Rules, policies and behavior
- Code of conduct
- Statement on harassment
- Student and family handbook
- Student web publishing guidelines
The American School in London
Middle and High School Student Code of Conduct
The School’s Code of Conduct is based on ASL’s Mission and Portrait of a Learner, and reflects our Core Values and all applicable UK laws and regulations. As an ASL community member, you have the right to an excellent education that excites and challenges you in a safe learning environment, to engage actively and constructively in school-sponsored events and activities with other members of the community, to feel cared for and valued as an individual, and to respectfully express your beliefs and opinions. As a member of the community, you contribute to the learning and social environment and also have the responsibility of upholding ASL’s values. ASL’s expectations for all community members are outlined below.
It is vital that all members of our community understand behavioral expectations and the school’s Code of Conduct. If a student violates school policy or rules, or acts in a way that is in conflict with our Core Values, appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken by the School. All members of the school community share the responsibilities that come with the privilege of being part of our community. To that end, we expect parents/guardians to help their students, and other ASL students in their care, to make positive and healthy choices.
Please note that ASL’s expectations of student behavior apply to all school-sponsored events, whether on or off campus. On trips outside of the UK, both the laws of the host nation and the Code of Conduct apply. Furthermore, ASL reserves the right to intervene or take disciplinary action for behaviors outside of school that potentially affect another student, our greater community, or the school’s reputation. Please see additional information under Breaches of Code of Conduct Outside of the School Grounds, below.
We treat others the way we expect to be treated.
We value diversity of thought and experience.
Respect for others
Members of the ASL community respectfully recognize, affirm and value people of all identities. ASL is an anti-bias school. ASL does not tolerate emotional, physical or sexual harassment, labeling, bullying, hazing, violence, discrimination, or hurtful behavior of any kind. We expect students to promote a positive learning environment in the classroom, across campus, and at all school-related events. Inappropriate language and gestures and excessive public displays of affection do not demonstrate respect for others and are therefore not allowed.We are a safe place to be one’s whole self with people who are not like us, and we welcome the whole selves of others. Please see ASL’s Statement on Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy for more details. These policies apply to all members of our community, including students, family members, faculty and staff.
Respect for self
Substance abuse: We expect students to respect their bodies and minds. Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, nicotine and e-cigarettes/vaporizers are all potential dangers to the health and safety of the individual, as well as to a sound learning environment. Possession, use, transmission or being under the influence of any illegal drug or UK-banned substance is prohibited. The misuse of prescription and nonprescription drugs is also prohibited, as is distributing prescription drugs to others. Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, “Juuls,” vaping or drug paraphernalia, alcohol or other intoxicants are not allowed on campus.
Students’ attire should support a safe and positive learning environment. We expect students to dress for school in a way that is respectful of themselves, of others in our diverse community, and of the School as a learning environment. Please see the appropriate divisional Attire Policy (under the general rules and information tab) for more information.
Respect for property
We expect students to clean up after themselves, and to recycle and reuse as appropriate. We also expect students to respect the property of others and the School. ASL does not tolerate vandalism or theft of any kind, including borrowing items from others without prior consent.
We take ownership of our words and actions.
We fulfill our obligations to ourselves and to others.
Responsible students attend classes regularly and on time. Please see the appropriate division’s Attendance Policy for more details.
Responsible students complete assignments in a timely manner and communicate with teachers as necessary regarding make-up work owing to absence.
Responsible students are active and engaged in their own learning. We encourage and expect students to advocate for themselves, seeking help from teachers, advisors and other trusted adults when necessary. Communicating with teachers about deadlines or difficult assignments and seeking support for academic struggles can help students to make good choices under pressure.
Responsible students use technology appropriately. Our values and rules extend beyond face-to-face interactions to include online communication and social media. Students are expected to read, sign and abide by the school’s Responsible Use Agreement.
Responsible students abide by all UK laws. Students and families should familiarize themselves with UK law regarding illegal substances, harassment and hate speech, possession or sending of indecent images, and carrying and/or use of weapons.
We act with compassion.
We help others.
Kindness is at the heart of ASL’s values and the expectations we have for all students, families and employees. We are a welcoming school with a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Kind students act with compassion and help others. Students should remember that ASL is a K-12 school and to respect every student and adult in the building. Students should be particularly respectful of K-12 shared spaces within and around the building where older students serve as role models for younger students. ASL students are ambassadors for their school and their families, and they are kind and respectful to those outside our school community as well.
We are honest.
We make the right choice even when no one is watching.
Students at ASL act with integrity; they are honest with adults and peers and do the right thing whether or not anyone is watching. Lying, withholding information, and obstructing the truth are inconsistent with ASL’s values.
Students are to complete their own work and not take credit for the work of others. This is essential to students’ and teachers’ ability to work together to create an honest and trusting atmosphere. Students are expected to exhibit integrity in all facets of their studies. Additional information is available in the middle school and high school handbooks.
Courage to Act
We have the courage to speak up for ourselves and for others.
We take positive action to make our community and world a better place.
If a student witnesses behaviors that are not in line with ASL’s values, we expect them to take positive action. While we know it can be hard, we encourage students to stand up for each other and themselves, which could include saying something in the moment, reporting the incident to an adult, and/or supporting those who have been impacted.
Overview of the Disciplinary Process
Most student infractions are addressed in the moment, by a faculty or staff member, when and where they occur. In responding to behavioral infractions, other adults, including advisors, administrators and/or parents/guardians may be included in the process as appropriate.
When more serious behavioral infractions occur, the School will use the following process to investigate and determine next steps.
