Student Discipline

Student Discipline

The Board of Education believes that each student can reasonably be expected to be responsible for his/her own behavior.  The school administration shall develop and disseminate rules of conduct, focusing on personal safety and respect for the rights and property of others, to be consistently applied in the classrooms and throughout the school.  Students who fail to meet this expected degree of responsibility and violate school rules may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action and more regulated supervision.

Discipline within the schools is the responsibility of the Building Principal.  The Principal, in administering disciplinary procedures, will adhere to the parameters, rules and regulations established by statute, state regulations and Board policies.  Principals have the further responsibility of developing rules and regulations concerning disciplinary procedures, in compliance with Board policy.

Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with a problem at the time and place it occurs, and in a way that is viewed as fair and impartial by the student.  Therefore, before seeking outside assistance, teachers will first use their best efforts to create a change of behavior in the classroom.

Disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair, and consistent in order to be most effective in changing behavior

Policy Statement

With respect to school conduct and discipline, it is the policy of the Warwick Valley Central School District that:

  1. All members of the school community – students, teachers, administration and staff – have the right to operate in a day-to-day atmosphere of sufficient order to effectively accomplish the task of education without unduly stifling the creativity and flexibility essential for excellence.
  2. All rules and regulations shall work to promote a sense of self-discipline and individual responsibility for one’s own actions.

As a school district, we subscribe to the belief that our mission to educate our District’s children is important and vital.  Thus it follows that we will provide quality classroom and school-wide experiences and allow nothing to deter us from that role.  We have evolved building and classroom management systems which promote maximum time-on-task student effort.

Most school rules and regulations are meant to provide an atmosphere in which academic, social, and civic growth can develop.  Our Board specifies that “pupils shall conduct themselves in keeping with the level of their maturity, acting with due regard for the supervisory authority vested by the Board in all District employees…”  Furthermore, it states that “all employees of the District shall share responsibility for supervising the behavior of our students and for seeing that they meet the standards of conduct established by the Board or its agents.”

When disciplinary rules are consistently followed, they allow us to think about more important things.  When misconduct occurs, we must deal with it promptly, fairly, and CONSISTENTLY.

Additionally, such rules should be devised by a group of interested parties including teachers, administrators, parents, and students.  These rules should be reviewed and updated periodically and presented to each student and family in a clearly stated fashion.

We, in the Warwick Valley School District, recognize the importance of and the role that discipline plays in our schools and our lives.  We therefore set forth the following topical outline of rules and regulations for the maintenance of proper student conduct and the process by which such codes (governing the conduct of all persons involved in our schools) shall be determined and enforced.

These items and procedures are listed, defined and developed according to grade level within each of our District’s schools.  The resultant codes are published in student and faculty handbooks and are distributed annually in the schools.  Further, they shall be revised as necessary at the close of each school year by committees representing each school community (students, faculty, parents, administration, and residents) and be presented annually to the Superintendent for a timely, public review.


Procedures for early identification: Pupil personnel staff members, administrators, teachers, and others will report students to the Principal when they believe such students present a discipline problem which they reasonably believe the student lacks the capacity to handle.  The principal, or his designated representative (e.g., associate principal) will conduct an investigation of the reports, which investigation may include conferences with the complainant, student, parents, teachers, other pupil service personnel or others, as he or she deems appropriate for the early identification and resolution of the suspected problem.

