Behavior & Discipline Policy
3 R’s = Rights, Responsibility, and Respect
Platinum Rule – “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”
Mulberry School stresses the growth of the whole, individual child. We cherish our differences and our uniqueness as individuals, but we are also a community. In that community every child has rights. They have the right to work without disruption, express oneself without interruption, work cooperatively within a group, play and live safely, be different and/or unique without fear or humiliation of censure, and have one’s work and property respected. In order to protect these rights, we feel all members of our community must be responsible and respectful. We will achieve this by modeling these beliefs and by using positive reinforcement, redirection, natural consequences, and consistency.
When children disagree or an unacceptable behavior occurs we believe in modeling and teaching the child how to problem solve to handle the situation. Children are expected to use their words to discuss and solve problems (dependent on age – this can be teacher driven).
If a situation arises in which a child is prohibiting other children from their school rights, then a teacher will follow the three steps below. All situations are handled appropriate to the behavior and teachers will talk with the student so that the student will learn from the situation.
1. Verbal Warning
2. Designated Calming Space: “A Place to Pause”
3. Take a Break Outside of the Classroom: The teacher will give the child a yellow Mulberry School card and send the child to the Non-Profit Director/ Academic Coordinator or the front desk. If extra help is needed the teacher will call the front desk from her cell phone. The student will have time to cool down and then will discuss the situation using our “What Happened/ Next Time I will….” form. This form will be sent home with the child so the parents are aware of the situation.
If an unacceptable behavior is repeated, then the teacher will inform the parent to work together to identify why the behavior is reoccurring and the best plan of action to correct the behavior. At any point, the teacher may take the assistance of the Non-Profit Director and/or Academic Coordinator.
In the event the behavior does not improve, the teacher will involve the Non-Profit Director and/or Academic Coordinator. At their discretion, they will continue to work with the child and parents to find a constructive plan to correct inappropriate behaviors. The Non-Profit Director and/or Academic Coordinator will provide a notice of the behavior issues to the Board of Directors, in an Executive Session, with appropriate background information and action plan details.
An update will be given to the Board of Directors pertaining to the behavior issues and recommendations for further actions at a time determined by the Non-Profit Director and/or Academic Coordinator to be suitable for behavior to have improved. The Non-Profit Director and/or Academic Coordinator will also make the recommendations known to the parents of the student. Further actions may include: a reduction in the student’s hours, increased supervision through the hiring of an assistant specifically for the student (at their parents’ expense), or dismissal in extreme circumstances. The Board of Directors will consider the option(s) recommended by the Non-Profit Director and/or Academic Coordinator and input from the student’s parents in their decision. Appropriate tuition refunds will be made in the case of hour changes or dismissal per the student contract.
The intent of this policy is to avoid the need for dismissal, but it is recognized that there are extreme cases where a student is so disruptive or aggressive that other students feel unsafe. Even in these cases, every reasonable effort will be made before dismissal is considered, as long as the safety of other children is not jeopardized. The Board of Directors and Staff will attempt to assist the student/family in finding a more appropriate educational opportunity going forward if dismissed.
Mulberry School has zero tolerance for bullying. Bullying is contrary to state law and Mulberry Schools policy. Bullying, intimidation and harassment are detrimental to a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors is important to Mulberry School’s Board of Directors, teachers, staff, and families.
Mulberry School prohibits ANY bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, military status, unfavorable discharge status from the military service, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, or the protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic.
- During any school sponsored education program or activity.
- While in school or on school property at school sponsored or school sanctioned events or activities.
- Through the transmission of information from a school computer, network or other similar electronic school equipment.
Bullying, as defined in 105 ILCS 5/27- 23.7, is defined as unwanted repetitive verbal and/or physical aggressive behavior. In an early childhood setting it can look like name calling, taunting, excluding someone on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone else, spreading rumors, hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping and pushing.
Intervention and Prevention of Bullying
- Discuss and model positive behavior and other ways young children can make friends and interact with their peers.
- Set clear and consistent rules for behavior.
- Be vigilant in monitoring for aggression and bullying.
- Value kindness.
- Use age-appropriate consequences for aggressive behavior.
- Model alternative behaviors for aggression.
- Teach them to report to an adult.
- Distinguish between friendly teasing and bullying.
Parents are encouraged to report incidents of bullying to teachers, the Non-Profit Director and/or Academic Coordinator as soon as possible, both for assistance and for prompt investigation purposes. This information can be reported orally or written to the Non-Profit Director at the school by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 309.862.0510.
A full implementation of the policies includes, but not limited to;
- Conducting a prompt and thorough investigation of alleged incidents of bullying.
- Making all reasonable efforts to complete the investigation in 10 school days after the report was received.
- Involving appropriate school support personnel with knowledge, experience, and training – as deemed necessary.
- Notify the Non-Profit Director as soon as possible.
- Provide parents/guardians of the students involved information about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the Non-Profit Director.
- Providing each student who violates any of the policies with appropriate consequences and/or remedial action.
- Verbal warning and incident report documented by supervising staff and placed into the students file. (minimum of 3 documentation incidents)
- Supervising staff, Non-Profit Director or Academic Coordinator will contact family of student bullying via email (for documentation purposes), to address how to proceed.
- Continued unacceptable behavior will result in an in person contact between the student, parent/guardian, teacher, Non-Profit Director and/or Academic Coordinator.
- Any additional incidents will be directed to the Board of Directors to further review and resulting in loss of extra curricular activities, loss of school days or removal from Mulberry School.
- Protecting students against retaliation for reporting bullying.
Mulberry School will not punish a student/family because he or she made a complaint or report, supplied information, or otherwise participated in an investigation, provided the individual/family did not make a knowingly false accusation or provide knowingly false information.
Incidents of bullying will be evaluated by the teaching staff, Non-Profit Director and/or Academic Coordinator and brought to the Board of Directors as needed. Actions similar to those outlined in the previous section will apply to bullying.
For purposes of this policy, the term bullying includes cyberbullying and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, directed toward a student that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property.
- Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health.
- Substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance.
- Substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
This policy is not intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 or 4 of Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution.
- As part of this policy evaluation process to assess the outcomes and effectiveness of the policy that includes, but is not limited to, factors such as the frequency of victimization; student, staff, and family observations of safety at a school; identification of areas of a school where bullying occurs; the types of bullying utilized; and bystander intervention or participation. Mulberry School may use relevant data and information it already collects for other purposes in the policy evaluation. The information developed as a result of the policy evaluation must be made available on the website of the school.
This policy is consistent and based on the Board of Directors, Non-Profit Director, Academic Coordinator, teachers, staff and including parents and students. This policy is posted on the school’s website and is distributed annually to parents, guardians, students, and school personnel, including new employees when hired.
October 19, 2022