First, there will be an initial assessment to determine the nature of the allegation(s), what information is available and what further information is needed, who might be at risk, and who should lead the investigation.
Second, the information gathering stage will take place, which could include interviewing and/or taking statements from students and/or adults as appropriate. Parents/guardians will be notified in due course as appropriate. The School reserves the right to interview students prior to notifying parents of disciplinary incidents. For the most serious (Level III, see table below) infractions, which may result in a suspension or expulsion, students will be supported during an interview by the presence of a teacher, advisor or counselor who will serve as an advocate for the student. Under some circumstances, students may be asked to remain out of school during an investigatory process.
Third, the consequence(s) for the infraction will be determined. In the Middle School, the divisional principal will make a decision about the outcome and consequences related to an investigation. In the High School, the Student Faculty Disciplinary Board (SFDB) will in most cases hold a hearing with students who have been found guilty of a violation after the administration has conducted an investigation. The SFDB does not itself conduct investigations or determine guilt or innocence. The SFDB makes recommendations to the HS administration as to appropriate consequences, following which the high school administration makes the final decision. Parents will be notified if a student is asked to appear before the SFDB. Please see the high school handbook for more information on the purpose and work of the SFDB.
For the most serious discipline infractions, which could result in a student being asked to leave the School, a hearing will take place with the student and the student’s parents/guardians and the relevant school administrator(s), including the Head of School. Prior to the hearing, the family will be made aware of the allegations and receive a written copy of the school’s evidence and be given time to respond. During the hearing, the Head of School will review the disciplinary process, findings, and possible consequences, and invite the student and the student’s parents/guardians to give additional input or feedback. Following the hearing, the Head of School will make a decision about the appropriate sanction(s) for the student, which may include permanent expulsion. Following the Head of School’s decision, the family has the right to request an appeal in accordance with the guidelines of the 2014 Education Regulations for Independent School Standards. Full details of the Parental Complaints policy can be found on the ASL website in each of the three divisional Program areas.
Breaches of Code of Conduct Outside of the School Grounds
ASL takes the conduct of its students outside of school grounds extremely seriously. A student’s misbehavior outside of school can result in risks to health and safety and can be damaging to other students, the community, and/or the reputation of both the student and the School. The School therefore reserves the right to apply disciplinary consequences to serious breaches of the Code of Conduct that take place outside of school, using the same disciplinary process as described above.
Involvement of Outside Authorities
ASL will usually report to the police any activity that it believes may amount to a criminal activity, which takes place either within the school grounds or outside of its grounds. Drugs and weapons found at school will be confiscated immediately and held for the police as potential evidence. If the School believes a student may have taken drugs on campus, the School will seek immediate medical advice, notify the student’s parents/guardians, and may involve the police.
Sexual offences will generally be reported to the police immediately, including in cases where a student is suspected or alleged to have committed such an offence, provided a reasonable amount of evidence is available. The alleged victim’s parents/guardians will usually also be informed immediately of the incident and told that the police have been informed. Whether the victim and parents/guardians then speak to the police is a matter for them to decide.
As a school, we try to do what is best for each student and the community at-large, and in doing so, the full circumstances of each situation will be considered. In dealing with disciplinary incidents, ASL considers a variety of factors including precedent, a student’s age, past record and standing at ASL, and any and all other circumstances related to the incident or individual of which we are aware and deem relevant. However, ASL must also take into consideration the safety of the wider community and the overall values of the School. The needs of an individual must therefore be reasonably balanced with the school’s responsibility to the community.
While student behavioral problems vary in frequency and degree of seriousness, and the corrective action must be a matter of judgment by the appropriate teacher or administrator, the tables below serve as a guide to ASL’s three general levels of behavioral infractions and possible consequences. For most lower level behavioral infractions the philosophy of discipline at ASL is to foster the notion of “learning from mistakes,” while more serious or repeated behavioral infractions would also result in more significant consequences. The list below gives examples and is not exhaustive.
Level I Behavioral Infractions
- Chewing gum
- Disrupting others’ ability to learn or the school environment
- Attire Policy violation
- Inappropriate, profane or derogatory language (this may also fall into the more serious category of harassment)
- Littering and/or not cleaning up after yourself
- Not using a school ID card properly
- Being present in an unsupervised or prohibited location in the School
- Roughhousing, pushing or shoving
- Excessive tardiness
- Violation of classroom rules or other disruptive behavior
Level I infractions are usually handled in the moment through a conversation or redirection by faculty and staff. Consequences for minor infractions could include loss of privileges, assigned duties, a written reflection from the student, and/or parental/guardian notification. Students will make amends for their behavioral choices as appropriate.
Level II Behavioral Infractions
- Repeated behavior or extreme violation of Level I behavioral infractions
- Breach of academic integrity
- Destruction of school or personal property
- Disrespect, disobedience or defiance to any member of the faculty or staff
- Lying or other matters of dishonesty
- Technology policy violations
Level II infractions usually begin with a referral to an administrator and an investigation into the circumstances of the incident. Consequences for Level II infractions could include but are not limited to those listed for Level I infractions, formal written warnings, lunch or after-school detention, exclusion from extracurricular activities and trips, in- or out-of-school suspension, and/or a meeting with parents/guardians. Students will make amends for their behavioral choices as appropriate.
Level III Behavioral Infractions
- Repeated behavior or extreme violation of Level I or Level II behavioral infractions
- Sexual misconduct, including any kind of solicitation or sending of inappropriate photos, materials, messaging, or social media content
- Endangering the welfare of other students
- Physical assault, including fighting, hitting, kicking, etc.
