East’s administration has offered rewards to encourage perfect student attendance, in the form of a weekly raffle where three students will receive a $10 gift card.
The gift cards were purchased with a grant from Kendall County’s Juvenile Justice Council, with the idea for the raffle coming from Assistant Principal Margaret Darnell.
“Reducing tardiness and class cutting is one of our top priorities.” Darnell said.
Attendance office staff Georgi Hadsall notes just how many students could be late on any given day.
“Normally, between 75 and 125 students are late to school every day,” Hadsall said. “It’s been getting worse since December.”
Wednesday early release days are also big for tardies, as students with late arrival often arrive late, due to the shortened first period. Senior Michael Parrot notes this as something the school could remedy fairly simply.
“I think they should still send out that email reminder, it helps, but they don’t do that anymore,” Parrot said.
The attendance office has also started tracking certain conditions that could affect student’s timeliness in an effort to find out why students are late.
“We now have a spreadsheet where we are tracking the weather, if there is something on the roads, accidents, and we just started tracking that about two weeks ago,” Hadsalli said. “We are trying to see if there is any pattern in the tardiness.”
While there sometimes can be unexpected conditions preventing students from arriving at school on time, such as accidents, construction, or even Wellspring Church’s drive-through Ash Wednesday celebration, Darnell says that there is only one way for students to ensure that they are on time.
“Leave earlier,” Darnell said. “If you look out your window and see it’s snowing, it’s probably going to take longer to get to school that day.”
Senior Robert Coccaro, who admits to being late around twice a week, says that traffic is a big contributor to his tardiness.
“I can get to the [stop sign on Harvey] at 6:55 and still walk in late,” Coccaro said. “It can be a little ridiculous.”
Parrot also says the school’s failure to give him a parking pass causes him to be late.
“I don’t have a parking pass, so I rely on my [friend],” Parrot says. “I just park somewhere and he comes and picks me up, because they haven’t given me a parking pass yet.”
Jackson Wezeman is a staff writer for Oswego East’s online news magazine The Howl