Discipline Philosophy & Restorative Practices

  • How will I be a CLIPPER?

    Students' educational voyage as a CLIPPER begins in the early years and culminates with graduation. Through their years of growth, students are certain to experience success and moments when they have to make several attempts at mastering a skill or understanding an idea. As our school community continues to grow, so do our CLIPPERs. In line with our collective efforts, we are supporting all learners beginning at their enrollment in Charting the Course to Graduation, which is our vision of teaching and learning to prepare students to face their own unknown in community, college, and career. The course to graduation demands students and teachers both to navigate the way forward together as learners. Together, we are CLIPPERs. Yet, no matter where we go, we each can proudly reflect on our journey and affirm that our identity as a learner was shaped by our time in Falmouth. Each can say, I AM A CLIPPER!

    As we consider the value in relationships and how they impact learning, we ask each student to reflect on one essential question: How will I be a CLIPPER? Their responses influence their relationships and their learning. Along the journey, they will learn to talk about their Creativity and how they Learn; they will be Inquisitive and Participate and Partner in learning to be an Effective communicator as well as to demonstrate their Resilience. After all, that’s what it means to be a CLIPPER!

    Restorative Practices & Discipline Philosophy

    To learn more about Restorative Practices, please click here.

    Falmouth Public Schools is based on humanitarian and democratic principles and recognizes the rights and dignity of others. As a community of educators, we believe that building relationships with students is paramount to their success. This includes building collaborative relationships with students and their families, so together we can partner to ensure student success.The ultimate goal of restorative practices and school discipline is to build inclusive school communities that allow students to remain actively engaged in learning and minimize time taken from instruction and learning. We need the support of all stakeholders, especially our families, to make this goal a reality. 

    Our intentions for restorative practices and discipline are aligned with the following objectives:

    • Provide students with ample opportunities to change behavior and nurture/restore relationships.

    • Provide a program that is progressive and restorative by design.

    • Provide understanding of appropriate though varied administrative responses to discipline referrals, concerns.

    • Provide students, parents/guardians, and school personnel with clearly stated advanced knowledge of the courses of action to be followed in handling discipline matters.

    • Provide professional learning and support to employ strategies and actions that  align with the principles of a democratic society.

    Each day in our schools, we influence our students’ social emotional learning and development while employing  restorative practices to help  strengthen our learning community. We are focused on building healthy, positive relationships; preventing harmful behavior; productively resolving conflict with individuals and groups; and fostering a positive and inclusive learning environment. We value open dialogue to repair relationships, and we remain unequivocally committed to the principle that disorderly and disruptive behavior shall not be permitted to interfere with other students’ access to learning. To maintain a safe and respectful learning environment, staff will work to address and support behavioral  concerns and address behaviors at the teacher/classroom level. These conversations may also include  peers, parents/guardians, and the administration who all share  the responsibility to support and maintain a safe and inclusive learning environment and school community.

    Every reasonable effort will be made to keep students in their learning environment, using suspension and/or expulsion only as a last resort. Our goal is to keep students in school and actively engaged in learning. 

    All staff and students partner to create a positive learning culture across all settings in the school community. While we encourage and value the building, and when necessary the restoration, of positive relationships,  students are reminded that:

      1. The exercise of any of a student’s rights ceases when it impacts  the rights of another individual or group.
      2. No student has the right to disrupt the educational process within a school or designated learning environment.
      3. All students have the right to due process in matters that affect their ability to actively engage in their learning. This includes suspension and expulsion.
      4. The School Committee stresses that any form of physical punishment of students is against the law and strictly prohibited. Any permissible use of physical contact is covered through Falmouth Public Schools’ Physical Restraint Policy and district provided training. 
      5. A search of a student or their personal property in the presence of a second adult may be performed if a school administrator considers that there is a reasonable suspicion concerning violation of school rules or policies.
      6. The carrying or wearing of any object which may be considered or used as a weapon, including but not limited to firearms and knives of any size, is forbidden on school property.