Things will be a little different for freshmen entering Corcoran High School in August. Students can either bring a lunch or eat at the school cafeteria, since the campus will be closed to freshmen during the lunch break.
Stone said the partial closure is in response to repeated and increasing tardies following the lunch break, with freshmen students especially culpable. She told the board the number of tardies had increased from about 40 to an average of over 70 after lunch between the start of the school year and the end of January. The number did not include an accounting of students who did not return to school at all after lunch, she said.
Stone told the board she would prefer to have a completely closed campus at lunch, but the cost is prohibitive. Staffing costs would stretch available resources too far. However, the budget can handle closing the campus for freshmen students.
“Ninth graders tend to make up a large number of students who are late and more than 60 percent of ninth graders are off-track for graduation after the first semester of the school year,” Stone noted.
For the first year, CHS plans to make the process simple. Sophomores, juniors and seniors will be issued blue identification cards, with freshmen issued red cards.
Students will be required to carry their cards at all times and all students, including well-known upper-classmen, will not be allowed to leave campus without their school-issued ID.
Stone said she does expect some blowback from students and parents and indicated there could be an initial increase in discipline as a result.
“However, we believe that remaining vigilant will result in greatly reducing these issues,” she said. “This is also why CHS is making the request early, so we have ample time to notify parents, students and the community.”
Stone said the bottom line is to improve school attendance and student success, while also sending a message to the upperclassmen that attendance is important and in the future they could also lose the privilege of leaving campus at lunch.