At CamdenForward School, we believe that the purpose of discipline is not to punish. The purpose of discipline is:
- To provide a safe environment for everyone connected to the school
- To help students learn which behaviors are appropriate or inappropriate
- To help students develop habits of self-control and self-regulation
- To help students to develop a sense of responsibility for their actions
The best discipline systems interfere with learning time to the smallest extent possible. To that end, out of school suspensions or other interventions which pull students from class for extended periods of time are a last resort. Instead students are given an opportunity to correct behavior before moving to disciplinary action that may require removal from class or school.
If a student is removed from class, this process seeks to restore them to that class as quickly as possible. If a student is engaged in disruptive behavior in class or in school, teachers inform students that their behavior is not acceptable and communicates the desired behavior.
The CamdenForward School has adopted the Responsive Classroom approach to addressing behavioral concerns to know children individually, culturally, and developmentally. When teachers take the time to observe and understand the children, they can make decisions about curriculum, classroom organization, classroom management, and discipline that allow all children to reach their potential. The approach is used to help children develop positive social skills, self regulation, and for educators to use positive teacher language and to follow the CARES (Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, Self-Control) while using positive language. The basics of the discipline plan are reparation, loss of privilege, positive time-out and using logical consequences.
Steps for Handling Discipline Problems
- Students are given a verbal warning about their infraction and their name is written on the board
- If they continue the negative behavior, the teacher will place a check next to their name
- Students will be allowed time in the reflection chair (self regulation)
- Positive time-out with Buddy Teachers
- Three lunch detentions are equivalent to one after school detention
- Middle school students, in grades 6th through 8th, will be issued automatic after-school detentions for negative behavior/inappropriate conduct. Students who receive an after school detention are required to remain after school until 4:15 p.m. Parents of a student receiving an after school detention must make transportation arrangements for that student.
- Three (3) after school detentions will automatically lead to suspension. A statement will be sent home to the parents describing the problem.
- A conference will be arranged between the administrator and the parent/guardian after every suspension. At this time, parental involvement will be stressed and corrective measures discussed.
- If the student continues to exhibit the problem after all of the above, another meeting will be held with the family and student, and the student will be placed on probation. Finally the school reserves the right to withdraw any student who fails to adjust to the academic and /or social standards of The CamdenForward School.
At UrbanPromise Academy, we maintain the same philosophy that discipline needs to support our educational goals and be as minimally disruptive as possible. When students are unable to regulate their behavior after multiple warnings, they will be sent to the office for short reflective period. Here, they complete a ‘behavior reflection form’ which asks them to identify their disruptive behavior and to indicate what they will do differently when they return to class. The student reviews that form with an office staff member and is returned to class if the office staff feels the student is ready to return and participate in class. Once the classroom teacher reviews and accepts the ‘behavior reflection form’, the student is able to return to the classroom.
Repeated misbehavior or more serious misbehavior (ex. threatening someone, ignoring or talking back to a teacher), may result in:
- Being sent from class and having a disciplinary report sent home for a parents signature
- Earning a detention, in-school suspension, or—in the most serious cases—out-of-school suspension
- Participating in The UrbanPromise Academy Youth Court. This is a peer mediation process in which UPA students hear disciplinary cases and decide on consequences for their fellow students. The Principal refers cases to the Youth Court when appropriate.