A Commitment to Attendance

How students are dealing with the school’s recently changed academic recovery policy.


Faven Getnet, Staffer

“Having a tardy cart decreases the number of kids that are in the halls. We do see that when we didn’t have carts there would be a lot more kids late for class and kids who were out in the halls when they should have been in class,” Monte Reynolds, a dean said.

This new policy the school has established has students and staff questioning the policy before COVID and after COVID.

“We got rid of the tardy policy during COVID. We really needed to use our resources and other places. And also we had a lot fewer kids in the building with only half the kids so we just stopped having the tardy cart so the teachers were just in charge of following up on tardies,” Reynolds said.

Does the dean believe that academic recovery was useful before the pandemic?

“When we had academic recovery before COVID Yeah, I think it was useful. There were kids who knew that they had so many tardies. They would have to go makeup at that time,” Reynolds said.

According to the Academic Career and Advance Center, “Academic recovery is an opportunity to reflect on your past choices and create new goals for a future semester. The lessons you learn from overcoming obstacles are fundamental to your future successes.”

“I kind of feel like the old way before COVID worked better because even the people who like actually get the tardies like that they’re trying to regulate, it doesn’t they don’t care about their like, academic recovery. So it just makes sense. And like, I think the one aspect they should keep is probably not letting them go to games,” Jocelyne Delgado (11) said.

“More than 80 Percent of U.S. Public Schools Report Pandemic Has Negatively Impacted Student Behavior and Socio-Emotional Development” according to the National Center for Education, “Compared to a typical school year prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 72 percent of U.S. public schools reported an increase in teacher absences during the 2021–22 school year. Compared to last school year (2020–21), 49 percent of public schools reported that the rate of teacher absences had increased.”

“I think the biggest thing is you have to leave earlier, the traffic is always going to be bad. We have a parent council that is working on trying to find solutions for the traffic problems,” Reynolds said.

What solutions has the school thought about to stop all the traffic before and after school?

Reynolds also mentions, “But just the fact that we have two schools with Laredo being down the street here starting near the same time, the traffic is always going to be bad, they just need to leave earlier.”

Should the school change the time when school starts to prevent the amount of traffic near Laredo?

“We’ve tried different policies. It used to be even shorter than that. And then, years ago it was 15 minutes or half an hour that kids would have after-school detention for being tardy, and then we switched it to do it on the off periods. And so that time has always just changed and I don’t know if we found one that works better than the other,” Reynolds said.

What can the school change to get more students to class on time instead of roaming the hallways?

“I don’t think it’s doing anything because like I said, like the people who actually get like the studies and are the problem. They don’t care about their recovery time or anything. And then it’s like the kids who like to worry about it. They just get stuck doing it,” Delgado said.

Students have mixed opinions about the academic recovery policy. Should the school change this policy to make it fairer for students?

“I kind of think it’s unfair because like, You’re already late so then you had to wait in the line and get a pass. So it just makes you even later to class,” Delgado said.

Others live a bigger distance away from the school, making it difficult to be on time.

“I think there should be something changed about the traffic around Smoky Hill. I don’t know what it should be, but I think something should change,” she adds, “I live like 20 minutes away so that’s probably why I’m late and the traffic is really bad around the school,” Jayden Ryu (9) said.

Do students think academic recovery is necessary?

“No, I don’t think it’s necessary because if a student’s only like, one minute late I don’t think it’s necessary for that person to have 15 minutes of academic recovery,” Ryu said.

Not too long ago the school changed the 15 minutes academic recovery time to 5 minutes. The main question is why hasn’t the staff said anything about this new policy.