A Study of Rationales and Interventions of Tardiness in a Public School in the Carolina's

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A Study of Rationales and Interventions of Tardiness in A Public School in South Eastern North Carolina “School A” is a high poverty school located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The school was built in 1959, and has a population of 193 students. The students that attend this elementary school are primarily black, and 80% of these students receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch. There are 13 teachers employed at the school. Two of the teachers are first year teachers, and the other 11 are veteran teachers with ten years or more experience. “School A” ranked low for the End of Grade(EOG) test given by the State of North Carolina; however, last year the school made Average Yearly Progress (AYP) by meeting all 13 targets. Moreover, “School A” improved by 11 points in proficiency and had the most growth in EOG scores in North Carolina. The school’s district includes the areas of Bonnie Doone, Cambridge Arms, and Fairlane Acres Trailer Park. According to the principal, most of the school’s parents are unemployed, and one fourth of the students are homeless. The problem is that an enormous number of students in this particular elementary school are still arriving late, and the school’s demographics are cause for the school’s problem with student tardiness.

To begin with, the primary causes for student tardiness are the parents’ irresponsibility and low priority for education. Due to the unemployment for the majority of the parents of this school, tardiness should not be an issue. However, the problem is that an enormous number of students in the elementary school are still arriving late. Since “School A” is a high poverty school there are more factors than just parental involvement in the school’s high volume of tardiness. The principal stated that some of the factors that affect the students’ arrival are that their utilities have been shut off, they don’t have proper transportation, have a lack of sleep and food, or experience abuse and neglect in the home. The students from this school have many issues outside of school that prevent them from arriving on time to school. For example, if a student does not have access to utilities then they may take longer to get ready for school in the morning causing them to be late. In addition, if a student or parent has been abused the night before school then prompt arrival to school will not be a top priority. The environmental factors that affect student tardiness cannot be corrected by school administrators and teachers, but the issues can be addressed with school interventions.

In addition, school administrators can take action to promote prompt student arrival. General actions that can be taken to decrease the amount of tardiness are tracking tardiness patterns, prompt follow up calls, documented tardiness, parent teacher conferences, and assistance program referrals. Schools need to have an intervention plan in place to address the problems causing student tardiness. “School A” has problems with parental involvement, responsibility, and consistency. Therefore, this particular school should focus on adding more programs for the involvement of parents. “Kiwanis International” suggests programs like counseling, contracts, and rewards to arrange for parental commitment. According to the principal, “School A” uses telephone calls and student attendance charts as incentives for parents to get their students to school on time. Due to the high poverty level at “School A”, the incentive of food and beverages is successful in obtaining parent attendance to meetings, but other actions are needed to further diminish tardiness. Actions that Beth Hope- Cushey suggests are early bird activities, mentoring, special jobs, and awards. (Hope-Cushey, Beth (2002)) Students and parents from low socioeconomic environments respond positively to food as an incentive so early bird breakfasts would be a great way to reduce tardiness.( United States Department of Agriculture (1998)) Furthermore, an...
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