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New Tardy Policy

New tardy policy implemented for 2015-2016

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With each new school year, changes to school procedures and policies have become expected by both the faculty and the student body. Cafeteria procedures, grading systems, and disciplinary regulations each seem to change about as often as the seasons. However, the new tardy policy that has been introduced for the 2015-2016 school has drawn the ire of many Nimitz students around the building.

The new policy begins by defining what constitutes a tardy violation as “A student arriving late in class after the tardy bell rings.” The definition goes on to explain that if the student is in the classroom, they cannot be counted absent regardless of whether they are in their seat or not. If the student gets to the classroom within the first twenty minutes, he or she will be marked as “tardy,” but if they arrive after the first twenty minutes of class they will be marked “absent” by the teacher.

The policy also lays out the responsibilities of the teacher during the passing period and during the first few minutes of class. The policy states that teachers are to be standing in doorways and positively encouraging students to be on time to class. It also tells teachers not to allow students to leave the classroom during the first 10 minutes of class or the last ten minutes of class. This rule has been “helpful in getting class started,” said one faculty member here at Nimitz, but that “tardy students still interrupt the class.” This rule is known as the “10/10 Rule” and has been created by Nimitz administration in order to ensure that teachers are able to get class both started and wrapped up without distractions to the students.

The new policy closes with the “School Wide Interventions,” also known to students more simply as punishments. These consequences stagger for five tardies,10 tardies, 15 tardies, and finally for twenty or more tardies. At five tardies, a student should expect a warning letter to be sent to them laying out the tardy policy and its accompanying consequences. At 10 tardies, students will receive an automatic two-hour Saturday school session as well as a School Messenger alert to their parents and/or guardians. At fifteen tardies, a student will get an automatic four-hour Saturday school sessions and a Referral to the Dean of Students, Mr. Jamin Vess, for a possible Response to Intervention (RTI) meeting to discover what the best approach would be in order to get the student to deal with whatever the reason is for their continued tardiness. Finally, at 20 or more tardies, the student will be punished with an automatic referral to Nimitz administration for In-School Suspension (ISS) or another consequence to be determined by the Nimitz administration. Students who have legitimate issues with getting to school on time have a little grace before being penalized.

“The tardy policy has a lot of flexibility for students that might have occasional extenuating circumstances such as transportation before there are any consequences,” Mr. Vess said. “If a student is having extensive extenuating circumstances in getting to class on time, they should speak with their Dean or AP to get extra help in fixing the issue.”

According to Mr. Vess, the integration of the new tardy policy has “been relatively smooth,” and has reduced the weekly tardy rate at Nimitz “by a little over a hundred tardies.” The policy, drafted by the Nimitz Deans of Students, Mr. Vess and Mr. Carlos Sepulveda-Prosper, and the Nimitz attendance committee, has proven to be effective so far, which may involve the consistency of its disciplinary actions when compared to past policies. The tardy policy until now has not had any major accountability for students to follow.

“In the past two years, the tardy policy has not included any regular consequences,” said Mr. Vess. “This means that besides self-motivation there was no other method for pushing students to go to class on time.”

This new policy has drawn both praise and condemnation from many parents, teachers, and students. The general consensus from the student body seems to be that the new rules are “kind of harsh, but understandable,” one Nimitz junior said.

These changes are seen by some as far too lenient and by others as far too harsh. But regardless of personal opinions on the new policy, administration at Nimitz has made it clear that one thing is for sure; this policy is here to stay.

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New Tardy Policy