We believe that children learn from mistakes. The discipline process is the school community’s response to a concern that a member has violated the values that we hold dear. The process is intended to further educate the student about the school’s values and expectations, to hold the student responsible for his/her actions, to remind the student of his/her commitment to the community, and to educate the community as well. Students are expected to cooperate in the investigations of infractions.
Disciplinary case records are kept in the Dean of Students office.
The Honor Code is an important guiding principle of the Long Trail community. Developed by the Student Council, the Code outlines the conduct expectations that the community has for each member. To serve as a constant reminder, the Code is painted on the wall of the Whalen Common Room. Each fall, students and faculty recite the Honor Code at Assembly. Students sign their acknowledgement of their agreement with the Code.
“We are honor bound to display the utmost respect for ourselves, each other, and our resources in a manner that fosters in us a desire and capacity for exceptional growth and learning. We will not lie, cheat or steal in any form nor will we endure the faltering of those who do. We will strive to improve the Long Trail School environment by continually building upon our personal integrity and encouraging it in others, thus promoting a more distinguished and harmonious community.”
The Honor Board is a peer review group composed of faculty and students. Appointed by the Dean of Students and Dean of Academics the Honor Board consists of two faculty members and three students – one student from the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. The Honor Board makes recommendations to the Head of School, who has final decision on all disciplinary matters.
The Dean of Students and/or the Head of School may at his/her discretion decide to refer an infraction to the Honor Board. If it is determined that the case does not, or should not, go to the Honor Board, the Dean of Students will meet with the student notify and his/her advisor.
Long Trail’s Disciplinary Program (sometimes referred to as “Program”) reflects the overall approach to discipline across the LTS educational team. This Program is intended to provide consistency in dealing with day-to-day and more serious disciplinary problems. Please note, however, that because the purposes of discipline – restoration, rehabilitation, deterrence, education and punishment – are so diverse, and the facts and circumstances of any particular situation so specific, the scope and conditions of any discipline are ultimately within the discretion of the Head of School or his designee.
All Long Trail students are held accountable for their behavior on and off campus. All disciplinary decisions are the sole discretion of the school. Violations of school rules are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, in light of the specific circumstances and the welfare of the entire school community. Students who violate school rules should expect swift consequences. The school reserves the right to determine that a particular action or attitude is so injurious to the health of the community as to warrant a student’s separation from the school, regardless of a student’s previous disciplinary status. In such cases, the Head of School may dismiss a student immediately if s/he thinks it is in the best interest of the school. The explanation that is set forth here regarding this Program should not create any expectations in our students or families that it will be followed in every instance, as the Head of School or his designee retains the discretion to depart from this Program in determining discipline.
Suspension is a temporary separation of the student from the school community. Suspensions may be in school or off campus. Suspension means that the student may not participate in any school activity. Students should remember that they might be asked to explain reasons for their suspension on college applications. Students who are suspended off campus are required to have a re-entry meeting with the Dean of Students. It is expected that a student who has been suspended will use the time away from the community to reflect on his/her previous contributions and commitment to remaining a student at the school.
Off-Campus Suspension: The student is responsible for collecting all necessary books, assignments, and other materials. The student must submit homework assignments including papers and projects upon return to class. Missed tests will be made up the day of return. Faculty members are not responsible for teaching students the material missed due to suspension.
If a student is suspended during an exam period, the Dean of Academics will make arrangements with the family and faculty for the administration of exams.
Dismissal of a student is at the discretion of the Head of School. At the discretion of the Head of School, parents may be offered the option of withdrawing their child. If a student is dismissed or withdraws because of circumstances surrounding a discipline case, s/he may not return to campus until the following school year, unless permitted by the Head of School. Dismissal or required withdrawal will be noted on the student’s official transcript.
A student who has been dismissed from school will not receive a LTS or IB diploma. Students who are in the process of applying or who have been admitted to college must report the change in status. The Director of College and Career Counseling will assist and advise the student in the reporting process.
Parents may choose to withdraw a student or the school may recommend withdrawal because of health or other concerns. Parents may initiate a withdrawal by writing to the Head of School. The Head of School will contact the Director of Admissions, Director of Finance, Dean of Students, and Dean of Academics before sending written confirmation of the withdrawal to the parent. A student’s grades, transcripts, recommendations, and other official school documents may be withheld if a parent’s financial obligations have not been met at the time of withdrawal.
Under certain circumstances, as in the case of any drug or alcohol offense, the student may also be required to attend an evaluation/rehabilitation program in addition to one of the disciplinary possibilities above.
Re admission Process
Guidelines regarding readmission for students who have been dismissed or who have withdrawn pending disciplinary action are as follows:
In order for a student to be readmitted, s/he may be required to have been away from campus for a full school year.
Readmission is contingent upon the Admissions Committee’s evaluation of the student’s performance while away from Long Trail School. This will include a meeting with the Dean of Academics. The student’s grades and any work and/or volunteer experience will be considered as well. A student’s conduct during the disciplinary process or withdrawal will be taken into consideration.
Reporting Discipline to Colleges/Universities
Long Trail’s discipline policy helps to ensure a safe and comfortable learning environment. Discipline is regarded as part of the educational process and is typically an internal matter. However, colleges and universities have become increasingly concerned with their own students’ conduct and behavior, and now routinely ask about a student’s high school discipline record. Students are expected to answer truthfully and report any major school infraction that resulted in a change in status since ninth grade and any criminal convictions. LTS will also report to colleges and universities any major infraction during the student’s 9th-12th grade years. The Director of College and Career Counseling will report any relevant information at the time the college application is submitted, during the application review, or after an admissions decision is made, depending upon when the infraction occurs.