New tardy policy will begin second semester

 

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STORY BY RYAN SMITH

Beginning spring semester, students will not be allowed into their classes without a tardy pass.

Late students will have to swipe their ID cards at one of four computer stations located around campus. Once the ID has been swiped, the station will print students a tardy pass to take back to their teachers. The software is called Swipe which connects to Infinite Campus, allowing it to automatically mark a student tardy. Infinite Campus is where staff take attendance and student grades are maintained.

The tardy pass will be time-stamped, so teachers will know if a student doesn’t come straight to class after checking in.

Students who are tardy six times in a single class period will first receive two lunch detentions. Nine tardies will result in three lunch detentions, and after the twelfth tardy in a single class period students will receive either a two-hour, Friday after-school detention or Saturday detention. Tardies will be tracked over the course of the semester — not each quarter.

Detentions will be served the week after they are assigned in order to give students, their teachers, and parents enough notice, Vice Principal Matt Mackay said.

Students will not be allowed to sit without anything to do during the detentions. Principal Amy Marable said administrators overseeing the after-school or Saturday detentions will have students serve in other ways such as participate in beautification projects around campus if they do not bring work with them to fill the time.

The new program is an effort to address what Mackay called “a total lack of urgency” on the part of some students to get to class on time.

“I’ve stood in the 100 and 200 wing and counted more than 20 students each class period wandering around after the tardy bell,” Mackay said. “When you go back and look in Infinite Campus, only a fraction of them are actually marked tardy.”

The new program is supposed to hold students accountable for their tardies and help teachers worry less about whether or not they marked late students while they are taking roll, Mackay said.

The tardy passes will also let students know how many tardies they already have, as well as remind them of the consequences if they hit their limits.

Mackay and Marable said Reed, Galena, and Sparks High Schools already use Swipe on their campuses.

Marable, who was Vice Principal at Sparks last year, said this is the first year Sparks has used Swipe. But, she said administrators from all three schools have seen a reduction in tardies since it was implemented.

“They’ve told us the results they’ve seen were significant,” Marable said. “Students knew what they had to do and they were just getting to class. It took about a week for everyone to get the hang of it.”

The four new computer stations will be located between the 100 and 200 wings, at the end of the 300 hall, in the theater foyer, and in front of the Student Relations Office (SRO). Three of the stations will remain in their locations for five minutes after the tardy bell rings each period. Anyone needing to check in after that will have to go to the station in front of SRO.

If students need a new ID card, the school is offering free ID replacement Dec. 11-15. But, if a student doesn’t have an ID, they will still be able to check in using their name or ID number.

School administrators will begin making classroom presentations about the new tardy procedures tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 5, Mackay said. The school will also send letters out to parents and make phone calls home to let parents know about the new procedures, as well.

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