West Mesa Student Handbook
The Federal No Child Left Behind Act requires that states, school districts, and schools be held accountable for ensuring that students meet high academic standards. Punctual, daily attendance is a critical component of the educational process. New Mexico law dictates that:
- Students between the ages of 5 to 18 years of age are mandated to attend public school, private school, home school or a state institution. The Albuquerque Public School District reports habitual truants to the Children’s Court Liaison office and to the State of New Mexico.
- According to the New Mexico Compulsory Attendance Law, students are allowed no more than 10 absences per school year. State law requires schools to withdraw a student after ten (10) consecutive days of absence, but only after the school has exhausted its efforts to keep the student in an educational setting through a variety of interventions.
- The parent/guardian must notify the school each day that the student will be absent, in accordance with the notification procedure established by the school. A letter from a parent must be taken to the attendance office for an absence.
- Absences may be excused (within stated timeframes) for the following reasons, with appropriate documentation:
- Doctor’s appointment (with a note from the doctor).
- Death in the family – for up to three days.
- Religious commitment – for up to three days.
- Illness – over three days requires a doctor’s note specific to the days absent.
- Family emergency – for up to three days total for the school year.
- Diagnostic testing – for up to 3 days with documentation
- School or college visit
- Report Absences: Parents, call 831-6993 ext. 57032 — Call within 24 hours or it will be unexcused. Written statements accepted upon immediate return to school.
- Parents have 24 hours after an absence to contact the school. If the school is not contacted within 24 hours, the absence will be considered unexcused. Notification can be made by phone by calling 831-6993 ext. 57032 or by written statement signed by the parent. Written statements are to be dropped off in the front office immediately upon return. Excessive excused absences (10+ for the entire school year) will result in further inquiry from the principal or designee requesting additional documentation.
- As per APS policy, makeup work is allowed for excused absences for the reasons listed above. Make up work for an unexcused absence is not allowed. For each day absent, 24 hours is allowed to turn in the work for credit.
- Messaging system: The school messaging system, will send an automated message to the phone number listed in our system as the home phone anytime the student is absent, whether excused or unexcused. Please keep your information updated and accurate, so that we can regularly communicate with you in regards to your child’s attendance. If you receive a phone call reporting an unexpected absence for your child, call us immediately.
- Family vacations are considered unexcused absences, and it is expected that parents will schedule vacations during periods of time when school is not in session.
- Students who are signed out before the end of the instructional day must have written documentation of the reason (as defined in excused absences list above) or the absences will be unexcused.
Transportation will be available for eligible students. Information concerning bus schedules may be obtained from the glass case outside the Activities Office and during registration. Bus drop off and pick up will be on the west side of campus. All students are encouraged to display appropriate behavior while on the bus. Any inappropriate behavior on the bus is reported to the office and disciplinary action if necessary, will be taken by the school administration.
Cell Phones & Electronic Devices
Electronic devices (audio players, cell phones, laser pointers, etc.) These devices interfere with the instructional day and will not be allowed in the classrooms unless deemed appropriate by the teacher. These items may be confiscated by staff members and turned in to the administration office.
These confiscated items may be returned under the following guidelines:
- 1st Offense: The confiscated item must be picked up by a parent or legal guardian immediately after school until 3:30 pm in the Main Office.
- 2nd Offense: The confiscated item may be picked up by the parent ONLY on THURSDAYS immediately after school until 3:30 pm in the Main Office. Items confiscated on a Thursday will not be returned until the following Thursday. Student ID’s are required to pick up items.
- 3rd Offense: The confiscated item may only be picked up by a parent or legal guardian at the end of the semester.
Dress Code Policy
West Mesa has a general philosophy regarding appropriate dress and hygiene for school. West Mesa expects that students and staff will dress in a professional and appropriate manner for the business of education. We dress in a way that does not disrupt, distract or interrupt the educational process. Dress and hygiene have an effect on performance; we dress for success.
The following are examples of inappropriate dress, but not limited to the items below. West Mesa High School has the authority to interpret and enforce the dress policy as it sees fit.
- Pants and shorts shall be worn so that no under garments (underwear, shorts, athletic shorts, etc.) can be seen while student is standing, sitting, or bent over.
- Clothing or accessories which promote profanity, violence, sex, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or gangs, or that is highly disruptive or immodest, will not be tolerated. Inappropriate clothing includes, but is not limited to: sagging, off the hip, off the shoulder, tight clothing, long belts, short shorts, etc.
- No hair nets, bandanas, hats or caps.
- No shorts or skirts above fingertip length when arm is extended alongside and shoulders are relaxed.
- No shirts revealing skin when you raise your arms, including tank tops and spaghetti straps
- No gang attire to include: Old English lettering, no clothing which reads “in loving memory…,” no sports team clothing which may be gang related, logos, symbols or clothing otherwise related to gang activity.
- No trench coats allowed on campus and hoodies are considered outside apparel only.
All students who drive a vehicle to school must follow the WMHS campus parking procedures. Students must provide the following information in order to receive a parking permit:
- Name and Student ID card
- Model, color, year of vehicle,
- Driver’s license (current)
- Proof of insurance (current)
- Proof of registration (current)
The cost of permits is $20.00. A parking sticker will be issued to you and you must adhere it to the windshield on the driver’s side. No vehicle will be allowed to park on the West Mesa campus without a current student parking permit. Students are not allowed to park at the West Mesa Pool parking lot.
Although APS provides security, the parking fees do not imply that APS can guarantee that losses will not occur and APS will not be responsible for damages to or loss of personal vehicle. WMHS is not responsible for theft or damage for any car parked on the premises. Vehicles parked at West Mesa must be locked. While every effort will be made to patrol the parking areas, the school cannot be responsible for theft or damages to autos. The Albuquerque Public School System does not provide insurance to cover theft or damage involving autos parked on school property.
Under no circumstances should students use the staff parking area. Unauthorized parking could result in the car being towed at the owner’s expense.
Students are not allowed to go to their cars during passing, activity breaks, lunch or class time. Vehicles are not to be used as lockers or areas in which to lounge. The speed limit in the parking lot is 5 mph Those students who do not abide by the above regulations will be subject to disciplinary action.
All visitors must report to the main office and obtain permission to visit any part of the campus. Parents are encouraged to visit. However, children must be accompanied by their parents. Students may not bring children, brothers, sisters, relatives, or friends to school for any reason.