2009-2010 News — 22 January 2010

Senior Jennifer Ly hurries to be on time to Ms. Allen's second period AP English Language class. Photo by Joanne Lee-Yuen.

By: Joanne Lee-Yuen, Photo Editor
VAAMP administrators created a new rule emphasizing that if students are tardy, they will sit in detention. This was made because a lot of students were getting to class late.
“The tardy policy was created before winter break and it started on January 4 because of the overwhelming tardies in VAAMP students,” said Aya Allen, a sophomore and senior English teacher. “Teachers felt that something needed to be done.”
According to Jesse Shapiro, a junior U.S History teacher, “Too many students are walking in late; not just first period. They socialize in the halls during passing period.”
The staff decided that for every two tardies a student has in each Visual Arts Academy (VAAMP) class, they would get a phone call home saying that their child will be at detention the following Wednesday.
“Detention is held in Ms. Marston’s class every Wednesday after school from 2:00-3:15,” said Jenny Clark, a freshman and junior English teacher. “It needs to be completely silent and students need to bring their homework or they will be given work to do.”
Anticipating that some students might think it is okay to miss detention, the teachers already came up with consequences for those who are not willing to participate.
Ms. Clark said, “If students do not show up to detention when they are supposed to, they will get another detention on top of what they already have.” When too much detention is piled up, it can result in probation.
So far, the tardy policy has been working out really well. The first detention date was on January 13 and nobody showed up to detention.
Jackie Marston, the VAAMP director explained, “None of the teachers reported any of their students to Tiago so I’m assuming that no one was tardy more than once to each of their VAAMP classes last week.”
Students rush their way to classes knowing that they will need to be at detention for an hour and 15 minutes if they do not.
“I have been going to class on time,” said Michael Cunningham, senior. “I don’t want to waste my time sitting at detention for nothing.”
Joanna Lam, freshman, said, “I go to class the same time I usually go because I don’t think so much about detention, but I just know it’s not worth one hour for two tardies.”
Many VAAMP teachers have noticed that ever since the tardy policy began, most of their students were in class before the bell rang. “Before first and second period, there would be about twenty people that would be tardy two or more times in one week,” said Ms. Clark. “Now that it has started, I only have one person tardy for the week.”
As for Mr. Shapiro, he said, “I have noticed the reduction in tardies; however I think that there will be even less tardies once we have detention because they will see how we are not playing.”
Teachers are pleased with the new policy because students are more aware about going to class on time. “It has definitely brought up a fear in students that has created an awareness that teachers are noticing who is tardy and who is not,” said Ms. Allen.
All of the students have different opinions about the new policy. “I don’t think we should have a tardy policy at all because when students are tardy, they tend not to go to class, already knowing that they will have detention,” said Jennifer Truong, senior. “Using myself, for example, I don’t feel like going to class anymore when I am already late.”
Some students have no opinion about it because tardiness does not even apply to them. Jessica Andzouana, freshmen said, “Well, I am never tardy so I’m not concerned about it at all.”
A few people think it is helpful to make sure students arrive on time. “It is somewhat helping students but it’s not going to happen for a long time just like the I.D. policy,” said Spencer Pulu, senior. “If they want to go by this policy then they need to really enforce it.”
Even though the VAAMP tardy policy currently seems to be working out perfectly, the question is will students continue to be on time to class throughout the rest of the year?

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