Community Meetings, Core Values & Incentives

COMMUNITY MEETING INITIATIVE

The goal of this initiative is to build a healthy, inclusive, and safe student-centered environment

for all of our middle school students.

 

One way to build a student-centered school learning community is through the grade-level

community meeting approach, also known as the Circle of Power and Respect (CPR). This idea

is adapted from the popular book called The Advisory Book.

 

Frequency and Time Allotment

We will hold grade-level meetings on a monthly basis, or on an as needed basis depending on the need of the grade-level student population. We will budget approximately 60-70 minutes for each grade-level meeting session at approximately the same time on the pre-determined day.

 

The Grade-Level Meeting Structure and Agenda Topics

As a group, the students and teachers will sit in a circle known as CPR and stick to some very simple and important norms, which are:

  • Appreciation of Others (i.e. no put-downs)

  • Listen Attentively/Effective Communication

  • Respect Everyone

  • Right to Pass (students can pass when it’s their turn to speak on a topic)

 

Additionally, there will be a special gesture to keep the meeting orderly and running smoothly. For example, when the facilitator raises his hand, everyone else raises his/her hand and stops talking.

 

At each grade-level meeting we will implement the following format:

  • Greeting

  • Sharing of news from students

  • Sharing of news and announcements from Administration (i.e. schedules/trips, hallway protocol, school events, etc.)

  • Discussion of Important Topic (whole group)

  • Action around Important Topic (teacher led advisory group, small groups)

  • Reflection (whole group)

  • Team Building Activity or a Structured Game to promote effective communication and fun

 

Possible Topics

Respect, Acceptable Behavior, Effective Communication, Bullying, Conflict Resolution, High-School Choice, IB Learner Profiles and Areas of Interaction, Service-Learning and Emotional/Social Development just to name a few. Other topics will arise based on the needs of the students per grade-level.

 

Conflict Resolution

Most importantly, if there is a problem in the school that needs to be addressed, the grade-level meeting is the most appropriate place to bring it up and model problem solving with our students. It will offer time for students and teachers to clear the air of any issues or misconceptions with boundaries to reach a common solution. Periodically, the school social worker will make herself available to attend the community meetings for support and guidance.

 

Careful Preparation

To enable the careful preparation required for these meetings to be successful, the grade level team and the Dean of Students will meet in advance to discuss meaningful topics per grade -level. The Dean of Students will meet with the Principal to finalize details and send out an agenda to the teachers before the meeting. As the meeting is in session, the Dean of Students will act as the facilitator of the meeting and the teachers will become active participants in the meeting by supporting students in an advisory role throughout whole and small group sharing sessions.  Students will also have a  designated area to place possible appropriate topics that they would like to discuss in the community meeting.

CORE VALUES

 

WE ARE GLOBAL CITIZENS!

We are internationally minded people who, recognizing our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

 

AS IB LEARNERS, WE STRIVE TO BE:

inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective.

 

(Adapted from IBO, Learner Profile, 2013.)

 

CLASS DOJO AND INCENTIVES

The Middle School uses an incentive program, in conjunction with ClassDojo, to monitor students’ conduct and nonacademic performance on a daily basis. The purpose of the program is to promote, manage, and support positive behavior from all middle school students. As such, students are encouraged to earn positive feedback, and to minimize negative feedback, in order to participate in weekly and monthly incentives.

 

The plan is implemented using the ClassDojo Application/website (www.classdojo.com). Students receive positive feedback/points for displaying the IB Learner Profile traits (balanced, caring, communicator, inquirer, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, reflective, risk-taker, thinker) as well as “Global Citizen” when they embody all of the traits through their conduct. Teachers issue students points during the class period and share accumulated points and rationale at the end of their class period. For example, at the end of the class a teacher may say, “Today I awarded communicator points to the whole class for your great work in the class discussion, and I also awarded principled points to those students who came in to class and started their work without having to be reminded to do so.” This helps the student understand how their everyday behavior positively impacts their learning and the greater learning environment, as well as helps the students connect their everyday experiences to the language of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.

