Warning bells assist in mitigating tardies to classes

Varshitha Korrapolu, Communications Manager

As Coppell High School associate principal Melissa Arnold noticed an increase in tardiness, she wanted to take action to resolve this problem.  

The warning bells are the bells that ring when there are two minutes remaining in passing periods. They serve as a reminder to students, teachers and administrators that classes will start soon.

Prior to the warning bells, music was played on the intercom during passing periods and it would be turned off when there was one minute left to get to class. According to Arnold, the system of playing music was not working. Therefore, beginning on Jan. 18, two-minute warning bells sound to alert students to make their way to class on time.

“When I’m talking to my friends or when I have a release period, I remember to go to class or leave the building [because of the bells].” CHS senior Riza Asim said. “They’ve made a good change. The hallways clear up during the last two minutes.”

Students are accustomed to getting their necessities, such as notebooks, pencils and iPads, ready for class right after the bell rings. Therefore, some students settle into their classes right after the two-minute bell rings, which allows instruction to start on time and without less interruption from late arriving students. 

“I was talking to some kids about [the warning bells] and they said they love it because it tells them they can hang out, and play, and mess around but then they have to get moving,” CHS honors precalculus and AP calculus teacher Dana DeLoach said. “I noticed that kids are a little more ready to learn right when the bell rings because most of them come to class when they hear the warning bell.”

Furthermore, administrators and teachers stand in the hallways during passing periods so that they can remind students to get to class on time.

“CHS should continue using warning bells since it helps the administrators in shooing kids off to classes,” DeLoach said. “It helps them know that they could let kids visit for eight minutes, but then there’s only two minutes left and students need to get going to classes.”

A significant amount of tardies occur during DeLoach’s first and fifth period classes. There is a 8:35 a.m. warning bell instead of a two-minute warning bell as students come from their homes rather than other classes. 

“With the level of classes that I teach, I have pretty responsible kids,” DeLoach said. “I don’t deal with tardiness as much as some teachers do. But I have seen a slight improvement.” 

More information about tardies can be found in the Coppell Independent School District Student Handbook. When students receive four tardies from a teacher, they receive a detention. If the tardiness persists, students would need to go to Saturday School. After those consequences, if students are still tardy, they can receive an in-school suspension. 

Arnold thinks that high school is the place where students can form beneficial habits. 

Punctuality is very, very valuable,” Arnold said. “It shows respect to teachers. It shows respect to your desire to get a good education. Being late is my pet peeve so I don’t think it has anything to do with being an administrator. Even in my personal life, I don’t like it when people are late. I like to be on time, start on time, and respect people’s time.”

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