Student Tardiness Policy Sample

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

When children are tardy, it can be disruptive not only to their own learning but to the whole community. This lesson offers you some examples of policies for tardiness and how they can be used in class.

Why Tardiness Policies Matter

If you have ever taught a class where children trickle in late, you know just how disruptive it can be. Everyone else is engaged in a lesson or activity, and the latecomer needs to be acclimated into what is going on. Other students may grow distracted, wondering why their friend was late and what will happen. One way to minimize tardiness and also minimize the distractions it causes is by having a strong policy in place. A clear tardiness policy will get rid of questions about what will happen, setting up consistent expectations for every student. A policy will not get rid of tardiness altogether but it will set up a strong expectation for punctuality and establish firm guidelines for what students ought to do. The samples of policies in this lesson will help you understand how to use such guidelines in your class.

Tardiness Policy

Maple Elementary School begins at 8:30 every morning. Our schedule is as follows:

8:25 First bell rings. Students may enter the classroom. Students waiting in the cafeteria will be walked to the classroom by school staff.

8:30 Second bell rings. All students are expected to be in classrooms at this time.

8:31 Students arriving at school at this time or later are tardy. Teachers will not allow students to enter without a tardy ticket from the front office.

Consequences for Tardiness:

At Maple Elementary School, we understand that mornings can be a complicated time, and everyone is late sometimes! However, tardiness has a severe impact on students' learning and sense of community. Therefore, we implement the following consequences:

3 Tardy Tickets: Letter sent home to parent or guardian reiterating this policy

5 Tardy Tickets: Parent/teacher conference to establish a plan for minimizing tardiness

Excessive Tardiness: If your child continues to be tardy even after a conference, he or she may be in danger of lower grades or of having to repeat the grade. These decisions are at the discretion of the teacher and principal.

What It Means for Teachers

A tardiness policy like the one outline above is severe enough to make an impact on students and families, yet flexible enough to allow for the fact that everyone slips up once in a while. As a teacher, your role would be to make sure to watch the clock closely and close your classroom door at 8:30 each morning, once the second bell rings. Then, you would need to collect tardy tickets or send latecomers to the office to retrieve their ticket.

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