Another Way

The school should focus on a better strategy to deal with tardiness

Izak Zeller

THE VOTE: 10 agree / 1 abstained / 2 disagree

Roughly 50 students are counted absent every single day. When those students walk into school late, they are then required to wait in the tardy kiosk line until they receive their pass. When students walk into class after the bell, teachers are forced to stop and restart class over and over again.

Being late is not acceptable, however, the kiosk is an inefficient way to collect tardies. Sometimes, students are kept waiting for 10 or more minutes, causing them to be later than they already may be to class. It doesn’t reduce tardiness either, the lines aren’t getting any shorter. Other schools, though, have been trying a different approach.

A study by Ashli Tyre, Laura Feuerborn and Jennifer Pierce, a program called Positive Behavior Support (PBS) had significant results. During the study, the participating school set clear and consistent consequences for tardiness, and focused on positive reinforcement. One of their consequences included a student needing to complete a postcard that would be sent to their parents when they are tardy one to three times. On this postcard, they must write the date and time, the reason they are late and the corrective measure they could take to arrive on time. The results showed a consistent fall in the level of tardiness in school. The study ended with a 67% drop in tardiness levels. This shows that schools significantly lowered their tardy rates when this program was in effect.

PBS focuses on positive reinforcement and prevention instead of just a regular punishment. Another aspect of the program is called “Positive Phrasing.” The idea is that teachers should model good behavior so it influences the students.

Numerous schools around the nation have executed this program, and it works. Instead of the kiosk, the school should be focusing on plans like this. They are effective and it isn’t seen in such a negative way by students. If the school implemented this program, maybe people will actually start taking their attendance seriously.