Schools stress the need for students to get to school and class on time and with good reason. Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Education on truancy, which is connected with tardiness, show that school attendance is a major factor when it comes to school success and student behavior.
Problems with Tardiness
The most crucial learning hours of a school day are the morning hours, because they are when students are most attentive. Students who are tardy miss the beginning of their morning classes, and they also cause a distraction when they arrive late to class.
Academics and Achievement
Students who are frequently tardy have lower GPAs, lower scores on standardized assessments, and lower graduation rates. Chronic tardiness in elementary and middle school is also linked to failure in high school.
In the National Center for Education Statistics 2007 Indicators of School Crime and Safety, teachers surveyed reported that students who are frequently tardy have higher rates of suspension and other disciplinary measures. Tardiness causes students to feel disconnected with school, leading to behavior problems and dropouts.
Students who are frequently tardy to school are also more apt to be fired from a job for showing up late.
Effect on Others
When students are tardy, they negatively impact their teachers and other students. Teachers are often required to allow tardy students to make up work, which often requires them to restructure their lessons or re-teach missed material. Tardiness also takes other students' attention away from a teacher's lesson, leading to more behavior problems and missed instruction.