Safe School Climate

We practice a positive approach to teaching social skills to students.  All children can exhibit appropriate behavior.


Claude Chester models a proactive approach to a safe school climate. We follow a Responsive Classroom model having logical consequences. The staff at Claude Chester School is committed to helping prepare our children for responsible citizenship. 

We believe that the life skills of self-discipline, judgment, social interest, the ability to make good choices, and a sense of responsibility are essential in enabling students to learn and to act effectively in life.  To that end, our discipline policy is a teaching policy, where problem solving strategies and restorative practices are taught to show children that there are different ways to act in any circumstance.  The goal is for the child to be responsible enough to choose the appropriate strategy and then be accountable for its consequences.  Restorative Practices uses responsive circles and dialogue in an effort to restore relationships. Students work together to “make things right” and to communicate worries, wants, and needs in order to build community.

Expected behaviors (Code of Conduct) are posted in all classrooms and areas of the school to help students with their decision-making.  Students are taught how to Be Responsible, Be Respectful, and Be Safe in all school settings. Please note: Students are reminded that school settings include the bus stop, bus, and possibly cyber communication among peers that is brought to the attention of school staff.

Ways that we help students refocus and reengage if needed:

  1. Students are reminded about appropriate behavior/procedures in the classroom. 
  2. Following a reminder, a five minute or less take a break will be arranged for the student to gain self-control, after which the student will return to the lesson or activity.  (Flagrant or repeated misbehavior may eliminate the reminder step.)
  3. For severe offenses, the teacher will call for an administrator and complete an office referral.  In this case, parents will be notified that this step has been reached via a written copy of a referral and/or a phone call.  
  4. Other logical consequences such as loss of privilege or an “apology of action” may be suitable for other misbehavior.  In such cases teachers work with students to improve their behavior through these and other appropriate means that are reasonable and respectful of student needs.

During unstructured times (recess, lunch, hallway, bathroom), a paraprofessional may need to complete with the student a Reteach & Refocus form to help student reengage. The Reteach & Refocus (R&R) form follows10 Great Ways to Treat Each Other. If a student is consistently receiving R&R forms, a parent is contacted by the Assistant Principal. 


The Responsive Classroom approach is a way of teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. The approach consists of practical strategies for helping students build academic and social-emotional competencies day in and day out.

Principles of Responsive Classroom

  • The social and emotional curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
  • How children learn is as important as what they learn.
  • Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  • To be successful academically and socially, children need to learn a set of social and emotional skills: cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
  • Knowing the children we teach—individually, culturally, and developmentally—is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  • Knowing the families of the children we teach is as important as knowing the children we teach.

Be your BEST!

Be an active listener

Encourage others

Self-advocate, ask and accept assistance

Try hard and persevere!


  • Give clear behavioral expectations
  • Use universal ways to encourage appropriate behavior
  • Teach appropriate behavior and social skills

We use data collected to make decisions regarding expectations that need to be re-taught.

Three Rules for All

  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible
  • Be Safe

We teach expectations and then practice.  We model what respectful, responsible and safe look like and sound like (See CC Code of Conduct). Ways we practice and reinforce positive behaviors.

  • Use kind words.
  • Help when you can.
  • Share and take turns.
  • Listen to what others have to say.
  • Be honest and truthful.
  • Think before you speak or act.
  • Remember your manners.
  • Hold your temper.
  • Think about the feelings of others.
  • Work and play fairly.

Lasting change begins with the adult community