- Verbal abuse/threatening behavior against students or adults
- Malicious accusations against school staff
- Harassment, bullying (including through social media and other forms of cyber-bullying) and hazing
- Use of racist language or any form of racism no matter the stated intent
- Hate speech
- Possession, use, transmission or being under the influence of any illegal drug or banned substance, alcoholic beverage, e-cigarette, paraphernalia or intoxicant of any kind
- Possession or transmission of a facsimile of any illegal drug or banned substance, alcoholic beverage, e-cigarette or paraphernalia
- Willingly and knowingly being in the presence of those who are in possession of, using, transmitting, or being under the influence of any illegal drug or banned substance, alcoholic beverage, e-cigarette or intoxicant of any kind
- Possession or transmission of a firearm, knife, or dangerous instrument or weapon of any kind, regardless of intention for use, including replica (fake) weapons
- Violation of UK Law
Level III infractions begin with a referral to an administrator and an investigation into the circumstances of the incident. Decisions about the consequences for these most serious infractions are made by the divisional principal in consultation with the Head of School. Level III behavioral infractions will most often result in suspension or expulsion from school. Students will make amends for their behavioral choices as appropriate.
Approved by the Board of Trustees, 26 September 2018
Statement of intent
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all students should be able to talk to an adult they trust and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.
Definition of bullying
At ASL, bullying is defined as any type of verbal or physical abuse against another student, which is repeated and purposeful. The underlying purpose of this type of behavior is always to humiliate or hurt someone else. A bullied person is one who is repeatedly exposed to negative action by one or more persons. Bullying can include, but is not necessarily limited to the following categories and specific behaviors in person, online or on the phone: verbal bullying, threatening, social exclusion, physical bullying, vandalism, extortion or theft. Though it is not explicitly stated here, the School recognizes that in our modern age, many of these forms of bullying can take place electronically, either through email or online encounters or through texts and instant-messaging systems. See below for further descriptions of these categories and behaviors.
Why is it important to respond to bullying
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. Bystanders need to understand how they contribute to bullying. Schools have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this policy are:
- To assure the entire school community knows what the school policy is on bullying and what to do if it arises
- To make it clear that, as a school, we take bullying seriously, and to assure students and parents will be supported when bullying is reported
- To establish and maintain a clear norm that bullying will not be tolerated
- To provide students with prevention and intervention strategies to help them stay safe within school and in the community at large.
We expect anyone who knows that bullying is happening to tell a trusted adult in the School. This trusted adult will, in turn, seek solutions from the assistant principals, counselors or principals. Each division will determine individual responses and consequences of bullying based on the appropriate Code of Conduct.
Bullying categories and specific behaviors
- Name-calling, teasing
- Making fun of or being disrespectful of another person’s: a) physical characteristics, b) nationality, c) religion, d) color, e) size, f) sexual orientation, g) physical disabilities, h) family problems (i.e., divorce), i) ability to learn, or j) athletic ability
- Using inappropriate language (i.e., swearing)
- Spreading lies or rumors about a person
- Laughing at another’s misfortune
- Inciting others to fight or bully someone in any way
- Putting people down.
- Saying that someone will be beaten up if the person does not comply with the bully’s requests
- Using antagonistic language towards someone (i.e., saying things such as, “I don’t like the way you’re looking at me!”).
- Not allowing someone to play with or participate in your group
- Forming a circle or group on the playground or in the hallways so that another person cannot join in
- Speaking with a group so that one person is excluded either because of the language or slang being used by a group
- Ignoring a person
- Group pressure to isolate someone or exclude them as a friend
- Refusing to allow someone her/his place in a line or on a bus.
- Pushing or shoving someone, hitting someone, poking or jabbing someone with hands or fingers or objects such as pencils or sticks
- Grabbing someone’s clothes (i.e., taking off someone’s hat and throwing it down or giving it to someone else or grabbing a person’s clothes with the intent to tear them)
- Damaging someone’s books or locker
- Breaking someone’s pencils, pens or art supplies
- Writing on someone’s notebook or binder.
Extortion or theft
- Taking someone’s lunch money
- Taking someone else’s lunch
- Taking or hiding something that belongs to someone else.
Harassment, discrimination, bullying or hazing of any individual or group will not be tolerated. These are serious offenses, prohibited by ASL, as well as UK law.
Students are expected to be sensitive to the diversity of ASL’s community, and to be respectful of others. Students must exemplify ASL’s core values at all times, and they should act with compassion and thoughtfulness in all interactions with members of the school community.
Duty to report
ASL takes any form of harassment extremely seriously. All reports will be investigated. If in doubt, report.
Any student who feels victimized by harassment, discrimination, bullying or hazing, or who is concerned about such behavior, should reach out to any trusted adult, such as an advisor, counselor, teacher, dean or administrator, who will, in turn, report the complaint to the director of student life.
Furthermore, it is the responsibility of every member of the school community to stand up and speak out on behalf of others. ASL works hard to provide a safe environment for all, and issues must be brought promptly to the school’s attention.
Finally, students are always encouraged to self-advocate, advocate for each other and say no without fear of retaliation.
There may be times when the alleged harassment involves ASL students but is alleged to have taken place off campus or online. There may also be incidents where some of the students concerned attend schools other than ASL. Nevertheless, the repercussions of off-campus or online incidents may be felt on campus and within the school community, and the School will investigate such incidents.
