Since November of last school year, the North Springs tardy policy has caused much controversy. Once the late bell rings, teachers are required to lock their doors and students must get late passes from administrators in the commons. Students are not allowed into class until they get one of the official passes.
Though the lock out policy may seem vital, many believe it causes more harm than good for students. A student who is less than a minute late to class may end up missing fifteen minutes of valuable instruction time while waiting in line for a pass. The lines can be incredibly long, especially before the school day even begins. “I’ve seen lines of up to fifty people waiting in line just in the first ten minutes of school,” confirmed North Springs Assistant Administrator Carrie Carreras.
Teachers often teach the most important information in the beginning of class, leaving the second half for students to practice the skills they have learned. However, students who miss the beginning of class miss out on the lesson portion of class, making it hard to complete practice exercises. Teachers then may have to go over material multiple times to accommodate tardy students, which can be distracting for others.
Junior Izzy Perling is one student who has encountered problems with the current policy. “One time I was late to class because another teacher kept my whole class for too long,” she explains. “When I was late to my next class, the teacher made me wait in line for a tardy pass. She then refused to go over the material covered. I had to get the notes from a friend and it ended up being a huge hassle.”
Although the lockout system may not seem necessary to students, the North Springs teachers and administration firmly believe it can solve the tardy issue. The system allows teachers to focus on instructional time instead of counting students and marking the tardies online. “We’ve already had to give out five hundred tardy passes, and the system has only been in place for ten days,” said Carreras. Taking up the time to enter five hundred tardies severely obstructs how much instruction can happen within a week.
To the disdain of much of the student body, the lockout system seems to be making a permanent stay. In order to reduce the risk of being tardy, make sure to keep books in backpacks to eliminate the need for frequent locker visits, and to avoid the commons.