Schools spend a lot of money, resource, and effort to reduce tardy, but they have little long-term impact. Most non-classroom staff and school administrators often think students are tardy because teachers are not outside greeting students at the doors. It’s becoming a common theme to think many problems in schools exist because of “ineffective” or “lazy” teachers. The classroom teachers are not doing their jobs. However, it is the same students who are tardy every day. So, why?
Tardy is not about students being late to class; it creates many unsafe problems. For example, most school fights occur during passing periods. Likewise, similar unsafe problems also take place during passing periods.
To understand why, we have to look at effective strategies with immediate results. One common and effective solution is tardy sweep. A simple announcement of tardy sweep produced immediate results. The consequences of being tardy during a tardy sweep are harsh and severe, such as Saturday schools, detention rooms, and parent calls. Some schools go extreme of fining students’ parents. So, why don’t administrators do tardy sweep daily every period? Nevertheless, the data clearly shows that the types of consequences greatly influences students’ tardiness. The more severe the consequence, the greater the results. Equally important, the expectations and consequences need to be firm and consistent. For many administrators, daily tardy sweep everyday and very period is impossible.
When schools continue not to enforce consistent and impactful consequences, they will have ongoing tardy problems. Shifting the responsibilities to teachers to enforce tardy without providing them the tools or supporting them is doing more harm. Teachers will ignore the problems and stop trusting their administrators to support them with other problems in class
Unfortunately, the problems hurt underserved students most as they are the groups with the highest number of tardy. Altogether, the tardy problems already set the negative mindset of underserved students before they even start their classes.
Schools with excess tardy see low teachers’ morale and high failure rates across all groups of students. Tardy disrupt other students learning and creates more discipline problems and school fights during passing periods.
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