Policy targets tardy students
Extensive hall sweeps implemented by the security team began on March 8. Penalties for tardiness have been distributed since March 9, according to assistant principal Andrew Coleman. The hall sweeps began because of an increase in the number of students tardy to class since the start of the school year.
Coleman said that hall sweeps will be implemented by the security team according to a plan that security team leader Cedric Boatman drafted in January to specify details of the policy and the placement of security assistants in the school. According to the plan, which uses the "rodeo concept," security assistants have been allocated throughout the school, with all eight on one selected floor each day. The floor will be assigned on a rotating basis, the plan said. Teachers have been asked to close their doors when the bell rings to prevent tardy students from entering class. Then, according to Boatman's plan, security rounds up the tardy students in the halls. "We just want you all to get to class," Boatman said. "No more lingering in the halls."
Students caught in hall sweeps will be given assigned detention slips and their ID numbers and names will be recorded on a list for David Ngbea, security supervisor for detention and in-school suspension.
According to Boatman, the student's administrator will decide if he or she receives lunch or after-school detention. Ngbea said that the administrator will call the student's parents and the student will then come to room 160 at their assigned detention time. If a student does not show up for the assigned detention, the individual's administrator will determine the consequences.
Boatman said the security team began developing the hall sweeps plan before winter break, but did not want to start full hall sweeps immediately. "We wanted to slowly implement it. We're not out to get you," he said. The hall sweeps were originally due to begin with the start of second semester, Coleman said, but were delayed due to the snow days.
Coleman and Boatman created the "rodeo concept" because there are not enough security personnel to be everywhere at once, so Boatman said he wanted to target certain areas and "corral" the students, in a sense. The plan came out of one of Coleman and Boatman's weekly Wednesday meetings, Coleman said.
According to Boatman, the hall sweeps were prompted by an increase in the number of students arriving late to class. "A lot of kids are coming to class late and perhaps not moving out of the hallways as they [should]," Coleman said.
Although decreasing tardiness has been an ongoing goal for security, the assistants will now aim to be more attentive during the switching times between classes and lunch periods, said Boatman. "Enforcement will be consistent," he said. "During lunch, we'll be enforcing."
Coleman made a schoolwide announcement regarding the policy on March 5, one day after having a staff meeting wherein he explained the new procedures to faculty. He believes that enforcing timeliness will contribute to greater structure and discipline in the school, which will in turn improve academics overall. "Order has to be in the school. Part of order is having people where they are supposed to be."
Coleman emphasized the importance of arriving on time as a benefit for students' education, not just that of the student who would be missing the first few minutes of class. "When the bell rings, instruction should start," he said. "When kids come in late, they are disrupting other people and it's not fair. We want the kids who are there to learn [to be able] to learn."
Teachers who have noticed greater numbers of students in the halls after the bell have been grateful for the enforcement. Math teacher Jack Giles has also been glad that security is attempting to reduce the number of tardy students. Giles said that he has been unsuccessful when he has tried to penalize students for tardiness in the past, so he values the newly enforced hall sweeps. "It's a waste of teachers' time when there are no consequences, so I'm glad they are going to enforce the hall sweeps," Giles said. "It's actually terrifying how many people are late to class."
English teacher Adam Clay, whose classroom in the ninth grade wing of the second floor, said he especially appreciates the enforcement of the late policy. "I am in support of any measure to get people to class," Clay said.
Rebecca Guterman. Rebecca Guterman loves being on Silver Chips! In what little spare time she has left over, she loves to play the piano, dance really badly, and listen to music. Above all, seeing and talking to friends 24/7 is a must. Even though most of her ... More »