Student Behavior Practices & Policies
Research shows that consistent attendance is a huge factor in school success. Students should be in school unless seriously ill or for an emergency. For families to avoid an auto-dialer call, students need to be in class on time, OR families must call or email the office to let us know about the absence before school starts for the day at 8:30 am.
Bags in Lockers
Backpacks, bags, and purses must be left in lockers from the time students enter the halls to go to their locker until time to leave school.
Students can wait in two places until the 8:15 bell rings: the cafeteria or outside. The halls are not an option. Students do not go to their lockers before that bell. If a student has a pre-arranged note from a specific teacher, they may go to that teacher's room and should be prepared to show the note to any adult that asks. If getting breakfast foods from the cafeteria it is best done before 8:20 so that kiddos are on their way to class with the materials they need ready to learn by 8:30.
PPS has a new dress code. See the district policies page. Student dress is the responsibility of students and parents. We will communicate our special dress up spirit days.
Students may not call names, bug, pester, torment, threaten, intimidate, or verbally abuse another student in person, online, or through a text message. Telling a person to STOP is the first step. If it keeps happening, ask to fill out a Student Incident Form from the Principal, AP, Counselor, or Main Office to get help from school adults.
Buy, Sell, Borrow, Trade, Lend, Give
When students buy, sell, borrow, lend, trade or give away their things at school, they may have a problem getting the items back. Students are strongly discouraged from these activities at school to prevent problems.
Chasing is only allowed outside and only in a Safe, Fair, and Friendly way. The main cause of chasing is when students take each other’s things, such as head-wear, lunch items, etc. These are both No-Nos.
Students may use their handheld electronic devices (including cell phones) freely before 8:30 and after 3:00 in the common spaces. During the school-day, our policy is "Off and Away, or On and Academic With Permission" throughout the building and including lunch/recess time/ Use of handhelds in the classrooms is for academics and only with teachers’ explicit permission. “Off” means turned off, not just put away. Pictures or videos may only be taken if everyone in them says it is OK. The school is not responsible for personal devices, so be careful and do not lend them or leave them hanging around unattended, including in bathrooms. Students may lose the privilege of using all electronic devices at school and they may be confiscated for inappropriate use or failure to follow directions.
Fighting is physical harm intentionally inflicted between 2 or more people and is not allowed on the way to or from school, on school grounds, or at any school-sponsored event. This includes being a participant by-stander by doing such things as running toward where you think there is a fight, watching, cheering, hanging around, taking pictures or videos, or doing anything else to encourage or record a fight. Self-defense does not mean hitting, kicking, punching, scratching or doing anything back to the person who hit first. If you can get away, you must. Unless you have to make contact because there is no other choice, you may be suspended for fighting. Being an Up-Stander means that if you see fighting, you get adult support to make it stop.
For safety, students may not bring to school nor have present in books or notebooks anything related to gangs. Tattoos or drawings of gang symbols may not be displayed where anyone else can see them. Flashing or displaying gang signs or anything like them is strictly prohibited. Creating gangs or cults, even just for play, is strictly prohibited. Gangs stand for crime, death, and destruction.
Chewing gum is allowed at school with the exception of in the library, computer labs, and gym. Teachers may decide to not allow students to chew gum in their class. Be responsible and throw it away in a plastic-lined container so we can keep allowing this privilege.
Hats & Hoods
Hats and other headwear are allowed as long as the face and ears are visible and they do not interfere with the line of sight to any student or staff. Students may not share or lend hats or headgear or take others’ for health reasons (lice). The school takes no responsibility for hats/headwear lost for any reason.
Physical contact done as play is a normal and important part of adolescence. However, horseplay in school can result in students getting bullied or hurt and is not safe in the halls and other crowded places. Students need to be careful with hands, feet, and other body parts and must avoid horseplay inside, and if students are asked to stop by ANYone, they need to do so immediately.
Lighters & Matches
Matches or lighters are not allowed at school. If a student bring matches or a lighter to school, turn them in to the office right away. Students face Felony One arson charges and expulsion from school when they create a flame and damage anything, however minor.
It is important to use appropriate language at school. Swear words are not acceptable at school and words that sound like swear words are also not allowed. If what is being said even sounds like swear words, or is meant to be abusive, it may be treated as such.
