If your elem. school had no tardy policy, would you enforce one?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by crunchytxmama, May 25, 2011.

  1. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    May 25, 2011

    I am thinking about my policies and procedures for next year. I'm at a small private school. The school gives out tardies, but there are no consequences for them. Students are even still able to get perfect attendance as long as they came in at some point during the school day. I have brought this up to our administrator, but it is not a battle she seems to want to fight. This is an elementary school.

    I am SICK of it. I have one student with 60 tardies. IMO, it is disruptive and disrespectful for a student to be late almost everyday.

    Next year, I am thinking of considering tardies as a discipline issue, and treating them as such. I am thinking that after three tardies in a quarter, the student would receive consequences for every subsequent tardy. Next year, I am considering using classroom isolation (time-out) as a consequence. Currently I take away recess as my main consequence for poor behavior. I am thinking I may use extended time-out for repeated tardies.

    I would of course, spell that out explicitly in my beginning of the year packet.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 25, 2011

    It depends on why the kid is tardy. When it's the parent's fault, I don't punish the kid.

    And at that age, it's usually the parent's fault.
     
  4. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    I agree that it is the parent's fault. Do you think the parents would be motivated knowing Little Johnny was now in trouble? I mean, I do the same thing if they don't get their Tuesday folder signed. It's the parent's fault, but they still have a consequence.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I would be weary to put getting to school on time on the child. Sometimes, they really cannot help it and they try to rush their parent.

    Getting something signed is different because they have more time to work on it.

    A neat way to fix the problem might be to use the first 10 minutes of school as a fun time for the students. Plan an experiment, recess, fun craft, watch a few minutes of a new movie, etc that they want to do every morning.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I wouldn't punish the student for something they had no control over. Truthfully, if the parent doesn't care enough to bring them to school on time, I don't think knowing that their kid had to sit in time out is going to make them suddenly start caring. If there is some underlying issue where the parent really CAN'T bring the child on time (not that they just don't care) than punishing the child wouldn't change the behavior either.

    Maybe if you got other teachers together to bring it up to the admin they would take it more seriously? At the very least,not qualifying the students for "perfect attendance" would be a good start. Maybe you could even suggest that they get 3 tardies before this goes into effect or something so the responsible parents who just run into a legitimate emergency aren't freaking out about their kid's attendance. It would only affect the "chronic offenders." This is really something they need to deal with.

    I know our school sends out these sort of "threatening" letters informing parents of how often their child is tardy. Perhaps you could just make your own?
     
  7. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    I can't even describe how rampant this problem is though. I have another student with 35 tardies, two with 25, etc. Not one student has less than 10. In the class above mine, there is a student with 80 tardies. This is a huge problem because it has just become accepted as the norm. Why wouldn't we stop for donuts on the way to school? There isn't a consequence for not doing it. Sometimes we're talking being hours late for school--a student is tardy no matter what time they come in. We do have a way to mark a tardy as excused if there is a legitimate reason for it.

    I do know that I have to do somethingto make this less of an acceptable behavior. Trust me when I say that our admin is not going to do anything about it. I honestly think she would rather me just handle it.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 25, 2011

    I would also be concerned that the parent would go above you and say something since this is not a school backed policy.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Maybe some kind of ticket for every student who arrives on time with a drawing every other week or every week.
     
  10. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    May 25, 2011

    This is long. :sorry: But it is about three different schools and the attitude of parents of tardy kids. I understand your frustration. I'd talk to your fellow teachers, what do they do? Can you call parents about the lateness? Send home a letter to be signed every single time a child is late. I would provide a reward of some sort for those who are on time. School should be a place to learn, it should be positive. When we punish a child because of parental irresponsibility we promote negative views of school they may be learning from parents.

    The school I am at sends the kids to detention during recess for being tardy. I completely disagree with punishing these students. They are in elementary school and are brought by their parents. Many of them are well behaved. Yet, they are punished because in many cases their parents just don't have their act together. The reason for being late is usually the parent overslept. The same kids are always late. Just as the same kids parents always "forget" what time they have to pick up their child.

    The disregard for the schedule is on the parents. I will admit, I rarely send a kid to the office for being late. I did send one because she comes from out of district, her parent did start to bring her on time after a warning letter from the school. She was rarely a behavior problem, and no I didn't send her to detention. Another student who was a problem, who I knew walked himself to school (latch key kid) was a HUGE behavior problem; I sent him every single time. I reminded him of detention, he never went. Which he always had for behavior anyway. For him it was important we have documentation of the time he arrived at school, he walked himself and was always causing trouble.

