Help with tardy situation

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,062
    Likes Received:
    471

    Mar 15, 2011

    This is a really long post. Sorry. If you want to tl:dr this one, I understand.

    I think I've posted a few requests for help with revamping the tardy policy at my school. I'm on a small committee working to curb what has become a major problem.

    Right now we're using a progressive discipline-based system for tardies in each class. Tardy 1: verbal warning, 2: another warning, 3: letter home, 4: deans' detention, 5 and all subsequent tardies: required parent conference (i.e. student can't return to school until the parent has had a meeting with admin regarding the issue). For every tardy our automated phone system sends a phone call home notifying parents.

    What I'm noticing is that there are a lot of students who have been tardy numerous times in a single period. I'm talking 10, 15, 24 tardies in that one period alone. I pulled up just my students and saw that 28 of them have at least 9 tardies in a single period. Now, based on our system, you'd think that those students would have received detention and been placed on RPC a number of times, yes? The problem is that most of then haven't. Ever. That information is available in our attendance software just like tardies and absences, so it's easy to see.

    The deans' office (responsible for enforcing tardies and discipline) tells us that teachers are at fault because they're not entering tardies into the attendance system. Based on the fact that I see numerous tardies in the system, I think that this argument is invalid.

    I think that the problem is that there is a disconnect between what happens in the teacher's classroom and the deans' office. Somehow the information that a student is tardy is not making its way to the deans' office.

    We have a form that teachers use for tardies. Basically it has space for the student's name and info and then 4 spaces for tardies. On each tardy, the teacher writes the date and signs, and the student also signs. Ideally, this paper makes its way to the deans' office on the second tardy. After the second tardy, a carbon copy is returned to the teacher, and that's the actual form that continues to be signed on the third and fourth tardies. After the fourth tardy, we're supposed to write a referral for the student and send him directly to the deans' office.

    It seems obvious to me that teachers either aren't filling out this form or aren't sending it to the deans' office.

    I don't think that the form is unnecessarily complicated, but it is sort of messy to send it up, get it back, fill it out again, send it back again, fill it out again, send it back again, and then write referrals. Barring any sort of issue with the form getting misplaced instead of returned to the teacher (which happens from time to time), it's a lot to deal with, especially in very large classes with lots of students.

    It is my feeling that tardies, just like attendance, should be handled through the deans' office. Just as the deans' office sends out notices of excessive absences, I think that they should be able to do that with tardies. I'm sure that there must be a way in our attendance software to print reports showing tardies. When I brought up my idea at the last tardy meeting, I was summarily shot down. I got the impression that the deans' office doesn't want to deal with the extra work of having to run those reports and call up students. I understand that. I also understand that what we're doing isn't working so something needs to change.

    Although students aren't habitually tardy to my class (I suspect because they know that I enforce the tardy policy and WILL send them to the deans' office...), they are obviously tardy to other classes. This affects me because it means that there are dozens, sometimes hundreds, of students milling about in the halls and courtyard area, strolling to class without any sense of urgency. Many of those kids in the halls are disruptive and distracting to my students during class. I'm over that.

    What suggestions do you have? We have our next meeting tomorrow after school and I'd really like to bring something meaningful to the table.
     
  2.  
  3. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2011

    The high school I went to had a huge issues with students being tardy. I mean something like 2/3rd of our student population (4,500+) had been tardy over ten times to a single period. My last year there they enacted two policies- mandatory lockout and participation points loss. Once the second bell rung, the teachers would close and lock the doors for 15 minutes. Then security officers would pick up the kids who were locked out and took them to the deans office to get an after school detention. Every class then had a section of their grading titled participation and for each tardy, students would lose half a point.

    I know this sounds drastic but from the end of first quarter to the end of third quarter we had drastically reduced the number of tardies to something crazy- I can't remember the number.

    I don't think a verbal warning or a note home works for high school students.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,062
    Likes Received:
    471

    Mar 15, 2011

    I forgot to mention that we do random tardy lock-outs. I guess starting next week we're going to do tardy lock-outs every day (and I think possibly even every period) for a one or two week duration. While I do think that this will help a little in the short term, I don't think that it's any sort of real fix. We don't have enough staff to handle huge tardy lock-outs on any sort of regular basis. That's why we haven't been doing them very much.
     
