Is the tardy policy increasing student engagement?

After ten weeks of enforcing the Green Hope tardy policy, teachers and students understand clear expectations


GHFalcon Staff

Sophia Melin (’23) checks the time to ensure that she is not tardy to AP English.

Sam Dare, Staff Writer

As the 2022-23 school year began, the new tardy policy was one of the most notable changes. Green Hope’s new principal Mrs. Alison Cleveland emphasized that the high numbers of late students was a trend that could not continue.

The tardy policy requires students to arrive to class on time and be in their classroom when the bell rings. Mrs. Cleveland discussed the consequences of the policy, saying, “if a student is tardy to class 3 times, they will be assigned a mandatory SMART Lunch Tutorial for that class to make up missed class time. If a student is tardy four or more times, they will be assigned additional after-school work time. They will meet with their administrators for this assignment.”

Mrs. Cleveland spoke to the effects of the policy, saying, “there have been marked improvements in student attendance and on-time class arrival.”

Time in the classroom is critical for mastery of content, building relationships with your peers and teacher, and receiving support throughout the learning process.

— Mrs. Tina Robinette, Science Teacher

Teachers have been vocal in their support of the policy, such as English teacher Mrs. Denise Nosbich. “I do believe the students are responding positively to being held to expectations. But, of course, no one is successful in an environment where there are no expected norms or rules of behavior,” she said.

Science teacher Mrs. Tina Robinette added, “I fully support the new tardy policy because time in the classroom is critical for mastery of content, building relationships with your peers and teacher, and receiving support throughout the learning process.” She also noted that she has, “far fewer students tardy to my classes this year when compared to the last few years.”

Student opinions are relatively mixed, with some in support of the policy, most neutral, and some adamantly opposed.

Ian House (‘26) is supportive of the new policy. He believes that it allows the school to address “students missing learning time that is crucial to them being a productive member of society.” He also believes the policy is fair to students, as it allows them to have tardies excused if they are late for a valid reason. However, House believes the policy could be more lenient in how many tardies students can accrue before an administrative referral.

Isaac Nitzkowski’s (‘24) opinion is mixed. He argues that the policy can unfairly punish students who carpool if the driver or another passenger is consistently late in the morning, making the whole group late. He stated, “At the start of the year, I carpooled with friends and had a large sum of tardies even though I wasn’t the one to blame.”

In light of the policy, Nitzkowski found a new ride to school, but noted how that may not be possible for some students.

“Those that live farther or don’t have a trusted way of transportation could be affected when they don’t have the power to change their route,” Nitzkowski added.

Some students are fully opposed to the policy. Allen Yao (‘23) said, “while it hasn’t affected me as I am not usually late, some of my friends have had serious punishments put on them for being mere minutes late, often due to unforeseen circumstances.”

“I think that it is important for students to be on time, but this new policy is really unfair,” Yao added.

Principal Cleveland said she acknowledges and understands students’ criticisms, but said, “if students place learning as their top priority in preparation for their post-secondary college or career, then they will take the steps needed to attend class on time.”

Arriving to class on time is not always the easiest thing to do, but students are making an effort due to the enforcement of the tardy policy.