PDS seeks to help boys grow in their character and values, so we intentionally hold high, age-appropriate standards for boys, individually and collectively, as they relate to behavior. We seek to foster a community characterized by, among other things, respect, integrity, compassion, kindness, and responsibility.
One of the greatest opportunities for fostering boys’ growth in this area is in discipline. While we as a school are fortunate to have boys who are generally well behaved, they, like adults, make mistakes, and we seek to discipline them in ways that hold them accountable for their mistakes, teach valuable life-long lessons, address the root causes of the behavior, offer them strategies and support for making better choices in the future, and uphold and promote our communal values. Though sometimes difficult in the short-run, discipline is a unique opportunity to grow a boy’s more lasting character and sense of responsibility and decision-making.
We also seek to discipline in a way that, rather than isolating a boy from his teachers and administrators, deepens those relationships and the sense of connection the boy has to the adult(s) while at the same time conveying to the boy that he is still loved despite his particular misbehavior. We strive to communicate clearly with parents and view any disciplinary situation as an opportunity for enhancing the parent-school partnership.
Given the wide range of grades we serve and different ages of boys, the specific elements of discipline vary so that they will be age-appropriate, though we embrace the broad principles listed above. Your son’s teachers can let you know the specifics of their discipline plan.
Most routine disciplinary matters are handled by a teacher, and the teacher should be the primary and initial contact for a parent about disciplinary matters. Should a boy not show improvement following correction from the teacher, the Principal of the Elementary Division (for boys in grades 1–6) or the Head of Early Childhood (for EC boys) will intervene, and should the boy still be unable or unwilling to conform to expectations, the Headmaster will consider whether or not PDS is the appropriate school for the boy. At each of these three steps along the way (teacher, administrator, headmaster), the school will seek to engage the parents about the boy’s difficulties and the school’s expectations, and the consequences and seriousness will grow. In the Elementary Division, these meetings are called Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 meetings.
In the event, however, that a single action of a boy is of a serious enough nature, the Head of Early Childhood, Principal of the Elementary Division or Headmaster may be involved from the outset, and the consequences may be more significant from the beginning. PDS reserves the right to suspend or dismiss from school any student if such suspension or expulsion is necessary to protect the best interest, integrity, or welfare of the school, including the health and well-being of other students, faculty, or staff. The school may dismiss a student whose behavior unfairly damages the learning or social/emotional environment to which other students are entitled.
PDS recognizes that students should have a safe, positive learning environment and that any and all forms of bullying (including cyber bullying) will not be tolerated.
Author Barbara Coloroso defines bullying as "conscious, willful and deliberate hostile activity intended to harm, induce fear through threat of further aggression and create terror.” It can be either premeditated or spontaneous. There are four markers that accompany this activity:
- Imbalance of power – one side in conflict is more physically dominant
- Intent to harm – the bully wants to cause emotional or physical pain AND gets pleasure from witnessing it
- Threat of further aggression – not meant to be a one-time event; both the bullied and the bully know it will probably happen again
- Terror – systematic violence used to cause extreme fear and intimidation (not incident of aggression elicited by anger or impulse control problems)
Examples of bullying behavior include, but not limited to, the following:
- Written – unwelcome notes or written messages
- Cyber – bullying electronically via e-mail, text message, Facebook, blog, etc.
- Verbal – unwelcome comments, name calling, or teasing
- Visual – unwelcome bodily gestures; pictures and drawings
- Exclusion – behavior that makes students feel unwelcome
- Physical – unwelcome physical actions, which create an environment that is harmful to the health and well-being of a student.
- Disruptive – interferes, intimidates, or threatens other students.
- Retaliation – threats or actions to “get back at” another student because of a complaint or for being a participant in the complaint process.
