- A high school in Rhode Island is trying to put an end to tardiness by locking the school’s doors as soon as the first class starts, according to the Boston Globe.
- Parents are complaining because their children now have to be “buzzed” in to the front entrance, which makes them even later to class than if they had been able to enter through a side door.
- The new rule replaced a former policy in which students had a 10-minute grace period to get to class after the first bell, the paper reports.
Just as educators are trying to better understand the reasons why students are chronically absent, they might also need to take a deeper look at what keeps students from getting to school on time. Chronic tardiness not only prevents students from developing good attendance and routines, but it also disrupts learning for other students. Tardiness can be the result of a disorganized home environment or perhaps a student is trying to avoid uncomfortable social situations before school.
Some teachers use “bell-ringer” or extra credit activities at the beginning of class to encourage students to be on time. One study showed that implementing a school-wide plan at the high school level, which included monitoring students in common areas during transition time and teaching “transition behavior” expectations, reduced tardiness. The Perfectly Punctual Campaign, now part of Attendance Works, is geared more toward younger students and involves parents and students in tracking their on-time performance.