Student Behavior & Rules of Conduct
Rules of Conduct
The Whitby community is characterized by three themes:
These words are exemplified by the banners gracing the school’s main entrance; what the words stand for permeates throughout the entire Whitby community. Parents play a crucial role in achieving these goals within our community by supporting their children and the school. Parents demonstrate school spirit through attendance at school events and foster the development of wisdom within the community by supporting their children’s education and by participating in parent education. In order to create a climate characterized by respect, parents model respectful behavior and civil discourse in all of their interactions within the school environment. As powerful role models, parents show their children that everyone within the school community deserves respect and, in turn, that they and their children deserve to be treated in a respectful manner.
The school’s aim is to work proactively with students and parents to create a climate of respect within the school. It is therefore of the utmost importance for the teacher, the Division Heads, and the Head of School to communicate with parents to secure their help, support, and cooperation.
Whitby students are expected to behave in a manner that is acceptable to everyone concerned—other students, parents, teachers, administrators, and society in general. While in school, during school functions, and on school-authorized trips, students are under the authority of their teachers, bus drivers, Division Heads, and the Head of School.
Rules of Conduct
In each classroom, teachers work with students to develop meaningful rules and guidelines for respectful interactions in the classroom. In addition, the following general guidelines apply in all situations:
Individual Responsibility—Each student is responsible for his/her own behavior and has a choice regarding how he or she interacts within the school community. With young children, teachers model how to make good choices; teachers support young children in making appropriate choices until this becomes internalized by the child. For older children, it is expected that they will make appropriate choices independently of their teachers. Each student is also an advocate for his or her own learning. Students are expected to attend, be prepared for, and be on time to all classes, unless officially excused. All students require organizational assistance from their teachers; this is provided and it is the responsibility of the student to use it to his or her benefit. Students are expected to do their own work. Collaboration is encouraged, but must always be acknowledged; cheating and plagiarism will not be allowed.
- Mutual Respect—All students deserve to be treated with respect and are requested to respect all members of the school community. If a student doesn’t understand what constitutes respectful behavior, it is his or her responsibility to clarify this with the teachers, Division Heads, or the Head of School.
- Conflict Resolution—All students must learn to resolve conflicts appropriately. Students are expected to engage in respectful discourse and to refrain from using inappropriate language and gestures. Students are not to threaten, intimidate, bully, or cause bodily harm to any student or school employee. Fighting will not be tolerated.
- Rules are Rules—Individual comportment in all situations should be a demonstration of respect for and pride in the school community. As a result, students are to be in compliance with rules of conduct and behavior, as well as the dress code at all times. Recognizing that some individuals question rules and codes, we provide safe and appropriate channels for this kind of discussion, such as class meeting, advisory and Student Council. However, a violation of rules and codes due to disagreement or protest still constitutes a violation of the rules and codes that govern the school community.
- Environment for Learning—Classrooms are learning environments and are prepared by the teachers so that learning may take place. Noise in any area of the classroom should be kept to a minimum. Disruption of the classroom is an indication of disrespect. Running (within the classroom, in the hallways or on the walkways)
is not safe. Students are not to throw dangerous or inappropriate objects. Students are not to remove, deface or alter school property. Students are to respect the personal space and personal property of other students and of their teachers. Teacher permission is required in order for students to leave the classroom and these guidelines also apply while the student is out of the classroom.
- Prohibited Items and Activities—There is no reason for a student to have the following items in his/her possession at any time while he or she is in school: matches; lighters; knives; toy weapons or weapons (guns, darts, sling shots); nuisance items; gum or candy, cell phones, pagers or beepers. Students will not use, possess, distribute, or sell tobacco, alcohol, or drugs in the building, and/or
on school property, including on school buses, at bus stops, on school trips, and at all school activities.
All members of the Whitby community will be expected to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by Whitby School. The child’s teacher and/or advisor, the Division Head and/or the Head of School will have the same right as a parent or guardian to control and discipline a child while the child is in attendance in school, in school vehicles to and from school and school trips, or while attending school functions. Any student who is found to be disobeying the rules or showing disrespect for the other students, teachers, the school administration, visitors, or school property will be subject to disciplinary action. The disciplinary action to be taken will depend on the severity of the violation and the prior circumstances related to the violation. Based upon policies adopted by the Board of Trustees, the parent handbook outlines regulations and consequences associated with attendance at the Whitby School; these include:
- Disruption of School—A student shall not by use of violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, intimidation, fear, passive resistance, or any conduct intentionally cause the substantial and material disruption or obstruction of any lawful mission, process, or function of the school. A student who fails to comply with directions from the Head of School, teachers, administration, or other authorized school personnel while at school shall be in violation of school rules and regulations. The same standards of behavior for students during school hours apply to after school programs, school trips, and on school buses. Disruption of school is cause for detention and/or suspension, with a continued pattern the possibility of expulsion.
