Social-Emotional Environment

St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School faculty and staff will utilize consistent, respectful, appropriate and positive discipline strategies that support the mission of the school and guide students to grow in self-discipline.  Discipline strategies will be communicated to faculty, staff, students and parent/guardians through the St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School Family Handbook and other means.                                                                                                                                                                          (School Board  June 2007)     

 

Violence is inconsistent with St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School Mission and Belief Statements.  Students, parents/guardians, faculty and staff are expected to report to the principal concerns regarding acts of violence during school or at school sponsored events.  Violence consists of words, gestures or actions that result in or have the potential to result in hurt, fear or injury.  St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School will follow Archdiocesan guidelines and polices concerning violence.                                                                                                                                                             (School Board June 2007)

 

During the fall and winter of 2006, St. Margaret of Scotland parents and teachers called for a discipline plan that would lead students individually to increased growth in their own self-discipline and collectively to a faith-based learning environment in which students could feel safe. 

In early January, the SMOS faculty and staff began examining the behavior and self-discipline of our students – their strengths and weaknesses.  The faculty and staff searched out and studied published discipline/behavior systems and conflict management plans.  After much deliberation, consultation, and collaboration, the faculty and staff carefully crafted the following approach to discipline and behavior with our students in mind – their present and their futures.

 

Peacemakers:

SMOS School in its urban and Christian setting is dedicated to guiding students “to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God” (based on Micah 4:6).  To this end the students are taught to recognize their abilities to be agents of peace and change in a world much in need of their faith-based values.                  (SMOS Faculty Spring 2007)

 

The entire adult community of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School – pastor, principal, faculty and staff, parents, volunteers – in keeping with the Gospel values, Archdiocesan guidelines, and our own Mission statement are charged with the grave responsibility to lead “students to meet their potential and to recognize their giftedness in mind, body and spirit.”  (SMOS Mission statement)  To that end, the entire community must dedicate itself to guiding students, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, to internalize in attitude and externalize in behavior what it means to be an SMOS student.

 

 

 

 

 

The Charism of the St. Margaret of Scotland Student

 

Speak and act with care

Make sure you wear our uniform with pride

On time all the time

Stop, look, and listen

 

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Speak and act with care

SMOS School in its urban and Christian setting is dedicated to guiding students “to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God” (Micah 4:6).  From preschool through eighth grade students learn to differentiate between words and actions that have positive effects and negative effects.  There is a constant emphasis to speak and act with care

in the classroom, in the hallways, at lunch and recess and during school-sponsored events on-site and off-site.

 

Words and Actions That Have Positive Effects

  • Attitudes of respect, consideration, and patience
    • are guided through daily reminders and conversations in the classroom and beyond.
    • are modeled by faculty, staff, and older “buddies.”
    • are taught by outside agencies as chosen by faculty and principal.
  • Attitudes of sharing, compassion, and helpfulness
  • are guided through classroom opportunities to collaborate in small group learning activities and projects.
  • are experienced through lunch room behavior and play at recess.
  • are encouraged through opportunities to do service within the school, the neighborhood, and beyond into the world.

 

Descriptions of Violence (see Archdiocesan Guidelines below)

  • Violence consists of words, gestures, and actions that result in or have the potential to result in hurt, fear, or injury.  Violence includes
  • threats of injury, harassment;
  • assault, possession and/or use of a weapon;
  • and theft or vandalism of property.
  • Bullying consists of words and/or actions directed by one or more toward others with the intent of harm, humiliation and/or intimidation.
    • bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional, gender, cyber
  • Weapons of any sort are never permitted on school premises, nor at any school sponsored event on or off school property.
  • Internet or electronic violence/bullying
  • Words, actions or pictures which violate the privacy, safety, or good name of another member of the SMOS community.
  • All communications or depictions through email, text-messages, or web site postings, whether they occur through the school’s equipment or connectivity or through private communications.
  • Drug, Alcohol & Substance Use
  • The possession, use, or transfer of un-prescribed or illegal drugs on the school premises or at school-sponsored functions are not permitted.
  • The use or possession of or being under the influence of alcohol on the school premises or at a school-sponsored functions are not permitted.

