Policy H103: Commitment to Standards
For Ethical and Responsible Behavior
The Hancock School Committee believes that promoting ethical and responsible behavior is an essential part of the school unit’s educational mission. The School Committee recognizes that ethics, constructive attitudes, responsible behavior, and “character” are important if a student is to leave school as a “responsible and involved citizen,” as described in the Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results. The School Committee also recognizes that Maine law requires the adoption of a district-wide student code of conduct consistent with statewide standards for student behavior developed by the Commissioner of the Department of Education in compliance with 20-A MRSA § 254(11).
The School Committee seeks to create and maintain a school climate in which ethical and responsible behavior can flourish. The School Committee believes that instilling a sense of ethics and responsibility in students requires setting positive expectations for student behavior as well as establishing disciplinary consequences for behavior that violates School Committee policy or school rules. Further, the School Committee believes that in order to teach ethical and responsible behavior, adults who interact with students must strive to model and reinforce ethical and responsible behavior. To that end, the School Committee supports an active partnership between Hancock Grammar School and parents.
Recognizing that collaboratively identified core values are the foundation for a school culture that encourages and reinforces ethical and responsible student behavior, the School Committee is committed to the establishment and implementation of a process for identifying shared values and setting and enforcing standards for behavior, including prescription of consequences for unacceptable behavior. The process for identifying such shared values will invite and include the participation of School Committee members, school principal, staff, parents, students, and the community. Core values will be reviewed periodically, with opportunity for public participation. The School Committee will direct the Superintendent to develop a process to assess school progress toward achievement of an ethical and responsible school culture.
Following the identification of core values, the School Committee, with input from administrators, staff, parents, students, and members of the community, will adopt a Student Code of Conduct consistent with statewide standards for student behavior1 that shall, as required by law:
A. Define unacceptable student behavior;
B. Establish standards of student responsibility for behavior;
C. Prescribe consequences for violation of the Student Code of Conduct, including first-time violations, when appropriate;
D. Describe appropriate procedures for referring students in need of special services to those services;
E. Establish criteria to determine when further assessment of a current Individual Education Plan (IEP) is necessary, based on removal of the student from class;
F. Establish policies and procedures concerning the removal of disruptive or violent students from a classroom or a school bus, as well as student disciplinary and placement decisions, when appropriate; and
G. Establish guidelines and criteria concerning the appropriate circumstances when the Principal may provide information to the local police or other appropriate law enforcement authorities regarding an offense that involves violence committed by any person on school grounds or other school property.
The Student Code of Conduct will be reviewed periodically by the School Committee, with input from administrators, staff, parents, students, and members of the community.
Students, parents, staff, and the community will be informed of the Student Code of Conduct through handbooks and/or other means selected by the Principal.
The School Committee encourages examination and discussion of ethical issues within content areas of the curriculum, as appropriate. The School Committee also encourages Principal and staff to provide students with meaningful opportunities to apply values and ethical and responsible behavior through activities such as problem solving, peer mediation and student government/leadership development.
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