Leaving School or Class
Once students arrive on the school grounds, they must stay until school ends unless signed out by a parent or guardian, or have permission from the main office. We have a totally closed campus and expect students to be in their assigned classrooms unless permission is given to be elsewhere. If students leave class, they must have the teacher's permission and be using their hall pass system.
The Main Office assigns lockers each year and needs to know if any changes are made. Students need to keep their combinations a secret and spin the dial after it is shut. Locker painting happens each fall (usually in October) and is an important part of our community culture. Painting is not allowed on the inside of the locker. Decorating a locker on a birthday is ok so long that only things that do not mark up the locker or stick to it are used. Locker respect is a key part of making things Safe, Fair, and Friendly in our school. Ask for adult help in the office with any locker issues.
MANNERS matter and significantly help others to want to help you - Think PETSY!
- Excuse me
- Thank you
- You’re welcome
All medications must be turned in to the main office right away. Medications can’t be kept with students, including cough drops and other over-the-counter items, so be sure to turn them in. Students may not give medications to others.
It’s easy to get excited, but noises like screaming, shrieking, and shouting are not appropriate in most places in the school building.
Pantsing & other Privates
“Pantsing” another student or in any way touching or striking another student’s private parts is never allowed. These offenses may be considered sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or assault which all result in serious consequences.
Perfume & Cologne
Some people are allergic to perfume and cologne, even in lotions. They are not allowed at school. Spraying anything in school or on the bus is against the rules. Even wearing heavy amounts can cause breathing problems in sensitive people.
"Plagiarism is when you use someone else's words or ideas and pass them off as your own. It's not allowed in school, college, or beyond, so it's a good idea to learn the proper way to use resources, such as websites, books, and magazines. Plagiarism is a form of cheating, but it's a little complicated so a kid might do it without understanding that it's wrong. (Students should give authors and websites credit for words or information that aren't their own.) The word plagiarism comes from a Latin word for kidnapping. You know that kidnapping is stealing a person. Well, plagiarism is stealing a person's ideas or writing. You wouldn't take someone's lunch money or bike, right? Well, someone's words and thoughts are personal property, too." http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/plagiarism.html# Plagiarism is treated as a serious matter at our school.
Students may NOT bring these to school or on a school bus. The law allows school officials, which includes school resource officers, to search school and personal possessions if we have suspicion that there may be something illegal or if we think it is necessary to keep the school safe. The bottom line is: if it isn’t allowed by school or law, don’t bring it.
- Drugs, alcohol, or tobacco and any related paraphernalia
- Weapons of any kind, real or fake, including knives, toy guns and bullets or shells
- Fireworks, explosives, stink bombs, pepper sprays, and other gasses
- Matches, lighters, or other things that make flames
- Laser lights or tasers
- Hand cuffs
Please proceed carefully inside the school building. Running inside is NEVER allowed anywhere anytime (including halls & cafeteria at lunch) and is unsafe. Being aware of our surroundings is an important skill to develop. In the gym and outside, running safely means being aware of the area, never tripping anyone, and only chasing in wide open areas.
Sexual harassment of an individual student, a staff member or a group of students is prohibited, including:
- Letters, phone calls, photos, texts, e-mail, distribution or display of materials of a sexual nature
- Deliberate touching, leaning over, cornering or pinching
- Sexually suggestive looks or gestures
- Pressure for sexual favors or dates
- Sexual teasing, jokes, remarks or questions
- Pantsing or touching others’ private parts, including buttocks
- Writing on someone's skin close to any private area
- “Sexting” someone or other forms of inappropriate social networking
If anyone knows of students that talk about violence, seem to be into guns or other weapons, or have made threats, be sure to tell an adult who can get some help. This is super important!
Vandalism means destroying or messing up something that is not your own. This includes throwing paper wads or other items around the restrooms, writing on or marking up surfaces such as walls, lockers, furniture, scraping off paint, ripping bulletin board paper, writing or doodling in textbooks or tearing out pages, and other destructive or defacing acts. Be kind to our school building and all of the property in it, and leave other people’s things alone, please.
The school district does not allow shadowing, student or child visitors, or high school students to attend or visit during the day. Sorry! There may be special occasions when alum will be welcomed by a particular teacher at a particular time, and this requires that the teacher inform the Main Office of this planned and approved visit in advance - alum then check into the office, get their visitor badge, and remain with the specific teacher(s) for the duration of their visit. Adult school visitors must report to the office to be checked in. They will be given a visitor badge that they must wear until they check out in the office. Parents need to give 24 hours advance notice if they want to ask to visit a teacher’s classroom.