Harassment and Discrimination
- ASL is an anti-bias school
- Harassment is a form of discrimination where one’s conduct or behavior—as it relates to race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, physical or mental disability, national origin or ancestry—is personally offensive or threatening, impairs morale, or is so pervasive or severe that it has the purpose or effect of:
- Creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment
- Interfering unreasonably with an individual’s academic performance
- Harassment can involve an individual or group
- Harassment can include but is not limited to physical, verbal, written, visual or electronic/online interactions, postings, pictures, advances or communications
- Individuals might act unintentionally in a manner that others experience as harassing or humiliating. Justifying such behavior as a prank or joke does not change its harassing nature. The intent cannot justify or excuse the impact.
- Racial harassment is where one’s conduct or behavior either through an isolated incident or repeated incidents is intended or is likely to intimidate, offend or harm an individual or group because of their ethnic origin, color, race, religion or nationality. Such behavior may include but is not limited to:
- Physical, verbal, written or electronic/online threats, insults, derogatory name-calling and racist jokes
- Displays, either physically or online, of racially offensive material
- Exclusion from normal conversation or activities
- Encouraging others to commit any such acts
- A racist incident is any incident that is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person. Justifying such behavior as a prank or a joke does not change its harassing nature. The intent cannot justify or excuse the impact.
- Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, solicitations, requests for sexual favors or other verbal/physical/online conduct of a sexual nature or related to a person’s sex or sexual orientation, which has the purpose or result of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s performance or creating a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment.
- Examples include but are not limited to:
- Verbal behavior: sexual comments or innuendo, such as: telling sexual stories, making lewd comments, making sexual or inappropriate remarks about clothes, body and appearance; calling someone sexualized names; sexual jokes, slurs or taunting
- Physical behavior, such as: deliberately brushing against someone; touching, patting or pinching; interfering with someone’s clothes
- Visual sexual harassment, including the creation of and/or display of derogatory pictures, cartoons, posters or drawings
- Online sexual harassment through means of electronic devices, including non-consensual sharing of sexual images and videos; sexualised online bullying; unwanted sexual comments, ratings and/or messages on social media; sexual exploitation; coercion and threats.
- Bullying is when a student or students are the target of negative actions intended to ridicule, harass, humiliate or intimidate, usually in the form of intentional, repeated, hurtful acts, words or other behaviors.
- Examples include but are not limited to:
- Intimidation, name calling or threats
- Social alienation or shunning
- Physical aggression
- Creation of a hostile or intimidating environment
- Any of the aforementioned actions perpetrated electronically or online
- Individuals might act unintentionally in a manner that others experience as bullying. Justifying such behavior as a prank or a joke does not change its bullying nature. The intent cannot justify or excuse the impact.
- Hazing is any conduct, coercion or intimidation intentionally used as a method of initiation into a group, organization, team or activity that is likely to cause embarrassment and/or endanger the physical or mental health of an individual, regardless of the individual’s willingness to participate.
- Examples include but are not limited to:
- The destruction or stealing of property
- Being physically mistreated
- Committing dangerous, painful or embarrassing acts
- Being deprived of sleep, food or hygiene
False accusations/Cooperation in investigation
- False accusations will be taken very seriously and can result in disciplinary action.
- All students are expected to cooperate and share pertinent or material information during school investigation.
- Failure to cooperate and/or falsifying information can result in disciplinary action.
- Retaliation against individuals who report harassment and/or cooperate in an investigation will not be tolerated.
- Retaliation will be treated as a form of bullying.
- Complaints of retaliation will be investigated and addressed separately from the original complaint.
UK Safeguarding and Harassment Laws
ASL has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of our students. All of our policies are aligned with Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018, Working Together to Safeguard Children, and Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges, May 2018.
Classroom learning activities are essential to the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and attitudes identified in the school curriculum and to the preparation of our students for success in their lives beyond school. Being absent from school is unavoidable in some cases, but when absences exceed a reasonable limit the academic integrity of an ASL education is compromised.
It is the responsibility of parents/guardians and students to ensure that the students maintain satisfactory attendance. It is the responsibility of the Administration to ensure that satisfactory attendance records are maintained. Parents/guardians of students absent from school are asked to inform the Middle School office, email@example.com or 020 7449 1291, no later than 8:30 am. If you are absent and the office has not been contacted by 8:30 am, the attendance officer will contact your parent(s)/guardian(s).
ASL recognizes that absence from school does and will occur. In recognition of this fact, the student Attendance Policy classifies absences into one of three categories.
An Excused Absence is one for which work missed may be made up. When it is necessary for a student to be absent, the following reasons shall be accepted as Excused Absences:
Excused for non-school related reasons
- medical appointments
- a physician’s note is required for three or more consecutive absences due to illness.
- family emergencies (i.e. serious illness or death in the immediate family) which require the presence of the student
- religious holidays
- legal duties which cannot be cared for after regular school hours
- other reasons as approved by the administration
Excused for school related reasons
- participation in a school-sponsored activity, day trip, or overnight field trip
Work missed during Excused Absences shall be made up in a timely manner, usually within the same number of school days missed plus one, unless special arrangements are made with the teacher(s) before the last day of turning in missed work. Students who miss classes are expected to complete all regular assignments and classwork, as well as any additional work that their teachers regard as appropriate. Students should contact their teacher or check PowerSchool for missed assignments.
An Unexcused Absence is one for which missed work may not be made up (at the discretion of the School) and includes all absences not defined in Excused Absences. The following are examples of unexcused absences:
- staying away from school to do school work
- staying away from school to avoid academic deadlines
- absence for personal or family trips, including extending school holiday breaks, without prior approval from the Assistant Principal
- any absence not approved as an excused absence by the administration
If attendance falls below 85% of school days during a semester, parents/guardians are contacted and teachers may give the following report card grade:
- Incomplete: Work needs to be made up before a report card mark can be given. A firm deadline will be given for make-up work.
