Education

Eatonville High School: This is your wake-up call

Rise and shine! Eatonville High School mascot’s Cruiser looks a little grumpy about the idea of a wake-up call.
Rise and shine! Eatonville High School mascot’s Cruiser looks a little grumpy about the idea of a wake-up call. File photo

Students who are habitually tardy to Eatonville High School could soon be getting a wake-up call from their principal.

The school is considering a system that would keep track of students who are frequently late to school. It would send them an automated 6:45 a.m. phone call in an effort to get them to school on time at 7:45 a.m.

“No calls have gone out yet,” Principal John Paul Colgan said Friday. “I want to make sure parents understand we are doing this in good faith. I want to make sure we are doing this together.”

He said Eatonville High had a similar system several years ago before he became principal, and he wants to find out how well it worked then.

A few parents have already asked to have their kids put on the list.

Colgan said he’s running a report to see who the chronically late students are and what issues are contributing to their tardiness. He believes it’s only a small percentage of the school’s 690 students who are consistently arriving late.

Some students may wake up late while others just decide to skip first period, Colgan said.

Still others may have transportation issues, or problems getting to the bus stop on time. The sprawling rural Eatonville School District spans 460 square miles, and students in the far reaches need to start their journey to school early.

“Students who arrive late miss out on instructional time and they can be a disruption when they come into class,” Colgan said.

Emphasizing punctuality at school “fosters lifelong good habits and a strong work ethic,” Colgan added.

Students who earn themselves a spot on the morning call list could work their way off it by demonstrating they can arrive on time consistently.

Eatonville would not be the first to have a hotel-style wake-up service for chronically tardy students. School districts from Iowa to Massachusetts have tried it. An Arizona company called Database Systems Corp. has developed a program that sends robocalls to designated students.

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