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Merrick Jewish Centre Hebrew School Conduct Policy

The Merrick Jewish Centre Hebrew School’s behavior policy is guided by a commitment to kavod -- the basic respect due to both teachers and students. We are aware that we will only achieve our educational goals if there is mutual respect and cooperation amongst teachers and students. It is a goal of the Hebrew School to provide a safe, supportive, Jewish learning environment for everyone. To that end, our school’s overarching code of behavior is TORAH: T - thinking of O - others with R - respect, A - appreciation and H - holiness.

 

The Hebrew School strives to provide a positive climate in which all of our students can thrive. While we emphasize classroom learning, there are additional goals of building a community through kavod and derech eretz (respect and treating people in the correct manner). Our teachers are committed to treating all students with dignity and respect.

Our expectation is that students will treat their teachers and classmates in the same manner, putting Jewish values into action at all times. Effective learning results when students, teachers, and parents are working together to implement these policies.

 

EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS

Our Hebrew School program is one in which learning takes place in an atmosphere of mutual respect among students, and between students and teachers. Part of respecting others includes one’s behaviors and taking responsibility for one’s actions, as well as how one acts in the presence of their classmates. To this end, each class will begin the school year by establishing a classroom brit (covenant) that will promote positive behavior and discourage improper behavior. This brit will be completed through the mutual efforts of the teacher and students in language appropriate for the developmental level of the students, and will be posted in the classroom. Some of the expectations for students which will be identified in the brit are as follows:

  • Contribute to maintaining a safe and orderly school environment
  • Be familiar with and abide by school policies and rules
  • Attend school regularly and on time
  • Work to the best of their ability
  • Treat others respectfully
  • Dress appropriately and wear kippot (for boys)

 

In addition to the terms of each classroom brit, MJC has established the following list of behaviors that will not be tolerated in the school:

 

  • Disrespect of others, including both teachers and fellow students
  • Disruption of classroom learning
  • Inappropriate physical contact of any kind among students or between a student and a teacher
  • Use of offensive or abusive language in class or within the school or synagogue building or grounds
  • Defacing school or synagogue property of any kind
  • Possession of illegal or inappropriate items (e.g. weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco products) of any kind on school and synagogue property
  • Bullying - Because the MJC greatly values our positive, inclusive, and caring learning environment, we treat bullying as a serious offense. Students have the right to learn in a safe and sensitive environment at all times. Bullying in all its forms, whether verbal, physical, or psychological, is completely unacceptable. We encourage parents and students to speak with us at any time concerning bullying issues. A separate Hebrew School Bullying Policy is available for review

 

EXPECTATIONS FOR PARENTS

All parents are expected to:

  • Encourage kavod (respect) for teachers and peers.
  • Create positive and supportive attitudes about Judaism and Jewish learning.
  • Send their children to school ready to participate and learn.
  • Ensure their children attend school regularly and on time.
  • Know school rules and help their children understand them.
  • Keep in touch with their child’s teachers and be aware of upcoming activities and event

 

EXPECTATIONS FOR TEACHERS

All Hebrew School teachers are expected to:

 

  • Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity and promote confidence to learn.
  • Promote the student’s Jewish identity and love and appreciation for Jewish life and learning.
  • Know school policies and rules, and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
  • Communicate regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.
  • Participate in professional development programs to continuously increase their knowledge base and improve teaching techniques.
  • Communicate with students and parents about students’ progress and upcoming programs.
  • Use emails, phone numbers and addresses that are provided by parent/guardian for school related purposes only.

 

ADDRESSING INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIORS

 

The first instance of a violation of a classroom brit or of the behaviors listed above will be handled at the classroom level between the teacher and the student(s) involved when possible, and in consultation with the Director of Education.  In dealing with students, teachers will display kavod (respect) for the student while providing the appropriate level of discipline for the situation, beginning with a warning level. 

 

Subsequent violations will be handled in an appropriate manner, at the discretion of the teacher, in consultation with the Director of Education, including, but not limited to, any of the following means:

 

  • The student will be removed from the classroom for an appropriate time period in order to help extinguish the negative behaviors or to calm down if needed.
  • The teacher will discuss the negative behaviors with the Director of Education.
  • The Director of Education, or the teacher, or both, will speak with the student to address the behavioral concerns.
  • The teacher and/or Director of Education will arrange a conference with the parents in order to discuss the student's behavior.
  • The Director of Education and the parents, and the teacher if appropriate, will develop an action plan for the student that will help improve the student’s success within the classroom. This may include temporary suspension from the Hebrew School when warranted (such as when a student is insubordinate, violent, extremely disruptive, or whose conduct endangers the safety or welfare of him/herself or others).
  • In extreme cases, the Director of Education has the right to recommend to the School Board that the student be expelled from the Hebrew School.
  • In situations resulting in damage to synagogue property, the family/student may be responsible for its restoration or replacement.
  • Physical intervention - In most instances, classroom management techniques are effective to maintain control.  However, on rare occasion, physical intervention with a student may be required in the best interest of his/her welfare or the welfare of other students.
  • If physical intervention is used, or action is taken for any serious behavioral infraction, the Director of Education will be notified immediately, as soon as the danger is passed, and contact with the student’s parent/guardian will be made as soon as possible, prior to dismissal on the day of the occurrence.
  • Staff must also complete an Incident Report within 24 hours of a serious violation of appropriate conduct stating the context and circumstances of the incident and an explanation as to why disciplinary action was necessary. The incident report will be given to the Director of Education.

We, at the Merrick Jewish Centre Hebrew School, look forward to connecting with our parents and students in a way that helps them to develop a strong sense of Judaism and enables them to live, love and learn well so they will embrace and pass their Jewish heritage on to others. Through kavod (mutual respect) we believe that we can foster a safe and positive learning environment which will help enrich the Jewish lives of our Hebrew School students.

 

Approved by the Merrick Jewish Centre Hebrew School Board  & Synagogue Board of Directors, December 2019

 

Sat, November 28 2020 12 Kislev 5781