- Insufficient Evidence: The student was not present in class long enough to be assessed and given a final report card mark.
This policy pertains to excused and unexcused absences, with the exception of days missed for school related reasons.
Students who are not in classes during at least the second-half of the school day due to illness or disciplinary consequences are not allowed to participate in after-school activities, sports, socials or other school events on that day.
All Middle School students who are physically able are required to participate in the ASL P.E. program. Attendance requirements are the same for P.E. as they are for academic classes. Absence from P.E. for up to three days due to a small injury or health issue is possible with a parent/guardian’s note. For longer periods, a physician’s statement is required. Students who are excused from participating in P.E. activities for health reasons are expected to attend their P.E. classes, in order to participate in alternative curricular activities. If a student is excused from P.E. for medical/health reasons, will not be permitted to participate in athletics practice or game on that same day.
Arrival and departure
Students should be in school by 7:55 am to begin the regularly scheduled day at 8:05 am.
Students may not enter the building before 7:45 am. All students must report to their advisory class no later than 8:05 am. Students arriving after 8:05 am must sign in at the Middle School office upon arrival.
During regular class hours, students may not leave the campus without permission from the Middle School office, which may be granted after a written request from a parent/guardian, or upon approval of a school-sponsored trip or athletic competition. Students leaving school during regular class hours must be signed out at the Middle School office (unless they are part of a school trip or athletic group). The regularly scheduled school day dismissal is 3:05 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; on Wednesdays dismissal is at 2:10 pm. Grade 5 students must be met by an adult or older sibling if the student is not taking the school bus home.
In order to arrange for an excused prearranged absence, please email the MS Assistant Principal for permission. Please note that excused absences are for medical appointments, family emergencies and religious holidays. Parents will need to seek MS Administration approval for holidays or extended travel times. Once parents/guardians have received an approval, students should pick up a prearranged absence form from the Middle School office. The form should be completed at least one week before the anticipated absence in order to allow the student time to take the form around to all of the teachers whose classes will be missed. Once the form is completely filled out, it should be returned to the Middle School office. The attendance officer will keep a copy, and hand the original back to the student.
Doctor’s appointments should be scheduled outside of normal school hours, if possible. Students who must miss any part of the school day for a doctor’s appointment must bring a written note from a parent/guardian to the Middle School office, and the parent/guardian must sign the child in and out of the office as appropriate.
Tardiness and class attendance
All students should arrive at school on time each day. In addition to being a valuable life skill and fostering a sense of respect for school and the work that is done there, prompt arrival will ensure that students have enough time to organize themselves for the day ahead.
All students are expected to be on time and in their scheduled classes for the entire class period. Students are not permitted to visit the cafeteria en route to or during their classes. Students are encouraged to be organized and prepared for their upcoming classes to avoid unnecessary trips to their lockers. Any student who is not feeling well should report to the nurse after informing his or her teacher, the grade aide, or the Middle School office as appropriate.
In cases of excessive tardiness, the Middle School office will take one or more of the following steps:
- Conference scheduled with student and advisor.
- Time spent reflecting and making a plan to improve timeliness (lunch or after school detention)
- A meeting scheduled between administration, the student and parents/guardians to commit to a plan of action
- The student may be placed on disciplinary probation for the balance of the semester. Any additional tardies during the probationary period may result in an in-school suspension.
Middle school students are not allowed to roam the school unsupervised during non-class hours. For students who do need to stay after school, we have the following guidelines:
Students are allowed to be on campus after school if they are working with a teacher, coach, tutor or activity sponsor. Once the meeting, activity or practice is complete, they need to leave the building or sign in and go to a designated, supervised area.
Supervised areas include Waverley Park, Mellon Library, and the theater foyer only. Waverley Park is supervised by a middle school aide and open to all middle school students until 5 pm every day in the fall and spring and until 4 pm in winter (during Daylight Saving Time). Closings of the playground for special events are announced as far in advance as possible.
All students who are not participating in an activity need to sign in the after school laptop outside the MS Office. Students are only allowed in classroom or pod areas after school if a teacher or parent/guardian accompanies them.
Middle school students should not be on campus after 5 pm, unless they are part of a supervised activity. Unsupervised students in school after 5 pm must wait in the Waverley Place reception area.
Once middle school students who are not participating in after-school activities or tutoring leave the campus after school, they are not permitted to return that day unless accompanied by an adult or for a special planned school event (concert, play, or other performance). For example, students are not permitted to leave campus after school on their own or with friends, go to the high street, and return to school for an event (such as a basketball game) and/or to take the ASL bus home.
For students who are staying after school, the cafeteria will remain open until 4:30 pm (4 pm on Fridays) for the purchase of snacks and drinks. Please note that students may only purchase food for themselves, not others.
Special procedures for Grade 5: In the beginning of the school year, Grade 5 students who do not travel home by bus must be picked up by an adult outside the Lower School entrance on Loudoun Road. In order to transition Grade 5 students smoothly into the MS routine, they are not allowed to stay after school and use the playground until late September.
The after-school program (ASP) runs from Monday to Thursday for three seasons lasting between 8–9 weeks. Programs run from 3:20–5 pm on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday. On Wednesday, programs run from 2:20–4 pm. Students can find the complete listing of the offerings in the ASP brochure online and register their interest via the online registration form. All students are encouraged to participate in at least one after-school activity during each season.
