Rules and Procedures on School Discipline

Philosophy of Discipline

• Behavior expectations and the consequences for not meeting expectations must be clearly communicated to all students and their parents (in writing as well as verbally).

• The severity of consequences for violating behavior expectations increases with each incident of inappropriate behavior.

• The consequences for violating behavior expectations should be severe enough to discourage students from making poor behavior decisions.

• Expectations and consequences should permit students an opportunity to eliminate inappropriate behavior.

Additionally, the school staff recognizes that the middle school years are a transition time from adolescence to young adulthood. As a part of this transition, the student is given greater opportunities to be responsible and demonstrate independence and good judgment. The structure of our behavior expectations (in the classroom as well as school wide) is meant to encourage students to be responsible. The first step in many instances of inappropriate behavior (those considered to be "minor") is a simple warning ("Your behavior is unacceptable. Please stop such behavior"). It is only when a student ignores such warnings and continues to choose to act irresponsibly (like a child rather than an emerging adult) that we involve parents and implement consequences.

Elements of a Good Discipline Program
1. The program is focused upon making the entire campus, especially the classroom, a safe, supportive and orderly environment for learning for students and staff.
2. Classroom authority is retained by the classroom teacher. (Administration's role is to support, not to replace.)
3. Rules and procedures are clearly understood by staff and students.
4. All staff members will acknowledge and take appropriate action on any minor or major infraction of the school rules.
5. Rules and procedures comply with State Law and District policies.
6. The program recognizes the responsibilities and the rights of students and staff.
7. Program is structured to keep students in class and engaged in the educational process.
8. Rules are enforced:
A. by all staff members at all times.
B. strictly, but not rigidly (beware of "automatics").
C. in substantial part by adult modeling.
D. using techniques that promote the growth of positive self-esteem.
E. as close to the source as is possible.
F. by keeping parents informed.
9. The discipline program is understood, endorsed, and supported by staff, parents, and students.


Expectations in Developing & Maintaining

As Principal of our school, I will expect
Each teacher to have a defined system of classroom management. A written description of this system, including representative examples of the progressive interventions you intend to employ, will be approved and filed by me. Whenever possible and appropriate, teachers are encouraged to use standards and systems that are consistent with other village/department members.

You can expect
Each administrator to assist and support you in every reasonable way in developing, implementing, and refining that system as needed.

I will expect
That when you refer a student for discipline:
1. The student has been made fully aware of classroom and school rules and knows what rules he/she has violated.
2. Teachers within a village will discuss any continuing behavior problems and schedule a team conference with the student and parents when appropriate.
3. That information will be provided on the referral regarding previous actions you have taken regarding this specific issue.
4. You have exhausted the interventions at your disposal (i.e., you have done everything you can do) and you have followed the guidelines established by the administration and staff on what constitutes an appropriate behavior referral.
5. The behavior was so serious or so blatant as to make immediate removal from the classroom necessary.
6. The written referral will be explicit in stating the offense(s).
7. You will send the student out of class with a referral only if his/her continued presence in the class would disrupt or prevent teaching and/or learning.
8. If necessary, the referral will be delivered to the office at a time convenient to the staff member so that the issue may be handled most efficiently, causing a minimum of lost class time.

You can expect
1. Each administrator to support your position in every reasonable way.
2. A response time on your referral of one, or at most, two days.
3. The availability of an administrator to discuss unresolved referrals after school on any given day.
4. That the administrator will exercise independent judgment regarding disposition of referrals.

I will expect
1. That each teacher will go to the doorway of his/her classroom after each class period as often as possible and assume control of student behavior in the corridor.
2. That each staff member will hold students accountable for their behavior on the school grounds at all times.

You can expect
1. Administrator support, investigation, and follow-through as indicated.
2. A response to referrals from incidents outside the classroom to be the same as to those within.

Barbara Weil

Both behavioral and academic problems are present in some of our students. Teachers often ask for guidelines for dealing with these problems. Here they are:
1. Talk to the administrator assigned to your grade level.
2. Call parents at first sign of concern. Inform the parents of your observations, ask for their ideas, assistance, and support in serving the student. Keep a log of your calls.
3. If possible, talk privately to the student about your concerns.
4. Behavior concerns—look through students’ CUM file. Any official suspensions will be in file, also look for teacher comments on report cards. Look for patterns of behavior. We use In-House Suspension whenever possible, as it is preferable to having students at home unattended—and it saves the district money. Serious infractions (fighting, threats, etc.) do result in official suspension. Unresponsive students can be moved to other schools or expelled.
5. Referrals—please remember if you write a student referral, you are required to call the parents. You are writing the referral and can answer the parents’ questions firsthand. Administrators will also call parents, but we can only give secondhand information on the incident.
6. Academic Concerns—Again, look through student CUM. This will contain test scores, report cards, and a student history. You may want to ask the grade level administrator to schedule a Student Study Team (SST). This will involve a meeting with the student, parents, administrators, students’ teachers, and perhaps the psychologist.

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