Tardiness task force called to combat attendance issues

By Jordyn Green, Online Editor-in-Chief

The morning bell rings for WCHS AT 7:45 AM. Instruction begins, and students are expected to be in class. However, this is exactly the contrary. Students arrive 10, 20 even 30 minutes late, flocking the hallways instead of learning. This problem, dubbed “the Tardiness Epidemic,” is one being approached by the WCHS administration. 

WCHS staff members and administration held a meeting recently to discuss a potential solution to this problem. These esteemed community members worked hard to create a plan that would suit both students and faculty. 

“As a media specialist, I have a unique position in the school where I see a lot of things, so I feel like I would bring a different perspective than a classroom teacher … I wanted to have a say and share my unique perspective,” Tardiness Task Force member Paige Pagley said. 

Three unexcused tardies leads to one unexcused absence, according to MCPS policy. Once a student gets three unexcused absences, a letter is sent home to alert the family of a threat of a potential failure. Once a student has five unexcused absences, the teacher has the ability to fail the student and hence the student will not gain credit for the class. 

“There is a need for a plan, because students are in the hall a lot more often than they should be,” Pagley said. 

With only five minute breaks between classes, it may be difficult for students to find that time to not be working. This may lead to spending more time not in class, and more tardies. Tardies lead to missing valuable instruction.

“Students work so hard, and sometimes when you have to spend your whole free time working, you just don’t get the break that you need, so you spend your break wandering the hall,” Pagley said.

The team is working on behalf of students and teachers to create an initiative to go into place the 2020-2021 school year.

“We’re creating this plan to get kids into class, where they should be, and should want to be, as there is important instruction going on,” Pagley said.