As more students face the impact of the tardy sweeps, it has become clear that CHS is being negatively affected. The tardy sweeps cause students to lose class $ opportunities and those few minutes of time, learning the day which a stress-free lunch would provide. The students affected by the tardy sweeps also disrupt class for their teachers and peers. Repeatedly throughout the week teachers must lock their doors before class begins and then unlock them half way through the period. Every time a student is late, the teacher must interrupt class and open the door because another student has come back with a tardy slip. On any given morning, up to five or six students can be late to any particular class. These interruptions hurt not only the student who was tardy, but all those students who arrived to class on time. “Students who come late to class create a variety of problems for themselves, for the class and for the teacher. Students who come late often times miss instructions. [As teachers] we have to take time out of class to get them up to speed,” said history teacher Jon Palarz. “[These students] are struggling and they wouldn't be if they were here on time.” The effects on learning and class time for these tardy students are drastic. Instead of ensuring that these students return to class on time, the tardy slip line is regularly so long they miss even more class time. In the morning, students can miss up to twenty minutes of instruction, instead of arriving only two minutes late. Students may miss tests and quizzes, essays, or lectures, requiring even more time to make up the work. The students may also then lack understanding on the concepts taught in class. Teaching students to arrive to class on time should not result in a stressful situation, unnecessary tension or a loss of educational time. Any resolution should seek to teach students the virtue of arriving to class on time, and should instill this lesson without harming the learning opportunities or the grades of both tardy students and their peers.
For the 2011-2012 school year CHS has instated a tardy program in which periodic tardy “sweeps” are made throughout the day. During these “sweeps” teachers are required to lock their doors so no late student is permitted to enter the classroom. Late students are then required to report to the student store. As a result of gaining a tardy, the student must perform mandatory trash pickup at lunch. Despite the negative responses from many students, this policy is ultimately beneficial as it gives students incentives to be on time to class, reduces stress on teachers and correlates with student safety. The policy is beneficial to students as it encourages them to come to class on time so they will not miss important information. Having disciplinary consequences will lead students to manage their time more efficiently in order to get to class. Since students have to report to the counseling office, teachers will not be forced to interrupt class time to mark students who are late. With more students on time to class, teachers will not have to go through the hassle of repeating important information. Tardy sweeps are also positive for other students in the class because there will be fewer classroom disruptions. “There are three primary reasons for the tardy sweeps: time on task, citizenship, and safety,” said Assistant Principal Linda Pierce. “Research has shown that the more time a student spends on a subject, the better he or she will do. When a student enters the classroom late, it is disrespectful to the teacher and it is disruptive to other students. The CHS faculty has also noticed a correlation between cutting class and getting into fights.” Another major reason for the tardy sweeps is to set a good tone when auditors come for random inspections of the school. The new policy proves to be a success so far due to the decline in tardies between classes. As of October 3, 2011, the number of tardies has reduced to five. However, the time of increased tardiness is before first period where the number of late students approaches 200. With the continuation of sporadic tardy sweeps, this number will inevitably decrease. This new tardy policy is ultimately beneficial for students, teachers and CHS as a whole. With the recent budget cuts as well as the new school schedule, every minute of class time is crucial for students. It is important to take advantage of each and every second in class because it ultimately leads to the success of the students.
Yajur Maker – Staff Writer
Kunal Aggarwal – Staff Writer