Desert Shadows Middle School
Attendance Line: (602) 449-6801

Parents and guardians must report all student absences within 24 hours.

Meet Kimberly Cox, Attendance/Records Secretary at Desert Shadows Middle

Hello Sidewinder Families!

It is an honor to officially join the DSMS community.  My journey in the district started as a parent of two children who attend DSES and DSMS and then grew into being a parent volunteer.  I enjoyed volunteering in the front office so much that I decided to join in a more formal capacity as the Records/Attendance Secretary.  

Helping students and families succeed in their educational journey is a passion of mine and where I have focused my career for the past 20 years.  My background is primarily in online education where I was a teacher, an administrator and ended as a Program Manager managing programs for at-risk youth across the nation.  Prior to my virtual experience, I was a traditional teacher where I enjoyed teaching middle school most.  After spending the last ten years working remotely, I welcome the opportunity to be back on a school campus with all of the smiling faces and action DSMS has to offer.

I look forward to serving all of our Sidewinder families and having an amazing year!


Kimberly Cox

Attendance/Records Secretary


Attendance Line: 602-449-6801

DSMS Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is essential to a student’s academic success, social and personal development.  Tardies and absences prevent a student excelling in school, because many classroom activities and discussions cannot be recreated or made up. Therefore, students should only remain out of school when absolutely necessary.  

If your student will be absent, a parent/guardian must contact the school to report the absence within the 24 hours. Absences not excused are then considered Unexcused or Truant. When absences become excessive, the school has an obligation to determine the cause. If a student approaches nine absences in a semester, a doctor’s note may be required to excuse additional absences. If five absences are accrued that are not excused by school officials, both the student and parent/guardian may be cited and required to attend a hearing with an officer from the Maricopa County Juvenile Court Center.


Students are expected to be in their classrooms when the bell rings in every class.  At the beginning of first period, students arriving after the first bell are considered tardy, and must report to the front office to sign the Tardy Attendance Sheet and get a pass to class.  

If your student is arriving late due to medical appointments or unavoidable circumstances, a parent/guardian must notify the school office or come into the office to sign in the student to class.

Any student that arrives to school after 20 minutes of class will be counted as an absence, and a parent must call or come into the office to sign in the student.

Absence Reporting

To report an absence, you may call the 24-hour messaging system at (602) 449-6801. During school time, you may call the office at (602) 449-6800 prior to 9:00 a.m. After this time, the Dialer system will automatically call you to report your child's unexcused absent in school that day.

Absences not excused during the day will be considered Unexcused or Truant.

Chronic Illness

Frequent absences resulting from a medical certified chronic condition must be coordinated through our school nurse. Parents who feel their child is eligible under this consideration must contact the nurse to begin the process of Chronic Illness Certification.  

Leaving School During the Day

It is encouraged to keep students in school during the full day instruction time. However, it may be necessary for parents to check their children out of school. This must be done in person with a photo ID at the office. Students are not permitted to leave the school grounds without the company of a parent/guardian and must have administrative approval. Only persons listed on the emergency card will be permitted to check the students out of school.

Custody Issues

It is the responsibility of the parents to notify the school office providing complete legal documentation of any legal changes that would affect a parent’s ability to check a student out of school.