Discipline provides the modeling, rules, limits and moral framework within which the individual develops his or her sense of adjustment to society. School discipline can play a key role in character education. Older students must learn that things are not always black and white, and that sometimes the good of society must be considered before the interests of any single individual. Younger students must learn that when you are living in a group, it is not always possible to get your own way. All students must learn to understand how other people feel when they are treated unjustly. Students need to be taught that they must abide by the rules if they want to receive the benefits that society has to offer. Without order, safety, and a sense of security and civility, schools cannot work and learning will not occur.
St. Mary's Elementary School Discipline Policy is inextricably tied to its behavior curriculum. Character development encompasses much more than teaching children to obey rules and avoid wrongdoing. A major emphasis should always be on nurturing goodness and the contributions that a virtuous life can make to personal happiness and spiritual fulfillment. The roots of positive discipline lie in the way people think about themselves and others and the way they treat each other every day.
In an effort to achieve the good order and respect that is consistent with the values of St. Mary's Elementary School, the following must be emphasized:
· All human beings, because they are sons or daughters of God, share a common covenant with Jesus Christ and are deserving of total respect, kindness, politeness and human concern.
· Students are expected to be prompt at all times during the school day: homeroom, changing of classes, lunch, recess, closing prayers and bus lines.
· Students may not leave school property without permission.
· Students are required to wear the full uniform as outlined in the uniform code.
· Students are expected to follow the specific directions given for dismissal. A signed permission slip must be handed in to the office for exceptions.
· All assignments must be neat and handed to teachers at the time specified.
· Test papers must be signed and returned to teachers on the day following their distribution, if requested by the teacher.
Disciplinary action will be taken for:
· Disrespect for any member of the faculty, staff, parent volunteer, etc. (i.e. answering in a rude manner, obscene gestures, cursing, etc.).
· The possession, sale or use of weapons, alcohol, drugs or any other controlled substance before, during or after school, on school grounds, buses or in proximity of the school, or at school sponsored activities.
· Smoking on school grounds, buses or adjacent to the parish property at any time. Students are neither to carry nor use tobacco products.
· Assault or fighting in class, hall, playground, buses or on school trips.
· Cheating, stealing, lying.
· Deliberate destruction of school property or the property of other students.
· Disruptive behavior during class, thereby causing a lesson to be interrupted.
· Inappropriate behavior during recess effecting the safety of others.
· Tardiness to school or to class (students who take the bus are not considered tardy if the bus is late; students driven to school by parents are considered tardy even if the parent was at fault - engine trouble, alarm didn't go off, etc.).
· Violations of the uniform policy and dress code.
· Chewing gum within the school building or on the school grounds.
· Food or beverage outside the cafeteria.
· Uncovered books or desk/personal property unkempt.
· Unprepared for class (missing notebook, textbook, paper, pen, etc.).
· Incomplete homework.
Certain expectations of student behavior have been listed above and are emphasized by each teacher from the first day of school. Certain consequences (interventions) have been attached to each of the transgressions listed above:
· Use or possession of alcohol, drugs, tobacco or weapons, assault, fighting, disrespect, stealing, lying and vandalism are all causes for immediate suspension and possible expulsion. In lieu of or in addition to suspension, certain privileges may be lost (participation in field trips, sports days, etc.).
· Students who cheat or plagiarize will receive a zero on the test, quiz, homework or class work. (Plagiarism is defined as taking the writing of others and representing it as one's own. This includes copying information from the internet.)
· Destruction of school or another's property, pushing/shoving in halls or classrooms, rude/discourteous/disruptive behavior, disrespect, inappropriate behavior at recess, etc. will result in a conduct referral being sent home and a detention at the next scheduled session. One infraction equals one detention.
· Uniform violations, chewing gum, food outside the cafeteria, abuse of another's property, uncovered books, unprepared for class, unkempt personal property, vulgarity, tardiness, etc. result in a demerit. Three demerits equal one detention.
Detentions will be served after school by all students who have received one conduct referral or three demerits. Detention will be held on Wednesdays from 2:20-3:45. Parents are responsible for the child's transportation. Lack of transportation, doctor's appointments, babysitting, etc. will not excuse a student from serving detention. Only students in grades four through eight can be assigned detention.
Students who receive excessive demerits and serve frequent detentions may lose privileges (e.g. participation in field trips, dress-down days, school dances, cultural arts events, field days, etc.). In-school suspension may also be a consequence of excessive demerits.
Disciplinary measures will only be effective if the school has the wholehearted cooperation of the parents. The parents' attitude and respect for school authority and the parents' appreciation for the efforts of the school will be reflected in the attitude of the students. Parents cannot rely on the school alone to build character. Nor should the school expect parents to be solely responsible for character development. We must work together so that virtuous behavior becomes second nature to our children.