Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

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An Upper School Pledge
Peggy Smith

One aspect of my job is dealing with student discipline. While it is certainly not the thing I most look forward to each year, I know that it comes with the territory. As Hannah Montana reminds us in song: “Everybody makes mistakes; everybody has those days.” To be sure, even the most angelic of children can do devilish things from time to time...

One aspect of my job is dealing with student discipline. While it is certainly not the thing I most look forward to each year, I know that it comes with the territory. As Hannah Montana reminds us in song: “Everybody makes mistakes; everybody has those days.” To be sure, even the most angelic of children can do devilish things from time to time.

While I know of no students who enjoy getting in trouble themselves, I do know that Upper School kids are intrigued by misbehavior.  A frequent request I get from students during Seminar is: “Tell us about the worst trouble anybody has ever gotten into at Crane!” Of course, I indulge them with a tale or two of misfortune, always leaving out names but sometimes embellishing the details for entertainment’s sake.

Most years the same transgressions seem to appear – dishonesty, technology misuse, and peer discord. My hunch is that these items would top the list at most schools, not just Crane.  Hoping to get ahead of the curve this year, I have created an Upper School pledge and am asking our students to embrace its spirit and commit to its ideals. There are three components to it, and they read as follows:

Honor Code: “As a member of the Crane community, I pledge that I will not lie or cheat. I will take responsibility for my words and actions by telling the truth, and I will neither plagiarize nor copy the work of others on assignments, projects, essays, and tests.”

Technology Pact: “As a member of the Crane community, I pledge that I will use technology responsibly and educationally. During the academic day, I will not use my cellphone on campus, and I will not watch movies, play video games, or be off task on my laptop. Also, I will not tamper with administrative settings or passcodes.”

Diversity Commitment: “As a member of the Crane community, I pledge to help create a community where diversity is valued and welcomed. To this end, I will not engage in or tolerate harassment or discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, size, age, learning style, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.”

This document will be displayed in my office, with student signatures at the bottom of it.  While I recognize that a pledge alone will not eradicate discipline issues, I am hopeful that it can have a positive impact on our community, serving as a reminder of the Crane ethos and affirming the values by which we will work, study, and play together this school year.

 

Peggy Burich Smith
Head of Upper School

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