A race against time

Students and teachers react to a shifted tardy policy

The new tardy policy at Jones stipulates that if a student is tardy twice, they will receive a call home. A third tardy results in detention.

Some students feel the new policy doesn’t accommodate for the many unpredictable factors that students deal with on a daily basis regarding public transportation delays.

“A lot of tardies that happen are usually out of people’s control (in the morning), ” says Zola Ma ‘24 .“It just seems unfair and not understanding… sometimes buses or trains are late and you can’t do anything about it.”

Beyond the CTA issues, lines around the school have formed in the mornings as an increased number of students are having to go through the metal detectors and new check in policy. Teachers feel this process is inefficient and causes a rise in tardies. 

“The fact that there’s one metal detector for 2000 kids, why should (students) have to get here at 7:15 in order to be on time at 8?,” said a teacher at Jones. “I think there should be a more efficient system of checking people in.”

Although the admin has asked teachers to be lenient because of these potential delays, many students believe that the tardy policies’ implementation will vary among teachers.

“I also think it’s up to the teacher, I had a teacher last year who was very strict about tardy policies and if you were not in your seat but you were in his classroom at the bell, you would still get a tardy,” said Ma.”If this policy had been implemented last year there would have been a lot of people getting detentions.”

Administration is hopeful the new policy will fix issues that were present last year. 

“Last year we found ourselves with more people who were not getting where they were supposed to be on time and it was wasting instructional time,” said Principal Paul J. Powers. “It was also creating an environment where many students were not taking things seriously in terms of their responsibilities.”

Admin also acknowledged student and faculty concerns surrounding the new policy and how they plan on addressing these issues.

“We set up a process…where if we have word of a delay…I will notify the teachers to wait a period of time into the beginning of first or fifth period before marking a student tardy,” said Powers. “By having everyone stay to the right coming through the two buildings… you get less of a traffic problem…”

However many feel that the logistics of the policy weren’t communicated well enough for teachers to use the rule efficiently.

“I’m not really aware of the policy, I’m aware that there is a policy but at our meeting, they talked to us for five minutes, and then as soon as everyone started asking questions, they shut it down,” said a teacher at Jones. “Lots of teachers had questions and weren’t given any answers. I know they’re trying to do something, but I’m still not clear on what it is.”

Many students also said they don’t fully understand or were even made aware of the policy adequately.

“I didn’t know this was a thing until I was asked about it and when my friends were talking about it on the train,” said Ma.”I feel like it could have been an announcement or it could have been announced before school started.”