    1. Students – Students attend and participate in school programs so that they may develop to their fullest potential. With this in mind, students are to:
      1. be aware of and obey school rules and regulations;
      2. accept responsibility for their own actions;
      3. respect the rights of others, including the right to secure an education in an orderly, safe, secure and discipline environment;
      4. attend school regularly, arrive on time and devote energies to learning;
      5. maintain habits of personal cleanliness;
      6. respect school property and the property of others;
      7. comply with requests, instructions and directions given by school personnel in matters of behavior and discipline from the time of departure from home until arrival at home as well as during any school-sponsored activities;
      8. recognize and help to eliminate prejudice;
      9. use the established procedures to communicate with personnel able to assist; and
      10. to contribute toward establishing and maintaining an atmosphere that generates mutual respect and dignity for all.
      1. Parents – A cooperative and mutually supportive relationship between home and school is essential to each student’s successful development and achievement. To achieve this wholesome relationship, parents are urged to:
        1. exemplify an enthusiastic and supportive attitude toward school and education;
        2. build a good working relationship among themselves, their  children, the teachers and school staff;
        3. teach children self respect, respect for the law, respect for others, and respect for public property;
        4. insist on prompt and regular attendance;
        5. prepare written excuses for student absences and tardiness;
        6. participate and assist in maintaining communication with the school by insisting that their children promptly bring home all communications from school;
        7. cooperate with the school in jointly resolving any school related problems and in implementing the rules and regulations of the District;
        8. listen to views and observations of all parties concerned before reaching a decision;
        9. set realistic standards of behavior for their children and be firm, fair, and consistent in applying them by putting forth a continuous effort to listen, consult, understand and trust their children;
        10. help their children deal effectively with peer pressure;
        11. provide a place conducive for study and ensure the completion of homework assignments;
        12. work with school personnel, community agencies, and ongoing committees and organizations dealing with school matters;
        13. provide for their children’s health, personal cleanliness, acceptable grooming, and suitable dress;
        14. work with their family and others to recognize and eliminate prejudice;
        15. set a good example; don’t be a “Do as I say, not as I do” parent; and
        16. tell the truth where student activities are concerned and not to “cover up” for their children; children need to learn to accept the consequences of their actions.
        1. Teachers – Teachers recognize their charge to educate children of the community.  To meet this responsibility the teachers are to:
          1. promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity which will strengthen the student’s positive self image;
          2. plan and conduct a program of instruction that will make learning attractive and interesting by coming to class prepared and devoting the entire class period to good teaching;
          3. seek to develop close cooperative relationships with parents for the educational benefit of the school;
          4. teach the common courtesies by rule and example;
          5. handle infractions individually.  Employ fairness, reasonableness and consistency;
          6. be sensitive to changing behavior patterns;
          7. enable students to discuss their problems by listening to students, remaining open minded, and consulting and acting on student recommendations in the decision-making process;
          8. report to the building administrator any students who jeopardize their own safety, the safety of other students, or other personnel.  Students who seriously interfere with the instructional program of the school will also be reported;
          9. guide students to attain their full potential;
          10. serve as a surrogate parent in matters of behavior and discipline as may be required by New York Education Law;
          11. help students learn how to use cooperatively developed and agreed upon procedures to bring about change;
          12. participate with Principal and/or Associate Principal in formulating rules which relate to school;
          13. be available in the halls for supervision of students during class change; and
          14. work with oneself, one’s students, and one’s associates to recognize and eliminate prejudice toward race, creed, social class, sex, national origin, and disability.

