Do we need to be placed in an alternative classroom setting for being late?


Photo Credit: photo via fingerlakes1 Creative Commons license

Woodbridge Township Schools receive ACS (in school suspension) when late to a class two times or more.

By: Lily Borek, Reporter

Should we as students have Alternative Classroom Setting (ACS) for being late? Students without a license that aren’t within walking distance of school have to depend on others to bring them to and from school. If the people students depend on don’t get up on time, if there’s traffic, the car isn’t working, etc. then why should students pay the consequences?

According to Regulation #5113b of the Woodbridge Township School District student handbook, “Students are expected to arrive to school and class on time. Students who are
tardy to class will be subject to disciplinary action. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that his/her child arrives to school on time, and the school’s responsibility to monitor attendance. Parents must accompany their child to school when they are late to ensure the child’s safety. ” The punishments for being late are as followed:

Class Tardiness: Two (2) lates = 3 days detention
Four (4) lates = 1 day ACS
Six (6) lates = 2 days ACS + Loss of Credit in that subject
Health (quarter courses):
2 lates = 1 cut = 2 detentions
4 lates = 2 cuts = 3 days ACS + Loss of Credit

Since Colonia High School no longer has after school detention, students automatically get put in ACS but maybe for a block or during lunch. Farther down in the student/ parent handbook, it explains, “A student who is tardy and does not sign in, in accordance with established practice, will not be given credit for any classes he/she attends or misses that day.  If a student is tardy after 10:00 a.m., or leaves school early, he/she will not be permitted to participate in after-school activities/events without prior approval of the principal.” Many students and parents may not be aware of this rule as well.

There used to be homeroom before 1st block every day. If you were late to homeroom, it wouldn’t count as being late to a class. Meaning if you were late to homeroom a couple times, it was technically okay. Students most likely took advantage of that and that resulted in no more homeroom. Yes, the tardy policy will benefit students for a future job, but by the time students reach that age they’ll have a license. Students might also take their job more seriously than school because they are getting something out of it (money).

Being Late to First Block

The administration wants students to take responsibility for something that is beyond their control. Usually you would get silent lunch or ACS after two lates for a class because it’s considered cutting. The problem with this is they’re taking students out of class because they weren’t in class. It just doesn’t make sense and is hypocritical. Sophomore mom Laura Czech stated “If the whole idea is you’re being disciplined for not being in class and the punishment is taking you out of class, then how is that teaching you a lesson?” Many other parents also agree with this statement.

Being Late to Other Blocks

Being late to second, third and fourth block depends on why and how the student was late. If they were late because of other people in the hallway, that shouldn’t be their fault. Lots of students use the five minutes before each class to catch up with friends. They tend to crowd in the middle of the hallway until an administrator tells them to go to class. But what if there’s no administrator? Those people trying to get around them can’t get to class on time. That wouldn’t be the student’s fault, that would be the crowd’s fault. Now if a student is late because they were talking to their friends, walking slow, etc then yes it is the student’s fault. But of course teachers don’t always know if students are telling the truth on why they were late.