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New Tardy System

Sharia Williamson, Staff Writer

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Here at Alliance High School, there has been an increase in absences and tardies over the years. The school found it necessary to add a new system that could hopefully decrease these absences. Once it was installed into the school, like many others before, there have been many different opinions on it. A letter was sent out to all of the parents of AHS students, explaining this system. The system says that if you have three tardies, or one unexcused absence, you will get a full week of lunch detention. Many see it the new system as unnecessary, or unfair. There are many questions as to why the school that is currently in debt, facing a huge cut back on staff, and many other issues, is focusing on the tardies or absences of the students.

From the students to the teachers, there are so many questions and/or opinions on the new system. Many students obviously hate this system. I, for one, despise this system, just for the fact that I don’t want to have to give up my lunch period because of a single absence or a few tardies. However, I do agree on certain aspects that this lunch detention can be useful when used on in the right situation. It is far better using your lunch instead of before, after school, or getting your credits taken away.

All teachers all have their opinions, but most of the teachers, to my knowledge agree with the new system. For the most part, many of the teachers are open with their classes and their feelings toward the system. The teachers all said relatively the same thing along the lines of, “It is a great system and it should help the students who miss a lot of my class keep up with their work!” or show their dislike toward the system, saying, “If you don’t want lunch detention, be on time and go to class.”

Mr. Oestman, the assistant principle at Alliance High, was glad to explain the logic behind the system. “To have a tardy, it can be anywhere form 1-10 minutes so if you think about it, 3 tardies is 30 minutes, which is about the same amount of time for our lunch.”

Mr. Oestman explained that the school’s reasoning for this system is to have the students’ attendance balance out in order to get the full-learning effect. He said, “When you write a paper for English, you put all of your work into it, since it is for English! That is what that class is for and about, but what about when you write a paper for science? What do you do then? You need to be able to transfer those skills from English to science effectively.”

He stated that over the years the school was struggling, it seemed worse than what it actually was until he looked deeper into the situation. Only about 10% of the school is missing class(es). But when you add every class, for every student, for the whole year, the amount of classes missed in total is 42,000.

When asked, “What about the students who have personal reasons as to why they are late or why they missed a class, but if their parents did not call them out. Why are they being punished for something that they couldn’t control?”

After thinking for a second, he responded with, “We work the parents and the kids as much as we can. We are just asking the students and parents to communicate with us. During the second week of this system being installed, we gave out 30 slips. 10 students with the help of their parents, and teachers, we were able to fix those. So one-third of the students, that were originally in lunch detention, did not have to go to lunch detention.”

Mr. Oestman began to finish by explaining that his “time is valuable”, he continued on say, “I come to school 30 minutes early and even stay after. I know I’m going to have stuff to do. I will have students, who need to be disciplined, paper work to do, talk to Mr. Clear, or even just be there for students who need me. I want to have time for students who want to come in and say hi, or tell me they were accepted to a college. I want to talk to students who are succeeding or exceeding expectations. We are asking our students to be dynamic and to make attempts to improve their attendance or their grades.”

Though I do not still completely agree with the new system, I do have more information on it than what I did before. What do you think of the new tardy system? Is it effecting and decreasing the absences of students or is it a waste of time? Is the school trying to be the best it can or is it worrying about the wrong issues present at the time? The decision is yours.

p-April Final!

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