Code of Conduct

Overview of the Student Code of Conduct

The Northeast School philosophy is based on positive reinforcement. We believe that children can behave appropriately in a climate of warmth and support; the goal of school discipline is to help children become self‐directed citizens within a variety of environments and with different people. We believe that expectations for behavior and ways of dealing with misbehavior should be in accord with developmental goals. Clearly defined school rules and classroom procedures with incremental actions and consequences consistently carried out will foster appropriate behavior.

Positive Behavior with "Bucket-­‐filling"

Northeast School students are "Bucket-­‐fillers!" As students develop their social skills through their learning experiences and interactions with peers and adults, we emphasize being kind and just through the sharing of good thoughts and feelings. In developing a common language throughout the school, children, faculty and families use vocabulary from the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? By being kind and just through sharing these good thoughts and feelings, students "fill buckets."

We have incorporated this theme into a school wide positive behavior management system to recognize positive behavior decisions for citizenship at our school. Students' positive behavior decisions are recognized throughout the school‐in their classrooms, related arts classes, hallways, cafeteria and recess-­‐with bucket filling squares, which are put first into class buckets and then into a school wide bucket. Students' positive choices are celebrated in their classrooms by their teachers in various ways. Additionally, each week students from each learning community are selected from the school bucket and recognized during morning announcements to share their acts with the whole school. Bucket-­‐fillers celebrate monthly with a "Peaceful Picnic with the Principal". We also have a school-wide bucket that is filled with everyone's slips and we get to celebrate in special ways (ie. no homework, extra recess, student choice, etc.) when we fill our community bucket.

"Bucket Dipping"

While our goal is to have a school community of students and staff who fill each other's buckets, sharing good thoughts and feelings to be kind, respectful and safe, it is not uncommon in elementary school classrooms and buildings for students to "bucket dip." Students are learning during these critical years how to build and maintain friendships and how to be good citizens simultaneously learning from mistakes in the process.

It is well understood that it is best for children and their class community when the students and teacher solve problems within the classroom community. Parents and families are an integral part in helping the school to promote positive behaviors. Home and school must work together to bring about a positive school experience for the student. Classroom teachers will work directly with students and parents. If a child is referred to the office for a code of conduct issue, parents will be contacted to review the circumstance and responses to the behaviors. 

The following Code of Conduct chart will help students, staff, and families to understand the expectations for acceptable conduct at Northeast School. All students are expected to follow the Code of Conduct in a developmentally appropriate manner. 

The following table describes some general unacceptable behaviors and associated responses, which are divided into four tiers according to severity/developmental level/history of behaviors.

The following table describes some general unacceptable behaviors and associated responses, which are divided into four tiers according to severity/ developmental level/ history of behaviors.
 Behaviors Responses 
   Level 1  Level 2  Level 3  Level 4
 Harassment, Intimidation, & Bullying  * See specific information re: bullying legislation
 Defiance/Disruption  X  X    X  X 
 Fighting       X   X
 Inappropriate Physical Contact  X  X  X  X
 Unsafe Behavior X X X X
 Teasing/Exclusion  X  X  X  X
 Theft    X  X  X
 Threats    X
 Vandalism  X  X  X


 Level One: Infractions on an infrequent basis
  •  Conference with teacher/staff member
  • Teacher selected response
  • Teacher contacts parent/guardian via telephone
 Level Two: Repeated Infractions
  •  Parent/guardian conference with teacher to develop a behavior plan
  • Possible referral to counselor/nurse
  • Teacher selected response
 Level Three: Continuing Infractions or serious infractions
  •  Teacher/staff member contacts parent/guardian via telephone
  • Teacher/staff member refers incident to principal
  • Parent/guardian conference with principal and relevant staff
  • Possible character education project
  • Possible referral to counselor/nurse
 Level Four: Infractions that are highly serious or cause imminent danger to self or others
  •  Immediate referral to principal
  • Parent/guardian contact
  • Parent/guardian conference
  • Possible referral to counselor/nurse

* This rubric is a guideline - the principal has discretion regarding responses as they relate to individual circumstances.

New Jersey Anti-­‐Bullying Bill of Rights Act

The State of N.J. recently enacted the Anti-­‐Bullying Bill of Rights Act, which is intended to:

  • clarify and strengthen the standards and procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating and responding to incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) of students that occur on school grounds and off school grounds under specified circumstances
  • respond to research on the incidence, prevalence and effects of HIB that has emerged since the adoption of the original HIB laws adopted in 2002 and amended in 2007 and 2008
  • establish clearer standards for the definition of HIB
  • use and better manage existing resources to increase school safety.
  • reduce the risk of suicide due to HIB.

HIB means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or series of incidents that:

  • is reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical, or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic
  • takes place on school property, at any school sponsored function, or off school grounds as provided for in section 16 of P.L. 2010, Chapter 122
  • substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students
  • a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property
  • has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students
  • creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student's education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student

School staff must follow the statutory procedures for all reported HIB incidents and protect students. A reporting procedure is in place to promptly investigate reports of violations and complaints related to HIB. The investigation will be initiated by the principal or the principal's designee within one day of the report of the incident and shall be conducted by the school anti-­‐bullying specialist. The principal may appoint additional personnel to assist in the investigation.

**Please refer to this website for information re: Anti-­Bullying: legislation, definitions, consequences, procedures, etc.


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