An Extra Minute To Win It


Students rush to class after hearing the late bell.

Patricia Magpantay, Reporter

Ask anyone you see, Taft is crowded.Since there are so many people, making it to class on time has always been an issue. Tardies have become an increasing problem and longer passing periods could be the possible solution. Adding even one extra minute can make a difference.

Passing periods at Taft are only four minutes long. Shoemaker High School, in Killeen, Texas, determined the length of their passing period by taking the time it took to travel from one end to the other end of the campus and adding an extra minute to account for traffic, resulting in six-minute passing periods. Many activities have requirements to be able to eligible and participate in them such as grades, behavior, attendance and on time rates.

Assistant Principal Patrick Levins evaluates, “Students need to start understanding that there are long-term consequences. For seniors, you can’t go to prom if you don’t hit your 90% on-time rate, you can’t do the senior luncheon and you couldn’t have done homecoming. For sophomores, you can’t do range.”Many students understand the consequences and the cost of constantly being late and actually make an effort to meet the criteria, especially seniors who want to be able to participate in senior activities.

Taft has been increasing in population over the years and is now at a 143% building capacity. With all the students out in the hallways at once, traffic jams often take place and can be hard to get through.Senior Keely Simon (Div. 945) says, “I’m not always tardy, but I’m always on the verge of being tardy. I’m always getting to class right when the late bell is ringing.  There are so many kids and there are only four minutes and I can’t get there fast enough”The passing period length may not be the only issue. Many students spend their time in the hallways to mingle with their friends.

Security Supervisor Hector DelValle says, “Students get carried away socializing with their friends. Most students make it to class on time and they plan accordingly, but I think the ones who don’t make it in time are socializing.” The majority of the student population take the time to get to their classes.Increasing the time between classes would raise the overall school’s on-time attendance rate.