    I was covering detention for another teacher; I asked the kids "what do you do for detention?" They said, "We have to write, 'I will not be late to school again.' over and over, until recess is over." I was so mortified that I didn't hide my offense very well and asked them, "Why were you late?" Responses proved once again these kids parents were too lazy to get up in time. I told them, "I'm not having you write lines. I think that is unnecessary. Just write down why you were late. Think about how you can change that for tomorrow." These constantly tardy kids were all in second grade. Their reasons all included parents sleeping late, getting stopped by a red light, and heavy traffic.

    So my school has a policy, which I completely disagree with...admittedly I do not enforce when students enter the room late.

    Another school I was at did not have a policy on lateness. I explained to a first grader's grandmother that she needed to catch an earlier city bus. I handed her the bus schedule and showed her what time to catch to get to school onetime. I told her that her granddaughter's education and grades were suffering because of the daily tardy. (She was late EVERY single day. NEVER came on time.) She wanted me to take her granddaughter's recess away to make up the time she missed. (Over an hour crammed into 15 minutes) I told her I would not punish her granddaughter by missing recess. I told the grandmother she needed to be in class for that time. The grandmother, in my opinion, did not care about her granddaughter’s education. She was too busy complaining about how hard it was to care for her. (She also did the girls homework because it was easier and quicker than the girl doing the homework.)

    When I was in school the DISTRICT had a policy, so many late days would equal an absence. After 7 absences —excused and unexcused the parents were taken to family court. I never saw this used. But maybe it would have helped the little boy I saw on a city bus ten years ago.

    :eek: I was on a city bus once. The child, about 8 or 9 years old, was crying hysterically. He was late to school. He said, "Mom, I don't like to be late to school. I like going to school. I miss so much being late." The mother screamed at this poor child, "It is just elementary school! It doesn't matter! Education is NOT important! If they can't accept that 9:00 is to early to get you to school than oh well!" The little boy was also upset because he'd have detention. the mother further expressed her lack of care toward the boy being punished for her actions. And yes, the mother actually said those things. This child, if he stuck with school, should be graduating this year. :mad:

    It is this little boy I think about whenever a student is habitually tardy. The parent, if he/she is like the one on the bus, isn't going to care. But, that wouldn't be a reason to punish the child.

    Hope it helps some.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 26, 2011

    At this age, I also do what I can to bring it to the parents' attention, keep it noted on file, have the office send a letter and that's about all I do. They can't help what their parents do. If a child tells me he/she is hard to wake up in the morning, felt sleepy etc., THEN I talk to the child about their actions and how they might fix them. Until then, as much as I hate it, I know they are at the mercy of those that bring them.
     
  12. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    May 26, 2011

    I guess I'm wondering why a prize or ticket system would work? If it is the parent's issue, why would they care if their child gets a reward for being on time? Doesn't it work both ways?
     
  13. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I don't know if anything would work, but it would reward the kids who do come to school on time instead of punishing those who are late.
     
  14. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    No way... I would note on the report card that Johnny is missing out on a lot of instructional time when he is late for school (and I HAVE done this before), but I would absolutely not hold a grade two student accountable for being on time for school.
     
  15. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    This is exactly what I do. We have a section on our report card to comment on student learning behaviors, and I will mention that it would be beneficial for the child to arrive on time every day.
     
  16. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    May 26, 2011

    I'm not quite sure if this happened through the school or something the teacher did or something outside of school, but... I knew of a student who was tardy often. Someone called CPS, who investigated and found that his mother was working as a prostitute late into the nights, leading her to sleep in and be late bringing her son to school. He was taken away from his mother and placed in foster care. Not that I want every tardy child to be separated from their family, but it may be worth a call to CPS to make sure something else isn't happening.
     
  17. Born2beTeacher

    Born2beTeacher Rookie

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    I agree with monsieurteacher and MissScrimmage- on our school report cards we have to make note of the child's absenteeism and late arrivals to class, so I usually comment that the student could benefit from arriving on time to class.

    Because my kids are high-schoolers, I sort of have to use my discretion as to who's to blame for the student's tardiness- if it seems to me that the students' parents are to blame (eg. student gets a ride to school in the a.m.) than I don't punish the kids. It's not their fault that mom or dad brought them late. If I get the impression that the student is at fault (eg. wasting time at lockers etc), then they do face the consequences. It can be a tough call, but I just try to be fair.
     
  18. dibba

    dibba Rookie

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    May 30, 2011

    It's a private school. The parents pretty much run private schools. School is a business, and the administrators probably feel that if they get onto the kids and/or parents, enrollment will drop, and that is $$ for them.
     
  19. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sarge, you're oh-so-right!!! :2cents:

    I would never punish one of my 2nd graders for tardies.

    For example, two of my top notch students are late (between 5-20 minutes) every single day! When I ask them why they're late, it's usually something along the lines of, "I was ready for school but my mom didn't want to wake up to bring me," or, "My mom doesn't have to be at work until 8:15 so she didn't want to take me to school and go to work early so she just waits to bring me before she has to go to work."

    Straight from the mouths of my seven-year-olds! :dizzy:
     
  20. dibba

    dibba Rookie

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    I disagree with not "punishing" the kid because it was the parent's fault. Pretty much everything the kid does or doesn't do can be attributed to the parent's fault.

    Kid didn't do their homework? Did the parent not make the kid do it? Is it the kids fault or the parents?

    If there are no consequences then parents are more likely to CONTINUE to have their kid tardy. I realize some parents won't care either way, but some will if their kid is getting in "trouble".

    I'll say this too, I have a 2nd grader (my own kid), who if she doesn't get her daily take-home sheet signed she gets an automatic one-notch down on the "good level" for that day. So EVERY MORNING my daughter is double checking with us if we signed that sheet. Sometimes it may have been a crazy day and we might have forgot to sign off on it once in a while, but with her "reminding" us, it's brought back signed 99% of the time.

    -my 2 cents
     
  21. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    May 30, 2011

    Dibba, that was kind of my thinking. My students receive negative consequences for not doing homework or having their signed Tuesday folder, which I don't see as very different. I have a couple of students who have parents who would be very upset to know that their kiddo received a negative consequence for being tardy. In fact, I think this would be highly motivating for all but one of my students who is chronically tardy. His mother is just a mess, and I don't know if anything will change that. But really, for all my other kids with tardy problems, I really think this policy would change the behavior. I am looping next year, so I have my own students in mind with this idea.

    I do appreciate all the feedback. It has given me a lot to think about over the summer.
     
  22. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    Just wanted to update on this. I got together with the other teachers and we brainstormed some ideas for how to alleviate this problem. Yesterday we brought them to our P. She shot down most of our ideas, but one idea she said she is thinking of is Saturday School. Students who are tardy x number of times have to come in to Saturday school and their parent has to stay with them. I really like this idea, because it inconveniences the parent, and they are the root of this problem. We also talked about translating our handbook into Spanish (at least half of the parents at our school speak no English), and having a parent meeting at the start of the school year to verbally inform them of the expectations and the handbook.
     
  23. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    5 tardies (in a 9 week period) at my school results in a 1 hour after school detention. This includes tardies to school and tardies to individual classes. I tell all my classes the school policy & then I enforce it. I had only 1 student who received a detention (out of a couple hundred students) because he was late to my class by a few minutes (due to playing around in the halls). I know others do not enforce the rule, but I think it is important so I do. I think detentions after school make sense b-c if students are missing time in school, having to stay after to make it up is appropriate. I also think it inconveniences the parents. That is sometimes what it takes to get them on board. They need to understand that it is important for students to be on time to school b-c it helps them be successful. It also helps prepare them for the "real world" where you are expected to be on time. ;)
     
  24. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I agree that you can hold students of any age accountable for tardiness.

    I taught 3rd grade and gave students detentions for tardiness. Tardiness was almost nonexistent in my class.

    This year I am at a different school with 2nd graders. I have not given any consequences for tardiness this year, and have had countless tardies.

    Children will put pressure on their parents to bring them to school on time if given incentive to do so.
     
  25. marcus903

    marcus903 Companion

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    I think the reason why is because elementary schools don't have passing periods. Usually, the schools with passing periods penalizes the students who are late to class.
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Crunchy, asking the parents to come in on Saturday would backfire in our area. The parents wouldn't do it. What would be the plan if that should occur?

    Schoolteacher, your policy could have bearing on the outcome but I wouldn't make that correlation based on 2 years. The parents you had in each year could easily be the factor.
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I would also wonder what would happen if the parents wouldn't do it. I know in my area most of our parents have 2-3 jobs, and they're not going to skip work to come to saturday school with their kids. That also seems a bit drastic imo. Maybe if it happened over and over or something...or if the student was constantly several hours late. But saying that student who is a minute or 2 late 3 times or something has to go to saturday school is a bit much.
     
  28. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    Waterfall, I have multiple students with between 40-70 tardies for the year. The least number of tardies I have is 9.

    Saturday School might work because we are a private school. My P said the consequence for missing repeatedly would be removing the child from our school.
     
  29. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I had the detention policy for 5 years, and had low tardiness levels for 5 years.

    I have had no consequences for tardiness for 2 years, and have had ridiculous levels of tardiness for 2 years. The school where I teach now does not officially mark a student late until they are at least 25 minutes past the bell.
     

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