The ASL athletics program will provide the platform for MS students, grades 5–8, to develop into confident, healthy and positive student-athletes. Our aim is to create a memorable sporting experience, facilitated by enthusiastic and knowledgeable coaches. Through the implementation of our MS athletics pathway, we strive to provide a well balanced and progressive sports education which develops level appropriate understanding. We value effort, creativity, discipline, and enjoyment above results and competitive success.
Places on the grade 5 & 6 program are allocated using a lottery system and we endeavor to make sure that every student who signs up has at least one activity for the season. Students in most of our 5 & 6 programs will also take part in one jamboree or festival during the season. The commitment for these programs is 1 day a week. Students failing to honor this commitment may be removed from activity.
Grade 7 & 8 team sports have a tryout system to decide who makes the team. The commitment is two days per week, generally, Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 3:15 pm. Additionally, most teams participate in a London Schools Sports Association (LSSA) festivals at the midpoint and on the last Saturday of the season. Students are encouraged to try out for a sport regardless of previous experience, and every effort is made to find a place for each student who tries out for a team. Due to facility restraints, safety issues, and limited competition in several sports, there may be cuts for some teams, but there is always at least one no-cut sport per season. In order to improve both as individuals and as a team, it is very important that students honor their athletics commitment; students who fail to do so may be removed from the team.
Socials for each grade may take place occasionally throughout the school year. Since the socials take place at school, school rules do apply (including the Attire Policy) and all students are expected to observe them while they are at a social. Students are encouraged to attend these gatherings as they represent a venue where they can meet their friends and have fun in a safe environment. Students may only bring guests to a social with the prior written permission from the principal or assistant principal.
To help ensure their health and well-being, students are advised not to carry more weight in their backpacks than they can reasonably handle. Students should try to organize themselves in advance and only keep those things in their backpack that they will need on any given day. This is made more important for students in grades 7 and 8, as they are required to carry their laptops in their backpack for security reasons.
Backpacks should be stored in your locker at the start of each day and then picked up again at dismissal time.
All textbooks are issued to students on a loan basis. In some cases, students may be given copies of workbooks and/or paperback novels to write in and to keep. Whenever possible, students are loaned duplicate copies of heavy textbooks to leave at home, thereby eliminating the need to carry them back and forth to school. Students are held responsible for all texts and will be charged accordingly for any losses. Failure to return and/or pay for textbooks at the end of the year may result in yearbooks and/or final grade reports being withheld.
Locks and lockers
At the beginning of the year, each student will be issued a locker; students in grades 6–8 will also be issued with a combination lock. Students are responsible for the locks and for the maintenance of their lockers. Lockers will be checked periodically, and students are strongly encouraged to regularly clean them. Storage of food in lockers for more than one day is strongly discouraged. Students will be charged £10 for lost locks.
Students are not permitted to bring in their own locks, to swap locks with other students, or to change their lockers without permission. Students must keep locks closed, and are not permitted to share combinations or open a locker that is not their own.
Lost and Found
Lost items will be collected in a lost and found box located in Middle School Reception. Please make sure that all articles of clothing, sports equipment, instruments, books and supplies are clearly labeled with your name and grade. It is useful to note that there are additional school lost and found boxes in other areas (P.E. locker room, Lower School reception, Gym Foyer).
Why does ASL have an attire policy?
The Middle School attire policy is intended to support a safe and positive learning environment. Adults and students at the Middle School are expected to choose clothing representative of an educational environment and our core values. We value awareness of ourselves, diversity of expression, and the variety of cultures within our community.
Attire at the Middle School
As we prepare ourselves to enter the Middle School community each day, we strive to be fair in our expectations and trust everyone to express their best self.
Use the following questions to make thoughtful choices about attire:Am I dressed for the weather?
- Am I dressed for the educational environment of school?
- Am I dressed for the occasion, activity or special events in which I will be participating (i.e. school concert, sporting event, field trip, etc.)?
- Do I feel safe and comfortable?
- Am I wearing something that might be offensive in any way?
- Is my attire helpful for clear communication (i.e. can people see my eyes, can I hear what is going on around me, etc.)?
- Based on what I am wearing, how am I representing the school and our core values?
All members of our community are expected to adhere to following:
- Flip – flop shoes or bare feet are not permitted.
- Clothing with obscene or inappropriate sayings, pictures, or double entendres (via graphics, words, through the lens of multiple cultures, backgrounds, religions, generations, etc.) is disrespectful and may not be worn.
- Upper and lower body clothes must have constant overlap; midriffs should not be visible.
- Except for religious or medical reasons, hats and sunglasses may only be worn outside.
- Underwear should not be visible.
- Pajama tops or bottoms are not permitted.
If you are unsure about something you are putting on, discuss the attire questions with your parents/guardians. You may also find that your advisor, a teacher or other people in the school may ask you these questions if they are wondering about what you have chosen to wear. If there are repeated conversations or questions about your attire, the principal or assistant principal will speak with you directly, which may result in disciplinary consequences.
ID Cards and Lunch
Students need to bring their ID card to school every day for security reasons and to use for buying lunch and printing. If a student repeatedly forgets their ID card, parents/guardians may be notified and asked to work with their child to ensure the ID card is brought in daily.
Students may either bring their lunches from home or purchase a variety of food from the cafeteria. All teachers, administrators and staff who monitor the lunchroom try to ensure that each student is eating a healthy, well-balanced lunch.
Students in Grades 5 and 6 who wish to purchase lunch from the cafeteria do so through pre-paid “meal deals,” which offer set lunch menus. Students in Grades 7 and 8 may purchase set menus as well as individual food items, with the cost deducted from their ID card. Grade 5 students who have signed up for a meal-deal do not need to show an ID card to get their lunch. Students in Grades 6-8 will need their ID card to purchase lunch.
