OMS Parent Student Handbook - Positive School Culture, Behavioral Expectations & Discipline
Overlook Middle School
School Culture and Climate
Rules and regulations are a necessary component of achieving and maintaining high quality school culture and climate. Behavioral Expectations are an extension of an adult’s concern for a child’s welfare and their needs in learning. To create a positive School Culture and Climate, all behavioral interventions go through a process of reflection, identification/understanding of impacts and repairing harm.
At Overlook Middle School, we teach norms, values and expectations that support people feeling socially, emotionally and physically safe.
These values and expectations include:
- Ready to Learn
Specific policies have been developed from this concept of reflection, identification/understanding of impacts and repairing harm to reinforce positive behavior and promote positive and safe habits in students. These policies are in place to create a procedure that is educational, reasonable, fair, and with the ultimate objective of effective student self-discipline. Communication and cooperation are the keys to a successful program of school discipline.
Community Building in the Classroom
Teachers are responsible for establishing norms, values and expectations in the classroom that align with school policies and procedures. We help students learn and understand these expectations, and do so through whole group lessons, conversations, conferences, practice, and revisiting these expectations frequently.
Teachers may also require students who are demonstrating difficulty adhering to these norms and values to revisit these expectations, via meetings, assignments, and/or other various learning opportunities outside of the normal school day. To affect student behavior, teachers are encouraged to utilize school resources including school adjustment counselors, the nurse, student support teachers, and/or other staff. Additionally, teachers are encouraged to contact parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and/or notify school counselors when appropriate to enhance communication between home and school. OMS faculty and staff can also refer a student to administration to help support teaching norms, values and expectations.
In the event that a student’s actions do not follow the values and expectations in this handbook, a student may be referred to administration. These referrals may include chronic classroom behaviors, behaviors that occur outside of the classroom (hallways, school events, bus and bus stops, school property, ect), or any severe violation of the school handbook.
Reflection, Identification/Understanding Impacts and Repairing Harm
At OMS, we strive to build and promote healthy relationships among educators and students by turning unexpected behaviors into learning opportunities. We teach social-emotional and conflict-resolution skills to allow students to accept responsibility for behaviors, make right what has been wronged and move forward in a safe community. As teachable moments arise, it is the responsibility of all OMS staff and students to take an active role in the process, to learn from the experience, and take every means possible to correct the situation. Community building allows for those who do not follow norms, values and expectations, an opportunity to learn, practice, and participate in defining a positive culture at Overlook Middle School.
Students who are referred to administration for disciplinary action will be asked to complete a reflection. The reflection is an opportunity to consider what happened, who was impacted, and how they were impacted. The reflection is the first step in defining, teaching, and promoting positive behavior. Students will be asked to bring their reflection home to continue the conversation, and have their primary care-giver sign the form, and the student is responsible for returning the form.
Working lunch is an opportunity for students to complete a seminar or module during the school day. Students who are assigned a working lunch, should report to the designated working area with their lunch. Students can be assigned a specific number of working lunches depending on the nature of the referral.
When a student has caused a problem in school, he/she may be assigned detention. The detention will be served at the teacher's discretion. Upon dismissal the student is to leave the building immediately. Failure to accept the responsibility of showing up for detention will require a meeting with the administration. If the first offense is unexcused, the student will be referred to administration for further action. Students who continue to miss detentions will be subject to further consequences. Overlook Middle School is sensitive to the transportation problems that arise when students have detentions. We also believe that detentions must be served in a timely manner in order for them to be effective. Students are given a minimum 24-hour notice before a detention has to be served. If a student cannot stay because of transportation problems on a first offense, we ask that the student bring a note to school stating the problem and make arrangements to serve this detention within a five day period.