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Toyota policy inspires change in tardies at THS

Aaron Kwag, Staff Writer, The Hi-Times

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Inspired by policies at Toyota, Principal Jason Harris has changed the tardy policy at Tupelo High School for the 2015-2016 school year.

“When Mr. Harris toured the Toyota plant, the tour guide said that the biggest problem they have at Toyota was getting people to come to work,” said community liaison and administrator Christy Weir. “There are attendance issues at work like we have attendance issues at school, so in your job or at school, attendance is probably the most important thing.”  

The tardy policy implements new consequences for the amount of time a student is late for a class.

“How we are doing tardy this year is from zero to 5 minutes is a tardy, from 6 to 29 minutes you get a tardy plus a referral for truancy, and then 30 minutes or more is an absence plus a referral for truancy,” said assistant principal Betsy Grubbs.

The removal of tardy slip machines has also occurred in this change of the tardy policy.

Before the new tardy policy, students retrieved tardy slips from the tardy slip machines placed in a building. When a student gets to class with a tardy slip in hand, the student hands it to the teacher for proof of being tardy.

Now, instead of students grabbing a tardy slip for a class in which they are late, the new tardy policy allows students to go in the classroom without going to a tardy slip machine to get a tardy slip.

“It changes the way you actually get into class,” Grubbs said. “You can just go straight to class and your teachers will handle the tardies.”

Along with new consequences for being tardy, the tardy policy also handles efficiency in students getting to class faster and teachers handling tardies for students.  

“Our goal is to get to class as soon as possible, so this eliminates time at a tardy machine and time going to another building to get a tardy,” Weir said,“It eliminates that amount of time spent so you can go straight to class.”

Some THS studnets think the new policy will help things in the long run.

“I think it’s easier and you get more time in the classroom because you don’t have to roam the halls,” said sophomore Alyssa Kisner.

The new policy, Grubbs said, is more than just about teaching students to be on time for class.  

“Attendance is so important,” Grubbs said. “It’s one of those indicators that it’s just important to be here. It’s not just at school, it’s at work too. It’s a life skill that we’re trying to teach children to be on time. That’s why we want to teach our students.”

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Toyota policy inspires change in tardies at THS