Westside High School Implements New Tardy Policy


Kidus Tewodros

During the spring semester, students at Westside High School will experience a new school-wide tardy policy.

Effective at the beginning of the spring semester, administrators at Westside High School made the decision to implement a new school-wide tardy policy at the high school. According to Dean of Students Jordan Rhodes, tardiness has increasingly become a problem throughout the school over the years.

“The number of [school-wide] tardies is a lot and [administration and staff] wanted to do something about it,” Rhodes said. “We want to have some consistency, so students know what to expect [when they are tardy to class].”

The new system allows one “free” tardy. After the second tardy, a phone call is made to the student’s home and the third tardy results in a consequence or an “action” from a teacher. Tardies number four and five are more calls home and increasing consequences. At tardy number six the teacher can choose to involve a dean or has the choice to continue to handle the problem themselves.

“Since teachers are the [adults around the school] who have the best relationship with students, we want them to use those relationships to help kids make better choices about coming to class on time,” Rhodes said. “[The new tardy policy] allows us as a school to see a behavior that we want to change, and try to get more staff members involved to work to change that.”

Before the new policy was implemented, Rhodes said tardies often accumulated for students and were not addressed. Rhodes also said that this new policy provides a baseline for students to know what type of consequences they will experience if they are continuously tardy.

“If all tardies [and punishments] were to fall on the deans or a couple specific teachers [as it was before the policy], we can’t do everything that needs to be done to help the kids,” Rhodes said. “Since teachers have the best relationships with the kids, [the new policy] is a way to let teachers have more discretion with [reinforcement.]”

Math instructor Steven Emmerich said he instructs students to come in outside of class to make up the time that they missed in class from being tardy. According to Emmerich, since mods are only 35 minutes long, if a student is tardy just by a couple minutes late every day, that amounts to a significant amount of class time that is missed. 

“The exact number of tardies before a consequence [teachers] can tweak if they feel the policy is too lax or too harsh,” Emmerich said. “[For my classes] after three tardies there is a teacher assigned consequence [that takes place] in a 30 minute period either before or after school.”

Emmerich said he supports the new tardy policy and feels it will benefit students.

“I think it’s good that we’re trying to keep a consistent policy throughout the whole school,” Emmerich said. “[With the new policy] students don’t have to juggle eight, nine, or ten different policies between their different teachers.”