Student tardiness, skipping class increases in second semester


Joseph Chiu

Students coming in late to school must enter through the attendance office to receive a yellow slip and signature to hand to teachers.

Principal Jonathan Fey recently sent out an email reiterating the district’s attendance policy and the importance of showing up to class on time. While occasional tardiness and absences are not listed on transcripts, Amador’s staff still encourages consistent attendance for students to build strong habits in the future. 

Teachers have noticed an increase in tardiness during first and second periods on late start days on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Students arriving 10-15 minutes after the second bell must enter campus through the office. 

“I’d say the majority of kids coming in have no reason for being late. Sleeping in would be the majority of tardies for first period,” said attendance staff member Nancy Kent.  

Teachers can ultimately decide consequences for excessive tardiness or absences. They are allowed to hand out detentions or truancy letters once a student exceeds four or more tardies.  

“I don’t send truancy letters. I take more of a conversational approach to see if we can have the student figure out what’s going on and why they’re late. If the pattern continues, we take further steps from there,” said Economics and Psychology teacher Robert Palmer.

Tardiness can lead to students missing out on important information or turning in an assignment at the beginning of class. Policies regarding late work credit are decided by the teacher.

“I try to hear out, like when it was raining really bad, I gave students a pass. But I have started to mark things late for students that have shown consistent tardiness. It’s mostly for chronic tardies that the late work policy comes into play,” said Palmer.  

Non-American Disability Act (Non-ADA) absences are considered unexcused and teachers can choose not to let students make up work. Excused absences must be confirmed through a phone call or email by parents to the attendance office. 

“Truancy letters do not affect graduation, it’s just a warning to let people know something was missed. The colleges aren’t going to see your attendance, but we want you here because we don’t get paid unless students are here,” said Attendance Officer Kelly Cantu

15 seniors who are 18 years or older have received a pre-approved letter to sign themselves out of school. Senior tardiness and absences in general are viewed less critically during second semester. 

“Showing up to school is obviously important and skipping class or tardiness isn’t okay, but I think it’s less important than it would be in your early years of high school. As a senior, especially in second semester, you shouldn’t have to worry about (getting) to class.Senioritis is a big part of it,” said Jack Kolling (‘23).