Tardy to class? Need a pass

This story was originally published in the first edition of The Lion’s Tale (September 18, 2018).

Beginning in the 2018-2019 year, there is a HERO on campus. HERO is the new tardy-tracking system. It has improved school attendance tremendously, according to dean Jason Maitland.

“We have already seen a huge decrease in the amount of late students walking around campus,” Maitland said. “In my opinion, it has already become more effective than last year.”

According to Maitland, the results are visible.

“You see students hurrying to get to class, you see students not gathering in large groups talking, wasting time between classes,” Maitland said. “It’s a little more serious for them to get to class on time. Our tardies have gone way down.”

Some students have had a couple of issues on the way to class.

“Trying not to run when you hear the first minute bell, especially if you know you are farther than making a one-minute, then you have to run and teachers will yell at you, ‘No running,’ so it’s kind of a double negative,” said sophomore Jacqueline Gonzalez. “You’re not supposed to run to get to one class, but if you don’t run, you’re going to get a HERO pass. So, there is a little bit of confusion there.”

Students have been working harder every day to get to class on time.

“In building 5 the staircase is way too crowded and way too small, so I have to go use the back staircase, which most people don’t use,” said junior Parker Ferro.

Teachers have seen an increase of students in their classes since this system started, including biology teacher Heather DeLong.

“I think I have had three tardies all year this year so far,” DeLong said. “Granted, we are just a week into school, but this time last year I had way more than three tardies.”

The system behind HERO has reduced the number of referrals teachers have written and provides more time to teach what they must teach.

“The automation behind it, and the fact we don’t have to give the consequences, that it does it for us and it really takes a lot off the teacher,” DeLong said.

For students that are late to classes a lot, consequences do reset at certain intervals, Maitland said

“At the end of every nine weeks, every student on this campus will go back to zero tardies,” Maitland said.

Coaches of sports have their own tardy systems in addition to HERO, and the consequences often affect the whole team.

“If I find out about it, then I would have to deal with it accordingly because we have a tardy system here,” said bowling coach Pat Costello. “Whether you come to practice or not, we have our own rules and regulations for that, but we adhere to the policy of the schools.”