by the "Alabama Healthy Snack Standards for Foods and Beverages at School." The complete report can be found here.
- Low-Fat Yogurt
- Graham Crackers
- Whole Grain, Low-Fat Crackers
- Cheese Crackers
- Low-Fat String Cheese
- Low-Fat Veggie Dip
- Low-Fat Microwave Popcorn
- Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies
- Baked Chips
- Granola Bars
- Half of Sandwich (Must be prepared in the classroom before the party)
- Low-Fat Milk
- 100% Fruit Juice
- Cheese Pizza (Thin Crust)
Holidays and Birthdays
Holidays and Birthdays
Classes will have parties and/or special activities throughout the school year. If you do not wish for your child to participate in holiday activities for religious reasons, please inform your child's teacher.
Children may celebrate their birthday with their class by sharing a treat with classmates during the class lunch period or at snack time. Please refer to the "Food and Nutrition" section on our webpage as well as the nutritional letter distributed at Open House to determine acceptable snacks. This should be arranged in advance with the teacher. PLEASE DO NOT BRING BALLOONS OR GIFTS TO THE SCHOOL EITHER TO DISTRIBUTE OR SHOW YOUR CHILD. This is very disruptive to the class.
Party invitations may be distributed at school ONLY IF EVERYONE IN THE CLASS IS INCLUDED. One exception is if a female student invites all female students or a male student invites all male students. West Madison will not accept deliveries, from parents or merchants, of FLOWERS, BALLOONS, ETC. for students.
PARKING IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL WILL BE PROHIBITED ON PARTY DAYS.
Morning Arrival Procedures
West Madison Elementary School is very concerned about the safety of our children in regard to morning arrival and afternoon dismissal. All members of the faculty will closely monitor students. We ask for your patience in the first few weeks of school.
NO VEHICLES SHOULD PARK IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING BEFORE 8:00 AM OR AFTER 1:30 PM. BUSES MUST BE ALLOWED SUFFICIENT SPACE TO ENTER THE CAMPUS IN THE MORNINGS AND AFTERNOONS.
All cars should enter through Liberty Drive, which is south of the school. Drivers must enter the car line in the right lane. The left lane is designated for cars that will be parking in the parking lot.
Please watch the video provided on our school website or click on the following link: West Madison Carline Video
STUDENTS ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THE BUILDING BEFORE 7:10 AM.
Breakfast is available from 7:10 to 7:35. Please drop your child off early enough to finish breakfast and get to class before the 7:40 AM bell.
- BUS RIDERS will be unloaded in front of the school. Teachers assigned to bus duty will closely supervise students getting off buses and ensure that all safety measures are taken near the buses. Students will proceed to the Library or Lunchroom to wait for the bell.
- CAR RIDERS will be seated in the lunchroom until the bell rings. Teachers will provide a safe, orderly environment for students.
- WALKERS from the adjacent apartments should walk to the crossing guard and wait for the crossing guard or a teacher to walk them to the school.
STUDENTS ARE NOT TO CROSS OVER THE ONE WAY STREET BETWEEN THE SCHOOL AND THE APARTMENTS UNSUPERVISED.
AFTER THE BELL RINGS THE CAFETERIA DOORS WILL BE LOCKED. ALL LATE ARRIVALS MUST PARK THEIR VEHICLES AND ESCORT THEIR CHILD INTO THE BUILDING TO SIGN THEM IN.
Instruction begins at 7:40 AM. Students who are not in their classroom when the bell rings will be marked tardy.
Afternoon Dismissal Procedures
West Madison Elementary School is very concerned about the safety of our children regarding morning arrival and afternoon dismissal. All members of the faculty will closely monitor students. We ask for your patience in the first few weeks of school.
NO VEHICLES SHOULD PARK IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING BEFORE 8:00 AM OR AFTER 1:30 PM. BUSES MUST BE ALLOWED SUFFICIENT SPACE TO ENTER THE CAMPUS IN THE MORNINGS AND AFTERNOONS.
FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY REASONS, ANY CHANGES TO YOUR CHILD'S NORMAL WAY OF LEAVING SCHOOL MUST BE SENT IN WRITING TO THE TEACHER.
Students are dismissed at 2:40; Teachers will work in groups to assist children in getting to their designated areas for dismissal.
- BUS RIDERS-dismissed to their appropriate bus located in front of the building.
- CAR RIDERS-dismissed to the cafeteria and seated at tables. A teacher will be stationed at the merge point with a walkie-talkie. Parents will display their car line number in their vehicle's driver side bottom window. The teacher will relay the number to the teachers on duty in the cafeteria and escort the children to their cars. Six cars will be loaded at one time. Teachers will assist students
intotheir cars. To ensure the safety of all of our students, parents may not enter the cafeteria to pick up their child.
- VAN RIDERS-Daycare van riders will be dismissed to the lower level north exit. Teachers will monitor students until the authorized daycare personnel drive up to pick up the students. Parents should notify their daycare provider, before 1:30 PM, if their child is sick or will not be riding the van.
- WALKERS- Walkers to the adjacent apartments are to be seated in a designated area in the cafeteria. A teacher will be designated to walk students across the road to the apartments.
- EXPANDED DAY-The expanded day students will go directly to their designated area and wait until all other students have left the building before going to afternoon activities.
We realize that there are circumstances that require accommodations for Special Needs Students to enter and exit the school building. Please contact the administration so that we may be of assistance.
Please watch our carline video: West Madison Carline Video
Vehicles will enter the campus at the entrance located on Liberty Drive. The carline loops around the back of the school. There are two lanes, the right lane is for the carline. The left lane is for cars parking in the parking lot. Students can enter the building at the designated door next to the cafeteria. Vehicles will exit onto Wall Triana Hwy.
Carline will open at 7:10 A.M. and close at 7:35 A.M.
- Please help us by dropping off your child as early as possible. Carline opens at 7:10 am.
- Please drive your car down to the last person standing on the sidewalk (the more cars we can unload at one time the faster it will move).
- It is imperative that cars remain in carline and never pass another car while in the carline area.
- Due to safety concerns no students are to be dropped off in the front of the building in the morning between 7:10 and 8:00. If you have a conference or meeting, you are welcome to park on the side of the building or park in the back and enter the front door and sign in.
- Finally, in order for carline to move more efficiently, we are asking students to be ready to exit their car as soon as you stop and open the doors themselves (especially, 1st - 5th graders). It will also be helpful if book bags and lunch boxes are in hand, kisses have been given, and pets are in another seat.
It is important to let your child know his/her arrival and/or dismissal procedures for school each day.
If you wish to change your child’s normal transportation, the following methods will be accepted:
Please make all transportation changes before 1:45 p.m. on that day.
- Written communication to your child's homeroom teacher. Please use this form
- Send a message through ClassDojo App to your child's teacher. Also, include Pat Baldwin, school staff.
- In cases of emergency, only the front office will accept a phone call.
WEATHER CONDITIONS EARLY DISMISSAL SCHOOL CLOSING
The threat of flood, snow, ice or tornadic activity may result in early school closings. The Superintendent of Madison City Schools determines school closings. The Central Office will relay the decision to schools and the media for local broadcast. In case of inclement weather, schools are open unless the Superintendent makes a closing announcement via local radio or television stations. Your quickest and best source of information is the local news media. We will also send a notice via School Messenger.
Many parents are employed in facilities that do not permit radios or televisions during work hours. If inclement weather is anticipated, please make arrangements with your employer for a source of information in order to be informed. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL, we will not have any information before it is released to the media. Calls to the school tie up the phone lines and we are not able to receive important information or make emergency calls.
The size of our school prevents us from calling each parent to advise them of early dismissal. With over 400 students this would take more than six hours.
Please discuss and plan with your child what he/she should do and who to call in the event school is dismissed early. This is especially important for students who are bus riders or walkers. School buses will run their regular routes. As a general rule, daycare vans will pick up students early when school is dismissed. Expanded Daycare will not operate if school is dismissed early.