New Tardy, Attendance Policies: Students Taking Things Seriously!

by Elizabeth Olguin and Mariel Ponce

Tardy Line at Pueblo HS

There has been a lot of controversy regarding the new tardy and attendance policy at Pueblo this new school year, but early on, a lot of people have expressed their disapproval.

Thus far, administrators have not lessened the penalty for being late. Tardy lines from primarily during first period, and sometimes this line is excessively long—sometimes as long as 100 feet. Students have to stand in long, hot lines until they reach the attendance counter where they receive “the go” to proceed to their first teachers.

Also, one minute has been shaved from this year’s passing bell schedule. If students are even remotely late to class, they must return to the attendance office for a pass.

“I would prefer students just going to class late and not having to come up here,” said Pueblo’s attendance clerk, Ms. Angelica Aros. “It takes students forever to sign in, and the lines can be very, very long—even now at the end of the first quarter.”

Administration feels that the tardy policy is helpful and gets our students prepared for the real world, but most students think that the tardy lines are unnecessary.

“Our intention is to get our students to realize the importance of being on time,” said Assistant Principal Steven Lopez. He does, however, acknowledge that five minutes may not be sufficient time to get to class.

“Maybe we need to put that one minute back into the schedule,” Lopez said. “We’re still evaluating the situation.”

History teacher Ms. Josephine Rincon said, “We teachers end up being the ‘bad guy’ because we try to get our students to be responsible and to get to class on time. My job description is to grade and plan and to communicate with parents about how their children are doing. This tardy policy turns me into a disciplinarian, and when I have to be the disciplinarian that messes up the pure relationship between student and teacher.”

Most students at Pueblo are opposed to this year’s strict tardy policy.

Junior Marcopolo Moreno said, “It’s a waste of our time! Even if we’re a minute late, we have to stand in line sometimes up to 40 minutes—sometimes the entire period! Traffic is very bad in the mornings, and being late is not our fault sometimes.”

Another junior David Miramontes said, “The tardy policy is an irony—because in the end, it makes us miss more class than necessary.”

Tardiness Problem At Pueblo

by Ramon Lopez

Tardy Line at Pueblo High School
Tardy line in front of administration building.

Tardiness has historically been a big problem in our school, but we are improving on this situation despite long tardy lines. During the first week in December, there were 1,014 tardies reported in the attendance office. The next week, the number of tardies plummeted to 769 tardies, and more than 90% of these tardies were during the first period.

Pueblo’s faculty has addressed this problem and working hard to help decrease students’ tardies. As of mid-December, Behavior Interventionists have completed 258 interventions, 236 student conferences, 20 parent conferences, and two lunch restorations.

Ms. Angelica Aros, one of Pueblo’s attendance clerks said, “Yes, I believe Pueblo can make a change. These lines are not the solution. Students need to value their time at school more.”

Mr. Steve Lopez, assistance principal, affirmed that after students are tardy six times, parents will be called. If tardies persist, Lopez added that home they will be required to attend “Saturday School”.

Bryan Ramirez, a junior, said “I’ve had to go to lunch detention and it truly does help me get back on my feet and realize what am doing is wrong.”

Tardiness begins in the morning right after the first bell, at 8 a.m. 1st Period, and within 15 minutes, the tardy line serpentines from the attendance office to the outside—consisting sometimes as many as a hundred students. Some students express their frustration because they were just seconds late—and still not allowed in class.  By the time they receive their tardy slip and go to class, students will have missed half—or more—of their class.

“The whole tardy policy is just a mess,” said student Ramirez.  “Administration needs to come up with a more effective way to deal with students’ tardies. Being in long lines is not a solution—it’s just a band-aid to a big problem.  I believe that students and teachers should come up with more innovative ways to deal with our tardies. I suppose that students themselves need to fix the tardy problem by just showing up to school on time.”

Administration said that they will continue to make improvements in the tardy policy.  “So far, the tardiness problem has improved,” said Assistant Principal Steve Lopez. “We could always do better, however, and we’ll continue to make improvements as the discussion continues.”