 

When students fail to live up to the IB Learner Profile Traits, teachers award them negative feedback/points for specific behaviors as well. These behaviors include: tardiness, off-task, disruptive, rude/disrespectful behavior, being in the hallway without a pass, uniform violation, etc. It is our hope that, though receiving specific feedback regarding these negative behaviors, students will work to limit these behaviors. Teachers, administrators, and school staff have access to ClassDojo and award both positive and negative points in the hallways and cafeteria, and even outside on the playground!

 

ClassDojo is accessible to parents and students (with parent permission) through the website or a downloadable App and provides feedback in real time to both students and parents. They are able to track points and behaviors on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. They are also able to contact teachers and administrators directly through the App or messaging function on the website if they have questions or concerns.

 

IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT PARENTS AND STUDENTS CONNECT TO CLASSDOJO AND LOG IN FREQUENTLY. CLASSDOJO IS THE FIRST FORM OF COMMUNICATION TO PARENTS FROM TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS, AND SCHOOL STAFF REGARDING THE STUDENTS’ NONACADEMIC PERFORMANCE.

 

Invitations to connect to ClassDojo will be sent home on the first day of school and will be available on monthly reports that will be given to the students. If you have not received an invitation to connect, please email your child’s homeroom teacher, or Ms. Jacobs (bajacobs@bcps.k12.md.us).

 

General Guidelines:

  • A visual display, though the App and website, captures the number of total points earned by the student and a positive feedback ratio represented by a percentage.

  • The display of each Learner Profile Trait is valued at 2 positive points, and the IB Global Citizen has a positive value of 3; each negative feedback results in the deduction of 1 point.

  • Points may be awarded or taken away by any administrator, teacher, or staff member.

  • At the end of every week, students with a 90% or higher positive feedback rating for the week will be allowed to participate in the weekly incentive.

  • At the end of every month, students with a 90% or higher positive feedback rating for the month will be allowed to participate in the monthly incentive.

  • If students to not have access to this through their parents, they will be allowed to see it by asking a teacher or school administrator to share the information with them.

 

Procedures:

  • School administrators will announce the weekly and monthly incentives during the morning announcements; they will also be posted in the school and online.

  • Success points are awarded during or after each class period, once the student has met the teacher’s expectations in regards to one or more of the IB Learner Profile Traits.

  • Negative points are awarded if/when a student is observed engaging in a behavior that needs improvement throughout the school day as well.

  • If the student’s positive feedback is at a 90% or higher on the report printed the day before the incentive, the student will be allowed to participate in the incentive. If the student’s positive feedback is less that 90% s/he will not be permitted to participate in the incentive the following day.

 

Incentives

Middle-School-wide incentives will occur a minimum of once a week, typically on the last school day (Friday) of a week. For the first three weeks of the month, the incentive will be based on a student’s performance for the week. On the last week of the month, the incentive will be based on the student’s performance for the whole month. These monthly incentives will be of “greater” value and interest to the students. Possible weekly incentives may include, but are not limited to: Blue Jeans Day, T-Shirt Day, Jersey Day, Hat Day, Slipper Day, Raffles, Mix-Match Day, Twin Day, lunch outside, and recess after lunch. Possible monthly incentives include, but are not limited to: game day, movie day, faculty sport competitions, thematic dress down days, lunch with the teacher/administrator, karaoke, non-academic field trips, and field day.

 

CONSEQUENCES FOR NEGATIVE/INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIORS AND CONDUCT

Students who are observed engaging in behaviors that are inappropriate for the time/setting, will be issued the following consequences by teachers and school staff:

  • 1st  offense: Student receives nonverbal or verbal redirection

  • 2nd  offense: Student losses point(s) in ClassDojo

  • 3rd offense: Student completes “THINK (and write) TIME” worksheet and/or work in a de-escalation area inside the classroom or in another teacher’s classroom

  • 4th offense: Teacher makes contact with parent(s)/guardian(s) via email or ClassDojo

  • 5th offense: Student is sent to administration with an office referral for intervention

 

Please note that there are some behaviors that are exempt from this protocol, such as physical aggression, that warrant immediate administrative intervention. Additionally, teachers and staff may skip steps in the process for repeated behaviors, such as gum and uniform violations, if behavior persists after having spoken with a parent/guardian.

