School Discipline Policy
In our school, as in our community, we work together. The code of conduct for our students is based on our philosophy of providing a quality education in the framework of our Catholic tradition. Each component of our school community, in conjunction with our families, is committed to the welfare of the children, their growth in our faith and their academic achievement.
Discipline in the school is to be considered as an aspect of moral guidance and not a form of punishment. It is a means of training the child to assume his/her responsibilities and be in more control of his/her conduct, helping him/her to grow progressively in self-competency and maturity. Discipline promotes genuine character building.
St. Finn Barr Catholic School students are expected to be responsible for their behavior at all times. They are to be a credit to themselves and their school. Each student must be familiar with all school rules and conform to them. Continued non-conformity to these rules may result in disciplinary action according to Archdiocesan guidelines.
The formal policy for proper conduct at St. Finn Barr Catholic School is guided by Christian values. Each student understands that he/she shall:
- Be honest, courteous, attentive and respectful in all dealings with fellow students, teachers, school personnel and visitors.
- Always respect the rights and the value of each individual person on the school premises, on the way to and from school, or at school sponsored events.
- Respect and respond promptly to the directives of the teacher and other school personnel.
- Obtain permission from the proper authority for use of the school facilities, equipment or other materials.
- Be courteous, attentive and respectful when fellow students, teachers, administrators, visitors, or performers address individual classes or the assembled student body.
- Be responsible for the care of books and all other materials loaned to the students for course of studies during the year.
- Keep the campus clean.
Inappropriate behavior for St. Finn Barr Catholic School that may result in disciplinary consequences includes (but is not limited to):
- Fighting, provoking a fight between other individuals, any verbal abuse, or participating in violent activities that include physical violence (such as hitting or biting), or emotional harm to any person.
- Theft or damage to property of the school, another student, visitor or school personnel.
- Using vulgar or unacceptable language verbally or in writing.
- Leaving the campus during the day without permission.
- Disturbing the classes in such a way that others are unjustly hindered from learning.
- Possessing, selling, giving away, using, or being under the influence of drugs and/or hazardous substances (i.e. liquor, narcotics, etc.) on the school premises, at school functions or at a time and place that directly involves the school. State Law prohibits possession and/or use of cigarettes by a minor.
- Possessing dangerous items such as: firearms, knives, or other dangerous weapons (as defined by California State Law), firecrackers, fireworks, handcuffs, etc.
- Personal electronic devices may not be used in school or during school functions such as field trips, etc.
- As responsible members of the community, students are expected to take pride in and participate in maintaining the cleanliness of the school grounds (gum chewing is prohibited on school property).
- Students may not return to the classroom after dismissal to retrieve forgotten items without permission from a staff member. A staff member must accompany the student to retrieve these items.
- Please do not allow your child to bring valuable or large sums of money to school. The school cannot be responsible for loss or damage of any items.
- The school is not responsible for lost articles; however, proper labeling facilitates prompt return of lost items. All found articles will be taken to the office. Unclaimed items will be given to Goodwill.
- Children must be held responsible for their actions, therefore, they will be charged for the damage done to school property, equipment, books, etc. In the case of major damage, the principal will be notified. A new textbook will be purchased by the student’s family if the book is written in or defaced in any way.
Christian behavior is expected of every student at St. Finn Barr Catholic School. Students are to treat each other and any adult on yard duty with respect.
The following rules apply to all students:
- Play fairly and honestly.
- Respect and take care of all play equipment.
- Keep your hands and your feet to yourself.
- Standard game rules may be modified for safety reasons; students are expected to play accordingly. Rough play (such as tackle football, hitting games, chasing games, or any contact sports) is not permitted.
- Harassment of other students and unacceptable language will not be tolerated.
- Avoid the bathroom unless you intend to use it. Food and play equipment must be left outside when using the bathroom.
- Refrain from marking any wall or benches.
- Stay in your respective play area.
Each teacher, on the first day of school, shall review the rules and regulations of the school and the classroom in order to clarify what is expected of them.
Non-conformity to the rules as set by the school may result in one of the following consequences as outlined by the Archdiocese of San Francisco according to the discretion of the teacher and/or the principal.
Verbal Warning or Reprimand (for minor misbehavior)
The teacher or adult staff shall discuss the problem with the child in order to solicit his/her cooperation, and may contact the parents for intervention.
