Tardy Policy Essay

Any number of unfortunate circumstances, including an alarm clock malfunction or dead car battery, could result in a detention for the unlucky student with the SRHS tardy policy.

You wake up to the sound of a car pulling away from the driveway. It’s your mom, leaving for work; suddenly, you jump out of bed and see that it’s 7:45 in the morning! You rush downstairs, get together a rushed lunch, and head out to your car. As you drive to school 15 minutes away, you realize that you’ve left your work at home, but you don’t have time to head back. As you sprint up to the classroom the bell rings. When you get inside, your teacher hands you a detention slip and asks you to sit down. It’s 8:01.


Sadly, this is a very common event here at Santa Rosa High School. According to our school’s tardy policy, you could get a detention for being even just a couple seconds late to class one time. And by late to class, they mean out of your seat. For somebody who does clubs at lunch and sports after school, a detention might not be so easy to make up, and even for students that aren’t so busy, it can be a real hassle, especially if that person gets several detentions that start piling up. This is especially relevant with prom on the way, seeing as three or more detentions can keep you from going.


This isn’t to say that there shouldn’t be tardy detentions; without them, people would just show up to class whenever they wanted and there would be no consistent way to teach a class, let alone teach it well. Someone could just show up for the last thirty minutes of class every day and still get credit for that class.


However, it is very harsh to offer up a punishment like that for a student’s first offense. Since you can get up to 19 skips for a class before suffering any real consequences, many students will simply ditch class instead of showing up late and getting a detention.


Not only does this hurt the students’ education, but, seeing as the school gets money based on how many students are present, the school would lose money directly as a result of these absences.


The solution to this problem would be to embrace a three-strike type method. Students would get three tardies, within a five-minute leeway period, before getting a detention. This way, students can get those extra five minutes to make it to class the two or three times that they are late before being given a detention.


This is a policy similar to the one that is already in place in Santa Rosa Middle School, with the only difference being the five-minute leeway period. Nobody abuses it there, as there aren’t exactly a lot of opportunities with which to abuse it.


Adopting a policy like this would better the education of students and decrease the amount of money lost by the school, without having any obvious consequences to deter it from being enacted. For the sake of the students and our school, I would greatly urge that this policy be enacted.

Grossmont High School and the Grossmont Union High School District recognize the relationship between positive student attendance and academic success. We expect students to attend regularly and punctually, and we encourage parents to actively support this behavior. Truancy and tardiness to school/class results in: a loss of opportunity for maximum time on task, a decreased level of learning, and a disruption to others’ learning processes.

In accordance with State Education Code requirements, a student must be in class a minimum of sixty hours (60) to receive five units of credit.  There will be no automatic drop from class.  Students may be removed from class for excessive absences if the teacher determines that the absences in combination with lack of effort, lack of academic success, or poor attitude results in disruptive behavior.  The teacher will notify the parent/guardian of his/her recommendation to remove the student from the class with loss of credit. 

Students and parents/guardians must recognize that there is a direct relationship between school attendance and grades/credits earned. 

The following are the two types of absences recognized by Grossmont High School:

Excused Absence:

Work may be made up for full credit, and faculty assistance will be available where needed.

EXAMPLES:  Personal illness, illness or death in the immediate family, medical and dental appointments, funerals, a call to court or other as designated by the Principal.

Students with excused absences are allowed to make up work they missed. It is the responsibility of the student to request, and the teacher to assign, make-up work. In consultation with the student, the teacher should provide sufficient time for make-up work (usually one day for each day of school missed).

Unexcused Absence:

The school district and staff are released of all responsibility to the student.

EXAMPLES:  Truant to school, leaving school without first receiving permission from the Attendance Office or the Nurse, car problems or oversleeping.

You may make up absences by attending:

TUTORIALS (One-hour make-up) Available BEFORE & AFTER school, per teacher’s schedule.

  • Students may make up PERIOD ABSENCES in tutorials.

SATURDAY SCHOOL (7:50 a.m.-12:00 noon)

  • Students may make up one (1) ALL DAY ABSENCE in a single Saturday School session.
  • To sign up for Saturday School, pick up form from the attendance office. The form must be signed by a parent and turned  back in to the attendance office the Thursday before the Saturday School.
  • Students will NOT be allowed to make up partial days (also known as period absences) in Saturday School.


All rules of the Behavior Code will be enforced.  Students are expected to bring enough work to keep them busy for the entire four (4) hours. If students do not have school work they will be required to write a 1,000 word essay.  Students will NOT be allowed to sleep, eat, drink, watch movies, listen to music, or socialize in class.  Students are required to have a Parent Permission Slip on file PRIOR to attending Saturday School.  There must be at least 65 students signed up to attend and/or 25 students in attendance for Saturday School.

If a student leaves early or is asked to leave, they will receive NO credit.


You may apply for an Independent Study Contract for an extended (minimum 5 days) absence due to a medical emergency (request must be accompanied by a physician’s note), a long-term illness or a court appearance requiring missing school for five (5) school days or more.

Apply for an Independent Study Contract through the Attendance Office. Requesting an Independent Study Contract for a court appearance must be done at least two weeks in advance.

PARENT PORTAL:  Is my child in school?

By showing a photo identification, parents can obtain a user ID and password to access their student’s daily attendance online. Parents may pick up the user ID, the password and easy-to-understand instructions in the Counseling/Administration Office.


You MUST clear absences when you are absent from class for:

  • One or more class periods OR one or more days


All absences must be cleared within three school days from the day(s) missed through one of the following:

  • Bring a note signed by parent or guardian OR
  • Bring a J-31 card signed by parent or guardian OR
  • The parent/guardian may call the attendance office 24 hours a day at 668-6031 to clear full day absences.


For general questions related to attendance, please call (619)668-6032.

LATE TO SCHOOL (Excused) because of illness/doctor/dentist appointment.  Student should report immediately to the Attendance Office with:

  • A NOTE from a doctor, dentist or Court will be accepted and then student will be sent to class OR
  • Bring a NOTE from a parent or guardian for illness.

LATE TO SCHOOL (Unexcused) because student has overslept, had  car problems, etc: 

  • Student should report immediately to class and the late is considered unexcused.


In any one class:

4 tardies = Teacher notifies home (letter or phone call), conduct grade lowered to Satisfactory

6 tardies = Unsatisfactory given for conduct grade

8 tardies = Referral to Vice Principal and Saturday School


Effect of Absences on Grades:

Students who accumulate more than ten absences and have earned a passing grade, must attend Saturday school or after school tutorials in order to receive credit for the class.  Excused and unexcused absences may be made up in Saturday School or after-school tutorials.  In accordance with Education Code, Section 37223, students with unexcused absences may be required to attend Saturday School(s). 


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