Handbook » Parent Handbook - Guidelines for Building Community and Fostering Self Discipline and Respect

Parent Handbook - Guidelines for Building Community and Fostering Self Discipline and Respect

John R. Briggs Elementary School


Parent Handbook


We Grow and Learn Together, Here at JRB
Guidelines for Building Community and Fostering Self Discipline and Respect

Creating a safe, caring and productive school community is essential for all students to reach their full potential. As members of the Briggs school community students have a responsibility to help create an environment where everyone feels safe, valued, and ready to learn. To help foster this respect for one’s self and others, rules and guidelines are created to set standards of behavior and to help settle conflicts. When someone breaks a rule there are consequences to one’s actions. Consequences are effective in changing behavior when they are logical and help students build self-discipline. Consequences that are seen only as punishment often end up teaching students only to feel bad about getting caught.
General Rules
These rules shall be followed in each classroom, as well as hallways, restrooms and throughout the school.
Treat others, as you would like to be treated
Show respect
Value rights
Be responsible
When appropriate, children are provided with an opportunity to make amends or reparation. An apology by way of action may be a consequence in some situations.

All students are expected to be…….. RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE AND READY. The matrix below lists what these expectations look and sound like in different areas around the school. This is the teaching tool used by the school to help students learn and understand what is expected of them.  Please feel free to go over this with your student(s).
 JRB Logo Respectful Responsible Safe
  • Raise my hand
  • Wait my turn
  • Use an inside voice
  • Keep my hands and feet to myself
  • Use my time appropriately
  • Do my best
  • Be helpful
  • Be ready
  • Follow directions and routines
  • Have my materials ready
  • Use an indoor voice
  • Sit appropriately
  • Keep my hands to myself
  • Walk
  • Clean up after myself
  • Raise my hand to ask questions
  • Sit quietly and wait
for directions
  • Listen
  • Quiet voices
  • Walk quietly
  • Watch where I’m going
  • Go only where I need to go
  • Level 1 voice facing forward
  • Hands at my side
  • Use kind words
  • Take turns
  • Keep hands and feet to myself
  • Use equipment appropriately
  • Ask permission to leave the playground
  • Share equipment
  • Include others in activities
  • Line up when the whistle is blown
  • Enter the building quietly
  • Level 1 (neighbor only) voice
  • Sit in my seat
  • Keep the aisle clear
  • Keep hands and feet to myself
  • Keep my materials in my backpack
  • Sit in my assigned area
  • Walk on and off the bus
  • Thoughtful of others space
  • Use supplies correctly
  • Use appropriate language & volume
  • Flush and wash hands
  • Use time wisely
  • Tell an adult if you need to use the restroom
Classroom Rules

During the first few days of each school year, teachers and students together discuss what are their goals, hopes and dreams for the year. Special attention is given to discussing what type of classroom community is needed so that everyone can realize their hopes for the year. Students and teachers work together to design rules that will protect and serve the classroom.
The rules designed by the class should number no more than four or five and be applicable to a wide range of situations. The rules should be positive in nature, reminding students what behavior is expected rather than a list of No’s and Do Not’s.

Once the rules are established, teachers will post them in the class and refer frequently to the rules that were established by everyone. The teacher may also use role playing and modeling to reinforce the rules and in discussing the consequences of not following them.
The three major approaches to increase responsibility and self discipline of students at John R. Briggs School can be broken down into the following: “You break it - you fix it”, Loss of Privilege and Quiet Time. For consequences to be effective it is important that they be logical, realistic and relevant.

An example of “You break it- you fix it” is a student may be asked to stay in during recess to clean up a mess they made at lunch or during class. A student who breaks school property due to misuse may be asked to fix it or replace it.
In Loss of Privilege, a student who breaks recess rules may lose the privilege of participating in recess.
In Quiet Time, students who are causing a disturbance/distraction to others may be asked to move themselves to a predetermined place in the classroom. The students can rejoin the class when they feel capable of following class expectations.

Discipline Code 


Student Conduct and Discipline

Good citizenship in schools is based on respect and consideration for the rights of others. Students will be expected to conduct themselves in a way that the rights and privileges of others are not violated. They will be required to respect constituted authority, to conform to school rules and to those provisions of law that apply to their conduct.


While this section provides examples of conduct that is prohibited, not every type of prohibited conduct can be listed. Students are expected to recognize that any conduct that is inconsistent with maintaining an appropriate environment either at school or at a school-sponsored event could lead to discipline, including exclusion from school. Even misconduct that does not take place in school or at a school sponsored event can result in discipline if it is of a serious nature and has a direct relationship to the school or causes substantial disruption to the school environment.


S uspension

School staff may use suspension from school not only as a deterrent to inappropriate behavior, but also to address the needs of students adversely affected by the inappropriate behavior of others. However, school staff seek to use alternatives to suspension whenever effective and appropriate to the circumstances. Except in the case of the “Statutory Offenses” as described in M.G.L. Ch. 71, §37H and 37H1/2 and set forth below, students may not be suspended more than 90 days in a school year, and school staff will avoid suspensions of more than 10 days until alternatives such as positive behavioral interventions and supports have been tried as appropriate.


