Behavior Guidelines & Disciplinary Policy
High standards of behavior are expected. We recognize that sometimes students will have an ‘off day’ or forget to bring their best behavior and character traits to school. However, all students have the right to learn in an atmosphere that is safe, conducive to learning, and free from disruptions. Heather School will not tolerate behaviors that injure or harm others, whether physically, socially, or emotionally.
When student actions do not meet the standards set by our school they will be addressed immediately by the classroom teacher, duty supervisor, counselor or principal. Our first priority is always safety. We recognize our students are young and still learning. We are in the business of teaching and learning. Students will be engaged in discussions about behaviors, and the actions are reviewed:
- What did they do?
- How did this affect those involved?
- What could they have done differently?
- How might this have changed the outcome?
- What action or steps can be taken to fix the situation or repair the relationship?
In many circumstances students will be expected to inform their parents of their behavior choices via a letter home and a reflection form to be signed by parents and students and returned to school the next day. This helps teach ownership and taking responsibility, giving the family the opportunity to discuss and reflect their child’s behavior together. Parents will be contacted by the teacher or principal in more serious situations.
Every effort is made to facilitate the students in the independent resolution of any differences/problems they may have with one another and to make appropriate decisions. When students consistently display unsatisfactory citizenship, they can expect to lose privileges, or to attend a conference with school personnel and parent/guardian. Parents will be notified if a child’s behavior is disruptive to learning or compromises playground safety. Serious offenses will require in-school restriction in the office or suspension from school for a designated period of time.
We believe teaching, learning, and personal growth occur best in safe and supportive environments. Our entire community will work diligently to bring that about. We ask for parents’/guardians’ commitment to this same goal. Thank you for your support!
As much as possible, we attempt to not suspend students as a disciplinary measure, but in cases of extreme offense, or if Step 4 is ineffective, students may be suspended. All cases will be assessed on an individual basis. The following list represents offenses that violate portions of Ed Code that would require the school to execute a suspension:
● Intended, attempted, and/or actual physical or emotional violence, including bullying, intimidation, verbal abuse, unwarranted touching, threats, and harassment
● Possession of firearms or weapons, including pocket knives*
● Committing or attempting to commit theft or damage (* It is important for parents to understand that a child might very well bring a weapon, such as a souvenir, even a Swiss Army knife to show his/her friends, without any malicious intent, in which case he/she will still be suspended.)
Behavior Support Systems:
Heather School uses the Step up/down system to provide students communication about their expected behavior. Every day every students starts at “Ready to Learn”, in the middle of the chart. Students will be asked to “step down” if behavior starts to be a concern and the student needs a warning to change his/her behavior. Teachers are keen on asking students to “step up” when behavior is especially positive or if a child has “turned their behavior around”. An important part to this system is developing the culture of those demonstrating “role model” behavior. Our aim is to help students develop ownership of their behavior choices and to know that they can choose to turn it around and end up on a high note each day. If the student continues to step down, consequences will be provided, from a classroom intervention to an office referral and a call home.
For children needing additional behavior support, an incentive plan may be developed to modify behavior, using positive incentives and providing more structure in behavior supports.
- Upon arriving on campus, go directly to the designated supervised area on the lower playground.
- Walk to and from the playground area. The inside of the campus is always a “Walking Zone”
- Know and follow the rules about an “out” during the playing of a game. Designate a “referee” or ask a playground supervisor if you are unsure of the rules.
- Handball backstops are only for playing handball. Do not kick balls against a backstop.
- Soccer balls are only to be used on the grass field, and basketballs only in the basketball courts.
- Jump ropes are to be used only for jumping.
- Take turns using the play structures.
- The Zip Line is only to be used by students who are tall enough to reach the handle on their own.
- Obey all directions of the playground supervisors or teachers.
- Avoid playing body-contact sports, including blocking games, tackling and wrestling.
- Fighting of any type is not allowed. Play fighting usually doesn’t end well.
- Keep all games open. There are no “closed” games allowed.
- Use respectful language. Profanity is never allowed.
- When a ball goes outside the playground, tell a playground supervisor or teacher. Do not climb the fence or leave the playground.
- Discontinue playing when the bell rings, and go quietly and quickly to the classroom.
- Make sure all playground equipment is off the playground at the end of the play period.
- Use good manners and equipment safely.
- Do not throw rocks or tanbark.
- Students are not to be in the multi-use room or corridors during recess or lunch without permission.
- Trash and litter must be put into appropriate garbage, compost or recycling containers.
- Electronics, including music players and video games, are not allowed on the playground.
- Personal toys are to be left at home or inside backpacks if for after school programs.