Grade 6-8 students who forget their lunch or lose their card will have their account charged for the cost of a meal deal. It is expected that students will top up their account through the cash loading machines or the Accounts Department the following school day.
Students are not allowed to use their Meal Deal or money on their ID cards to purchase food for other students. This applies at lunch and for snacks from the cafeteria after school.
Named for former U.S. Ambassador Andrew W. Mellon, the Mellon Library is the main academic resource for students in Grades 5–12, faculty, staff, parents/guardians and the broader ASL community.
The library collection includes fiction and non-fiction books, reference volumes, magazines and daily newspapers, as well as a variety of non-print media such as DVDs. The library’s website gives you 24-hour access to our web-based online catalog, Destiny, and to our Digital Library of audiobooks, ebooks and videos through Overdrive. Our 24/7 resources also include online subscription databases, which house valuable, reliable sources of information, and NoodleTools, a note taking and citation-generating service.
The Mellon Library is open from 7:45 am to 5 pm. Monday through Friday. Middle School students are normally restricted to borrowing five items at a time, but exceptions are made as needed. Facilities for both black and white, and color photocopying are available as well as scanning of documents to email. The library staff is pleased to answer any questions about specific library resources, services, rules, or regulations - or merely to suggest a good book to read.
If a student becomes ill or injured during the day, he or she may be excused from class to go to the nurse’s office. Students must get permission from the Middle School office, their teacher or a grade aide before going to the nurse. Please note that parents/guardians, the nurses and the MS Office must give permission for a student to be sent home for medical reasons. Students should not call their parents/guardians to be picked up from school before consultation with a nurse.
Parents/guardians will be notified immediately in the event of any illness or injury requiring the student to be sent home or to the hospital. If a hospital visit is considered necessary, a member of the nurse’s office and/or an adult from the middle school will stay with the student until a parent arrives at the hospital.
Other rules and reminders
Students are reminded that all behavioral expectations apply in every class, even if there is a substitute teacher.
Students are not permitted to buy or sell items at school. There should be no exchange of materials or goods for cash etc. between students on the ASL campus. The only selling or buying allowed are those part of student council, a class project, or other teacher approved event.
Ball games, apart from those which use a hard ball (American football, baseball, cricket, and lacrosse) are permitted. American football, rugby or any games which involve overly physical contact (i.e. tackling) are not allowed. Students are expected not to climb on the fences, walls or trees. Skateboarding is not allowed on campus at any time.
The same principles of behavior that prevail at school extend to all school buses, whether they are part of the regular bus service or special buses for athletic events or school trips. Students are expected to remain seated with seatbelts fastened and not to distract the drivers. Students may not consume any food or drink besides water on the school buses.
Students who are regular bus riders may use the late buses if they stay after school to take part in the After-School Program, to have music lessons or tutoring, or to use the library. Students who are not regular bus riders are also allowed to use the late bus but will be charged a £12 fee per ride. If a student is not signed up for a regular late bus, the Transport Office must receive a request from the student or a parent/guardian no later than 11 am on the day the student wishes to use the late bus. Students who are signed up for a late bus and decide to take their regular bus home after school should also notify the Transport Office by 11 am.
A student who wishes to travel home from school with a friend who is normally on a different bus must make this request of the Transport Office one day in advance. The Transport Office must have an email to firstname.lastname@example.org from the parent/guardian of the child who is transferring to another bus.
When a non bus rider rides with a bus rider, a charge of £12 is sent to the family of the non bus rider unless they take the place of a sibling. It is not always possible in the mornings to accommodate extra riders as most buses are full, but the afternoon is not usually a problem.
Technology and Mobile Phones
During school hours, school and personal technology (laptops, phones, tablets, watches) should only be used for educational purposes and with teacher permission. If a student is observed using technology without permission or in a manner that is considered off-task or does not follow the Responsible Use Policy, that student will receive a technology strike, which will serve as a reminder that a change in behavior needs to occur. Should a student receive three strikes in one school year, he or she will need to have a conversation with the technology coordinator, director of student life, or assistant principal, and parents/guardians will be informed.
Students are not allowed to make phone calls or send messages from mobile phones during the school day. During school hours, phones must remain in a student’s locker unless a teacher gives you specific permission to use them for educational purposes only. In addition to a technology strike, if a student uses personal technology without permission or for a non-educational purpose, the device will be given to the MS Office. The student will need to pick up that device at the end of the day. If a student uses personal technology without permission a third time, their parents / guardian will be asked to come to school to pick up the device.
Parents/guardians must request permission for a student visitor by completing an online form at least one week in advance of any proposed visit. Visitors are not allowed in the weeks before the winter and spring breaks and no Middle School visitors are allowed in June. Guests may not visit for more than one day, and in certain circumstances a partial day may be more appropriate. Host students should collect a teacher approval sheet from the Middle School Office the school day after this electronic form is completed and bring it to the teachers they will have on the day of the visit. Final approval will be made by the assistant principal and confirmation will be communicated directly to the host’s parents/guardians.
On the day of the visit, the guest must register in the Middle School Office and follow their host’s schedule. In some cases, a particular class may not be open to visitors, and the guest will be asked to wait in the library or MS Reception area. Middle School guests should bring a packed lunch or purchase lunch on the host’s ID card. All visitors are expected to abide by the School’s expectations of student behavior and attire policy.
