By Charly SHELTON
A growing concern among parents throughout the community has been brought to local PTSAs and parent groups. The tardiness rate at Crescenta Valley High School for first period is staggering.
In the 2014-15 school year, there was a reported 14,866 tardy slips issued for first period students. The 2015-16 school year showed an improvement of 2% with 14,566 tardy slips issued for first period students. This is exceptionally high compared to other periods. Even fifth period, after lunch and has many students returning from being off-campus, had a total of 5,541 tardy slips issued in the 2014-15 school year, which improved by 12% the following year with 4,874 tardy slips being issued.
“There are a variety of reasons why students are late; some of [those reasons] are easier to control than others,” said Dr. Linda Junge, principal of CVHS. “Getting up late, setting an alarm that does not give them adequate time, staying up late studying then sleeping through an alarm, not having a ride to school, the ride to school leaving home late, traffic and construction around campus resulting in a longer ride time to school – as a school, we have been working on communication with local utilities and contractors to establish lines of communication so we can help families with this.”
Tardiness affects students who walk in late and are met with an irritated look by their teacher instead of a smile. It affects the other students who arrived on time because the class hits a bump as the door swings open and late students scurry to their seat. And it affects the teacher who has invested time and effort in the lesson, only to have it disrupted by one or more tardy students.
And this is a problem that is completely manageable on the home front, whether it means waking up earlier, finishing homework the night before or leaving for school a few minutes earlier.
“As we work with individuals to see improvement, we also owe it to the on-time group to optimize their performance and experience,” Junge said.
Another issue on the rise is academic honesty. There have been reports by parents and students that cheating is a major issue at CVHS. With pressures and competition ever growing in the race to college, students have been feeling the need to gain an edge above the competition, whatever the cost.
“There is concern that widespread cheating creates a more uneven playing field, with those being honest feeling at a greater disadvantage and fearing they may be less competitive in the race to the highly desired colleges,” Junge said.
The academic honesty policy that CVHS adheres to is a no-nonsense pledge to stamp out any and all forms of cheating, from plagiarism to copying answers and beyond. This policy is one that is given to each student and sent home to families, and everyone is held to this high standard.
“Glendale Unified School District values honesty and academic integrity; therefore, we pledge to help students understand these values and their importance,” the policy reads. “When cheating does occur, we will follow a progressive discipline system. Cheating or Violations of Testing Procedures are recognized as deliberately seeking one’s own gain in academic, extracurricular, or other schoolwork in order to (or with the intent to) gain an unfair advantage.”
These unfair advantages are more than just copying down answers, Junge said. There are more subtle ways of gaining the academic advantage that do not feel like cheating, such as staying home on the day of a test to get an extra day to study.
“In our conversations with students many times they feel the end justifies the means with the high demand to produce a high GPA and get into their desired school,” Junge said.
These subtler ways, as well as the more distinct acts of cheating, can be combated by talking with the student at home and going over the academic honesty policy. Resources can be found online to help start the conversation at goo.gl/DGvrc6.