Discipline Policy

We believe that students have a major role in making meaningful decisions about their schooling and in designing an educational community in which they feel connected to one another and to adults. Students must exercise self-discipline so that an appropriate learning environment can be maintained.  Our Discipline Policy assumes that our expectations for student behavior are clearly communicated and failure to follow those expectations is a matter of student choice (i.e. poor decision making).  Our plan reflects the belief that we should learn from our mistakes through logical consequences.  Parents are a vital link in this learning process.  We look forward to the support of the parent in helping us resolve any problems.

What are logical consequences?  (from Rules in School by Northeast Foundation)

When children make mistakes in following the rules, the teacher will help them solve the problems caused by their mistakes through the use of “logical consequences.”  Logical consequences are not punishments.  They are ways to help children see the effects of their actions, repair the situation, and learn to do better next time. 

There are three basic kinds of logical consequences:

Take a break – If a child is losing self-control, s/he goes to a designated spot in the room to cool off.  The break is short. The child comes back as soon as s/he has regained control.  Children may go voluntarily to “take a break.” Children may go voluntarily

Loss of privilegeIf a child misuses a material or acts out during an activity, s/he  will be told to stop using the material or doing the activity for a short period of time.  The privilege will be restored when the child and teacher have talked about how to prevent a similar problem in the future.

“You break it, you fix it” – If a child damages something or hurts another’s feelings, s/he will try to fix the damage.  In the case of hurting another’s feelings, the child might offer an apology of action – writing a card, helping with an activity, making illustration, taking some other action beyond verbally saying sorry.

Our goal as teachers is to help children believe in their ability to create a caring learning environment.  Learning to live by the rules they’ve created is an important step.  Logical consequences are relevant, realistic and respectful.  They help us learn by our mistakes in everyday classroom situation.

What behaviors will require further disciplinary actions?

Below is a list of behaviors that are against school policies of nondiscrimination and safety. We will initiate disciplinary actions if the student does any of the following:

·         Actions that could endanger the safety of another individual or self (e.g., violence, verbal abuse, displaying hostile treatment, disobeying bus rules, and violating our Safe School Policy)

·         Actions that could damage school or personal property (e.g., graffiti)

·         Actions, behaviors, and language that are socially unacceptable such as those that are sexually explicit, exploitative, or bigoted. (Examples include: teasing, bullying slurs, innuendos, derogatory remarks, jokes, demeaning comments, mimicking, name calling, gestures, physical contact, stalking, and displaying or circulating written materials or pictures (including clothing).)

·         Actions that threaten to disrupt the learning environment (e.g., excessive interrupting and refusing to cooperate)

What is the disciplinary procedure?

Depending on the severity of the offensive behavior, the teacher may handle the problem in the classroom with the use of logical consequences or (s)he may enlist parent support to help solve the problem.   

We use the following disciplinary procedure:

·         The teacher documents the behavior

·         The teacher uses logical consequences

·         The teacher contacts the parents*

·         The teacher, parent, student and a directorate member create a Student Behavior Plan*

·         Student follows a behavior plan

·         Contact parents*

·         Schedule a follow-up meeting to document progress on the Behavior Plan

* as needed

What forms might you see?

Teachers may use the Student Update form or an informal note to report any incident they feel the parent might want to know about their child’s progress or behavior.  This might be used to inform the parents of achievements or academic needs.

The Incident Report form has two levels.  Level I deals with minor infractions that are chronic disruptions to the learning environment.  Level II forms address the more severe infractions.  See forms inserted between pages 12 and 13.

When does this discipline policy apply?

This policy will apply in the following circumstances:

  1. while in any school building on any school premises before, during or after school hours;
  2. while on bus or other vehicle as part of any school activity;
  3. during any school function, extracurricular activity, or other activity or event (on or off campus);
  4. when subject to the authority of school personnel; and
  5. anytime or place when the behavior has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the school.