 

Additionally, any student whose positive feedback ratio is lower than 80% in ClassDojo for the month prior to the distribution of a field trip permission form will be required to have a legal parent/guardian chaperone accompany him/her on the trip in order to participate.

 

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) who have questions or wish to check in on their child’s nonacademic performance should log in to ClassDojo and review the positive and negative feedback provided by the child’s teachers. There is a messaging function available through ClassDojo that may be used to contact teachers and staff; though email can also be used. Additionally, parent(s)/guardian(s) should expect a response from a teacher or staff member within 2 business days. If a response is not given, after 2 business days, please email for follow up and include Ms. Jacobs (bajacobs@bcps.k12.md.us) to ensure that the issue is addressed by the teacher and/or school administration.

 

FIELD TRIPS

It is our goal that all students at The Mount Washington School participate in academic field trips throughout the year. Occasionally, we also offer non-academic, incentive field trips to students as well. All field trips will be preceded by a permission slip that requires a parent/guardian signature at least one week in advance of the trip, with the exception of informal Community Walks. Permission slips must be completed by a parent/guardian and returned by the deadline given. Students who do not return the permission slip by the deadline given will not be permitted to attend the trip, unless the student was absent.

 

In the interest of maintaining good human relations among the students, chaperones, transportation officers/authority, staff of the venue, and the general public, respect and good conduct must be shown by all students. In order to ensure that this happens, a student whose positive feedback rating is less than an 80% in the ClassDojo for the month preceding the distribution of the permission slip will be issued a permission slip that indicates his/her participation in the trip requires an individual parent/guardian chaperone. If a parent/guardian chaperone is unable to attend the trip with their child, the child will not be permitted to attend the trip.

 

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Ms. Jacobs, Dean of Students, at (410) 396-6354 or bajacobs@bcps.k12.md.us.                                                                                                                             

ATHLETIC PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT

 

Participating in athletics at The Mount Washington School is an honor and privilege. When an athlete puts on his/her uniform he/she represents all of the students at The Mount Washington School, as well as the entire school community. Athletes are viewed as leaders and role models throughout the school and must conduct themselves as such before, during, and after the athletic season. It is the responsibility of the parents, coaches, teachers, and school administration to help our athletes consistently conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the IB Learner Profile and achieve at their highest levels academically.

 

Expectations of Eligibility for Athletes

To represent The Mount Washington School in athletics (before and during the season), an athlete must:

  • maintain a 70% or higher in all classes/subject areas;

  • demonstrate behaviors consistent with school’s core values, as outlined in “We Are Global Citizens” and demonstrated by a monthly positive feedback rating of 80% or higher in the ClassDojo;

  • maintain an attendance rate of at least 90% for each class;

  • be present at least 50% of day on the day of a game or practice in order to participate;

  • have received a medical examination by a licensed physician within the past 365 days; and

  • present a medical release to the coach if s/he misses five (5) or more days of practice due to illness or injury before returning to practice or a game.

 

Teachers will report any issues with an individual althlete’s ability to participate in athletics, based on the criteria above, to Ms. Jacobs, the Dean of Students. Ms. Jacobs will then contact the athlete and the coach to discuss criteria for reinstatement on the team and/or a corrective plan of action, in order to reinstate the athlete. It is our goal that our student athletes represent the best that The Mount Washington School has to offer, both on and off the field of play.

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Contact

Upper Building - (410) 396-6354

Lower Building - (443) 642-2900

School Address

Upper Building - 1801 Sulgrave Ave, Baltimore, MD 21209, USA

Lower Building - 5800 Smith Ave, 

Baltimore, MD 21209, USA

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