Opposing Views: Is the Tardy System Beneficial?

Pros: Taly

Arriving to class on time is one of the core elements of being a successful student, so it makes sense that a school wants to encourage its students to pick up on these good habits. The new tardy system, implemented by the North Springs administration this year, happens to be a fairly good solution to the tardy problem.  In fact, it has been “more impactful for students in between classes” says Ms Ritchie. This means that students are more focused into getting to their next class since there is shorter time limit.

Students wouldn’t be encouraged to follow the rules if there wasn’t some sort of punishment or reward involved. The punishments for tardies mostly include calling parents to address the issue, followed by detention, followed by ISS then OSS, and the loss of student privileges such as student parking. Even though some of these punishments may seem too extreme, it’s the only way to make students more conscious about getting to class on time. Although the majority of students hate the tardy system, it’s still doing its job by creating fewer late students and ensuring proper education time.

“It has been effective,” states administrator Kevin Rogers. “I see students have more urgency to get to class. And it’s only as effective as the teachers; [the teachers] have been doing a great job [implementing the system.]”

To some, the policy may seem unnecessarily strict, but it helps some people take making it to class on time more seriously. The reputation of reinforcing the rules (simple ones at that) for students helps them develop good discipline habits.

The tardy system has decreased the ratio of students late to class, which is its intended purpose. It shows how discipline is needed to encourage students to take responsibility and go through the consequence of their actions. It’s like a slice of the real world.

“As far as improvements, I feel like it’s been very effective,” says Kimberly Daniel, Legal Environment teacher. “It creates good habits for students for the real world.”

“It’s been very successful,” says the coordinator of the Tardy system Carrie Carreras. “The absence rates have gone down and we’re all really happy.”

Cons: Zephyr

The first ten to twenty minutes of any class are arguably the most important. These minutes serve as the part of the period where the teacher can give students instructions and begin the lesson, before half the class is either doodling or fast asleep. It can take up to fifteen minutes to go down to the commons to get a pass, especially in the morning before first period. If these first few moments of class are so crucial, then why should a student who was one minute late to class miss the first fifteen?

In a 2011 study by Ashli Tyre, Laura Feuerborn, and Jennifer Pierce, a similar policy was implemented in a high school in Washington. Students who were tardy to their classes were required to go to the front of the school and fill out a postcard explaining why they were late, with punishments beginning after a student’s third tardy. Teachers almost immediately found that requiring students to get their tardies logged had the exact same net effect that tardiness did. Students were losing valuable instruction time at the beginning of class. This school then established a system where students received two verbal warnings from their teachers before requiring students to get the tardies filed.

Obviously, the aim of the tardy system is to single out students who are consistently tardy. The school is not as concerned with one-time offenders, who receive just a warning. However, the students who are consistently tardy to class likely do not care about receiving these punishments for tardies. By forcing them to miss even more class, the school is just giving them what they want and hindering their education on an even larger scale.

While it is true that some of these consistently tardy students are showing better attendance, a majority of this comes from the senior exemption policy rather than the tardy one. Senior students are more concerned with the fact they may receive ISS as a punishment, because this means they cannot exempt their finals. The other three classes’ big offenders are showing a less drastic change in number of tardies.

It is clear the tardy system has reduced the amount of tardies in the school overall. However, it is not a perfect solution. The same punishments should be applicable, yet teachers should be responsible for entering these tardies in order to save time and resources. Teachers could simply be asked to write down the names of students as they come in tardy. The teachers could then have the opportunity at the end of class to log all of these tardies into the attendance system. This system would save resources as well as time belonging to both students and teachers.

“The problem isn’t with the students,” says senior Jacob Cohen. “If the administration is having problems with the teachers not logging tardies, it is a problem they need to solve with respect to the teachers. We shouldn’t have to pay for their negligence.”

The way the E-School system is currently set up, teachers have to log in tardies in the first ten minutes of class. If the software was fixed so that teachers could log tardies later, this problem would be easily fixed. Then, the school could set up a system that alerts administration if a student has over three tardies so that student could be reprimanded. This system would help save time, money, and resources.

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