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District considers new middle school tardy policy

Article Date: 
6 July, 2012 (All day)

District officials are considering a new tardy policy at Morgan Middle School.
The new policy is based on one already in place at Roosevelt Junior High, Morgan Middle School Principal Terry Allen said.  In surveying his staff, 90 percent responded that they liked the new policy.
Allen said the policy uses a cumulative approach rather than a class-by-class approach.  Each quarter the cumulation of tardies begins fresh.
Upon a first violation of the policy, an administrator would review the policy with the offending student.  A second tardy would result in a call to the parent, who would need to sign that they have reviewed the policy.  Upon a third offense, a student not returning a contract would experience “lunch detention,” in essence not being able to socialize with their peers during lunch time.  Further offenses would result in “in-school suspension,” where students spend a day at school separated from their peers while having their school work and lunch brought in to them.
Such social consequences seem to be effective with students, Allen said.
“The only thing that affects our students is not being able to socialize,” he said.
An average of 400 students out of 575 each week have no tardies, Allen said.  But he wants to increase that number.  Roosevelt’s policy reduced tardies by 90 percent in that school, Allen said.
We need to help a small population get to class, and provide an incentive for that,” Allen said.  “The whole class is disrupted when a late student comes in.  Instructional time is lost.”
Boardmember Jody Hipwell said the new policy would likely cause the parents to “step up a lot more.”