Tardy scanners fail; still long lines outside tardy office every morning
By Priscilla Monsivais
*8:09 AM* Late, but still enough time to make it to division. All of a sudden, BAM, you are at the end of a very long tardy line. You finally receive your tardy, and RINGGGG division is over and you have to run to first period. What a perfect way to start the day!
This school year Lane purchased new mobile handheld scanners to help speed up the process of giving out morning tardies. The new devices were supposed to be able to scan an ID and print out tardy slips on the spot for students to take to their teachers.
However, because of numerous technical problems the hand scanners have been decommissioned this year.
These devices were similar to the handheld scanners used a few years ago to enforce student attendance at Turkey Bowl. Those scanners were decommissioned because the system would often fail if too many IDs were scanned. The new scanners were supposed to be able to record tardies directly to 210 using Lane’s WIFI system.
Technology Director Mr. Miceli believed this would improve enforcement of Lane’s attendance policy because it was an improvement over the mobile tardy machines Lane has used over the past few years, which are bulky and need to be wheeled around on carts. These also can take a long time to set up and have reliability issues.
“[Handheld scanners are] smaller so a security guard can even issue a tardy after passing periods to a student. A cart [coming towards you] would be intimidating and the student could see it and run away,” Mr. Miceli said.
Even with the addition of the new handheld scanners, problems with the system persisted.
Occasionally the new handheld scanners would add extra tardies to students who had their IDs scanned only once. Sometimes as much as an extra 25 tardies were added. This created problems not only for the attendance records but also the disciplinary records.
Additionally, the new scanners quickly ran out of paper to print the tardy slips. Students then had to walk to the Tardy Office in the auditorium and wait in very long lines that sometimes extended half way down a row in the auditorium.
Sabeen Arman, Div. 387, is one of many students who have had to wait in these lines.
“It was kind of pointless getting a tardy for your division teacher when you’re late for first period,” Arman said.
First semester, Arman had 11 tardies to her first period class. Her teacher threatened to lower her participation grade. In the end, she decided against it because she regularly participated in class and was a good student overall.
Deisi Williamson, Div. 359, says the scanners were a good idea but the inability to print tardies for a multitude of people at one time made them inefficient.
“The auditorium has a pretty good process, but there’s just so many people who are late, it’s frustrating,” Williamson said.
Danielle Reeves, Div. 364, was regularly late to school, but that changed when Mr. Wendorf threatened to kick her off the dance team and give her Saturday detentions.
Reeves’ division teacher tried a more positive approach towards motivating her to be on time.
“She clapped for me when I showed up on time [to division]…the first time in weeks,” Reeves said.
Some division teachers are concerned about the effects of multiple tardies. Mrs. Ojo, teacher for Div. 352, says that each day there are about three kids late to her division. That may not seem like a lot said Ojo, but if every division has three kids late everyday, then that’s where the line comes from.
Mrs. Perez, teacher for division 475, says the teachers are told to hold their students to the highest standard when it comes to punctuality. Unless there is an announcement or email indicating otherwise, Perez will hold them to that standard by insisting they pick up a tardy slip.
Perez said her division students have come to understand that they must be in the room and in their assigned seats before the final bell rings or they will receive a tardy.
Miceli and Assistant Principal Dr. Dignam have spoken about the problems with Omicron, the company that sold Lane the handheld scanners, but they have been unable to solve the problems.
“We asked for a full refund…,” Dignam said. “The company obviously wasn’t too happy.”
But when you distribute a product and it does not work, says Dr. Dignam, you have to give a full refund unless they can provide a new product that works.
“They wouldn’t have an [updated] product until next year…[which] we’d be interested in because kids have to stand out in the cold and rain sometimes and that is just not fair.”
Until then, Lane has returned to the old cart system, which means more tardies caused by slow bulky equipment.