Students are strongly encouraged to bring re-usable water bottles from home and may carry them throughout the day, but they should be solid and not plastic that can make crinkle or crunch noises. Water may come from home or from school water dispensers. They are allowed in classrooms only with teacher permission and the teacher will determine where they will be stored or if they will be kept at the student’s desk. Water bottles should be marked with student's first and last name and must have a lid on them. They may not be tossed, thrown, flipped or used in any other way that projects them into the air for safety reasons.
Student Behavior Responses & Consequences
"The student is not the problem. The problem is the problem."
NOTE: These school policies add to the district-published policies, rules and procedures and state and federal laws. PPS provides the Student Rights, Responsibilities & Discipline Handbook to all families each year.
PUNISHMENT consists of forced activities that are meant to produce discomfort or exclusion. Our school's student behavior practices and policies are actively aligned with Restorative Practices and Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports philosophies. Therefore in our school, punishment will be avoided (it is rarely effective and often makes behaviors worse) in favor of practices that are designed to repair harm and restore community.
INTERVENTION consists of the opportunity to read, respond, work, talk, problem solve, learn, grow and change. We engage in intervention efforts to support students when harmful behaviors occur. Adolescents need interventions to learn how to replace negative behaviors with positive behaviors. Below are a variety of interventions that we use to help our students grow.
In order to right a wrong, it probably will be necessary to apologize. Sometimes apologies are better done in writing. The school will help students learn and practice this art.
Staff may use Behavior Navigators to track problems and responses and give them to administration for follow up. This is one of the first steps to documenting behaviors that need to change to increase student success.
A small number of our students ride district transportation to and from school as part of their district placement in our Communication and Behavior Program. Extensive policies describe bus rules and consequences for following them. Please read the PPS District Rights & Responsibilities Handbook carefully to learn these.
Calls & Emails Home
Teachers and school staff may contact parents if a student engages in problem behaviors, especially if they do not improve after warnings and interventions. Parents are encouraged to contact teachers, the counselor, and administrators as needed whenever the issue occurs in common spaces.
Check In Check Out Forms
For students in need of academic, social, or behavioral interventions, a Check In Check Out (CICO) system may be assigned as a further intervention to follow-up on a previously assigned Tracking Sheet intervention. Students who are in the CICO process may be assigned a mentor to meet with in mornings and after-school on certain days. The CICO form is intended to be a short-term intervention requiring ongoing student reflection on improvement.
Sometimes meaningful work-contributions are the best way to repair harm resulting from misbehaviors and repair relationships. Community service is usually assigned for half of a lunch period (so student can eat lunch the other half) on a proportional number of days aligned with the originating incident and occurs on school grounds, ideally in the location where the harm occurred.
The most common response to a behavioral problem is to talk about it with the student(s). By explaining what the problem is and offering suggestions for replacement behaviors, most problems can be dealt with in the moment they occur.
Staff may confiscate prohibited or misused items. Items confiscated for beyond a single class period are given to the main office as soon as is possible and secured there until the student retrieves it - generally at the end of the school day. Students receive a written receipt for confiscated objects held for retrieval in the office. They will give them to the main office to hold until the end of the day, and depending on circumstances, parent/guardians may be required to come get them. If a student’s items are supplied to the main office multiple times, the student’s family may also be contacted to come in and meet with a building administrator to develop a plan stating when and if the items, especially smartphones, can be brought to school and where they will be used and stored.
For students whose behavioral violations are more extreme or repeated despite interventions, an official discipline referral form may be filled out for entry into the student's record in Synergy with correlating PPS Discipline consequences assigned. Restorative practices in such circumstances may require more active parent/guardian involvement.
When students don’t get it right the first time, they may be required to do a behavior over again, possibly after a short time out. This is often the case for minor misbehaviors such as running in the halls.
Expulsion is an intervention for severe offenses or repeated lower level offenses that aren’t stopping. It means a student can't come to school for a certain period of time.
Students who have multiple tardies to a class or demonstrate problems in certain areas of the building may require an intervention plan with agreements such as when they can use their lockers, which hallways they can use, and what items will be taken to and from classes.
Loss of Privileges
Policies on things like allowing gum chewing, using the microwave in the cafeteria, electronic device use, going on field trips, and freedom at lunch to take food outside the cafeteria are privileges for students. These can be lost any time if individuals or groups of students are unable to follow the school policies and practices. Students can also be assigned specific lunchtime locations if they are not maintaining positive behaviors. Being escorted to class is another example of an intervention for students that need help in showing appropriate behaviors.
