The Team decided after we returned from our Christmas break to really lay down the law on late work. We have kids (and parents) who beg and plead for us to accept late work and we did to a certain extent, often with penalties involved. However, none of the 8th grade teachers accept it, except in the cases of kids on IEP's who get extended time, so it's about time our critters start getting their work in on time so they'll be able to hit the ground running when they make it to eighth grade.
The results have been amazing.
It's been three weeks and I probably have the highest number of assignments turned in I've ever seen. Word got around really quick when we implemented this policy. A few kids whined and whimpered, but once their friends saw that we Really Truly Weren't Accepting Late Work, they got the message. Work is getting turned in. Granted, it's not always complete, but it's better than the big fat nothing we were used to seeing.
Amazingly enough, not a peep out of a parent. Usually when there's something to complain about, you from hear them.
I do have some exceptions. My special ed kids get extended time, and I've privately discussed extended time with some of my kids who I know have really bad home situations and can't get work done on time, through no fault of their own. (Kind of hard to get work done when you're living in a car.)
But on the whole, even these kids are getting their work in by the deadline.
You have high expectations and demand results and oftentimes you'll get them.