Loss of Privileges/Behavior Contracts
When inappropriate behavior is more serious in nature or a student repeatedly disregards the rules, a loss of privileges (including recess, field trip attendance, etc.) may be used as a consequence In these cases, parents and the principal shall be notified, and parents may be scheduled for conference in order to discuss the behavior.
Behavior contracts are also used for repeated or serious inappropriate or disruptive behavior. These contracts allow for documented communication between the teacher, student, and parents to allow for meaningful reflection and at-home consequences to support improved behavior.
Suspension is used in serious cases and only when the school administration thinks it is imperative to take such action or when students repeatedly and deliberately disregard the rules of the school. A student who is suspended may not participate in any school activity (including sports) that may occur during the period of suspension. This includes activities that fall on weekends or holidays.
A student becomes subject to suspension if she/he:
- Becomes engaged in a violent fight on the school grounds or on the way to and from school.
- Uses language that denigrates another person, ethnic group, gender, etc.
- Leaves the school grounds without permission during school hours.
- Has in his/her possession any harmful objects or materials posing a threat to self or other students.
- Engages in conduct whether inside or outside the school, that is detrimental to the reputation of the school.
- Engages in other seriously other inappropriate behavior including theft or dishonesty.
When the student shows no evidence of behavioral improvement or change and his behavior is detrimental to the well being of other students, expulsion shall be recommended or required.
Extreme disrespect towards any member of the community, the possession of an illegal substance or weapon (such as knives, any sharp objects, etc.) or posing physical threats to others on the school grounds are considered serious matters and by itself may warrant expulsion.
If there is a serious problem with a student, the following Archdiocesan policy is used:
Probation for a clearly specified period of time for a relatively serious or continued misconduct that does not require immediate drastic action. In all cases both parents and student must be made fully aware of the seriousness of the action and the reason for the probation.
Suspension and expulsion for grave actions detrimental to the morals and spiritual welfare of other students, incorrigible or disruptive behavior which impedes the progress of the rest of the class, habitual or persistent violation of the school regulations, use, sale, distribution or possession of narcotics or alcoholic beverages, malicious damage or destruction of real or personal property at school.
No policy is capable of covering all the behaviors warranting disciplinary action. Therefore, the Administration of St. Finn Barr Catholic School reserves the right to censure or penalize students for behavior that is not in accordance with Christian values or that consistently interferes with our educational endeavor.
Code of Christian Conduct (Archdiocesan Policy)
The students’ interest in receiving a quality, morally based education can be served if students, parents and school officials work together. Normally, differences between these individuals can be resolved. In some rare instances, however, the school may find it necessary, in its discretion, to require parents/guardians to withdraw their child.
It shall be an express condition of enrollment that the student behave in a manner, both on and off campus, that is consistent with the Christian principles of the school as determined by the school in its discretion. These principles include, but are not limited to, any policies, principles or procedures set forth in any student/parent handbook of the school.
It shall be an express condition of enrollment that the parents/guardians of a student shall also conform themselves to standards of conduct that are consistent with the Christian principles of the school, as determined by the school in its discretion. These principles include, but are not limited to any policies, principles or procedures set forth in any student/parent handbook of the school.
These Christian principles further include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Parents/guardians are expected to work courteously and cooperatively with the school to assist the student in meeting the academic, moral and behavioral expectations of the school.
- Students and parents/guardians may respectfully express their concerns about the school operation and its personnel. However, they may not do so in a manner that is discourteous, scandalous, rumor driven, disruptive, threatening, hostile or divisive.
- These expectations for students and parents/guardians include, but are not limited to, all school-sponsored programs and events (e.g., extended care, athletics, field trips, etc.).
- The school reserves the right to determine, in its discretion, which actions fall short of meeting the Christian principles of the school. Failure to follow these principles will normally result in a verbal or written warning to the student and/or parent/guardian and normally will first result in disciplinary action short of a requirement to withdraw from the school (e.g., suspension of student or suspension of parent/guardian’s privilege to come on the campus grounds and/or participate in parish/school activities, volunteer work, etc.).
- The school reserves the right to determine, in its discretion, when conduct is of such a severe nature as to warrant immediate action without a warning and/or without an intermediate step short of withdrawal.