- Profanity/Obscenity/Pornography—The use of obscene language is an act of disrespect and constitutes a serious offense and is in direct violation of school policy. A student who engages in such acts will receive discipline that could result in action outlined in the following section. Pornography in any form is unacceptable. Students found to be in possession of pornography or pornographic materials may be subjected to detention, suspension or expulsion.
- Harassment—The school does not tolerate harassment, in any form. Sexual and/or gender harassment is recognized as a form of sex discrimination and thus a violation of the laws that prohibit sex discrimination. Bullying and teasing, physically or verbally are forms of harassment and are therefore not tolerated within the school environment. Any instances of harassment should be reported to the Head of School for investigation. Students found to be involved in harassing behavior are subject to discipline which could result in detention, suspension, or expulsion.
- Weapons and Dangerous Instruments—Students who possess a weapon, or use any dangerous or annoying device or item that could be used as a weapon, used for assault during school time, on school premises, on school buses, or during school-sponsored activities will be subject to detention, suspension or expulsion.
- Vandalism and Property Damage—Students who willfully destroy or vandalize school property will be required to pay for losses or damages or make restitution through community service and may be subject to additional disciplinary measures including detention, suspension, or expulsion. If a student should damage something by accident, it should be reported immediately to the teacher, Division Head, or the Head of School.
- Substance Abuse—At Whitby, we believe that students cannot access the educational program if they are involved in the use of mood-altering or controlled substances—including alcohol, drugs, and tobacco—because the use of these chemicals and the activities associated with their use can seriously inhibit a student’s capacity to learn and to function effectively. Therefore, the following are not permitted by students in school buildings, on school property, on school vehicles, on vehicles rented by the school for student transportation, on school trips, or at school functions: the sale, distribution, use, or possession of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances (including tobacco and tobacco products), illegal drugs, marijuana, mood-altering substances, drug paraphernalia, or other materials expressly prohibited by federal, state, or local law; and the sale, distribution, unauthorized or abusive use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Students found to be in violation of this policy are subject to suspension and expulsion.
- Attendance in Class-Students shall attend all classes in a timely manner according to their schedule. Students subject to persistent lateness and/or skipping classes will result in either detention, suspension or expulsion.
Students who have violated school/and or classroom rules will receive disciplinary action that is appropriate for the particular offense and will, to the extent possible, experience logical consequences for their behavior. Efforts will be made to communicate with parents to help prevent further misconduct by the student. Each time a student commits an offense against the established rules, he or she will receive one of the following consequences:
- Student Conference with Teacher
- Student Conference with Dean of Students and/or Division Head
- Student Conference with Head of School
- Parent Contact (Telephone, Letter, Conference)
- Assignment of one or more of the following:
- Learning activity appropriately connected to student action(s)
- Detention (1) (lunch, recess, after-school)
– In-School (2) (morning, afternoon, or whole day and from school activities)
– Out-of-School (one to ten days/one to two semesters)
- Expulsion (3)
(1) Detention is assigned by a teacher, Division Head or Head of School to occur during a recess, lunch period or after school. After school detention requires students to remain at school until 5:00 p.m. in a designated detention room. Parents will be requested to provide transportation from the after-school detention program.
(2) In-school suspension (morning, afternoon, whole day) is assigned by the Division Head or Head of School and requires the student to attend school, but to work in isolation from other students and to complete assignments appropriate for the circumstances. Depending on the severity of the violation and after investigation of an incident by the Head of School, the Head of School may order a student to be suspended from class or from school for a period up to and including ten days or suspension from the school for the remainder of the semester and up to one additional semester. Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children are supervised at home during suspension.
(3) Expulsion is a disciplinary measure whereby a student is no longer allowed to attend the school. An evidentiary hearing will be arranged within three days from the time a charge is made against the student, unless a mutual agreement is made between the Head of School, parents and student for an extension of time; during such period the child will be suspended from school. The Head of School is the final arbiter of all evidentiary expulsion hearings. The Chair of the Board of Trustees will be informed of the Head’s determination.
Severe or Repeated Misconduct
Severe misconduct or repeated misconduct at school, or at school activities, will result in disciplinary action determined directly by the Head of School. Instances of severe misconduct or repeated misconduct will be recorded in the student’s permanent record.
Students failing to serve any disciplinary assignment will receive additional disciplinary action by the Head of School.
If a disciplinary concern has not been resolved and inappropriate behavior continues, a special conference will be held with the parent(s), the student, the teacher(s), the Head of School and any educational or psychological professionals deemed appropriate by the Head. The Head of School will be the final arbiter of the appropriate action in each case, which may include additional suspension time or expulsion from the school. The Chair of the Board of Trustees will be informed of the Head’s determination.