Chapter 24 – Student Rights and Responsibilities (Title 5 – D.C. Municipal Regulations)
In addition, DCPS has written a set of guidelines: DCPS Philosophy and Approach to Student Behavior and Discipline. This document describes the things that are most important to the DCPS community as we strive to provide a safe and effective learning environment for all students. The document is divided into four sections:
Intentional School Culture. All people in schools will help create a positive, welcoming, safe, and productive learning environment. We will not simply post rules and punish students; we will be thoughtful about how we develop systems and procedures in schools, so that both students and adults are expected to show respect for each other, and are allowed to feel respected in return.
Comprehensive Student Support . We recognize that some students need help to behave the way we expect them to behave. School staff will attempt to correct misbehavior first by making sure students are aware of what they are supposed to be doing, then by calming situations down before they get out of control, and finally by giving consequences. We will give extra support to students who repeat misbehavior.
Instructional Approach to Behavior and Discipline . It is our responsibility to tell students clearly how we expect them to behave (“What are the rules?”). We must then teach students how to meet those expectations (“How am I supposed to behave in school?”). Before discipline situations become serious, we will work with students to calm down anger, talk through disagreements, and avoid problems. Finally, when students break the rules, we must give consequences that fit the misbehavior and allow the student to learn from the mistake (“What happens if I break a rule?”).
Consistent, Progressive Discipline Responses that Minimize Disruption of Instructional Time. The entire school community must work together to support positive behavior, and the community must recognize that students of different ages need to have support and structure that matches their age. Overall, we must be respectful of individuals, take into account the needs of the whole community, and always keep our attention on the primary goal – to enable students to learn as well and as much as possible.
Marie Reed also utilizes Second Step and Conscious Discipline as approaches to social emotional learning throughout the school. These curricula aim to develop discipline, self-advocacy, empathy, and self-awareness among students.