Without warning, SVPHS rolled out a new tardy policy on Wednesday, February 27. Dean of Students Catherine Edwards notified the students while Principal Jeff Palumbo sent an identical email to parents.
The change effectively eliminated ISS (in-school suspension) in favor of shuffling frequently tardy students to Saturday suspensions.
According to the email, tardy students has grown into a serious problem so the policies have been adjusted so consequence matches the infraction.
“I have struggled to create a policy that holds students and parents accountable and eliminates the distraction caused by students arriving late, but doesn’t cripple students academically by causing them to miss important class time,” Edwards wrote.
The original policy was that if a student was tardy to school four or more times, they would receive after-school detention. Once the student reached eight tardies, they were issued an ISS. If a student failed to show up to detentions, they were issued a Saturday detention, requiring the student to arrive in full uniform and sit from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. plus pay $15 for the proctor’s time. Failure to show up resulted in a school suspension.
With the growing tide of tardies, the administration has decided that positive punishment will be the best way to cut down on the tardies.
The new tardy policy states that every tardy is after-school detention. Once the student reaches four tardies, the student is not permitted to go their first period class. Once a student is late for the eighth time, the student will receive a Saturday detention to be served within two Saturdays of being administered. If the Saturday detention is not served within the two-week period, the student will be suspended from school for the following Monday. This suspension is to be served outside of school with parents responsible for supervision.
Senior Lauren McFadden echoed many students’ opinions when she said, “I feel like they should’ve started it at the beginning of the quarter so that everyone had a fair chance with the new switch.”
McFadden, who has witnessed varying changes of policy under an evolving administration that started with Tom Durkin as Assistant Principal and Steve Walker as Dean of Students through the current line-up, did agree the policy was needed but felt it would “promote resentment of the student body towards the administration”.