  5. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2011

    When I was student teaching, students were allowed three tardies. Any tardies beyond that resulted in after-school detention. The teachers were responsible for keeping track of student tardies and writing up the detention slips explaining the reason for the detention (excessive tardies). But the administration took charge of things after that--the teachers were obviously not responsible for what happened in detention, although they COULD specify that students complete certain homework activities during the detention (I never did this).

    Also, in our school, three tardies (which were recorded on an online gradebook program, so the administration had access to student attendance records at a moment's notice) equaled an absence.

    What I found: athletes were rarely late because they didn't want to get in trouble with their coaches for having to go to detention instead of practice. Students with A or B averages were never tardy because they didn't want tardies to add up to absences which would affect their exam exemption. It's the OTHER students who fall between the cracks--many of them would genuinely rather be in detention than at home, and some of them didn't care enough to arrive to class on time. The detentions didn't phase them too much.

    I did have a few students who failed to go to her scheduled detentions, so they were put in in-school suspension for a few days. They cleaned up their act after that.

    I like the idea of the tardy lock-outs. It wasn't a school policy, but I was afraid to do it on my own because I taught in a trailer and there would have been security issues if students were allowed to just stand outside.

    So, in short: teachers were responsible for assigning the initial detentions for tardies, but beyond that, the administration was in charge. Does that make sense?
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,953
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2011

    Are you looking for a new policy or a way to get administration to easily see when students are tardy?

    Our administration runs a report at the end of each day to see how many tardies a student has. So, they can make consequences from there.

    Is there a way to have one form with all the students names that gets sent to the office. The office staff makes a copy and then places this into the teacher's mail box?
     
  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,166
    Likes Received:
    15

    Mar 15, 2011

    We enter our tardies into the attendance software, but right now it's up to each teacher to notice when a student has been tardy a lot, which is a pain. As a result, many students rack up far more than the 10 that allows a teacher to drop/fail a student. The problem is consistency--I'm a hard nose with tardies and will physically click through the attendance record to find the habitual offenders, but many of my colleagues let them slide, which bugs me.

    The best idea I ever heard was from a high school in Los Angeles. They called it "the purple crush" (school color). When students arrived to first period late, instead of letting them line up in the office to get a late pass, they were directed to the bleachers at the baseball field, where they spent the period...sitting. No iPods. No phones. No talking. No laying down for a nap. Just sitting in silence. After a couple of days of this, students were running to get to first period. I like that idea--you'd need personnel to supervise at first, but the numbers would go down pretty darn fast.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,953
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2011

    Could the students need to get a tardy pass from the office before they can enter class?
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,062
    Likes Received:
    471

    Mar 15, 2011

    That idea has been brought up, but admin always says that it's too much work and requires too much manpower.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,062
    Likes Received:
    471

    Mar 15, 2011


    We're looking for a new/better policy. It's frustrating because admin is asking for us to come up with a new plan, but they shoot down every single idea that is raised, often citing things that aren't accurate.

    Can you tell me more about your idea for one form with everyone's name on it? Do you mean one form per class period per teacher?
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,953
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2011

    Yes, that's what I was thinking. Each teacher could have one form for each class that they teach. And then submit this to the office each day at the end of the day. The office can make copies and then stick it back in the teacher's mailbox the next morning.

    You may want to look into the SWISS data entry program. This is what we use on top of our online gradebook/attendance program.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,062
    Likes Received:
    471

    Mar 15, 2011

    I think that forms for each class would be too cumbersome. That would be over eight hundred sheets of paper per day: 130 teachers times 7 classes per day.

    We already have an online attendance system, so I don't see a need to bypass that.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,044
    Likes Received:
    132

    Mar 15, 2011

    Our kids are not allowed to go to class unless they get a tardy slip from the office. But I could see that being "too much" for the office in some scenarios. My school is very small and the secretary is usually overwhelmed with kids.

    My senior year of hs I was 1-2 minutes late to school at least 3 times a week. It was something I really had to watch when I started student teaching (I got absolutely everything for my outfit the next day out- even socks, shoes, etc. had my lunch all packed, had everything for school ready, had my keys on top of my purse so I knew where they were, had a deadline that I set for myself that was 10 mintues earlier than I needed to leave, etc.) We always started with "video annoucements" 1st period in highschool which took up 5 minutes anyway so my teacher didn't care. It was actually kind of a running joke between us. Sometimes he'd yell my name down the hallway when he was taking attendance and see if I answered. About half the time it worked. It was an AP class and he really tried to treat us like adults. He even told us he didn't even keep detention forms because he'd never had to use them in 20 years. He knew how to pick his battles- you felt like you had some freedom but you knew where the line was. I don't recall there being a discipline issue in that class ever. He even told us at one point that he had a lot of respect for "smart students" that "challenged" the system a little or weren't the "perfect, model students" who blindly did whatever the expecation of a "good student" was. I'm sure many people on here will think that's awful, but he really made you think! He's one of if not the best teacher I've ever had. It was one of those classes where you just learned a lot about life and not just the subject. It was an AP government class and I got a 5 on the exam too- it was the only AP test I got a 5 on. Several others were the same way- so its not like he was sacrificing content either. Just throwing a different perspective out there- sometimes you just have to pick your battles. All those tardies and I turned out okay :)
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,062
    Likes Received:
    471

    Mar 15, 2011

    I think I understand the situation you've described, but I'm not sure that it applies here. At our school, I really think that this is a battle we need to pick. There are so many kids in the halls after class has already started. They're disruptive and distracting (and that's their intention, for most of them anyway). It really does take away from my students' learning experience when I have to step out into the hallway to address a situation where five kids are running up and down the hall pounding on every classroom door and running away. It's seriously ridiculous....
     
  15. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,166
    Likes Received:
    15

    Mar 15, 2011


    Okay, that's insane.
     
  16. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,953
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 16, 2011

    Is there a way for the administration to print a tardy list daily that shows the number of students who were tardy?

    Could you have a special write up form that you submit to the office, that a student fills out if he/she is tardy?
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,062
    Likes Received:
    471

    Mar 16, 2011

    There should be a way for the office to print such a list. Teachers don't have full access to the attendance software, though, so I haven't been able to confirm that.

    We do have a form, which I think I described earlier. The problems with that are 1) the form is getting submitted, returned, submitted, returned, and submitted again. There's a lot of potential for it getting lost somewhere along the way. And 2) several teachers aren't submitting the form for whatever reason.
     
  18. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,953
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 16, 2011

    If I were you, I would ask the administration to give you access to the reports that they can print so that you can see what you are working with.

    Could your form just be a new form each time the student is tardy?
     
  19. fedfanforever11

    fedfanforever11 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 16, 2011

    Our school has a policy that says if every unexcused absence per term, you lose 3 points from your term grade. If you have 3 tardies over one term, you lose 3 points off of your term grade. It's harsh-but it works well. Our school is quite affluent and has extremely high achieving students, so tardies aren't much of a problem and most teachers don't note the occasional tardy,
     
  20. Major

    Major Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,619
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 16, 2011

    In my district tardies don't mean a lot. As a matter of fact grades don't mean a lot except for those kids with really good grades who hope to get a scholarship.

    As for low grades..... no one "flunks" anymore..... They are pushed out the door with the same diploma as the kid who makes the B's and A's.
     
  21. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 16, 2011

    Our school does it electronically so it's sent to the office immediately. At the end of the day it's reviewed. If a student has been tardy or even absent more than 6 times then a note it sent home that must be returned. Anything over 10 then the school psychologist is called in and we must have a meeting to evaluate. It's a system that seems to work well.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. justwanttoteach,
  2. webmistress,
  3. mckbearcat48,
  4. Lrtx82,
  5. pdbinmd
Total: 367 (members: 7, guests: 283, robots: 77)
test