Christopher Columbus Charter School
916 Christian Street
1242 S. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
A Title I School
Principles and Procedures
Principles of the CCCS Discipline Policy
Since discipline is the foundation of a well-ordered society, it must be initially established in the home by parents and reinforced in school. CCCS strives to foster growth in self-discipline through a policy of assertive discipline that supports cooperative behavior through positive reinforcement and provides clear consequences for student misbehavior.
- The founding philosophy and belief of all discipline is a sense of respect, self-respect, respect for others, respect for authority, and respect for the environment in which we live. Because we seek to foster an environment where all people are respected, CCCS offers the following procedures as a means to ensure the safety and security of our learning environment for all of our students, our staff, our faculty, and our administration.
- The members of CCCS Board and Administration acknowledge the rights of our students and their families to be heard with that same sense of respect. The following procedures are set forth as a means to promote that sense of respect within our school community.
- Because the CCCS Board of Directors, the administration, and the faculty and staff believe that true communication is an essential mark of respect, we set forth these procedures as a means of communicating the most effective way to provide for a stable learning environment for all students, and a peaceful relationship between the home and the school for the best good of the student.
- Because the CCCS Board of Directors, the administration, the faculty and staff believe that our students can be called to the higher expectation of self-control and discipline, we set forth these procedures as a vital tool for each student to develop the appropriate behaviors to ensure growth in every area of good citizenship, and to assist our students in understanding behaviors appropriate in various social contexts.
- Because CCCS Board of Directors, the administration, and the faculty and staff publicly acknowledge respect as our primary guiding principle, we set forth these procedures as a means for all students who violate school and classroom rules to be afforded every opportunity to be heard and understood, and to ensure that their rights to due process have been fairly and correctly applied.
- Because CCCS Board of Directors, the administration, and the faculty and staff acknowledge that self-control and self-discipline are vital to self- improvement, every opportunity will be afforded to students who have violated school or classroom regulations to improve and develop into a positive member of our school community.
- Because CCCS Board of Directors, the administration, and the faculty and staff believe that disciplinary measures should be fair, firm, and consistent, we set forth these procedures as a guideline for all to ensure fairness, firmness, and consistency in the lives of our children.
- CCCS Board of Directors, the administration, and the faculty and staff acknowledge that the students have certain unalienable rights guaranteed by our freedoms and our government. These rights include:
---The Right to a good education
---The Right to a safe and secure school environment
---The Right to be treated with respect
---The Right to the security of personal property
---The Right to participate in the activities of the school, subject to compliance with the discipline procedures as stated in this policy document.
---The Right to be protected by school jurisdiction on school grounds before, during, and after school, while participating in a school activity at any time, or while being transported by school vehicles to activities of CCCS or while traveling on public transportation.
---The Right to participate in and utilize the student council of CCCS to ensure freedom of expression and the use of proper channels to provide for an appropriate means of communication.
- CCCS Board of Directors, the administration, and the faculty and staff also acknowledge that each student bears certain responsibilities as a student-citizen in the CCCS School Community. These responsibilities include:
---The responsibility to protect and promote the safety, and orderliness of CCCS by participating in and caring for our environment and participating in programs that teach such appropriate behaviors.
---The responsibility to obey school and civic laws and to serve as role models in such events to our younger students and the public at large.
---The responsibility to understand that CCCS is only on part of the larger Bella Vista and Passyunk Avenue neighborhoods, and to take pride in our membership in this neighborhood by caring for it, and protecting it in any way possible.
---The responsibility for understanding the laws concerning drug possession, weapons, and other civic offenses, and to adhere to these civic laws.
---The responsibility to support education for everyone, as applicable in federal, state, and local statutes, without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, creed,ability to pay, national origin, ability, or intellectual ability.
---The responsibility to participate fully and to the best of their personal ability in the academic life of the school.
---The responsibility to complete assigned work in class and at home to the best of their personal ability.
---The responsibility to attend school regularly and punctually, and to be prepared by bringing materials and supplies to school.
