The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

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Taylors Grandparents before a night of dancing.
Advance from Grandma: Loving Through Change
Taylor Sutherland, Business Manager • April 2, 2024

“It’s a day for sweethearts, and showing love to one another,” my Grandma said as we started talking about Valentine's Day. My grandma,...

Keep the “sweep”?

“Tardy sweeps will get you all to class sooner so that you can be the rock stars that you guys are,”
Dean+Juan-Antonio+Santisteban+preparing+to+sweep.
Lenin Jacobsen
Dean Juan-Antonio Santisteban preparing to “sweep.”

Freshly debuted this year, Arcata High School’s new tardy policy is up and running, and students are taking notice.

According to the Dean of Students Señor Santisteban, the purpose of this new tardy policy is to incorporate the importance of good attendance into school culture and provide help to students that last year’s “minutes system” didn’t offer.

The new approach involves a more action-oriented procedure as follows: The Tardy Sweep will be announced on the loudspeaker two minutes before the dismissal bells, Admin will “sweep” students left out of classrooms after the tardy bell, then swept students will be directed to the tardy table to record their names and receive a sticker to return to class. As “Tardy Sweeps” continue, the admin hopes to use the data collected to identify “problem areas” and improve punctuality during those times.

Due to the fact that student attendance directly affects how much funding the school receives for regular functions as well as student services, Santistaban emphasized how important it is to show up.

“We receive funding for student attendance but we need that funding because it doesn’t just keep the lights on, it provides services such as social workers and we never had a social worker last year but we now have one.”

For many students, however, change is predictably hard, especially when it comes to policies like these.

“Why would you have a tardy sweep that would purposely make kids not go to class, because then you’d be missing even more education than you would if you were just regularly tardy,” Junior Marcus Bishop said, concerning
his view on tardy sweeps.

He also acknowledged that it “makes sense” for Admin to be enforcing something this important.


Junior Emma Martin also had an interesting take on the change:

“I think it’s better than the minutes system, but the sweeps kind of make school feel like a prison. Like, even if I’m not late to class and I’m just getting something from my car, they’re super strict about it,” she said.

Unlike the “minute system” Santistaban believes this tardy policy is much more manageable, and his overall goal is to help get students to class. ‘’The tardy policy helps us keep track of the students that need help first,” he said. The administration won’t know the true effectiveness of this new approach to attendance for a while. Santistaban has high expectations for the policy, and time will tell if those expectations will be met or even exceeded.

“Tardy sweeps will get you all to class sooner so that you can be the rock stars that you guys are,” he said with a smile.

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About the Contributor
Melanie Luh
Melanie Luh, Executive Producer
Melanie Luh is a Journalism student at Arcata High School. An involved member of the student body, she is ASB President, a 2-sport Varsity athlete, and an officer in many clubs on campus, giving her a unique perspective of student life at Arcata. Being an ASB officer while enrolled in Leadership gives her the ability to influence school events, including Homecoming and pep rallies, where she would love to promote the Journalism agenda! Her writing experience is limited to assigned work in English AP classes, but she's very excited to expand her linguistic hemispheres and write for the Pepperbox.
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