        Classroom Conduct Rules

          • All teachers subscribe to the philosophy (which is consistent with District guidelines) that education is important, is their primary responsibility and goal, and that nothing will prevent them or distract them from utilizing every available classroom moment for instruction.
          • All teachers have devised a clear set of classroom management and behavior guidelines and expectations. These rules have the full support of the administration and are compatible with District policy.  During the first few class sessions of each year and/or semester, these expectations will be reviewed with all assigned students and, when possible, given to the class in written form.
          • Such guidelines will include (but will not be limited to) classroom attendance, student preparation for class, a homework policy (which is consistent with District guidelines), participation in class, rules of common courtesy, assignment of seats, and all appropriate consequences for misbehavior including private discussions with the teacher after class or after school, detention after school, contact with parents, referral to guidance counselor, and/or referral to the administration.
          • Teachers, and all staff, shall be responsible for the early identification of student behavioral problems, alerting appropriate administration officials in a timely fashion, and for the referral of the student to his counselor or the child-study team when ordinary discipline measures do not seem to be effective.
          1.  Counselors – School counselors play an important role in the education of students.  In view of this responsibility, guidance counselors are to:
            1. assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems;
            2. initiate teacher/student/counselor conferences and parent/teacher/student/ counselor conferences, as necessary, as a way to resolve problems;
            3. regularly review with students their educational progress and career plans;
            4. provide information to assist students with career planning;
            5. encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.
            1.  Building Administrators – As the educational leaders of the school, the administrators set the disciplinary climate for the school. Therefore, they are to:
              1. seek to develop a sound and healthful atmosphere of mutual respect within the school;
              2. evaluate the program of instruction in the school to achieve a meaningful educational program;
              3. help the staff evaluate their own procedures and attitudes in relation to the interactions within their classrooms;
              4. provide teachers with relief of serious problems as soon as possible and support all building personnel in maintaining appropriate and effective discipline;
              5. assist staff members in resolving problems which may occur by communicating with them the action taken by the principal on disciplinary matters;
              6. work closely with parents to establish a wholesome relationship between home and school by sending communications home regularly and promptly;
              7. establish necessary building security; and
              8. assume responsibility for the dissemination and enforcement of the District’s discipline policy and insure that all cases are resolved promptly.
              1.  Superintendent of Schools – As the Chief Executive Officer of the school district and the educational system, it shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to:
                1. take such steps as are necessary to develop, publicize and carry out the rules and regulations for students;
                2. work with the Principals, law enforcement officials and other agencies to make certain that the rules and responsibilities of each are understood and to make plans for cooperative working arrangements;
                3. consider and act upon recommendations for suspensions in keeping with the policy of the Board;
                4. review with each Principal the policies of the Board and state laws relating to discipline;
                5. listen and react to the view of the total community;
                6. inform the Board of educational trends relating to discipline;
                7. provide for the development of innovative educational programs which will help to minimize problems of misconduct and which will be sensitive to the needs of the faculty; and
                8. make himself/herself available to each Principal, advising on serious discipline matters and support the Principal so long as the latter has acted in accordance with the disciplinary policies of the school district and the laws of the State of New York.
                1.  Board of Education – The primary task of the Board is to establish school district policy. In this regard, it shall be the responsibility of the Board to:
                  1. adopt and support a clearly defined discipline policy for the school district;
                  2. approve a procedure for hearing grievances relating to disciplinary action which will protect the rights of all parties in the action;
                  3. listen and react to the views of the total community; and
                  4. annually review the discipline policy of the school district.
                  1.  The Disciplinarians –
                    1. Maintaining acceptable student behavior is the business of every District employee – principals, teachers, aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, secretaries and all other staff members; it is not just the business of the classroom teacher or the associate principal to discipline those who choose to behave badly.  All of these people have the responsibility to help students select appropriate behavior patterns.  Any one of them has the right to make any reasonable request of a student and/or to question what you are doing or why a student is at a particular location.  Further, as they carry out their responsibilities to insure the safety and well being of everyone, they may order a student to do something which is contrary to the student’s wishes.  It is the student’s obligation to comply immediately with any such request or order.
                      Failure to follow such directions will be considered insubordination and subject the student to severe penalties (including the possibility of suspension).
                    2. Some of the kinds of discipline that are used by the faculty and staff are: verbal warnings or reprimands, written warnings or reprimands, requests for parent conferences, requests for conferences with guidance counselors, coaches, advisors, and/or administration, refusal of pass privileges, removal from class to detention room, assignment to short detention, assignment to detention. Infractions which require more serious punishments are used only by the administration, e.g., permanent removal (expulsion) from class, in-school detention, suspension from school, petition to Family Court, Alternative educational programs, expulsion from school.
                    3. If a student is serious about his/her education, if he/she respects himself/herself, and if he/she cares about what others think of him/her, the student will learn the rules and follow them.