Student Behavior Guidelines

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Procedures for Supporting Positive Student Behaviors

The goal of a school behavior support plan is to foster self-control and maintain a respectful learning community. Each child, teacher, staff member, administrator and parent or guardian is valuable and worthy of respect. Each individual plays an important role in making a school behavior system successful.

Proactively Establishing Positive Behavior
Proactive efforts have long-lasting effects on both the classroom and overall school climate. Proactive strategies maintain the dignity of children and support the school’s mission. All adults in the school community share responsibility for teaching and supporting positive behavior—both at the beginning of each school year and throughout the year—providing ongoing opportunities for practice and learning.

Proactive strategies include: building positive relationships, teaching the rules, modeling and practicing routines and social skills, using positive and encouraging language, collaborative problem-solving, and “fresh starts.” The rules we strive to live by are the following: Be safe—Be kind—Be respectful—Do your best.

Re-Establishing Positive Behavior
Even when adults work together to teach and establish positive behavior, children will misbehave sometimes. They may forget the rules. They may test them. They may not yet have mastered routines and expectations.

Our responses to misbehavior are a part of helping children to learn to be good citizens at Summit Street School and in life. We must have empathy for children when they misbehave, seek to understand, and coach children as they learn. We know they will make mistakes; we are not expecting perfection. The following Levels of Response to Misbehavior are intended to guide adults in their work with children.

LEVEL 1: Handled by teacher within classroom
Reminding and redirecting

Clear verbal messages to help children to get their behavior back on track. Some children need more than one reminder, but generally it is more effective to limit the number of reminders.

Additional modeling and practicing

Misbehavior may be a signal that we need to provide them more ongoing opportunities to practice in a safe and caring environment.

Positive time-out in the classroom

Sometimes it helps a child to take a brief (3-5 minute) time-out in the classroom to regain selfcontrol. Afterwards, the student returns to the lesson or activity. The teacher may check in briefly about what happened and also acknowledges child’s positive behavior upon return to the group. Because this is used for “small things” as children are learning self-control, any student in the class might use time-out at some point in time.

Think Sheet

A Think Sheet may help a child to reflect on his/her actions and be used as a springboard for a private discussion with the teacher.

Parent communication

Behaviors at this level are a normal part of how children learn. Parent communication occurs when a teacher is noticing an ongoing pattern that is not improving, as well as when a child has made great improvements.

LEVEL 2: Handled by teacher with support from buddy teacher
Time-out in a buddy teacher’s room

Sometimes it is easier for a child to regain control when away from his/her classroom. The buddy teacher in a nearby classroom is close enough so that the child’s own teacher handles the situation and the child does not miss extended instructional time. When children continue to disrupt in timeout or continually misbehave in spite of all Level 1 interventions, the classroom teacher may utilize the buddy teacher for the child’s time-out space for 5-10 minutes, allowing the child time to regroup and regain self-control. After this the child is welcomed back to class and rejoins the activity. Once resettled and when the teacher has a moment, the teacher and child will talk together about what caused the problem and how it can be prevented in the future.

A note about positive time-out and buddy teacher time-out

Teachers explain and practice both positive time-out and buddy teacher time-out with their classes in advance of their use. They are used less in the first few weeks of school when routine and relationships are developing a community of learners. Typically, buddy teacher time-out is used rarely throughout the year.

Additional modeling and practicing or use of a Think Sheet may also be helpful at Level 2.

Parent communication

Teachers will let parents know about buddy teacher use, particularly repeated use. Any pattern of use leads to reflection on the child’s behavior and needs, and what may be helpful to break the pattern.

LEVEL 3: Teacher requests support

Support from on-call team member

If a child’s behavior escalates or continues to be disruptive to the rest of the class, or for certain serious violations, which require direct intervention from the principal, the teacher an On-Call team member will go to the classroom to assist with the situation. This may involve walking with the child to another quiet space—the Break Room or the Office—to help the child to settle, regain selfcontrol, think and discuss what happened, communicate with parents, and prepare to successfully return to the classroom. On-call team members include the principal, counselor, learning specialists, social support coordinator, and other support staff who are known by the children.

Think Sheet and Parent communication

At Level 3, the on-call team member uses the Think Sheet to allow the student to reflect on actions that break a school or classroom rule. This is used as a springboard to discussion with the child about the behavior that warrants attention. At Level 3, parent communication is done via phone, not through the Think Sheet.

LEVEL 4: Teacher requests immediate support
Immediate support from on-call team
Level 4 is used for imminent safety concerns, highly escalated behavior, or when child is a danger to self or others. It is for times when it requires more than one on-call team member to respond to a situation in a way that maintains safety for all. These situations are extremely rare. Parent Communication Parents/guardians will be notified to discuss the situation and will be involved, along with the teacher and appropriate support staff, with creating an individualized plan for consequences and follow-up with the child.

A final note about Levels 1 through 4
The community we strive to create includes every child and family, every faculty and staff member: it includes everyone. We pay attention to the individual personality and needs of each student, while also honoring the needs of the classroom group within which that individual student works, plays and learns. We intend to be careful and caring in our approach to discipline. Time away from the group—whether within the classroom, in a buddy teacher’s room, with the principal in the Office, or with a support staff member in the Break Room—is always intended to preserve both the integrity of the child and the group’s ability to continue to function. And, it is always accompanied by our reflections about what the child’s behavior may be telling us, and by whatever additional positive supports the child may need to be successful.