---The responsibility to work toward self-respect in word, gesture, body language and demeanor, and to exercise that respect with regard to others.
- The CCCS Board of Directors also acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of the students’ families, particularly, their parents, in the academic life of their children. These rights and responsibilities are listed in the annual compact agreed upon by the school, the parents, and the students at the beginning of every academic year.
- The CCCS Board of Directors also acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of staff members, as well as faculty members and members of the administration. These rights and responsibilities are listed in the annual compacts, as well as the CCCS personnel policy books.
Procedures of the CCCS Discipline Policy
- Demerits – demerits will be issued for minor infractions, such as, but not limited to the following: chewing gum, talking in class, misbehavior in the cafeteria, and other minor offenses. Three demerits will warrant a detention.
- Parents will be contacted in the case where students indicate a repeated pattern of not returning tests, report cards, and other important papers sent home for signature. In addition they will be contacted for a pattern of student’s refusal to complete homework assignments.
- Detentions – detentions will be given for accumulated demerits and also for more serious offenses, such as, but not limited to, disrespect of any kind, foul language, cheating, teasing other children, fighting, a pattern of non-compliance with uniform dress code, etc.
- Private Detention – children may be kept after school for a variety of reasons, including: not completing home assignments, school assignments, not returning test papers, etc. Private Detentions will be issued by the homeroom teacher. Parents will receive 24 hour notice prior to the detention.
- Lunch Detention-children may be kept from lunch recess at the discretion of the building administrator for various infractions of the discipline code.
Three disciplinary detentions will warrant school suspension. Students with continual disciplinary difficulties may be placed in a program of positive behavioral support. This procedure warrants a monthly report from the time of the positive support until the student receives 3 consecutive “S” reports.
A student who receives 3 or more “U” reports or who is involved in any serious disciplinary matter while in the program may be subject to further disciplinary action.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to, slurs, jokes, or other verbal, graphic, or physical conduct relating to an individual’s race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age or handicap/disability. CCCS faculty is responsible for maintaining an educational environment free from all forms of harassment. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.
Bullying is defined as behavior toward another person that provides a climate of an inhospitable environment for that person. This includes but is not limited to: taunting, fighting, threatening, gossiping about another, teasing, intimidation, or a pattern of any combination of these behaviors. Bullying will not be tolerated in any way, as CCCS School Community believes that each student has the right to a safe learning environment. Any student who is found to be participating in any type of bullying may be subject to suspension. A repeated pattern of bullying could result in the CCCS Board requesting a hearing to determine the student’s continued enrollment at CCCS.
Cyber bullying is defined as the use of the internet as a tool (either in school or from any other place) to intimidate another person, by means of transmitting information (true or false information) regarding that person. It also includes transmitting threatening messages or using slurs, racial, sexual or any other type of slur.
Cyber bullying will not be tolerated in any way, as CCCS School Community believes that each student has the right to a safe learning environment and a safe presence within the school community. Any student who is found to be participating in cyber-bullying may be subject to suspension. A repeated pattern of cyber-bullying could result in the CCCS Board requesting a hearing to determine the student’s continued enrollment at CCCS.
Out of School Disciplinary Consequences
The administration has the discretion to determine disciplinary consequences for any infraction of the Code of Conduct, including a history of multiple infractions. Out of school discipline is often, but not always, a last resort after other measures in behavior improvements have been implemented.
If a disciplinary consequence includes suspension or expulsion, students will be afforded all rights under Chapter 12 of the State Board of Education Regulations and/or the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, as applicable.
Suspension may also be imposed upon a student who deliberately disrupts a class, is constantly disrespectful to a teacher or any adult placed in charge of him/her, disrespect for other children (constant taunting, serious fighting, racial slurs, harassment, bullying, cyber-bullying, truancy, theft, incorrigibility, leaving the school premises without permission, consistently disregarding school regulations, harming other children, and bringing cigarettes and other substances to/or on school property. Children who miss detention more than once will be suspended for a period of one day. Suspensions may be “In-School” or at home. The type and length of the suspension is at the discretion of the administration and according to the disciplinary infraction.
