New attendance system enforces punctuality


Photo Credit: Julia Rooney

The new attendance system was installed at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

by Sophie Ferreri, Staff Writer

Hitting snooze. We’re all guilty of it, but now Glen Rock High School’s strict, new tardy system has students questioning whether it’s worth it.

Before school started up in September, students of Glen Rock High School received a letter in the mail from the Principal and Assistant Principal, Mr. John Arlotta and Mr. Michael Pasciuto. The letter listed the new, lowered number of “lates” per punishment.

“What we thought would be just the usual ‘welcome back to school’ letter, ended up being a smack to the face with the new and strict procedures for less amount of lates than usual,” Katherine Kelly (18’) said. Kelly, who has been late to school multiple times, said that she is unhappy with the new system and thinks it should be more forgiving.

“I have cheer everyday and then I have hours of homework. Most nights I don’t go to bed until 12, so if teachers want to give us so much homework, then they should be more understanding if we have to sleep in late because we’re exhausted,” Kelly said.

The first disciplinary procedure will be enacted after only four lates: a conference with the Assistant Principal to discuss a ‘corrective action plan’ and then a review of the other disciplinary procedures if the student were to continue to be late.

The following benchmarks were defined as actionable amounts of “lates”: 6, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35. At each benchmark the punishments become more severe. At the final benchmark, 35 lates, there’s an out-of-school suspension, a parent conference, and possible suspension of all trips/extracurricular activities.

According to Pasciuto, the potential suspension of extracurricular activities begins at the 25 lates benchmark.

“If a student gets to 25 lates, the least of our concerns will be if that student can be an athlete,” Pasciuto said. Pasciuto was a track coach at his former place of employment, Creskill High School. “I didn’t wait ‘til it got to 25 lates. I would check attendance everyday, and if they were late to school, there would be a punishment that day at practice.”

Pasciuto knows it can be frustrating to have athletes sit out for being late to school, but he made it clear that each procedures will be taken very seriously.

“Extracurricular activities are privileges not rights,” he said.  “It’s your responsibility to be here.”

Pasciuto said that some school districts have more severe punishment and discipline.

To keep track of who is late and how late they are, there will be computer kiosk in the Hamilton Lobby where students will have to swipe their Student ID.

Students who lose or forget their IDs can also log-in to the computer, but they’ll have to remember their student ID number.

Pasciuto’s former school used a similar system to the one at Glen Rock High School, including the block schedule and the new attendance policy.

When Creskill’s similar attendance policy was first enforced, there was an 80% drop-off in lates. By the third year of use, the new system tallied just 5% of the number of lates before the school installed the system.

Mrs. Janice Crowley, Administrative Assistant in the Attendance Office, said that within the first couple weeks of school she had already noticed how certain students known for being frequently late had started arriving to school on time.