Date of Award



© 2020 Diana J. Goodwin

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Catherine Stieg

Third Advisor

Stephoni Case


Previous research has shown that student tardiness has been a challenge for educators as far back as the institution of modern schooling. While there has been considerable research about student absenteeism, student tardiness remains an under researched area, particularly at the elementary school level. The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare tardiness policies across several large, urban school districts, investigate their alignment with current research about tardiness and school attendance, and explore the possible relationship between school tardiness policies and student academic achievement. The research questions for this study were: What are the major similarities and differences in large school districts regarding school tardiness policy? How do large, urban school district policies align with research on tardiness and school attendance? Is there a relationship between school tardiness policies and student achievement? This study was done as a qualitative, Internet-based desk study involving no participants. Data were collected from selected school district websites and focus elementary school websites, including district and school board policies regarding student tardiness. Data were also collected from a variety of online databases to glean demographical and academic information. Findings from this study showed that the policies from each district varied from specific to vague, the quality of the district level policy was parallel at the school site, and that the district with the most vague measures regarding tardiness also had the highest academic achievement over the other two schools. One of the three selected districts and elementary schools stood out as having the most specific measures regarding tardiness. The elementary school that had the highest academic achievement subsequently demonstrated the strongest evidence of parent communication and family involvement. Recommendations from this study include a continued study of elementary school tardiness policies and their possible relationship to student achievement, in addition to documenting the role of increased parent communication and involvement. It is recommended that policies be enacted from the top down and existing research about mitigating student tardiness be used to inform the specificity of school tardiness policies.


Ed.D. Dissertation