Every effort will be made to discover the cause of unacceptable behavior, counsel, and encourage the child to find more acceptable responses to certain situations. If a child’s conduct does not improve after these recommendations, it may result in student suspensions. A hearing attended by the Principal and a committee of Trustee members will precede any long-term suspensions. (22 PA Code Chapter 12, sets forth Suspensions procedures)
- For a student who is suspended to return to class, a parent must reinstate the student to class by accompanying him or her to a meeting with a member of the administrative team.
- The suspension procedures follow:
---In-House suspension- is a time-out for a student who continually disobeys school or classroom regulations. This suspension usually is combined with a phone call to the parent to communicate the situation in which the student finds him or herself. This type of suspension is not recorded in the official school district attendance record.
---One-Day suspension- is a type of suspension that is rarely given. Its purpose is to alert the student to the seriousness of the situation in which he or she is involved. It is reserved for use with students who do not have extensive discipline files.
---Three-Day suspension- is a first-time suspension for students who have incurred nine or more disciplinary demerits or three or more detentions. A second three-day suspension may be served.
---Ten-Day suspension- is a third suspension period served by students who have not responded to prior reinstatements, assistance from the school counselor, meetings with parents, etc…
This is a suspension period that may occur following a hearing with the CCCS Board of Directors.
- These measures listed in the above paragraphs are measures of last resort. Every effort is made to assist a youngster who finds it difficult to maintain an appropriate social presence in the school community.
- Some procedures that may occur are: interviews with the administration and their families, assistance from the school counselor, daily behavior reports and rewards from the classroom teacher, behavioral support program with a monthly report, and many other types of intervention programs.
- Students who face a disciplinary hearing before the CCCS Board of Directors may wish to exercise their right to bring forth witnesses in their behalf. The students’ parents also may wish to exercise that right.
- If a parent should disagree with a determination made by the administration to suspend a student for a long period of time(ten days or more), that parent may appeal the decision to the Board of Directors at CCCS as follows:
---Appeal requests must be made in writing to the principal. Such request must be filed with the principal within five calendar days of the suspension decision, or the right to appeal is waived.
---The parent and/or student have the right to bring forth witnesses to speak on behalf of the student.
Special Education Suspensions
- There are special rules in Pennsylvania for excluding children with disabilities for disciplinary reasons. When a student with a disability is excluded for more than ten consecutive school days or subjected to a series of removals that result in a pattern because the removals constitute more than ten school days in any one school year, a change in placement has occurred and prior written notice is required.
- In addition, a “manifestation determination” must be conducted by the IEP team to decide if the child’s behavior was caused by the disability or is a manifestation of the disability.
In order to determine that a behavior was not a manifestation of the disability, the team must decide that the current IEP and placement are appropriate and have been put into place; that the child was able to understand the consequences of his/her actions, and that the child could have controlled his/her actions. Children with disabilities cannot be punished for behaviors that are related to, or are manifestations of, their disabilities. If the IEP team decides that the child’s behavior was not related to the disability, the child’s placement may be changed for disciplinary reasons.
Major Discipline Infractions
- Gross insubordination
- Truancy – See Attendance Policy
- Constant fighting and taunting other children
- Drugs – Cigarettes
- Possession and/or use of electronic devices in school***
Any type of knife – razor – matches – pointed objects
Chains – Any implement that could be used to harm someone.
- Immoral conduct (bringing in books, videos, magazines, inappropriate cell phone pictures that degrade a certain race, creed, gender or touching another child/adult inappropriately)
- Any violence or violent act directed at a staff member
***Electronic Devices are defined as but not limited to: cell phones, laser pointers, laptop computers, personal digital assistants(PDA’s), shock devices, beepers, pagers, cameras, etc…
Cell Phone Policy
CCCS acknowledges the right of parents to send students to school with a personal communication tool. The school, however, maintains its right to limit the use of these tools, especially cell phones, on its property, during school events, and/or while utilizing transportation provided by the school. Students should follow the restriction guidelines regarding the use of personal communication devices.
