Behavior policies

Lower School

LS behavior policies

In the Lower School, we believe in a moral education approach to discipline. Our goal is to help children develop self-discipline so that they have respect for rules and the rights of others, whether adults are present or not. We believe that all ASL employees help students develop respect and responsibility for our school community as well as the greater community. We believe in creating a strong classroom and divisional community where expectations for behavior and how we work together is understood. We believe that students can take ownership for their behavior and when mistakes are made, can make amends and continue to be a contributing member of the group.

Our ASL Core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Kindness, Integrity and the Courage to Act guide our beliefs of how the members of our community act and communicate with one another. The ASL Portrait of the Learner is a tool to reinforce these values along with other dispositions that we promote. In each classroom, the children and teacher develop mutually agreed upon rules. For both school and classroom rules, we establish logical consequences, which can serve as a moral teacher. Our philosophy can be summed up as “We expect you to follow the rules because that’s the right thing to do. These rules are there to help everybody in our school.”

Students are expected to behave in a way that demonstrates respect for each other, for adults, and for the resources and facilities at ASL.  As members of a dynamic and caring school community, all ASL employees are expected to help students develop responsibility and a deep appreciation for our multicultural community.  Each division has its own rules relating to discipline and student behavior.

We have three general school rules that guide our behavior, whether in class, in the corridor, at recess, on the bus, or on field trips. Specialists and classrooms share the same three general rules. Classroom agreements that further define these three rules should be made individually and with the children.

1. Be respectful

Act in a kind way to other children and adults. No teasing, name-calling, or “put down” statements will be allowed, e.g., making fun of a person’s name, appearance, background or abilities.
Respect yourself and others. When there is a conflict, resolve it peacefully by talking and listening to the other person. Keep your hands, feet and objects to yourself.

2. Be safe

Stay in sight of an adult on the school campus.
Play games in a safe way and allow others to join when they ask.
Move about the school in a safe way.

3. Be responsible

Come to school on time every day with all of your materials, e.g., books, permission slips, etc.
Bring only appropriate play items. You may not bring any weapons either real or toy, e.g., toy guns, pocket knives, etc.
Accept consequences for behavior.

Procedures we will follow depending upon the circumstances:

  • The child will be reminded of the rule and may be asked “to talk it out” in cases where there is a conflict with another child.
  • An adult will talk with the child about the problem.
  • The child will be asked to take a “time out” to think about his/her behavior.
  • A phone call or note will be sent to parents.
  • A parent conference will be held.
  • The child will be sent home. Children should understand that this will occur if another child is physically harmed in a deliberate manner.
  • The child will be suspended from school for one to three additional days in severe cases of misbehavior or for repeated disrespect, teasing, bullying or hurting others.

Playground rules

  • Movement to playground should be done in a managed and quiet manner.
  • Students should remain quiet and respectful inside the building, particularly when moving through learning areas (i.e. gymnasium).
  • Upon returning to the building from the playground, students should observe the “SILENT TREE” sign and stop talking at that point.
  • If balls go out of the playground, the duty staff will supervise their retrieval. Balls that go on the roof will be thrown down periodically.
  • No running, tag, or ball games permitted in playground equipment area.
  • Take turns.
  • Jumping off equipment is not permitted.
  • Use common sense when making decisions.
  • Keep the playground clean by putting litter in the bins and by picking up any stray papers.
  • At the end of recess, the first whistle blown means the second one means "line up."

Marlborough Place playground dismissal reminders

To help with dismissal, parents of students in Grades 3-4 should meet on the soccer pitch and not near the totem poles so that teachers can dismiss students easily. Please remember that there is no ball playing at dismissal time until 3:10 pm (2:10 pm on Wednesday).

The playground is open to supervised LS students after school throughout the year, with the exception of during IPoP terms. Fall IPoP sessions take place Mondays-Thursdays, 18 September-16 November. During these dates, students not enrolled in IPoP must leave the playground by 3:05 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and by 2:05 pm on Wednesdays. The playground is open to supervised students every Friday throughout the year, as well as when IPoP is not taking place. Students may use the playground until 3:55 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and until 2:55 pm on Wednesdays. The kindergarten sandbox is not open before or after school.

