Input from fellow High School Educators on being Late/Tardy to Class!

It is currently summer time, but I am taking graduate courses, which has started my mind on the next school year already!  I know crazy...right?!  

I am a High School Chemistry Teacher in a pretty urban school district.  One of my biggest issues I have with my students is them being late/tardy to class.  The system our school has for this clearly doesn't work too well, but maybe I am just not effectively using it. :/  

Anyway, I just wanted to get opinions from other High School Teachers on what policies they have in place in their classrooms for Tardies.  Maybe someone will enlighten me with their policy so I can try it out this coming up school year! It is only my 3rd year teaching, so I have so much to learn yet!  

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Hi Sandi -
My policy is if you are late without a pass you serve a detention with me after school and you lose a Employability point for being late. During their detention they write a note home explaining why they had to stay after and they need to get it signed and returned. I also call home.
I too teach in an urban high school so I know what you are experiencing.

It might help to know what your school's policy is and it is certainly important for the administrators to follow through, but I will share my experience anyway.  I was fortunate to work with a great principal who was a strong disciplinarian.  The most important thing, however, is to create a list of consequences and be consistent with your execution. 

The list below includes my personal modification at the high school where I taught...It took a lot of energy in the beginning, but once the kids got the hint my workload decreased.


1. Warning (I made small paper slips ahead of time with blanks for the name, date, and time that I would quietly place on the child's work space after they were settled.  This prevented a scene and diminished tension.  The note reminded them that the next step was a lunch detention.)

2. Lunch Detention (After losing this battle too many times, I began sending a student with a reminder slip to the guilty party's class the period before his/her lunch or if I had planning I would take it.  If a student still missed, I went straight to parent call. Depending on the situation, I may have given a second chance with double the lunch detention.  Thus, the student would have to serve the lunch detention the next two consecutive school days.  If absent, they still had to make it up.)  After school detention was not an option and I should not be punished after the work day ends!

3. Parent Call  (If no luck with reaching parent, I went straight to referral.  If I spoke with the parent, then the student was still expected to do the two lunch detentions.  If the student still missed after the call, I went straight to referral.)

4. Referral (It was very important to have all documentation for this to be enforced so I made a note for every tardy student in my homemade roll book.)  Students were typically given one day of ISS unless they were repeat offenders.

I hope this helps in some way.  While it can be a headache, the students will get in gear and let others know.  Stay firm and the tardies will decrease!!!  It also helps to be a good classroom manager and disciplinarian overall.  Start tough and you can ease up later; start easy and you will suffer for the rest of the school year!  GOOD LUCK!

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