The buddy system requires children in grades K-2 to be accompanied by a classmate or adult whenever they leave the classroom on any errand. If they are going to deliver a classmate to the Main Office or elsewhere, three classmates will head out so that two can walk back together after their classmate has been dropped off. When a parent brings and signs in a student late to school, the parent will be asked to walk the child to the appropriate classroom.
Maintaining order through effective discipline is an obvious priority in the school. Aside from the desire to create a pleasant and successful learning atmosphere, proper behavior is necessary to ensure a safe environment. MCE focuses on discipline with dignity and self-responsibility. This philosophy builds upon basic tenets of respect and cooperation among students, parents, and teachers. It fosters desirable character traits described in the district's Social Emotional Learning initiative, provides clear expectations outlined as the Levels of Behavior; and is described below in its four stages. It is important that all members of the school community understand and support the program, and we appreciate your cooperation in discussing it with your child.
Stage One: Respect one another.
Each classroom teacher, with the support of the Principal and School Counselors, will teach, promote, model, and practice respectful behavior using the district's Social Emotional Learning initiative tenets:
6. Good Citizenship
The theme is, always, the “Golden Rule”—treat others the way you want to be treated.
Stage Two: Provide Guidance.
We want to help children become responsible for their own behavior. Every classroom displays the following Levels of Behavior, adapted from Curt Hinson’s 6-Steps to a Trouble-Free Playground (Wilmington: P.E. Pub. Co., 2001):
UNACCEPTABLE Level 1
Not following directions
Arguing, hitting, or pushing
Acting out of control
ACCEPTABLE Level 2
Taking care of materials/equipment
Being under control
OUTSTANDING Level 3
Cooperating with others
Acting as a role model
Each classroom teacher will follow a basic but flexible discipline format when any of the tenets of the SEL initiative are not followed to at least an acceptable level:
1. Ask the child to think about his or her specific behavior and where it fits under the Levels of Behavior. (A written self-evaluation may be given to the child to complete).
2. Ask the child to consider how he or she might change the behavior to raise it to at least an acceptable level.
3. If the unacceptable behavior continues, give the child a verbal warning and, when appropriate, use “Time Out” or other appropriate consequences for reflection.
4. Send the child to the Main Office with a “Discipline Slip.” Parents do not need to be concerned at this point in the process. If the situation is perceived as a “concern,” you will receive a phone call.
Stage Three: Call Home.
When a child becomes a “repeat offender,” the classroom teacher will call home and inform the parents of the situation. The call is being made so the parents can help reinforce the buidling's expectations for behavior and to keep parents informed about concerns.
Stage Four: Action Plan.
At the discretion of the Principal, the Assistant Principal, and a School Counselor, an Action Plan will be developed to help correct the situation. At this point in the process, the parents will be informed by the Principal and be involved in developing an Action Plan that will include one or more of the following options:
Option One: Meeting(s) with the child and his/her teacher to set a plan of action.
Option Two: Meeting(s) with the parents and the child and/or the teacher and/or other persons to set up a plan of action.
Option Three: Student attendance at a weekly structured class with a School Counselor that teaches, promotes, and practices the use of common values.
Option Four: A weekly individual or small-group counseling session with a School Counselor.
Option Five: An out-of-school referral to an appropriate counseling professional at the discretion of the parent.
Option Six: Suspension (either in school or out of school) from school at the discretion of the Principal.
Fire drills and shelter-in-place drills are performed throughout the year so that everyone in the building will be familiar with procedures in the event of an emergency. During a fire drill, all children are evacuated from the building and gather on the blacktop on the playground. Detailed plans are posted inside the door of each classroom.
In addition, an Emergency Procedures Plan has been developed and is in use in MCE and throughout the district. For more information, contact the Principal or the school’s Health and Safety Coordinator.
To help ensure safety, all outside doors to MCE except the Main Entrance doors near the Main Office are locked from the outside after students have arrived in the morning. Please cooperate with this procedure and do not open a door from the inside to admit anyone through another entrance or ask a child to let you in through another door. This includes the side-entrance doors near the parking lots. Visitors should enter the school through the Main Entrance and sign in at the Main Office Reception Area.