Hallway sweeps planned to help eliminate tardies

Dec. 8, 2006, midnight | By Mary Donahue | 17 years, 6 months ago

Late policy enforced throughout entire school after success with freshmen

Starting Monday, Dec. 11, administrators will be begin enforcing the "locked-door" late policy previously optional to teachers in order to help deal with tardy students. After the late bell rings, teachers will be required to lock their doors and security guards will sweep late students from the hallways to give them detention slips.

Administrator James Short stressed that this is not a new policy, but an enforcement of a policy that already exists. "It has always been an option for teachers to use detentions as deterrents for tardies," he said. "Being on time to class is not a new expectation, it's a requirement."

Administrators decided to begin enforcing the policy to help deal with the increasing number of tardies, especially in sophomores and juniors, that cause students to lose credit in classes, Short said.

"Many of the [loss of credits] are not necessarily students skipping, but that they are late," he said. "I look at it as though we are helping."

The hallway sweeps will take place in between every class, though not all students will be issued detentions. Students who are late because of missed busses or traffic will be directed to the attendance office to receive a late pass. Those who are unexcused still will receive a pass, Short said. "[Their tardy] may not be excused, but they should still have a pass."

Senior Rachael Bernstein, who has multiple classes in the freshman wing, was one of the students swept up last week when the policy was implemented only in the freshman hallways. She feels that the policy is moot and just disrupted her class even more. "We ended up going back to class even later, so it sort of defeated the purpose of the policy," she said.

For the past two weeks, the policy was enforced only in the 250 to 270 rooms, but administration decided to expand the policy school-wide after its success. "We have less and less kids late on the ninth grade wing," Short said.

Bernstein agrees that the policy will probably become effective, but feels that it will take some time. "I think people will learn quickly," she said, "but for a little while they'll have a lot of angry teenagers serving detention."

Short was impressed by the upperclassmen who have already been part of this initiative. "We had a lot of upperclassmen swept up when we started enforcing this in the freshman wing," he said. "It was great to see our ninth graders watching the upperclassmen step up to the plate, coming to detention and not complaining. They set a good, mature example."

Detentions will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays in room 234. Students who fail to show up for detention will be called in for a conference with their administrator to discuss a harsher punishment, Short said. He stressed that this does not necessarily mean suspension.

"What is catching peoples' eye is that the students can be suspended, but that is not necessarily the case," he said. "This isn't like we're trying to `get the kids' — it isn't like that — we're trying to help them."

Mary Donahue. Mary Donahue is an 11th grade, vegetarian Honors student who is addicted to sugar. Whatever free time she can find is quickly swallowed up by Doback, "her" horse, or her crazy friends, with whom she scares mortals. She isn't happy unless she is moving, which … More »

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