Student Management Policy: Developing Responsible Citizens
A positive learning environment is an essential element for children to experience school success. Without discipline, there is a compromised climate for learning that can eventually resemble chaos and present safety hazards. All children have the potential to learn to behave appropriately at school and benefit from a discipline system that comprises potential for student progress through consistent recognition of positive behavior and deterrence of negative behavior. Research shows that the most effective discipline systems use proactive strategies to prevent discipline problems. Before consequences are given, students must first be supported in learning the skills necessary to enhance a positive school climate and avoid negative behavior. In the event of misconduct, it is essential to the student’s future that consequences are appropriate and sequential.
Parents, teachers, and students need to work together to ensure a safe productive environment at school. Parents and teachers attempt to guide the student and help him/her to understand the expectations of the school and to work towards them. They also help the student to accept the responsibility and the consequences of his/her actions, a necessary prerequisite for behavior modification.
To encourage a consistent, firm, and fair culture that affirms positive behavior GBS adopts a discipline policy that includes the rights and responsibilities of students, a student code of conduct, and suitable interventions for specific disruptive behaviors, and appropriate consequences.
The philosophy of Al Ghanim Bilingual School (GBS) discipline policy can be summarized as follows:
- All members of the school community have the right to a safe school environment: unsafe behavior anywhere around the campus or on the school buses will not be tolerated.
- All members of the school community have the right to respect. The GBS philosophy upholds the values of respect of others and tolerance
- All students have the right to learn: any behavior causing the disruption of the learning process is inappropriate and will not be tolerated.
- Integrity, honesty, and respect of others’ property are values that support self and mutual respect. Cheating, lying, forging signatures, stealing, and vandalism, are all serious offenses that will result in corrective measures.
- Consequences should fit the offense and be consistent with the spirit of GBS philosophy; hence it is the behavior that is targeted, not the person.
- All adults in the school must provide role models for responsible behavior and self-control.
Encouraged and Expected Student Behavior
All Al Ghanim Bilingual School (GBS) students are encouraged to adopt the following:
- Believe that they can and will learn.
- Attend school daily, on time, and actively participate in all classes.
- Produce quality work that meets the highest classroom standards.
- Come prepared to class: bring all necessary materials, including homework, completed assignments, and signed letters and complete required reading and study.
- Know and follow all school and class rules.
- Respect themselves, the school, classmates, staff, family, and the community.
- Use appropriate language at all times when communicating with others.
- Avoid negative peer pressure and activities.
- Regularly communicate with parents and teachers about their progress in school.
List of Unproductive and Inappropriate Behavior
Unproductive behavior is defined as any behavior that interferes with the student’s own or another student’s academic progress and/or well-being. The following list identifies behaviors considered unproductive and inappropriate, thus requiring corrective measures:
- Failure to follow directions: disrupting class, disorderly behavior in the hallway or the playground;
- Being tardy, unprepared for class, leaving the classroom without permission;
- Failure to comply with the GBS dress code (including hair length).
- Inappropriate Language/Words: (Teasing, swearing, name calling, use of offensive language)
- Damage/Theft: (Destroying HW diary/notebooks/ tests/ school letters/conduct sheet; Damage made to or the theft of school or other’s property; Littering or other untidy behavior)
- Lying/Cheating /Plagiarism: Being untruthful when telling the facts of an incident, telling lies about others, hiding notes from parents or teachers, copying the work of others and claiming as your own, etc.
- Inappropriate Electronic/Internet: Visiting internet sites that are inappropriate for viewing, or unauthorized use of electronic devices on school grounds, internet bullying, etc.
- Physical Aggression: (Pushing, shoving, kicking, hitting, slapping, scratching, etc., or any physical contact with the intent to intimidate/harass)
- Possession of prohibited items: Any item that might disrupt classes or represent a hazard to the health and safety of anyone is not allowed on school premises. Such items include but are not restricted to: laser pointers, fireworks, aerosol cans, trading cards, alarms, buzzers, electronic games, radios, Walkman’s, skateboards, roller blades, knives, blades or any sharp/pointed objects, toy guns, mobile phones, IPhones, IPods, I pads, pagers, make-up kits, magazines, cigarettes, and reptiles and insects.
All these behaviors are handled initially by the Teacher; however, the intensity, the severity or the recurrence of the incident may warrant the intervention of the divisional principal. Requesting administrative intervention for every incident undermines the teacher’s effective classroom management and encourages further infractions.
The Role of the Parents
When your child is having trouble in school, many parents feel disappointed and worried about what this means for their child's future. Some parents also feel angry with their child or feel guilty or think that others blame them for not instilling good conduct in their child. Others get angry with the school and try to blame the school, administration and teachers, for their child’s lack of discipline.