After-school Marlborough playground guidelines

  • All children are expected to follow ASL playground rules
  • Parents and guardians are asked to actively supervise the children in their care
  • If our IPoP “stay and play” supervisor feels it is necessary to speak to non-IPoP students about their behavior on the playground, parental support is encouraged
  • All children are responsible for tidying up any equipment they have used before vacating the playground
  • All non-IPoP students must return to their parents/guardians once the “stay and play” class has been called for dismissal at 3:55 pm (2:55 pm Wednesdays) and vacate the playground

Middle School

MS behavior, rights and responsibilities

Every community develops a unique set of commitments that reflects the beliefs of that community. First, the community agrees on what can be expected from each of its members. These are known as responsibilities.

Then, the community agrees on what each member can expect from the community. These are known as rights. These rights and responsibilities come from the school’s mission and core values.
Middle School Student Rights

As a member of the Middle School, you have the right to an excellent education that excites, challenges and involves you in important learning activities at your ability level. You also have the responsibility to participate actively in your own learning and accept the responsibility to take intellectual risk and to stretch yourself. You will make mistakes, but these are necessary for growth.

You have the right to feel cared for and valued. Your advisor is your primary adult advocate in this school. He/she will be there for you throughout the year. However, you must reach out to your advisor and to others in your class and school, not just to your close friends. You also have the responsibility to care for and value others in this community, especially those who are younger.

You have the right to question and to disagree without fear, which then implies that you have the responsibility to respect one another’s beliefs and opinions. Celebrate and learn from the differences in our community.

You have the right to be free from bullying, labeling, harassment and hurtful behavior. Our community will not allow anyone to make you feel oppressed; therefore, we will not allow you to do that to anyone else. Further, you must not permit anyone to frighten or harass another member of our community. If you do not take action, such as telling an adult, when you know this is happening then you are participating in the oppression and are just as guilty. You have the responsibility to act.

We are committed to helping each of you achieve academic success, explore special interests, and discover your strengths as a unique individual. Your middle school years are a time when you will grow and change in many ways. We are here to support you and to recognize and celebrate your many skills, talents and accomplishments.
Middle School Student Responsibilities

Each member of our community has the responsibility to protect and nurture the above rights. Our responsibilities are identified through ASL’s Core Values: Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Kindness ...with the Courage to Act

To promote and support the life of the Middle School community, middle school students are expected to:

  • be in a designated supervised area at all times during and after school hours
  • follow the dress code
  • be responsible for their own, the school’s and others’ property
  • keep the Commons, library, classrooms and common areas clean and orderly
  • move about the building with consideration for others and be in the appropriate place at the appropriate times
  • during school hours, use the features of smart phones and digital music players (like the camera and apps) for educational purposes only and with teacher permission
  • make calls and texts on mobile phones outside of school hours only
  • arrive at all classes, meetings, and assemblies before the start times
  • eat only in approved areas and at appropriate times (chewing gum is not permitted at any time)


Students will be given fair notification and warning when they stray outside the rules and guidelines of the school. These consequences are designed to help students understand and learn from their mistakes. The Middle School uses a laddered approach to reporting out behavior missteps:

1. Individual Conversation

This is the most used method in the middle school. Individual teachers may assign appropriate consequences based on class or school rules. There is no formal reporting process for these types of incidents.

2. Behavior Report

Students may receive a Behavior Report, along with an additional natural or appropriate consequence, for behavioral missteps. The Behavior Report and consequence will be given by the individual witnessing the infraction. Behavior Reports are designed to be reminders of the behavioral expectations that apply to the whole of the Middle School community, rather than just individual classrooms. In all cases, students are encouraged to advocate for themselves and to discuss with the teacher or administrator what happened. Behavior Reports are the base-line reporting mechanism for discipline issues but outcomes for each incident are to be specific to the behavior (see section on Major Offenses). A Behavior Report is a letter describing the behavioral infraction sent home to be signed by the student and his/her parents. The letter is returned to the school to be kept on file.