Warriors Honored For Perfect Attendance

by Arlie Kontic

Beginning this school year, Pueblo High School administrators will honor students who have perfect attendance in an effort to encourage students to be present every day.

Earlier this school year, in September, 252 Pueblo Warriors earned a certificate because of their perfect attendance. Freshmen led last month’s perfect attendance statistics, according to Assistant Principal Kathryn Gunnels, who created this program in order to stimulate better attendance.

Gunnels said, “We want to reward [our students with] good behavior, and perfect attendance is a great start.” She added that they will be awarding students who achieve perfect attendance with certificates each month throughout this school year—and surprising some students with prizes.

Juan Romero Ruiz with Assistant Principal Kathryn Gunnels

One of those “surprised” students, freshman Juan Romero Ruiz, was very honored by Gunnels.

“I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do,” he said. “I come to school every day like all students should.”

Jessica Prado Rascon & Alyssa Soza

Sophomore Jessica Prado, another student who was honored for her perfect attendance, said, “I do face some challenges with the traffic, but I still manage to get to Pueblo. Waking up and getting here are definite challenges, but earning high grades motivates me the most.”

Freshman Alyssa Soza echoed Prado.

“I’m committed to high grades,” Soza said, “and that means having perfect attendance so that I don’t miss anything in the classroom.”

Gunnels said she hopes seniors—the class with the worst attendance during the first quarter—take their last year of high school seriously, and to “kill” the “senioritis” bug now.

Teachers, too, have been receiving “Perfect Attendance” certificates—a message from administrators that teachers are definitely appreciated, too, for their commitment to being here every day.

In October, another 214 Warriors achieved perfect attendance; in November, however, the number of students with perfect attendance dropped drastically—to just 150.

Gunnels said that she does not speculate why there was a dramatic drop from October to November.

Learning Support Coordinator Ms. Sarah Barnes, a new employee to Pueblo this school year, distributed these certificates to teachers.

“Teachers should definitely be rewarded for their stellar attendance, too,” Barnes said. “It says a lot about our educators when they are here every day.”

Stay Out Of The Hallways, Get To Class!

Xamantha Williams El Guerrero Pueblo 2015

By Xamantha Williams

Student traffic in the halls and excessive tardiness have always been a colossal problems at Pueblo, but these problems escalated to new disturbing levels this school year—due in part to a lack of security. Administrators and faculty here at Pueblo have been working diligently to resolve these issues throughout this first semester.

Monitors, too, are doing all that they can to ensure that students make it to their classes on time, but because we are short-handed two monitors at the moment, tardies are becoming excessive this school year. Currently, Pueblo has just four monitors, the least amount in recent years.

Ms. Nora Monge, one of Pueblo’s monitors, said, “It’s so important for students to be on time to school and their classes. Tardiness definitely negatively affects grades, and being tardy shows a lack of responsibility and a lack of respect. Many students truly need to do a better job of getting to class on time. There shouldn’t be anybody roaming the hallways.” She paused and said, “Quiet hallways mean that students are learning in their classrooms.”

Teachers, too, are becoming increasingly extremely frustrated about the abundance of tardies.

“Students need to treat school like it’s a job,” said Mr. Pete Pederson, who teaches graphic design and yearbook.” He paused and added, “When I was in high school, nobody was late. Students just weren’t. Over the years, unfortunately, students have become very lax about tardiness.”

While some students are excused for being absent and tardy, many others do not get excused which sometimes leaves the tardy as an absence.

“Students need to know the rules of this school and take responsibility for their own actions and their own learning,” said attendance clerk and office manager Ms. Rosalie Sinteral.

Most students at Pueblo want their peers to be in class during class time and use their passing periods wisely and responsibly.

Senior Marissa Padilla said, “It’s so frustrating when you’re in the hallway, and you see people standing and talking in the middle of a walkway while trying to get to class. I know how attendance is important and I try to always be on time.”

Pueblo High School Crowded Hallways
Crowded hallways during passing period

Padilla added, “Students need to remember why they are here at Pueblo.”