Administration Implements New Tardy Policy


Erin Pitman

A teacher warns students to get to homeroom quickly in the morning.


At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, Walpole High School introduced a new tardy policy to address the late arrival times of students both in the morning and during the school day.

No longer forced to go to the Attendance Office when tardy to homeroom, students now proceed to homeroom as usual, and the teacher marks them tardy.     

 This new organization solves the Attendance Office   issues of last year: lines were normally out the door of the Attendance Office everyday, causing tardy students to have to wait for long periods of time and sometimes miss part of their first block class as well.

“Last year, there was a lot of confusion on days when the line of kids was backed up all of the way down to the gym,” said Attendance Office Secretary Ms. Janet Clinton.  “This year, the policy change has made everything smoother and more efficient when dealing with tardy students, which makes my job easier.”

When inclement weather conditions like rain or snow hinders their trek to school, more students are driven, which in turn, leads to more traffic in the drop-off; therefore, more students are tardy.  Last year, despite the extenuating circumstances of inclement weather, students were automatically forced to wait in the long lines at the Attendance Office.

 “We could have as many as 16 people standing outside the attendance office, and [that process] was counterproductive,” said Walpole High School Principal Stephen Imbusch.

The new policy also brings changes to the amount of times a student can be late before receiving a detention. Unlike last year, students now no longer have four chances per semester to get to school on time.

Instead, students only have two times per semester to be tardy-to-homeroom before receiving an hour of detention after school on the day of their third tardy. After attending the detention, students will have another two free chances to arrive to school on time before receiving another hour.

Another major part of the policy remains in how many chances students receive for unexcused tardiness-to-school (tardiness that extends beyond homeroom).  As of this year, students only get one chance to come to school tardy after homeroom; on their second unexcused offense, students also receive an hour.

“While the policy prevents lazy tardiness, it is also somewhat unfair because if you’re late to class you only get one chance before you receive a detention, and some kids can’t control if they’re late or not,” said junior Molly Rockwood.

Throughout the school, there are still mixed emotions regarding the new policy. Several students and teachers believe that the policy is beneficial, while others are still undecided on whether or not the new policy will be helpful in the long-run.

On the subject, science teacher Edward Leitz said, “I think so far it’s hard to tell if the policy is working, but it seems to be going pretty well in homeroom, as there are less people with tardiness and definitely less interruptions of late students in homeroom.”

Despite some criticism, Principal Imbusch hopes that the policy will positively affect the school and its students in the years to come.  While the policy may be tweeked, students must adapt to new protocols and arrive to school by the 7:15 bell in the morning.

“We’re just trying to train kids to be on time,” Principal Imbusch said. “Even adults are late now and again, but if you’re late a lot there’ll be consequences even as an adult.”