Archdiocese of St. Louis, 2006

 

Consequences for Violence

  • Violence and bullying
    • Teacher determines if a single incident can be settled peacefully between the students.  If so then students may return to class upon settling the conflict.
    • If the conflict cannot be settled quickly or if such conflicts have occurred before, then the students are brought to the principal.
      • The principal works with the students to understand the conflict and settle it peacefully
      • The principal reports to the parents concerning the conflict.
    • If the conflict cannot be settled with the principal’s intervention then parents will be called to remove their children from the premises.
    • Students may return to school after teacher, parents, principal, students and, possibly, pastor have met.
    • Principal may require that student participate in professional counseling in order for student to return to classes.
    • Principal may require communication with the counselor.
    • When violence or bullying is ongoing and such violence poses a threat to the learning community, students will be suspended.
    • Principal and pastor may consider expulsion
  • The Possession and/or use of a weapon
  • Parents will be called to remove student from premises immediately
  • Student will be suspended away from school until principal, parents, student and pastor meet.
  • Student may be required to attend professional counseling, if so parents will be required to allow communication between counselor and principal.
  • Principal and teacher will attempt to determine if this is a single incident and if the situation can be settled peacefully and equitably.  The Internet piece must be removed immediately and the student must make amends.
    • Parents will be notified
  • If the principal and teacher determine that this has been ongoing whether in length of time or number of persons involved, then parents and students will be called in for a conference with teacher and principal.
  • If the electronic message is both ongoing and threatening, then
  • the student(s) will be suspended –  in or out of school at principal’s discretion.
  • student, parents, principal and, possibly, pastor must meet before student returns to classes
  • Parent must demonstrate proof that electronic message has been removed before student may return to classes
  • student and parent must make amends to those offended or injured before student may return to classes
  • Principal may require student to attend professional counseling; if so, parent will be required to allow communication between the counselor and principal.
  • Principal and pastor may consider expulsion
  • Student will be suspended at home until principal, parents, student and pastor meet.
  • Student will be required to attend counseling and parents will be required to allow communication between counselor and principal.
  • Internet or electronic violence or bullying
  • Drug, Alcohol and Substance Abuse

 

Electronic Devices

  • Occasionally it is necessary for a student to carry a cell phone, ipod, etc to school. On those occasions, the electronic device must be kept in the main office for safe-keeping or in the student’s backpack.  If the student chooses to keep the device in his or her backpack it must be turned off;  the school does not accept any responsibility for the device.
    • If the device is removed from the backpack at any time during the school day, the student will hand it over to the teacher who will pass it on to the principal.
    • The principal will return it only to the student’s parent in person.
    • When an electronic device is handed over to the teacher, the student forfeits all rights to privacy concerning that device.

 

Cheating

  • Copying someone else’s work with or without permission is considered cheating.
    • Student earns an automatic zero on the assignment or test without benefit of making up the assignment or test.
    • Parents will be notified immediately.
    • If assignment or test answers are freely given to another student, both parties will earn the zero and both sets of parents notified.

 

Falsifying Signatures

  • Signing another person’s name to a document or form is unacceptable.
    • Parents will be notified immediately.
    • Student may be required to serve an in-school suspension.
    • If the falsified signature concerns a field trip the student will not be allowed to attend.

Plagiarizing

  • Using an unauthorized or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and representing them as one's own original work  (Dictionary.com)
    • Students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades will redo the assignment.
    • Students in 6th, 7th and 8th will earn an automatic zero on the assignment.
    • Parents will be notified immediately.

 

 

Make sure you wear our uniform with pride

Uniform Code

  • The SMOS uniform signifies who we are as a school community.  When students wear our uniform with pride they deliver a clear message that St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School is important to them and they are important to St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School.
  • The uniform code is the result of the collaborative work of parents and teachers
    • The uniform code is published in the Family Handbook and at SMOS-school.org.
    • The uniform code is posted in each homeroom
  • Students will earn credit for being in uniform during random uniform checks and will lose credit for being out of uniform.  Points will be tallied each month and will not carry over from month to month.
  • Students who earn enough credit, as determined by their homeroom teacher, for having been “in uniform” during a specific month will earn an “out-of-uniform” pass to be used some time during the next month.
  • There may be some restrictions as to when the “out-of-uniform” pass may be used, i.e. special events days, field trips, Mass days.
  • Students who attempt to use their out-of-uniform pass on a restricted day will be given a uniform to change into.
  • Students are expected to dress “appropriately” for school even when out of uniform.

