The Mountain Lion Messenger

The Student News Site of Sierra Vista High School

The Mountain Lion Messenger

The Mountain Lion Messenger

Tardy Lock Outs

Mackyla Arce
The pink pass allows tardy students back to class.

On February 1st, 2024, Sierra Vista’s Principal, Mrs. Jessica Lovell, announced the updated tardy policy via email to Vista families. In efforts to reduce the amount of late students, Sierra Vista introduced “tardy lockouts”. In a tardy lockout, students that are late to class must sign in with a staff member at a “tardy table” in order to receive a pink late pass that indicates that their tardy was recorded. Sierra Vista teachers are required to close their doors, only admitting late students if they have pink tardy passes issued by a vice principal or hall monitor.

Additionally, the progressive disciplinary action for tardiness has also been updated. The new policy is as follows:

1-3 tardies = Warning

4-6 tardies = Lunch Detention

7+ tardies = Parent Sign-in

The new additions to the tardy policy was enacted to “preserve instructional time”, however, its effectiveness has been met with mixed reviews. The lines in the front office have been an extremely long wait, a reported 35 minutes, resulting in students being more late than they would be if they were not locked out.

Kaelani Velasco (12), a late student in the front office, says “Zippy’s line at Vista is crazy”, referencing the new Hawaiian restaurant near Sierra Vista that constantly has customer lines going out the door.

Besides the new procedural lockouts, the biggest change to the tardy policy is its stricter disciplinary actions. The tardy policy is arguably harsher than the absence policy causing it to have been somewhat counterproductive since it may influence students to not attend their first class at all, opting for an absence instead of a tardy, in order to avoid disciplinary action. In the absence policy, students only become reprimanded once they reach the 8th unexcused absence. The goal of the new tardy policy is to reduce missed class time instruction, however, some students speculate that many might be discouraged from trying to show up at all due to both missed class time instruction from long waits and stricter tardy policies.

Keana Ancheta (12) says, “It (tardy policy) is taking away time for students to be in class. if the whole point of this policy is to encourage kids to go to school more, then it’s also working against itself because the student misses more of the lesson.”

Despite the student body’s doubts, Mrs. Julia Ventura, Vice Principal of Sierra Vista High School, ensures its effectiveness saying, “We understand that the tardy policy created a long wait for students in the beginning of the year, however in most cases when you implement a new policy or a new procedure it creates more of a problem as it works its way through and gets better. So on the first day that we started tardy lockouts, 1,100 lockouts were set on the first day. Currently, we’re now down to under 200 a day. I can also tell you that we’ve gone from about 35 minutes to clear room 404 (where tardy lockouts are issued), under 10 minutes. That time frame has diminished greatly, as well as the number of students that are now late.”

Ventura continues to address the stricter tardy policy adding, “I think the overall concern is that we’re focusing on the discipline area. I think students are focusing on how harsh it is, but in the end we’re not focusing on the need to be in class, and that’s where we really need to live. We have this really big need for students that weren’t taking that as a real thing, and I think that this is kind of pointing out that we have to get back on track and make attendance in class an important factor in everyone’s lives.”

Although to some the tardy policy may be harsh, Venture explains, “We have to go extreme right now to really impart the importance of being on time to students. With all new policies and procedures, there’s a growing pain and then we come back and we re-evaluate.”

Hopefully the tardy policy will enact a permanent change in the school’s culture of attending class on time with, or without it, in the future.

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About the Contributor
Mackyla Arce, Assistant Editor
Mackyla Arce, a senior at Sierra Vista High School, is entering her second year of journalism. Mackyla is widely involved in school and is president of Environmental, Garden, and Filipino club and vice president of ASL club. Mackyla was born in Toronto, Canada, but raised in Buffalo, New York. Outside of school, Mackyla enjoys attending K-Pop concerts, traveling, and playing guitar.

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