The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Big Sandy High Schools "Don't Be Tardy!" policy explored


October 30, 2019

The Mountaineer hosted Job Shadowing a couple of weeks ago, Tavie Wortman and Amiya Griffith, they wanted to see what it was like to work for a newspaper, we gave them an assignment and this story is what they did.

The "new and improved" tardy policy has taken some getting used toAt Big Sandy High School. It was believed that 2019 was a year of change, and the Tardy Policy seems to be the most significant among students. However, the staff of BSHS has informed students that the tardy policy is not new or improved. So why have they never heard of it before? According to Melanie Schwarzbach, Athletic Director and 7-12 Science teacher, it's an easy answer. "The policy has been in place, and we simply decided to make an effort to enforce it," she stated. It appears that the 2019 to 2020 school year is the time to start enforcing policies in the handbook.

So, what exactly is the tardy policy? If you open the Big Sandy Public Schools' website and access the "7-12 Parent-Student Handbook 19-20", you will find the answer on pages 8-9. The handbook reads, "A student is tardy if the student is not in the assigned classroom when the bell rings. Late arrivals to school will generally not be excused. After the ten-(10)-minute mark, a student is considered absent. Students tardy to first (1st) and fifth (5th) periods must check-in at the office. Students will receive a warning for one tardy per quarter. Tardies accumulated after that will count as following: 2 tardies in the same period will count as a 1-day absence and count against the attendance policy. Every tardy beyond 2 in the same period will count as an absence for that period and will be counted in the loss of percentage points for that class."

Furthermore, where athletes are concerned, they must be in school the entire day to be eligible to play in a game that day. "Our policy states that athletes have to be in school the entire day of a game except for medical appointments. Being late to class means you're not in school the whole day," Mrs. Schwarzbach clarifies.

Students are asking why the tardy policy is so strict. "I feel that the policy is appropriate because it's reasonable to expect our athletes to prioritize their education and make an effort to attend all classes," Mrs. Schwarzbach answers. And Principal Heather Wolery agrees to say, "It is not too harsh." Parents are worried about their children's grades and extracurricular activities being affected by the newly enforced policy, but Mrs. Schwarzbach believes it is for the better. "I feel like the expectation of being in school benefits our students academically," she states.

In conclusion, the tardy policy

at Big Sandy High School is, in fact, old but being newly enforced this school year. If one does not agree with a policy in the handbook, Ms. Wolery explains the process taken to make such rules. "Everything new and everything being taken out has to be approved by the school board," she states. Parents, students, and staff alike must work together to understand and inform each other of policies and have open discussions to express concerns and opinions.


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