Tam implements new tardy policy to address influx of late students


(Jack Fierstein)

By Julian Goodman and Naomi Lenchner

With a rise in tardies during the beginning of this school year, the Tamalpais High School Administration has updated their tardy policy. “Beginning October 11th, we will be tracking students’ attendance closely. Students who have 5 total tardies in the week or 3 tardies to the same class during a week will be issued a detention for the following week,” Assistant Principal Connor Snow wrote in an email to Tam families. 

These changes come in light of the recent increase in tardies the district has seen. In the month of September, there were a reported 1,093 students who were tardy, for a combined total of 5,269 tardies, according to Assistant Principal Kaki McLachlan. 

However, once the new policies were announced, the number of students with tardies decreased. The first week of the policy saw 586 students who all together received 1,096 total tardies. The first week when round of detentions would take place there were 459 students with a total of 790 tardies.

This policy is a modified version of a previous policy instituted before the pandemic. “This policy has been around for many years, it was a policy before [COVID-19], but it was a little bit more strict actually, so we said if you had five tardies within any grading period, you would get a detention,” McLachlan said. “What we recognize is that ⅔ of our students had tardies, over 5,000 tardies, that we needed to provide more structure but more lenient still, so now it’s five in one week, and in the next week it starts over again . . . it’s much more lenient but it’s also recognizing that we have to build our stamina up to becoming the students we used to be.” 

Some students feel that the policy is too strict, “It’s a little extreme because you don’t really know the situation that someone might be in for being late,” sophomore Avila Giraudie said. Others, feel that the reason for the increase in tardiness is students are having a hard time adjusting to in-person school after spending the past 18 months at home, “I definitely think that because we’ve been so out of normal school, coming back definitely affected people’s timeliness and being more aware of [timeliness],” sophomore Aurelia Joy said.

(Wesley Slavin)

While some are wary about the policy, senior Ezra Levy feels it is an appropriate response to an increasingly prevalent problem at Tam. “Yes [I agree with the policy] I don’t know if it’s going to prevent people from being late, I think it’ll just create an additional punishment that won’t really steer anyone off from being late, but I think it’s reasonable. I get where [Tam Administration] is coming from and I get there has to be a boundary, especially because they’re making it seem like there was a big problem at some point.” Levy said.

It should be noted that Tam administration has no official policy on absences, unexcused or not, and the new policy only pertains to the number of tardies a student has.