Got tardies?

By Lara Hamdan, Editor-in-chief

There are Wi-Fi routers, iPads and laptops that have been recently purchased for the school. Now it looks like even tardies have joined the tech wave coming into North.

A new tardy tracking system is being put to use this year. PlascoTrac is a machine that will use student ID scanners to count their tardies.

In the past, there have been an average of 200 tardies a day, and filling out tardy slips and having students wait has caused the school to think twice. Now there is no more writing, long waits, and class time wasted. Also, students can no longer get around with lying about their tardies.

The PlascoTrac software was first seen by assistant principal Dr. Harris at Ritenour High, who wanted to implement the system to help reduce the amount of tardies. The idea was then approved by the Executive Director of Secondary Education, Ms. Whitesell. She agreed to purchase the system and pilot it for McCluer North.

The last system that was in use at North was installed in 1980 and lacked many features the new system has.

Students who arrive late after 7:15 a.m. or are late to a class need to report to the attendance office and will be assessed a tardy by the machine by scanning their student id.

Assistant principal Dr. Schuler notes a difference the new system will make.

“Before, there was a problem of too much time being taken out of class time for the students,” Schuler said. “Now we expect kids to stay in class and lower the number of tardies.”

Senior Denise Gaddy, who is an office aide sixth period, agrees that the tracking system has significantly reduced time wasted on tardies.

“It [PlascoTrac] is really good; we get students in and out quickly,” Gaddy said, who has also experienced being tardy to class. “It was a hassle before because you had to wait until everybody has a pass, and then get escorted to class…it wasted a lot of class time.”

The teachers also do not have to worry about marking their students tardy since the machine takes care of that. Tardy office employee Ms. Price sees the pros of both the old system and the new.

“I think that the old fashioned way of using paper was fine. It was cheaper and worked well,” Price said.

However, she does note that the new tracking system can provide a vivid view of the amount of tardies and can help the school see if tardies are even a problem. “It is much more clear and accurate,” she said.

The tardy policy for the 2012-2013 school is still similar to the years past. Each student is allowed up to nine accumulated tardies before consequences begin. This is the same policy that was adopted by the PBIS group two years ago it seems to be more successful with the staff.