One of the most important lessons for any student to learn is how to respect authority, respect the rights of others, and take care of their own and other’s property. Additionally, students should learn not to disrupt the education of other students. Although it is necessary to have school and classroom rules, our emphasis is not on do’s and don’ts, rather we focus on all members of our community taking accountability and repairing the harm that unwanted behavior causes. In order to accomplish this, we set discipline standards that are enforced fairly and consistently (recognizing age, experience, and other factors that not all students are the same and need individualized attention). We value our teachers working closely with the parents in all areas of behavior and discipline and that all communications are open and honest.
At High Point Academy, a successful student is respectful and responsible! We believe that the previous statement is simple for students to remember and students’ behaviors should align with this statement. Importantly, we have aligned our discipline policy with the Love and Logic and Restorative Practices philosophy which focuses on these principles.
- Reserve and enhance the child’s self-concept.
- Teach children how to build and maintain relationships within the community.
- Teach children how to own and solve the problems they create.
- Repair harm to the victim(s) and community.
- Share control and decision making.
- Combine consequences with high levels of empathy and warmth.
Moreover, we have adopted the essential rules of Love and Logic and Restorative Practices.
- Adults set firm limits in loving ways without anger, lecture, threats, or repeated warnings.
- Adults set limits using enforceable statements.
- Adults regard mistakes as learning opportunities.
- Adults resist the temptation to “nag”.
- When children misbehave and cause problems, adults handle these problems back in loving ways.
- Adults provide strong doses of empathy before describing consequences.
- Adults respond with a curious and inquisitive tone, separating the deed from the doer while allowing the child to speak for him or herself.
- Children are given the gift of owning and solving their own problems.
High Point Academy staff emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by misconduct rather than a punitive discipline process. It does so by:
- Identifying the misconduct and attempting to repair the harm.
- Includes all people impacted by a conflict in the restorative process.
- Creating a process that promotes healing, reconciliation and the rebuilding of relationships to build mutual responsibility and constructive responses to wrongdoing within our school.
- HPA teachers and administrators will use a continuum of strategies that are restorative rather than punitive. Students will not be forced to participate in restorative solutions but in turn, will receive a more traditional form of discipline.
These practices can be used to implement positive behavior in classrooms and on the HPA campus that is consistent with the framework set forth in the HPA handbook when some flexibility is given to implement restorative practices as a first step.