The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

In A Rush: The New Tardy Policy

Found in the HHS student handbook, this is a chart explaining what will happen when you receive each tardy.

School starts at 8 AM! Rushing out of the house and beeping cars, with all the close parking spaces taken up, and a far jog for the bell in the cold, early morning air. These are all struggles students face on a daily basis.

Students are expected to maintain a tight and strict schedule. With priorities all throughout the day and responsibilities, they also must keep a good sleep schedule in order to maintain good physical and mental health. These issues are problems most students face on a day-to-day basis. Not only does this issue cause issues with truancy, it is a very big strain for a student’s mental health. 

Many students have either experienced being late due to a poor sleep schedule from issues, such as Ansonia or other mental illnesses, traffic or a ride situation that is out of their control, living conditions, and depending on their living locations, a far drive. 

Found in the student handbook, there are charts and information about the new tardy policies set. 

Located in section “09.123” of the HHS Student Handbook 2023-2024, it states, “Students in grades nine through twelve (9-12) who accumulate more than three unexcused tardies during each semester shall be subject to consequences outlined in the Highlands High School Handbook for each unexcused tardy. Each subsequent tardy will result in more school consequences.”

The same section also states that a student can only be excused if a personal illness occurs, the death of a family member or close friend, or a family emergency illness in the immediate family.  

The issue with this is that if a personal illness were to occur, a note signed by a verified physician with a statement must be provided It states, “Students participating in extracurricular activities missing school due to illness need to be at school for at  least ½ the school day (before or after 11:00 is the cut-off time).” 

Under doctor’s Note Requirement  located in section (09.123) of the handbook mentions, “All other absences and tardies shall be considered unexcused absences for which no make-up of work shall be allowed unless in Saturday School at up to 50% credit.” This is if a student receives up to 10 unexcused absences. 

A school is supposed to prepare students for the future, as well as provide them the best possible education and opportunities they can. It is intended for preparing students for the “real world”, in a safe and manageable environment.

Assistant Principal Jenifor Forgy said, “It’s because our number one discipline problem at this school is tardiness.”

These are good and logical statistics, though many may argue that in some cases tardiness isn’t necessarily a behavior issue based on discipline. 

Junior Ella Cunningham, shared her opinion on this new rule. She said, “I think it’s an unrealistic goal for this school, especially with freshmen and sophomores because they can’t drive themselves, and a lot of the time it’s their parents driving them.”

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