New Tardy Policies cause frustration among students


Photo by Lizzie Kotlove

This is an example of a pass given out to students once sent to main office after being tardy to either 1st or 5th period. Students have to go to the office just to return to class to be marked Tardy Unexcused (TU) by teachers, raising lots of frustration on whether that is an effective use of time.

It’s 7:38 a.m., you pull into the school parking lot, and get ready to start the day off strong.
Everything seems to be going fine until the warning bell sounds when you aren’t close enough to your class, and panic about being late starts to set in. Now normally, most students would not care very much, as being late just came with a tardy mark from the teacher, but since the start of the semester, teachers of first and fifth period are instructed to send late students to the office, making students miss more classes while they could have just been marked tardy by their teacher.

While many students have classrooms located in central parts of the building, lot’s of students also have very far classes in first and fifth period, making it harder for them to get there on time, and if sent to the office, it usually takes a good amount of class time due to the size of the building and the amount of time it takes to go all to the office from a room that could be as far as the portables.

Junior Dylan Weintraub gets to school with her neighbor, therefore not controlling what time she can leave the house, and is constantly stressed about whether she will make it to first period by the bell, as her first period is located in the portables, very far from both the office and where she gets dropped off.

I feel like there must be a better way than having kids go to the office. I have been only 10 seconds late before and have had to miss almost 10 minutes of class just to get an unexcused tardy note when my teacher could have just done that. I know tardies are an issue this school has but I don’t think this approach is the right way to fix it.

— Dylan Weintraub

In addition to this, students also feel this new policy is contradictory – as being only 10 seconds late to a class can cause you to miss out on much more material if forced to go all the way to the office.

Senior Tina Pasha has been sent to the office many times for being tardy and does not think it is an effective way to fix this issue.

“I think that having us miss more classes to get an unexcused note makes no sense – especially because it is only 1st and 5th period. Maybe instead there could just be a certain amount of tardies and once you reach that number you do not receive credit for the class,” Pasha said.

MCPS used to have a policy where three unexcused tardies equaled an absence, and five absences would cause students to lose credit for the course, but this is no longer the case, raising the question of if these tardy marks actually mean anything anymore, and even if they do, why should learning time be sacrificed for a note to class?