Working with the school
When working with staff at your child’s school, it may be helpful to:
- Try not to take it as a criticism of you or your parenting methods, when you are told that your child is misbehaving. Try to be calm and cooperative rather than angry, even if you think a staff member is doing something wrong.
- Try to listen to the school’s point of view. Remember, children often leave bits out and bend the truth because they want to avoid getting into trouble!
- Avoid challenging school rules in front of your child. If you strongly disagree with any of the rules, discuss this with the appropriate principal in a private meeting without having your child or other staff present.
- Be realistic about what you expect from the administration, counselor, or teachers. They cannot give a very large amount of time and energy to your child because that would mean other students will miss out.
Possible Reasons for Misbehavior
- Discuss any possible reasons why your child might develop behavior problems at school. This may explain your child’s behavior and may convince the school to deal with the situation differently.
- There may be problems that are happening outside school.
- Your child may have a health problem, be on medication, have hearing or vision problems.
- Behavior problems may be occurring because the level of school work that the child is expected to do is too easy (he might be bored) or too hard making him anxious and scared.
- She/he may have a learning problem such as dyslexia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which has not been recognized.
- If you think your child may be misbehaving for one of these reasons, talk to the school about having a diagnostic assessment by a child psychologist or developmental psychologist.
- It may also be useful to ask the school about other resources such as special workshops for children with behavior difficulties, for children with learning difficulties, or for whatever you, and they, think the problem might be.
- Discuss the possibility of an assessment by the school counselor if you think your child may be misbehaving because of a problem with a teacher, and then speak to the Director.
- If you are concerned that your child's behavior is being influenced by him/her friends (peer group) and that he/she is hanging out with the 'wrong crowd', ask the SC to talk to your child.
- Remember, you do not have to always handle your child’s misbehavior on your own. If you don't know how to handle the situation, speak to the school counselor or seek outside professional help and advice.
Role of the Teacher
The first strategy for managing student behavior rests in the classroom with effective teachers. They are often best able to identify disturbing behavioral trends with students. Teachers and their caring behavior are considered to be among the most important environmental factors that can help learners to develop positive attitudes towards language learning and promote students’ effort or engagement in doing language learning tasks (Williams & Burden, 1997). A non-threatening learning environment develops a sense of belonging among students (Freeman, Anderman, & Jensen, 2007), makes them self-initiated and self-confident (Rogers, 1983), and thus increases their desire for learning. Accept responsibility for maintaining discipline and order within the classroom and throughout the school. Teachers should:
- Adhere to the spirit of the School Philosophy.
- Develop, in accordance with the GBS student management policy and procedures and in collaboration with students, written classroom rules and sanctions.
- Implement class, and school rules and regulations in an assertive, consistent, and prompt manner.
- Include character education and life skills in the regular instructional program.
- Respond to learners in a caring and respectful manner.
- Display impartial behavior to all students, especially in the use of rewards and punishment.
- Keep accurate misdemeanor records and always inform the SM of discipline problems.
- Expect support from parents, SM and students in the implementation of disciplinary strategies.
Misbehavior will result in one or more of the following corrective measures:
- Parent Contact: verbal or written communication with the parent or guardian
- Counseling: individual or group meetings of students.
- Detention: Students participate in behavior modification for a period of 30 minutes to two hours during non-instructional time
- Parent Conference: a formal meeting between the parents or guardians and school personnel to discuss the student’s needs
- Suspension: the student is not allowed to attend classes or go to school activities for a set length of time. This length of time can vary from a few days to many weeks, depending on how bad the problem behavior is. Suspension days will be recorded as absent days on the student’s attendance record. Students who are suspended receive grades of “0” on all formative and summative assessments.
- Disciplinary Probation: Probation offers the student the opportunity to improve his/her behavior within a time frame. When a student is placed on disciplinary probation, his/her behavior is monitored daily by teachers and parents.
Expulsion: If counseling and corrective measures fail to modify the student’s behavior, the school leadership will meet to decide on the student’s status in the school. Students may be asked to leave the school immediately in severe cases or may be denied re-enrollment for the following academic school year, based on the committee’s recommendation. In both cases, the student conduct file is sent to the Private Education Directorate.
Prevention of unruly behavior is the best strategy to ensure a healthy and productive learning environment. Parents and school must work together to help to prevent the child from getting into trouble at school. We keep parents informed of their child’s academic progress and behavior. Good behavior awards and sanctions for inappropriate behavior are also good strategies we utilize in developing self-discipline. Parents’ cooperation and consistent support for the school discipline policy and management strategies help the students to accept the consequences of their own actions and to make a conscious effort to conduct them-selves in a school-approved, socially accepted manner.