The purpose of providing access to technology
ASL provides access to technology for educational purposes that support the school’s mission, curriculum, and instructional goals. Personal technology devices are bound by these rules whenever they are used on campus. Students are expected to use good judgment when working in areas not covered explicitly by the rules.
- Do not eat or drink near computer equipment.
- Do not damage, disable, or otherwise harm the operation of school computers or the network. This includes attempting to gain administrative access to computers.
- Do not waste resources, particularly printer toner and paper.
- Do not upgrade system software or install applications on school computers without permission.
- Playing games, messaging, accessing social networking sites, and watching entertainment videos are not allowed during the school day unless associated with a class and permission is given by a teacher.
- Do not use school or personal technology in any way that annoys, harms, offends, or insults others.
- All electronic communications in the building, including email and internet access, can be monitored when necessary.
Mobile Phones and Personal Technology
- Only make calls and send messages on mobile phones/devices outside of school hours.
- During school hours, use technology (phones, computers, cameras, tablets, watches, etc.) for educational purposes only and with teacher permission.
- During school hours, phones must remain in lockers unless a teacher gives specific permission to use them for educational purposes.
- To support the use of technology in school for educational purposes only, parents/guardians should not text a student’s personal phone or device during the school day. Please contact the MS office or grade-level aide if you would like to get a message to or speak to your child during school hours.
Safety and Privacy
- Technology is not to be used for bullying, labeling, harassment or hurtful behavior.
- Do not share passwords with anyone other than your parents/guardians.
- Do not access password-protected accounts of other people, even if they have inadvertently left their accounts open.
- Ask permission before recording someone (audio or video).
- Before posting photos or videos online that include other people, students must ask permission from those people.
Do not use the internet to view, download, send, or print materials that are unlawful, obscene, or abusive.
Respect the work and ownership rights of people inside and outside of the School. This includes abiding by copyright laws on music, videos, software, and intellectual materials.
- Proper etiquette should always be followed: include a subject, use a salutation, write in complete sentences, and check spelling before sending.
- Junk mail or chain letters should not be forwarded.
Non–compliance with this Responsible Use Policy is a serious breach of trust within the ASL community and will be treated as a disciplinary matter.
- Only post entries, comments and other digital messages you would be proud for anyone to see.
- Be open to the ideas of others. If you disagree, use polite language to explain why.
- Get permission before recording someone (still photo, audio, video) at school, home or on school transport.
- Follow your teacher’s instructions.
- Use your blog for learning.
- Write in full sentences. Pay attention to spelling and punctuation.
- Use only first names in your posts.
- Protect your privacy - don’t include your phone number, address, or schedule in posts.
- Get permission before you post information or pictures of others.
- Treat others online the way you like to be treated.
- Use kind language in your digital messages.
- Make sure your work is your own.
- Get permission before you using images or video from the web.
- Give credit for the words, pictures and ideas of others.
- If you use information or pictures from other web pages, include a link to that page.
Courage to act
- Follow Core Values when you post from home.
- If you see unkind or inappropriate posts or comments, tell a grown up.
- Stand up to bullies. Let a teacher or adult know if someone is being mistreated.
Middle school guidelines
When you post content online (text, images, videos, audio) you are creating a digital footprint that may be available online for the rest of your life (and beyond). Keeping that in mind, the following guidelines should be followed when posting content for an ASL class or extra-curricular activity:
- Make sure your work is your own; if you are using the words or ideas of other people, make sure that you give appropriate credit. If you reference other posts or webpages, include a link and/or citation so that people can look at the original source material. If you post images, video, or audio that was not created by you, make sure you have the owner’s permission (or that the content is free from copyright) and then give appropriate credit.
- Follow teacher directions about publishing digital assignments; class projects which are not meant to be published for public use on YouTube or a blog, for example, should not be.
- If hashtags (#) are to be used at all, they should be included to allow readers to find posts about a common topic. Hashtags should not include inside jokes or be used to convey sarcasm.
- Check spelling and grammar before posting; writing for school should be more formal than the writing you include in text messages or on social media.
- Rational, constructive disagreement is okay; personal attacks, stereotyping, or exaggeration is not.
- Opinion posts should include rational reasons for your disagreement and possible solutions to the problem. If you have no rational reasons and no reasonable solutions, then you’re just whining, and that’s not appropriate for a school post.
- Remember that you are adding to your digital footprint when you publish online. Don’t post anything that you would be embarrassed to take credit for now or in the future.
- If you get inappropriate comments on a post, don’t respond. In most cases you should take a screenshot and delete the offending post, and check with a teacher for how best to respond or deal with the comment.
- Consider whether you want people to be able to connect your school blog to your social media accounts. For example, if you have a blog post about some photos you took, do you want to include a link to your Instagram or Flickr account? Or do you want to keep your school and social accounts separate? Links must be school appropriate as well as worthwhile and relevant to the topic you are posting about.
- Do not reveal personal information about yourself or others. This means that you shouldn’t reveal phone numbers or addresses.
- Protect the privacy of the people you are writing about, including yourself. Don’t post details about where and when you will be in the future or where you regularly go.
- Bad: “My St. John’s Wood football team practices every Monday at 6 pm in Regent’s Park.”
- Good: “I play for a club soccer team that practices once a week.”
- Use people’s names (including your own) respectfully and with a purpose. When you include someone else’s name in your posts, remember that you are adding to their permanent digital footprint as well as your own.
- Make sure you have permission from people in your images / video or use copyright free material before posting online.
- Do not post unflattering images / videos. Posts should never be designed to embarrass.
- Post photos / videos that protect the privacy of the people in them. Avoid identifying details like addresses (posing in front of their home or school).