TardiesJust a question- how late does a student have to be in your class/school to be marked absent instead of simply tardy? Please state whether you teach elementary, middle, or high school. Also,...


Just a question- how late does a student have to be in your class/school to be marked absent instead of simply tardy? Please state whether you teach elementary, middle, or high school. Also, what do you do to stop tardiness when administrators will not follow through and parents don't care?

Expert Answers
jessecreations eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A student must miss half the school day to be considered completely "absent" instead of just tardy.  So, out of 7 periods, they can miss up to 4 of them before they are considered "absent" instead of tardy.  I teach high school.

Tardiness is a problem everywhere.  In my school, students who arrive in school or arrive to class after the bell are sent to the "choice" room.  There, their tardies are documented.  They must miss that class period, and then it is their responsibility to make up the work they have missed as a result of their tardiness.  However, it has been my experience that the actual penalty for tardiness is not a deterrent to frequently tardy students.

In other schools where I have taught, I have had various consequences for tardies, such as detention after 3 tardies, lost points on the opening activity for the day, etc.  In my current school, however, the consequences are removed from the teacher; all we can do is send them to the choice room and hope for the best.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Technically in our high school if the student is not in his or her seat when the tardy bell rings, s/he is tardy. I usually don’t count them tardy if they are in the room. One strategy that might work, and could not be argued against, (I believe) is if you had some sort of meaningful activity that they had to complete as soon as they got into class. Have them complete it and turn it in as you are taking attendance and other beginning class duties--if it’s not turned in by the time you’re done, count it late (or not at all). The tardy kids won’t usually get it done in time. Good luckJ

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I teach high school, juniors and seniors. My school considers tardy not being in the classroom WHEN the bell rings.  Amazingly enough, I did not have one tardy this year.  What I have found is that if your students like the material, they come to class on time and are ready to learn.

As for the administration, my Principal is very strict when it comes to tardiness. So, students will get detentions/ISS if they are constantly late/truant. Now, I teach at a very small school. That may make a difference.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I teach at a middle school and the rules are for the most part the same. They are tardy if they walk in the door after the bell rings. If they show up before the first half of the day is over then then are not considered absent.

Tardies for being late for individual classes works like this. They are allowed two tardies. On the third tardy they receive an after school detention.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I teach at a private school and so we set our own policies. We only take roll during first period, so a student is tardy if he or she is not there when school starts and absent if he or she never shows up at all. I have worked at schools that took attendance every period though, and after 25 minutes the student was marked absent even if he or she showed up.
krcavnar | Student

When a student is not inside the classroom at the time of the tardy bell they are considered and marked tardy.  Our system allows us to count them tardy and mark the time they came into class. 

cateach3 | Student

 I came from a strict school -my new school isn't & we don't have buses.  What I found is that right away tell all parents and kids "If you are on time- you're late".  You need to be waiting for me. We talk about this the 1st day & practice- how to come in late. I teach 3rd grade- I know this seems harsh- but I am one of the only teachers who can turn in attendence at 5-10min into the day- because my kids are all here. 

 Technically, I think our kids have to be at least 20min late before we count it.  I make sure they know I THINK they're late-ANYtime after the bell -and that's what counts.  My students have 5 min after the bell to turn in their homework to my "homework checkers", if a "homework checker" is late they are replaced-they HATE that! I have 'morning work' to be completed with-in 15min of the opening bell- if it's not done they move their clip to warning- any kid coming in when the timer goes off to correct or after KNOWS they're late- and we've started without them. They also have to report to the office to get a pass and return to class. 

With 3rd grade sometimes I feel too strict doing this- but often the office is suprised how students with "often late/many tardies" turn this around in my class. Kids at my school sometimes take the bus alone, wake their parents up or walk themselves.  They know I want them there on time- and I greet each one-late or not-they want to be there and they even get their parents moving!

mmiller21 | Student

As stated above the student must miss half a day for the student to be completely absent. I teach at a catholic high school so they can miss 4 of out the 8 classes before being considered absent.

The teachers are given three options when dealing with a tardy student. You can just ignore them, give them a detention, or send them to the deans or asst. principals office. The first time I ignore them, second time I give the student a detention, and the third time I send them down to either the dean or asst. principals office. After the detention, they are usually always on time.