Is ChiArts’ Tardy Policy Justified?


by Valerie Hooser

Do you know how many tardies you have?

Imagine this: you check your phone only to see that your bus got delayed for the third time, the weather woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and bad luck just continues to persist on you.

When you finally arrive to school you get handed a tardy or you get a notification on your phone that reads, “Your teacher has now marked you tardy.”

Over 15% percent of students are late to school, a dramatic increase from the 5% tardiness in middle school.

In a recent study of clinical sleep distress, Oxford university Dr. Avi Sedah says,

“Only eight percent of high school students receive enough sleep on an average school night…A loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to [the loss of] two years of cognitive maturation and development.”

“It is scientifically proven that the student brain cannot fully function until at least 10:00 am.”

 — Oxford University

ChiArts Tardy Policies

At the Chicago Highschool of the Arts, they establish the same policies as many other schools do with tardy policies. Being in class before the bell, not wandering off, presenting yourself in a timely manner, etc.

I asked one of the teachers at ChiArts on his opinion about delaying tardies till the 8:10 am for first classes. His response was,

“So I travel a long way as many students do to get to ChiArts.  If I am over a minute late there is possible consequences to my tardiness.  The system is set up on a time no matter if you are 50 miles or .01 miles away. 

I’m not sure that is equitable but the problem is that with no tardiness the kids that live within walking distance can also be late.” Paul Dorney said.

There is the possibility of students taking advantage of a pushed back tardy policy, resulting in unfairness for those actually needing it.

Taking a Deeper Dive

In the article, it describes how flawed the system of giving a tardy to late students is.

Mentioned in the first paragraph, it talks about how the human brain isn’t fully awake and working until 10 am. Now, imagine having a test first thing in the morning.

Although there are plenty of cons to giving out tardies, let’s see how repeating lateness can effect a student.

Causes of being continuously late to school can result in:


  • Bad academic performance

  • Worsened relationship with peers and teachers

  • Can become a habit

  • Worsens transcript

  • Bad image for college applications


As for the cons in receiving a tardy, they are:


  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Worsened performance


In all, there are negative results to receiving a tardy and the effect of being late to school. Every student differs in morning and sleep schedule because there is not a one size fits all daily routine.

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