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  #1  
Old 03-15-2011, 10:12 AM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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Help with tardy situation

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.
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2011, 10:53 AM
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LUCHopefulTeach LUCHopefulTeach is offline
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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.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:56 AM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LUCHopefulTeach View Post
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.
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.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:44 AM
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porque_pig porque_pig is offline
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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?
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:33 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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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?
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:06 PM
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Mrs. K. Mrs. K. is offline
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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.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:13 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Could the students need to get a tardy pass from the office before they can enter class?
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  #8  
Old 03-15-2011, 07:43 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar View Post
Could the students need to get a tardy pass from the office before they can enter class?
That idea has been brought up, but admin always says that it's too much work and requires too much manpower.
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2011, 07:44 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar View Post
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?

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?
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  #10  
Old 03-15-2011, 08:47 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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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.
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