3. Behavior Plan

The Behavior Plan is developed by the individual student in an effort to understand community expectations for behavior and develop goals toward meeting those expectations. The student will develop the plan in a joint meeting with his/her parents, an administrator, counselor or learning specialist and a teacher who they feel can serve as his/her advocate (most often the advisor). The plan will include a summary of the issues as well as ways in which the student can make positive changes and meet agreed upon goals. The plan will also spell out agreed upon consequences for continued misbehavior and a timeline for reviewing or ending the plan.

4. Behavior Probation Contract

If a student fails to find success with a Behavior Plan within an appropriate amount of time, the principal and assistant principal will meet with the child and parents to go over a more formal list of behavioral expectations. Probation Contracts are considered a final attempt to make very clear the behavioral expectations in the school and spell out the steps necessary to remain a member of the ASL school community. Unlike the Behavior Plan, the Probation Contract and consequences are non-negotiable.
Major behavioral offenses

There are some actions that require a more immediate response. In addition to the Behavior Report, these may be dealt with directly by the principal and/or assistant principal. Such offenses may include but are not limited to:

• Fighting, hitting, pushing, kicking or slapping
• Pantsing or other acts of inappropriate contact
• Inappropriate physical touching or physical displays (self or others)
• Lying or other matters of honesty
• Bullying of any kind (physical or verbal – including via electronic communication)
• Activities that endanger the health or well-being of the student or another person
• Theft or damage of property
• Possession or use of alcohol, or illegal substances
• Possession of a weapon or something that could be perceived as or used as a weapon.
• A repeated pattern of disruptive or disrespectful behavior.

Consequences for Major Offenses

Students may be given immediate in- or out-of-school suspensions for major offenses. Work missed or due during the course of the suspension may also be given no credit. In these cases, the administrator, consulting with the advisor and team leader, will determine the length and nature of the suspension and make appropriate arrangements with the parents. Suspended students may not participate in any school-sponsored activities on the days of their suspensions, and students involved in major offenses may also lose the privilege of participating in off-campus trips, working instead from home on those days. The suspension will be documented in the Behavior Report or (if applicable) the Behavior Plan or Contract. Students involved in major disciplinary events may be put on a Behavior Plan or Contract regardless of the number of Behavior Reports accrued.

Students are expected to act at all times within prevailing local laws. The possession of illegal drugs, the possession of a weapon or the use of a weapon, or other more serious offenses will raise the question of whether or not the student may remain part of the ASL school community. The Head of School will make all final decisions on continuing enrollment in the School.

Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are matters of academic honesty. Cheating includes the giving of answers as well as the receiving of answers on homework assignments or tests. Teachers work with students to discuss the writing process and appropriate ways to paraphrase ideas and cite sources in their work.

Teachers deal with matters of academic honesty individually based on the circumstances of each situation. Learning correct ways to cite sources is an educational process where mistakes are sometimes innocently made, but the school expects to see growth in student skills on citation through the middle school years. Consequences most often include receiving a failing grade on the assignment but may be more severe if the situation involves an egregious form of plagiarism or cheating. The administration will become involved in severe cases or where a pattern of misconduct has emerged.
MS Handbook

Download the full handbook PDF

High School

HS behavior and Code of Conduct

The Student-Faculty Disciplinary Board (SFDB) is an elected body consisting of 10 students and two faculty members. The purposes of the SFDB are to recommend consequences to the Administration on a case-by-case basis for students who violate the Code of Conduct, and to revise the Code of Conduct each year so that it remains relevant and fair to the needs of the community.

In order to promote a community of trust and respect essential to a healthy and effective learning environment, ASL values integrity, honesty, personal responsibility and tolerance of others. Every student is accountable for reading, understanding and consenting to the standards set by the Code of Conduct. We encourage students who do not understand the Code to seek clarification from their peers and mentors, as a common comprehension of expectations is crucial to any community. Students should not consent to the Code of Conduct if they are not willing to live by the standards it represents.

The High School Code of Conduct is upheld and revised annually by the elected members of the SFDB. The students and teachers that lead the Board are responsible for supporting the integrity and morals of the school. In doing so, they aim to ensure a fun and safe learning environment for all members of the community.

The full High School Code of Conduct and the Constitution of the Student-Faculty Disciplinary Board (SFDB) are available here as a PDF. The Code of Conduct is a living, elastic document that conveys the moral and ethical standards valued most by the ASL community.