(see Dress and Personal Appearance Code in appendix for specific dress code)

 

 

On time all the time

Timeliness is a lesson when learned that will benefit our students into their adult lives.  SMOS School has an obligation to hold our students to an expectation of timeliness.  Being on time demonstrates both responsibility and respect:

  • the responsibility of living up to the expectation at hand,
  • the respect for others involved.

 

Excessive lates (tardy, 2 hours out, half days)

  • After 3 lates in a quarter, the principal will call or send a note to the parents or guardian reminding them that after the student’s 4th late parents will need to conference with the teacher and/or principal concerning the excessive lates.
  • After 4 lates in a quarter, the parent or guardian conferences with homeroom teacher and possibly principal (decided upon mutually by teacher and principal).  The student, depending on his or her age, may be expected to be present at the conference.
  • If the lates continue after the conference, the student may be kept from entering the class until a natural break in teaching occurs.  This later entry keeps the rest of the class from being interrupted by the distraction of a late student’s entry.  The student will be responsible for making up any work missed while waiting for “the natural break.”

 

Homework

Homework is an extension of the learning process begun at school.  Homework allows a student time to

  • practice a skill or process introduced in the day.
  • reflect on and further consider a concept introduced within a lesson.
  • investigate or discover on one’s own something significantly connected to a specific subject area.

Doing homework on time all the time and doing it with care:

  • Increases an individual student’s chances of deep and meaningful learning.
  • Increases the overall learning environment for the entire class, causing each student to engage in deep and meaningful learning.

The parent’s role in doing homework:

  • Always support your child’s efforts in doing his or her homework by:
    • creating a space and time conducive to learning
    • having materials available for the completion of an assignment
  • Never just give your son or daughter the answer!  There’s no learning there.  But always be willing:
    • to ask just the right question,
    • to guide your child to just the right resource,
    • to encourage a positive and responsible attitude.

 

An Assignment Notebook is given to each student in third through eighth grade.  Students are guided through the process of utilizing this organizational tool by their homeroom and subject area teachers.  The Assignment Notebook is used at the end of each day by younger students and at the end of each period by older students.  The Assignment Notebook is used by:

  • the student to record homework assignments, test dates and reminders.
  • the teacher as a means of quickly and efficiently communicating with parents, especially concerning missing assignments and signed tests.

We encourage our parents to look over their child(ren)’s Assignment Notebooks nightly.  At certain grade levels and for specific children the teacher might sign the Assignment Notebook to indicate that all assignments have been written accurately and the parent will be expected to sign the Assignment Notebook nightly to indicate having seen the child’s finished assignments.

 

NOTE: for more extensive information on Homework see Curriculum and Instruction.

 

 

Stop, look, and listen

SMOS School – faculty, staff, and students – takes very seriously its responsibility to build an outstanding learning environment in which each student is able to thrive.  Such an outstanding learning environment is only possible when each student shares in mutual responsibility for it.  All students benefit when each student takes learning seriously.  They benefit in the present as they build the SMOS learning environment, and they benefit in the future as they go off to high school and college prepared to be academically strong students who take responsibility for their own learning.

 

Students are taught to:

STOP what you’re doing when an adult, especially a teacher, calls for your attention.

            LOOK at the teacher or adult face to face making eye contact.

                        LISTEN to whatever it is the teacher or adult wants you to hear.

And, respond appropriately by saying “thank you,” “yes,” “I’m sorry,” “Will you help me?” or by simply doing what you’ve been asked to do.

 

The faculty and staff supports students in the challenging task of growing to the full charism of an SMOS student by:

  • holding Class Meetings regularly that are intended to allow students and teachers time to check in with one another and to dialogue about social concerns within the class.
  • participating in all-school themes that offer the opportunity for everyone to work together on life skills such as, but not limited to, manners, organization, and learning behaviors.
  • attending and utilizing programs such as the Top 20  and Second Step which aid in further informing teachers as they design approaches within their classrooms to build the outstanding learning environment promised at SMOS.