When a student arrives at school, the cell phone should be turned off before they enter the building. It should then be handed into the homeroom teacher, who will place it in a secure location for the duration of the school day. The student may re-claim the cell phone at the end of the day, but may not use it while participating in extra-curricular activities or while in the process of dismissal.
An administrator may confiscate the cell phone from the student and keep it upon its misuse on school property. A parent may
re-claim the cell phone by making an appointment to see the administrator.
- The Pennsylvania General Assembly has enacted legislation (Act 26) which requires all public schools to take a MANDATORY course of action in dealing with students who are found to be in possession of weapons.
- The law requires the ARREST and EXPULSION, for at least one year, of any student found in possession of a weapon on school property, in a school program, or while traveling to or from a school program, including time on public transportation.
- The law defines a weapon to include, but not limited to, any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, firearm, shotgun, rifle, and any other tool or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE STUDENT USE OR TRY TO USE THE WEAPON.
- POSSESSION FOR SELF-PROTECTION IS NOT A DEFENSE.
- Parents are encouraged not to send tools or supplies such as metal or pointed scissors to school with your children unless you receive a written request from the teacher.
- The law requires that violations will become a part of a student’s permanent disciplinary record, and will be available to any school in which the student may later enroll.
- Parents will be required to sign an affidavit PRIOR to enrolling their child in any public school to disclose the existence of any weapons violations or other serious violations.
- These measures, (PA Act 26), are set aside as a measure to prevent and discourage any potential acts of violence.
- While CCCS acknowledges the freedom of students for self-expression in actions, manner, and dress, the Board and Administration of CCCS also acknowledges the right and inherent responsibility of the school to regulate such actions, manner, and dress according to the agreed-upon policies of Student Behavior.
- In keeping with this responsibility, the CCCS Board of Directors, the Administration, and the Faculty and Staff of CCCS require all students to adhere to the policies regarding dress code. If a student violates the dress code policy, he/she will receive a uniform warning to be signed by the parents. There will be no further disciplinary action in the case of one offense.
- A repeated offense could result in a demerit issued by the student’s teacher or by the building administrator. A student who repeatedly violates the policies of the CCCS dress code may be sent to the administration for consultation and a possible one day suspension for patterns of defiant disregard for said policies. Please consult the Parent-Student Handbook Policy Book for details regarding dress code.
- CCCS acknowledges the students’ right to carry cell phones for the purposes of ongoing communication with their parents, the Board and Administration of CCCS also require that students submit the phones to their teachers during the day. Failure to do so may result in a one day suspension at the discretion of the building administrator.
- It is the understanding of the Board of Directors, the administration, the faculty and staff of CCCS that all students have a right to learn in a safe and orderly environment, and
that these procedures for discipline at CCCS are in compliance with our mission statement and the intent of our charter.
No student may access the sites listed below while using school computers, either in the computer lab or the general classroom.
The sites are:
- Apps of any kind
- Any music site
- Any video sites
- Games that contain any violence(subject to admin review)
- Access to any social networking site is denied in CCCS.
ANY STUDENT WHO DOES ACCESS ANY OF THE ABOVE WILL RECEIVE AN IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION FOR A PERIOD OF ONE DAY. ANY STUDENT WHO TAKES PICTURES AND/OR VIDEOS IN THE CLASSROOOM OR OTHER AREAS OF THE BUILDING WILL BE GIVEN A ONE DAY SUSPENSION. IF A STUDENT POSTS PICTURES ON A SOCIAL MEDIA SITE, HE/SHE MAY BE SUBJECT TO A THREE-DAY SUSPENSION. IN ADDITION, THE STUDENT’S COMPUTER PRIVILEGES MAY BE DENIED FOR UP TO A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR.
Right to Amend
The principal retains the right to amend the handbook for just cause. Parents will be given prompt notification if changes are made.
CCCS does not discriminate against any child – all are considered equal regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs.