Tardies Go Digital: Computers Know How Many Times You’ve Been Late

marcusboyd2013

Photo by Mataya SimmonsInstead of signing into a book students now get their ID's scanned.  Under the new policy, staff can easily keep track of tardies and students.
Photo by Mataya Simmons
Instead of signing into a book students now get their ID’s scanned. Under the new policy, staff can easily keep track of tardies and students.

So you’re in the hallway hanging with your friends when you realize the last minute of passing time has came and is almost gone. In a hurry, nearly running just steps away from the classroom, the craziest thing happens. Someone bumps into you and now your binder is a mess all over the floor. You drop to your knees scrambling to pick it all up and you sprint for the door and the bell rings as you walk in. In shame, anger or maybe even disbelief, you remember that you already have two tardies so now you have a detention. But luckily, the teacher has lost track of your tardies and you get to start over. This is what could’ve happened when teachers had to keep track of tardies, but not anymore.

At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, Loy Norrix started using an electronic monitoring system called PlascoTrac, to handle the increasing number of tardies. Recently, four support staff positions were dropped making it a whole lot harder for the remaining support staff to write so many passes to class in the morning.

“It saves me a lot of writing and helps me keep up with the students,” said Jacqueline Hampton, a security officer here who usually works in the Tower.

Every student that comes to school late has to go through Hampton and you’d better have that ID too. Before PlascoTrac, each and every pass had to be written out individually, but now it’s just the scanning of the student’s ID card, scrolling down on the computer screen and selecting an excuse if any, and printing a pass. It only takes ten seconds.

“I like it a lot, they should’ve had it,” said Hampton when asked her overall opinion on the new technology. It’s clear that the PlascoTrac is helpful to the security here, but is it working? According to Johnny Edwards, the Principal here at Loy Norrix, it seems to be.

“I’m seeing a substantial decline in the amount of tardies and referrals,” said Edwards.

Knowing that there’s no way around the new system, students don’t have a choice but to go to class because three tardies in one day is all it takes to get a one hour detention. And skipping a detention gets you a one-day suspension. The new system can be very irritating for those who are tardy.

“I don’t even like it, its really dumb,” said sophomore Dontre McGee who is a regular victim of the new tardy system. He has gotten ten detentions so far this year from tardies as well as four suspensions. He also mentioned that the new tardy system should be taken away and that the school cannot force students to go to class.

“They can’t. People still tardy and people still don’t serve their after school detentions,” said McGee.

On the other hand, many students benefit from the new system.

“It helps me because when people come late to class, it’s annoying to have to stop class but now there’s less of that,” said senior Courtney Prescott.

Students coming in late interrupt classes all over the school every day, but thanks to PlascoTrac, more students are getting to class on time.