Alternatives may include the use of evidence-based strategies and programs such as mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice, and positive behavioral interventions and supports.


Any student who is suspended from school will be given the opportunity to make up school work as needed to make academic progress. If the student is excluded from school for more than ten (10) consecutive days the student will have an opportunity to receive education services in order to make academic progress through the school-wide education service plan.


If a student in preschool or in grades K through 3 is to be suspended out-of-school, the principal will provide written notice to the superintendent and explain the reasons for imposing an out-of-school suspension before the suspension takes effect.


The following are examples of behaviors that may lead to suspension:

  1. Physical and/or verbal assault on an adult or student (includes fighting).
  2. Verbal threats (verbal, written, electronic or otherwise) made to any student or staff
  3. Bullying
  4. Remarks, gestures or physical contact, the display or circulation of written materials or pictures derogatory to either gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation or to racial, ethnic, religious, age, ancestry or disability groups.
  5. Pulling a false fire alarm, starting a fire, or making a bomb threat.
  6. Possession of controlled substances (drugs), alcohol, cigarettes (including vapor devices).
  7. Possessing dangerous items (e.g., knives, guns, look-alike guns, weapons, explosives, matches, harmful chemical substances).
  8. Using or copying the academic work of another and presenting it as his/her own without proper attribution.
  9. Repeatedly and intentionally defying the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, or administrators.
  10. Malicious destruction of property or stealing, including school

School principals retain the authority to discipline students for any other misconduct not specifically listed above.


Alternative Remedies for Disciplinary Consequences
Prior to issuing any disciplinary consequences pursuant to G.L. c. 71, § 37H ¾ and not subject to G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H and 37H ½, as discussed below, the Principal or designee will consider alternative remedies to such consequences. This policy applies only to short-term or long-term suspensions, emergency removals or in-school suspensions, or expulsions that are not issued under G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H and 37H ½. This policy does not apply to disciplinary consequences issued under G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H and 37H ½, which include: assault of educational staff, possession of controlled substances or a dangerous weapon on school grounds, and felony charges or conviction.
The Principal or designee will consider methods to re-engage the student in the learning process when deciding disciplinary consequences for the student. Specifically, the Principal or designee will consider and use alternative remedies including but not limited to mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice, and collaborative problem solving. The use and results of such alternative remedies will be documented in writing. The Principal or designee will consider, use to the extent possible, and document in writing such alternative remedies before the Principal or designee may suspend or expel a student. The Principal will also implement school or district models to re-engage students in the learning process, including positive behavioral interventions and supports models and trauma sensitive learning models. The Principal or designee will not implement such models in direct response to a specific incident.
In the event alternative remedies are not feasible, the Principal or designee will document specific reasons as to why such alternative remedies are not suitable or counter-productive, or in situations where the student’s continued presence in school would pose a specific, documentable concern about the infliction of serious bodily injury or other serious harm on another while in school.


E xpulsion

Section 37H of Ch. 71 of the Gen. Laws gives principals authority to expel any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored events in possession of a dangerous weapon or a controlled substance, or any student who assaults school personnel on school premises or at school-sponsored events. Expulsion is discretionary within the province of the principal. Students are also subject to long term suspension/expulsion by the Principal when charged/convicted of a felony based upon the standards and procedures set forth in M.G.L. c.71, §37H1/2. Offenses covered by these statutes are sometimes referred to as “Statutory Offenses.”


D isciplinary Procedures

The procedures that must be followed prior to suspending or expelling a student from school are outlined in Appendix A of this Handbook.

Social Play and Language

The JRB school community recognizes the importance of social development and its impact on communication, coping skills, and the ability to connect with others. High expectations regarding pro-social behavior are consistently communicated to all students as individuals strive to create a school and classroom climate, which emulates mutual respect, and promotes communication and positive social interaction. This includes, but is not limited to utilizing social language, promoting cooperative learning and play, and providing consistent patterns of socialization that encourage connections and help positively influence social behavior across the curriculum.


Proper play is expected of all students at all times. If students are having a problem with any other student, they are to inform the teacher or supervisor on duty. When out on the playground, students need to:
  • Treat others, as you would like to be treated.
  • Use all playground equipment in a proper manner; one that is respectful to others and provides safe conditions for all.
  • Before leaving the playground area ask permission from a teacher or playground supervisor.
  • During the winter months, students must wear boots and snow pants to play in the snow.
  • When the whistle blows, enter the building quietly in a single file.

Proper respect and manners are expected of students at all times. If students are having a problem with any other student, they are to inform the teacher or supervisor on duty. When in the cafeteria, students need to:
  • Talk quietly at their table
  • Raise their hand to ask for permission or help
  • Be responsible for their own trash in their immediate area (table and floor)
Mighty Moose Pledge

I pledge to be a person of character
I promise to be prepared for each day
I will respect myself and others
While working or at play
I pledge to be a person of character
I promise to always show that I care
In classrooms, at lunch, and recess
I will consistently be fair
I pledge to be a person of character
Expected behavior is a must
I will listen, complete my work,
And be worthy of trust
I pledge to be a person of character
Demonstrating respect and responsibility
Because we grow and learn together
Here at JRB!

-Written by JRB Fifth Grade Student Council Spring 2016