Students may be required to fill out a restorative problem solver form to explore:
- What is the problem?
- What rule was broken (be safe, be fair, be friendly) and how was it broken?
- Make a plan: what will be done differently?
- Who needs to be notified?
- What needs to be done to make the situation right again?
Removal from Class
Removal from class is considered to be a serious level of intervention. Teachers will retain students in class unless they continue to have problems despite warning, or if their behavior is significantly disruptive.
All students have the right to an education and also a responsibility to do their part to ensure that the teachers and other students are able to engage in classroom instruction and activities without significant disruption such as may occur with ongoing outbursts or other extreme behaviors. Teachers may remove students from class when they are getting in the way of the class learning.
Removal options include having a student wait outside the classroom to be counseled by the teacher, or for a more serious matter, calling for additional problem-solving support from administrator, counselor, or specialist as seems appropriate. Teachers may also request student removal to another location for problem-solving by calling the main office so that an escort can be an arranged. Students should expect to engage in agreements around re-entry expectations. Students are never to leave a class without permission, even when experiencing a problem, so that student safety can be maintained.
What is bullying? It is unwanted, negative behavior that is done to a person repeatedly by another person who has power over the student, and continues despite having been told to stop. Reporting such situations to adults is very important so that help can be provided. See the Principal, Assistant Principle, and/or Counselor to get the process started. The Student Incident Report form can be filled out in advance when asking for adult help with this - available from all those adults and in the Main Office and here on our website and other Climate pages.
What is NOT bullying?
- One time incidents
- Student interactions that commonly happen and are immediate, not premeditated and meant in jest, such as horseplay
- Mutual incidents that involve aggression but have equal parties
What is tattling? It is telling on other students for small, non-serious behaviors just to get the person in trouble.
What is telling? It is making a report to an adult in an effort to get help or prevent something bad from happening.
When we get reports of bullying, we ask which adult/s the student has already reported the behavior to, what actions the student has taken to get the unwanted behaviors to cease, who witnessed it, and for other important details.
The best actions to take when feeling bullied are:
- Say STOP until it stops
- Don’t try to 'get even'
- Leave the scene
- Get adult help if you can’t make it go away
What are NOT effective ways to deal with it?
- Laughing it off like it is funny
- Ignoring it
- Bullying back
- Fighting or otherwise hurting the person who is bullying you
Meaningful and targeted research projects and/or written assignments may be applied as interventions for students engaging in harmful behavior and/or specific actions with the intention of increasing knowledge around a topic and growth toward changing the behavior(s).
Search & Seizure
The law allows school officials, which includes school resource officers, to search school and personal possessions if we have suspicion that there may be something illegal or if we think it is necessary to keep the school safe. The bottom line is: if it isn’t allowed by school or law, don’t bring it.
Staying After School
Students may be kept after school with parent permission. Students staying on school grounds after school must be under the supervision of an adult or involved in a supervised school program.
“Stop Now” Order
At times, school adults may need students to stop what they are doing immediately. If this is the case, students need to comply first and ask questions later.
When students are being guided around inappropriate behavior, arguing, talking back, defiance and other responses only make the problem worse. Our intention is to provide opportunities for students to grow and demonstrate how to approach others at times and in ways that will help them experience helpful reactions.
When students are engaging in problem-solving, it is personal business. It is not OK for other students to call attention to them in any way.
Give others a break. That is what you would want!
Suspension is used sparingly to exclude a student from school for a limited period of time. Fighting, bullying, verbal abuse toward a school adult, drugs/alcohol, and other big offenses are behaviors that can get students suspended.
- Out-of-school suspension will be assigned sparingly by the administration for major infractions as per PPS policies.
- Teachers will be notified when students have been assigned In-House or Out-of-School suspension.
- Teachers will be asked to provide assignments for suspended students upon request and will give credit for completed assignments.
- Students who have had at least one major suspension and continue to express behavioral challenges and/or who violate certain PPS conduct mandates (such as drug or alcohol related incidents) may be referred to the Student Success Center (formerly known as DESCC, Delayed Expulsion School Counseling Center) by counselor or administrator or may need to attend Insight Class.
- The purpose of the Student Success Center and Insight Class is to put additional supports in place to avoid expulsion.