Frederick High Introduces New Tardy Policy


Owen Willis

Mrs. Jennifer Santos, Assistant Principal at Frederick High, scolds senior Jillian Margheim for being late to class. Starting on January 10, any underclassman who gets marked tardy 20 times or more will lose the ability to have off-blocks in the 2022-2023 school year, and any upperclassman who gets more than 20 tardies will lose the ability to attend Prom in April. “[Being tardy really] takes away from instructional time [especially] for students [who] come in 15 minutes late, [because those students end up] missing the whole setup [and introduction to class] and, ultimately, [being late] does impact your grade,” says Ms. Swanson.

Owen Willis, Social Media Manager

With the start of the second semester underway at Frederick High School, students and staff are getting used to the new tardy policy that went into place on Monday, January 10. The policy states that any freshman or sophomore with 20 or more tardies will lose the ability to have an off-block in the 2022-2023 school year, and any junior or senior with 20 or more tardies will not be allowed to attend prom later in the school year.

The policy was put into place by Frederick High’s administration to try and lower the number of times students are late to class. Being on time to class helps significantly to reduce the number of distractions to student learning, as well as to ensure that no students miss out on valuable instruction being given by the teacher.

“We have noticed this year, and I think it is across the board, but just a ton of kids [have made a habit of] being tardy, and so for [the staff] it is looking at even if a student is only five minutes late, it has an impact on the class as a whole. [Teachers often] get started right away and then [students show up late], and then [the teacher has] to take away from the whole class and get these students started,” says Ms. Ashlie Swanson, the Dean of Students at Frederick High.

With the introduction of the new policy, many students feel that the policy is too lenient and that the maximum amount of tardies that students can get without receiving consequences should be lower.

“I think [the policy] is too lenient [because] I can get from one side of the building, such as Dr. Quantz’s room to the crafts room in two minutes. There is no need for anyone to be tardy,” says Caleb Fleming, a junior at Frederick High. “People are purposely stopping in the hallways to talk to [their] friends, [making them late to their next class].”

“[I feel the policy is] too lenient, mainly because if you are tardy 20 times, you are missing loads of information within that time,” says Olivia Longstreth, a junior at Frederick High. “You could be gone for ten minutes and miss information, and the more tardies you have, the harder it is to get all of the information and do well in the class.”

While a lot of students that we interviewed feel that the policy is too lenient, the rest of the students that we interviewed didn’t have an opinion as to if the policy is too lenient or too strict because they feel that 20 tardies are a good amount as a maximum to avoid consequences.

“I think it is just right, you shouldn’t have that many [tardies], and it just makes sense, because if you have that many you shouldn’t be able to go to Prom or [have off blocks next year] because you could be late [to Prom or other activities],” says Darren Reynolds, a sophomore at Frederick High.

So far, the Frederick High administration hasn’t looked at any data yet as to whether or not the new policy is helping to reduce the number of tardies, but they plan to run that information in the coming weeks. While there are different opinions as to if the policy is too lenient or too strict, it is unquestionable that the policy encourages students to maintain decent attendance to gain access to certain privileges.