Laguna Beach High School has tightened up its tardy policy in hopes that less students will be dragging their feet after the final bell tolls.

At the Sept. 11 school board meeting Laguna Beach High School Principal Joanne Culverhouse said they revised the tardy policy after there were discrepancies in the record-keeping. The teacher would mark a child absent, that child would come in tardy, but remain recorded as absent, Culverhouse said.

Children who were marked absent were being benched during athletic games, sometimes due to the absence not being changed. Students have to be in full attendance to participate in athletics or extra-curricular activities.

Now students will head straight to the attendance office if they're not in class after the second bell. They line up to get a tardy slip and head back to their class.

Nick Markman, 15, said a student could be theoretically 30 seconds late and then he or she is spending time that could be in the classroom, in the office. Culverhouse said the line usually only takes a couple of minutes.

Katyn Ott, a sophomore, said she's happy about the change because it reinforces the importance of following the rules.

"It's more pressure to get to school on time," she said. "I'm usually on time so it's nice to have a reward for not being late."

Culverhouse said the change was also due to the school's focus on college and career readiness.

"When they have a job, that's part of their job — to be punctual, be on time," she said.

One of her goals is to make sure students aren't missing instructional time, she said. Since the policy started, Culverhouse remarked she's seen more kids running from the cars to their classes.

joanna.clay@latimes.com

Twitter: @joannaclay