 

 

Archdiocesan Guidelines Related to the Social-Emotional Environment

Violence and the Threat of Violence:  Catholic schools shall provide a safe learning environment for all members of the school community.  The climate of Catholic schools shall reflect Gospel values including an emphasis on the dignity of all persons which is necessary for respect, the interdependence of all persons that is the basis of community, and the rights and responsibilities of all persons which are the foundation of justice.

Violence is inconsistent with the unity and peace which are essential to living the Catholic faith in community.  Violence inhibits human development and successful learning.  Therefore, violence is not tolerated in Catholic schools.

Violence consists of words, gestures, and actions that result in or have the potential to result in hurt, fear, or injury.  Violence includes threats of injury, harassment; assault, possession, and/or use of a weapon; and theft of vandalism of property.

A weapon is anything used or intended to be used to threaten, intimidate, and/or harm persons.  The possession or use of firearms, other weapons, or explosive devices on school/parish premises is not permitted.

All reported or observed instances of threatened or actual violence must be addressed by the school administration.  Appropriate actions may include parent/guardian conferences, mandatory counseling, suspension, withdrawal for cause, and legal action depending on the severity of the incident.

 

Harassment: Catholic schools shall maintain a learning environment that is free from all forms of harassment.  No students shall be subjected to any type of harassment.  Catholic schools forbid harassment because it is not in keeping with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and the standards of its programs.

Harassment is defined as any unwanted and unwelcome behavior that interferes with a student’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment.  Harassment includes conduct that is verbal, physical, or visual.

Each Catholic school investigates every harassment complain thoroughly and promptly.  All investigations will be conducted in a sensitive manner and, to the extent feasible, confidentiality will be honored.  The investigations and all actions taken will be shared only with those who have a need to know.

If, after investigations, the school determines that a student has engaged in sexual or other forms of harassment, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and withdrawal for cause, will be taken.

 

Internet and Electronic Communications Conduct:  A safe environment for all members of the school community should be a hallmark of a Catholic school.  This is accomplished, in part, by fostering a climate based on Gospel values that emphasize the dignity of and respect for all persons. Words, actions, or depictions which violate the privacy, safety, or good name of others are inconsistent with that goal. Whether occurring within or outside of school, when students jeopardize the safe environment or act contrary to those Gospel values they can be subject to disciplinary action by the school.

This policy applies to communications or depictions through e-mail, text messages, or web site postings, whether they occur through the school’s equipment or connectivity resources or through private communications, which: (1) are of a sexual nature; (2) threaten, libel, slander, malign, disparage, harass or embarrass members of the school community or (3) at the principal’s discretion, cause harm to the school, or the school community (collectively referred to as “Inappropriate Electronic Conduct”).   Inappropriate Electronic Conduct shall be subject to the full range of disciplinary consequences, including withdrawal for cause.

 

Drug, Alcohol & Substance Use and Abuse: The use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs poses a threat to the health of young people and creates an obstacle to their full development as Christian persons.  In addition, under the present federal and state laws, the possession and use of certain unprescribed drugs, including narcotics, depressants, stimulants, marijuana, and hallucinogenic drugs are illegal.

Therefore, the possession, use, or transfer of un-prescribed or illegal drugs, or the use, possession of, or being under the influence of alcohol on the school premises or at school sponsored functions are not permitted.  Students violating this policy will be subject to suspension and/or withdrawal for cause from school.  In addition, civil authorities may become involved.

 

Tobacco products are prohibited at school as we are smoke-free environment.

 

Search and Seizure: School officials with sufficient reasons to do so may search a student’s locker or desk.

 

Dress and Grooming: students are expected to dress and present an appearance consistent with standards of good taste and appropriate for school and school events.  Any dress or wearing of insignia which conveys the image of gang membership, supports the beliefs of hate groups, makes sexual innuendos, or promotes drugs, alcohol, or tobacco is inappropriate for school and should not be allowed.

 

Suspension is the removal of a student from all classes for a specified period of time. The decision to use suspension as a disciplinary action is made at the local level by the school principal in consultation with the pastor.

 

Probation is the continued enrollment of a student, but with specified conditions. The decision to use probation as a disciplinary action is made at the local level by the school principal in consultation with the pastor.

 

Withdrawal for cause is the permanent end of enrollment of a student from a school. 

 

Archdiocese of St. Louis: Administrative Manual for Catholic Education, 2006