Many schools have discovered a straightforward and effective method to foster respect, responsibility, and a strong sense of community among their students. Whether it's called a "Community Agreement" or a "Code of Conduct," this guide will provide a step-by-step approach for teachers and school leaders to consider implementing this strategy within their schools.
This initiative encourages students to make improved choices, appreciate the importance of respecting others, and create a safe and inclusive environment.
Step 1: Establishing the Community Agreement
Gather the Students: Begin by assembling students to discuss the significance of treating one another with respect and maturity.
Encourage Student Voice: Promote an environment where students feel comfortable expressing their opinions and ideas.
Outline Key Elements: Collaborate with students to define the essential elements of the Community Agreement, which may encompass:
Treating everyone with respect.
Obtain Student Agreement: Ensure that all students willingly commit to upholding these principles as part of their role as students.
Step 2: Demerits and Reflection Period
Implement a Behavioral System: Establish a system in which students receive demerits for behaviors that violate the Community Agreement.
Reflection Period: When a student accumulates a predetermined number of demerits within a specific time frame, schools require their participation in a reflection period.
During the Reflection Period: Students must:
Record the types of demerits they received.
Describe the negative behavior associated with each demerit.
Articulate why their actions violated the student code of conduct or the Community Agreement.
Develop a plan outlining how they intend to make better choices moving forward.
Step 3: Rewarding Positive Behavior
Fun Fridays: Recognize students who have not received demerits within the specified time frame with a "Fun Friday" or a similar incentive.
Enjoyment and Connection: Fun Fridays offer students an opportunity to enjoy supervised free time, fostering connections with friends and relaxation.
Incentivize Positive Behavior: Use this incentive as a motivation for students to maintain positive behavior and adhere to the Community Agreement.
Consider Implementing this Approach in Your School:
Adapt the Reflection Period concept to address students who do not meet behavioral or point goals.
Encourage students who have received demerits or failed to meet point goals to reflect on their actions, acknowledge violations, and strategize for making better choices in the future.
By following these steps, your school can create an environment that promotes respect, responsibility, and community, ultimately contributing to a safer and more inclusive educational experience for all students.