Late Policy Reform

By Matthias Armstrong

A change sweeps across ACA classrooms and it comes in the form of the late policy, and so far it has met favorable reviews.

Not all classes have had major changes but a few have embraced a new policy and students and teachers are already seeing the difference. Teachers this year have reworked and reworded their late policies to better convey their expectations from students, help students get work done on time, and help teachers grade work. As for the reason for this, members of the policy board have said that they decided to instruct teachers to choose a late policy and then thoroughly communicate it to their students.

A few teachers and students have expressed their thoughts on the matter and the opinion overall is rather positive. Students have noticed slightly stricter rules regarding late work but this has helped them get work done on time and not procrastinate. All that really happened was teachers rewording current policies and adapting slightly new ones, but this has already had an effect on work and grading time.

Mrs. Heppner, a well known science teacher at ACA, describes how the science department adopted their own late policy by modifying and borrowing from other late policies. “It seems better to me,” says Mrs. Heppner as she talks about work being turned in on time. She also explained how a student if in need of an extension on a unit or assignment now has to fill out a form describing the circumstance as to why they need an extension and when their new due date will be. Afterwards the teacher needs to approve of this contract for the late paper and the credit that would be deducted to late work would be saved. This is very different from Mrs. Heppner’s previous classes because you can no longer negotiate in the moment an extension.

A couple students voiced their opinion around the subject them being Grana Khan and Ben Coleman. Here are their opinions on what a late policy should do.

“I expect a late policy that helps kids improve their non-procrastination skills and help them grow into an adult,” writes freshman Ben Coleman in an email. “I think it will help some of the kids at ACA to actually be able to do their work,” says another ACA student, Grana Khan. Overall the consensus about each class’s late policy seems to be that at this point in the year it is achieving the expectations of the students and teachers.

Studies do support the use of fair and well communicated late policies. One such study being a paper published by college professor at Vassar College, Kathleen M. Susman, details the importance of and what in her experience contrives a fair and effective late policy.

She stresses the point of making sure that students acknowledge how their work late or on time will be handled by the teacher. One of her points made throughout her post was that a structured and fair late policy helps students by providing students with the framework of when to get work done and turning it in on time. On the flipside too strict late policies cause unneeded stress over simple homework assignments, blocking students from truly learning the material and instead just trying to get work done as fast as possible so they don’t get a bad grade.

“There are some students who are great in the classroom, but have a really hard time getting to work,” says Mrs. Heppner regarding the late policy.



Armstrong, Matthias. “Re: Journalism Interview.” Received by Ben Coleman, 26 Sep. 2018.

Armstrong Matthias. “Re: Journalism Assignment: Late policy change.” Received by Julie Swanson, 7 Sep. 2018.

Armstrong, Matthias. “Re: The Stricter Late Policy.” Received by Jill Mohr, 6 Sep. 2018.

Armstrong, Matthias. “Journalism Project Paper: The deadline change.” Received by Seanna Bloemer, 5 Sep. 2018.

Heppner, Ann. Personal Interview. Sep. 25, 2018

Susman, Kathleen. The Importance of Late Policies. Vassar edu, 22 Jan. 2013, Accessed 28 Sep 2018.

Khan, Grana. Personal Interview. Sep. 27, 2018