Social Concerns and Disciplinary Policies
Social Health at Cedarwood
Among the highest goals of Waldorf education is to foster kindness and respect towards all people – the foundation of good behavior and civility. Children at Cedarwood are taught to honor one another’s thoughts, feelings, physical bodies, personal space, and possessions. We are committed to providing a safe social environment in which children are protected from inappropriate and harmful behavior and influences.
Our teachers and our curriculum promotes – and models - cooperative play and work to build community and self-respect. As students progress through their developmental stages they may attempt less desirable social behavior. In such instances teachers at Cedarwood will actively address and redirect any hurtful social interactions between students, while they are at school.
Social health, an encouraging educational environment, and discipline at Cedarwood are successfully maintained through the establishment of admiration and respect between children and their regard for teachers and all adults in the Cedarwood community and beyond. As the parents and teachers of Cedarwood’s students, our demonstration of productive relationships and good communication is vital to enforcing this discipline in children.
Social Emotional Behaviors - Bullying
Research indicates that bullying cannot flourish in a safe and caring learning environment characterized by:
- Supportive relationships between teachers and students and among students that encourage open communication and positive ways to resolve problems and conflicts.
- Good working relationships between schools and families that foster two-way communication about student growth and development.
- School norms, values, and policies that emphasize respect for others and appreciation of differences.
- Students who are aware of and can manage their emotions, demonstrate caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging social situations constructively.
Young children can have difficulty telling the difference between teasing and bullying:
- Teasing is playful, good-natured and goes back and forth. Bullying is one-sided.
- Teasing makes up a small part of the relationship. Bullying defines the relationship.
- Teasing stops when the child tells the other person they do not like it. Bullying continues even after the victim asks for it to stop.
The Cedarwood community is committed to proactive work in the social emotional development of our children. Hence, parents and teachers work together to remain alert to social behavior at school and home. When such behavior occurs teachers and parents will take the appropriate action needed to mediate and support a positive conclusion. As needed, Cedarwood’s Student Support and Safety Coordinator and /or School Psychologist are available to parents and teachers to support students.
Actions that may be taken if your child is involved in bullying:
(Please note that these actions may be adjusted for each individual child’s developmental stage.)
- Address the Problem: Phone calls home to inform parents of incidents or patterns and/or meeting with the teacher and the children involved.
- Share Responsibility: When discussing the issue with those involved, focus will be placed on diffusing the situation, listening to all parties involved, and collectively coming to concrete solutions to make the situation better.
- Continue to Monitor the Situation: When bullying has occurred, teachers will continue to monitor and support the students involved. Positive feedback will be given to the children when progress is made.
- Meet Again: A meeting will take place after a short amount of time to discuss how things are going. This allows for monitoring of the situation, and keeping the children involved in the process.
If Bullying Continues:
There is a wide range of professional groups who have specialized training and experience with children’s emotional and behavioral issues. If a child is involved with chronic bullying we may recommend that the family seek additional support from professionals including: social workers, educational psychologists, child psychotherapists, teachers and pediatricians.
General Disciplinary Measures
When the efforts of teachers, their assistants or parents may fail to successfully address disciplinary issues in a child whose social or academic conduct is deemed below the standards required by the teacher and/or Cedarwood community, the appropriate school authorities may, at their discretion, take one of the following three actions: probation, suspension, or expulsion. We do not take responsibility for invoking any of these disciplinary measures lightly and provide every opportunity to remedy the problems or issues leading to the problems that lead to the student’s behavior.
A class teacher may place a student on probation in the following cases:
- A student has not lived up to the reasonable expectations of the teacher(s)
- A student’s misbehavior breaks the Standards of Conduct of the school
Suspension can provide time for faculty and parents to plan a strategy for the student to return. It also allows the student and parent(s) to reflect on choices made and to find a new relationship to the expectations of the teacher(s) and school. Suspension can teach reasonable consequences directly related to negative actions.
A class teacher may suspend a student (sending the student home and requiring him or her to stay home for a specific amount of time) for the following reasons:
- Misbehavior in the classroom or social settings
- Disregard for school rules
- Chronic problems with non-compliance
- Any act of physical violence
Note: Cedarwood makes every effort to include students in all events however there may be times when a student is asked to refrain from experiential learning activities if classroom behavior is unpredictable or classroom needs require more supervision than the field trip can manage. When possible we will work with the family to arrange for parent support in these activities to allow the student to attend.
Expulsion will be at the discretion of the Core Group of Teachers upon recommendation of the class teacher or staff at Cedarwood. A permanent and formal separation from school may be the result of the following:
- A student has disregarded the standards of the classroom and school despite parent/teacher conversations and efforts
- A student’s behavior reflects a negative attitude toward the expectations of the school and/or parent to such a degree that fruitful learning and growth are being hindered
- The teacher and school are convinced that the student and/or parent(s) do not share the behavioral expectations of the school
- Conditions of academic or social probation are not met
Injury Resulting from Children’s Interaction
Cedarwood has a commitment to providing a safe and healthy physical and social environment for children to learn and play. However, even with careful attention to safety, accidents between two children can happen. Even when an injury is accidental, it is important for the child causing this injury to recognize the hurt caused, express an apology, and be made aware of how to prevent a similar situation from recurring. Most injuries fall into one of three categories.
Procedure When a Child Is Injured as the Result of Another’s Action
After consulting with any witnesses, the teacher will determine which category of injury applies to the situation, in the first two types of injury the actions below will be taken. In the case of Intentional Injury, see below.
- The teacher or nearest adult takes care of the injured child
- First Aid is given if needed
- The other child involved in the injury may be asked to help give aid to the hurt child
- The teacher investigates what happened
- The children involved will be talked with, both separately and together to discern the larger picture
- Any witnesses will be talked with
- Apology or restitution is given where needed and appropriate
If the injury appears to be serious enough that the child cannot continue in class, either the teacher or the office staff will call the parents. If the child returns to class without difficulty, the teacher or Student Support and Safety Coordinator will notify the parents about the accident at the end of the school day. The teacher (or staff) will also typically make sure that the parents of the child who was involved (not the victim) in the accident knows about the accident as well. An Incident Report form will be filled out if the injury is significant or if the child continues to feel hurt or uncomfortable.
Request for Support Form
If you feel that you need support - in any way - please fill out this form and our Head of School will contact you.