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Community Character Covenant

Community Character Covenant

In order for school to be a successful experience for all students, it requires that each person conduct himself/herself in a manner appropriate to membership in the community of St. Matthew's.

As a part of the Parish of St. Matthew, our community is founded on the values and tenets of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which promotes such principles as respect, responsibility, honesty, empathy, and fairness. These principles are integral to all aspects of life at St. Matthew's; being a part of a school such as ours requires a serious commitment by all students, parents, and teachers to live up to them. Such a commitment goes beyond the willingness to abide by a certain list of expectations or rules. Nonetheless, such a list clearly stated and fully understood, may provide each student and parent with a clear guide as to what is expected of each student as we work and play together each day. A more detailed listing of rules and expectations can be found in the Parent & Student Handbook. It is the responsibility of parents and teachers to encourage our students to understand and live up to the promise they make by signing this character covenant. The following expectations are in essence the promise each student makes to other students and adults in our school. They are essential to the maintenance of a safe and caring community for all; violations are regarded as serious breaches of good conduct:

Respect: Show respect for the rights and/or safety of others. Be accepting of differences; be considerate of the feelings of others; promote inclusion; follow the “Golden Rule.” Teasing, inappropriate language, rude behavior, acts of violence, harassment, and any violation of the dignity of another person is not permitted. Students are to respect parish and school property and the possessions of others. Vandalism - causing damage to school and personal property, materials or equipment - is not acceptable.

Responsibility: Follow the rules. Dress appropriately by following the school uniform guidelines. Be responsible for articles of clothing and other belongings. Come to class prepared and pay attention. Help keep the classrooms and grounds free of trash. Show self-control. Take responsibility for your actions.

Honesty: Tell the truth. Keep your word. When you make a mistake and are asked about it, be truthful about your role. Each of the following is a serious breach of trust: theft of money or property, regardless of its value; copying classwork or homework of others; and, cheating in any form.

Empathy: Be courteous and use good manners; talk respectfully to adults and other students; say “please” and “thank you.” Understand and identify with the feelings of others; show compassion, acceptance, and kindness to classmates and students of other grades.

Fairness: Play by the rules, take turns and share; don’t take advantage of others. Do your part to help. Work for the good of all. Promote sportsmanship and fair play.

Students who violate any of the points of this covenant or the Parent & Student Handbook will be subject to consequences that, depending upon the severity and/or frequency, could include loss of privileges, suspension, and in the most serious cases, expulsion. In incidents requiring more serious consequences, the Head of School will be consulted and he, within his judgment and discretion, will deal with the offender, as he deems appropriate. It is understood that rules have to be enforced if the standards, beliefs, and values of a community are to have any meaning. In all cases of disciplinary action, it will always have the dual purpose of instructing the student and in preserving the spirit of trust within the school community.