Be an advocate against bullying
PDS is proactive in instructing boys on peer relations thru the Building Boys Making Men program, chapels, class meetings and homeroom time. PDS encourages students to model Mark 12:31, “love your neighbor as your self.” Students who are being bullied must be clear and say, “STOP!” to the boy or boys who are exhibiting unwelcome behavior.
Reporting is not tattling if students have been warned to STOP. If the unwelcome behavior continues after the student(s) is warned to STOP, the boy being bullied should report it by telling at least two adults – a teacher and someone at home.
Students who witness bullying should exhibit respect, honesty and courage by telling those who are bullying to STOP. If the unwelcome behavior continues after the student(s) is warned to STOP, the student who witnessed the bullying should report it by telling at least two adults – a teacher and someone at home.
Teachers who witness bullying should ask students involved to STOP. Teachers with information about bullying at school will begin a mediation process and contact the parents of students involved.
Parents who have information about bullying should find out if their son asked the other student to STOP, and if he notified a teacher. After asking their son these questions, parents should contact their son’s teacher.
Depending upon age of the offender(s), The Principal of the Elementary Division or the Head of the Early Childhood Division will take the responsibility for investigating any unwelcome behavior reported by students, teachers or parents. They are responsible for contacting the parents of students who are the targets of bullying and those students being investigated.
All incidents of bullying will result in appropriate consequences at the discretion of the Principal of the Elementary Division or the Head of Early Childhood Division. He/She may also set a mandatory conference with the parents.
At PDS we believe that we represent the school in all that we do, especially in the way we appear for school every day. A neat, tasteful appearance contributes to the positive impression we make. As a result, the school expects all students to be suitably attired and groomed during school hours or when representing PDS. The guidelines presented below spell out very clearly the school’s expectations for student dress:
All students must maintain a neat and clean appearance at all times. Only collared shirts are permitted, and shirttails for 1–6 grade students must be tucked in. Plain or printed tee shirts and football jerseys are not acceptable.
Athletic clothes may not be worn during the regular school day.
Blue jeans may not be worn. Neat, clean, chino-type trousers in various colors may be worn. No rompers, belts or overalls may be worn in PK. Overalls may not be worn; sweat pants or wind pants may not be worn in the Elementary Division (grades 1–6).
Bermuda length shorts are permissible. Neither cut-off pants nor denim pants are permitted.
Shoes with clearly visible socks must be worn. Sandals, Crocs, or other shoes without closed heels are not allowed.
Any boy with excessively long or dyed hair or hair styled in a such a way as to cause a significant distraction for other boys will not be permitted to attend class. Any boy in need of a haircut will be given a reasonable time to accomplish this. The hair must not be over the collar in the back or over the eyes in the front.
Jackets, dress shirts, and ties must be worn for all field trips in grades two and above (any exceptions will be especially noted). Tattoos, beads, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and headbands are not allowed. Belts must be worn with pants that have loops.
The school reserves the right to require a boy to make necessary changes should he arrive at school dressed or appearing in a manner that is distracting or not within the spirit of these regulations.
Early Childhood students follow the school dress code as stated below:
- All students must maintain a neat and clean appearance (i.e. belts, when pants have belt loops, etc.)
- Shirts with regulation collars are required. Having shirt tails tucked in is a goal for JK and SK students. Football jerseys and T-shirts with/without printing are unacceptable.
- Athletic clothes may not be worn during the regular school day.
- Blue jeans may not be worn.
- Sweat pants are acceptable, however overalls are not.
- Shorts are permissible. Cut-off pants and short shorts are not permissible.
- Athletic shoes and clearly visible socks must be worn at all times. Open-toe or open heeled shoes may not be worn. (Example: Crocs, Keens, or sandals) Rain boots and cowboy boots are not permissible.
- Any boy with an unusual haircut or bleached hair will not be permitted to attend class. Any boy in need of a haircut will be given a reasonable time to accomplish this. The hair must not cover the collar in the back or the eyes in front.
- The wearing of visible tattoos, beads, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, silly bands, or headbands is not allowed.