Students know the school year for its trademark early alarms and morning traffic jams. This year, with an earlier class schedule for most students, the start of school has come with an increase in late slips and stress for students trying to get to school on time. 

Attendance Clerk Adrianna Gonzalez said, “I would say there is an upward trend in tardies—there are now fewer absences than the first few weeks, but still there is an upward trend.”  

Freshmen Jeremy Wen and Karina Gadre said that they had been late this year, citing traffic as the cause for their tardiness. Gadre mentioned that “It’s really busy at the front of the school, in the parking lot.”

Other schools in M-A’s area, such as Laurel Elementary School and Hillview Middle School, share similar start times as M-A, leading to an increase in traffic on common roads such as Ringwood Avenue and Santa Cruz Avenue. Wen said, “There’s a lot of traffic from nearby schools, like Laurel Lower Campus.” 

Gonzalez added, “I had been getting a lot of calls from parents to excuse their students because of traffic. Of course, there are some that are unexcused tardies, but the majority of excuses are because of traffic.” 

Other students say that the primary cause for being late is a lack of sleep, especially due to late-night homework, and some said that they had to completely miss a day of school because of this. Sophomore Mackenzie Danzig described one day where, “By the time I woke up, it was too late to go to school. I was super busy over the weekend and did not have time to get my homework done, so Sunday night I stayed up super late working. I forgot to set an alarm and then slept until 1:00pm, missing almost all my classes.” 

Danzig added, “I missed a socratic seminar, which was 50 points. Now I have to work to get my grade up.” 

Often, however, coming to school late is the result of a late start to the day. Freshman Neil Gangam said, “I just wake up late sometimes,” and sophomore Oliver Loza said, “My friend and I are late a lot because we like to get Starbucks before school.”

Regardless of the cause, earlier mornings and the new start times have been tough on many students. Drama teacher Danette Bathauer explained her late policy, saying, “As long as somebody is taking responsibility for their work and not being distracting, I don’t mind. It’s distracting to me when someone comes in late because I’m someone who is easily distracted. But I also know that calling attention to it is more distracting. However, as imperfect human beings, we should try to be more accepting and empathetic.” 

Varsha is a sophomore who is in her first year at the M-A Chronicle. She enjoys writing all kinds of articles, but especially likes features. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, and spending time with her friends.

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