Dignity for All Students Act

At Maple East Elementary, mutual respect is central to our Character Education Program. We have a Respect Committee, who adopted a Code of Character that we recite weekly and abide by daily:

Maple East Code of Character

We will treat others the way we like to be treated
So that everyone feels respected.
We will walk quietly in the halls,
To show we care about others’
learning and safety.
We will keep our hands to ourselves,
So that everyone can be safe.
We will speak softly and politely,
So that others will want to listen.
This is what we do even when no one is watching,
Because we are Maple East.

This code is referred to when praising students for appropriate behavior as well as a means to point out why unfavorable behaviors will not be tolerated. In addition to the Code of Character, our Respect Committee has organized a daily report to teachers enforcing accountability for respect and behavior in the cafeteria. A Safety Patrol has been established whereby interested fourth graders are given the privilege and responsibility of looking out for the safety of staff and students in the building at dismissal.

In September, as a proactive approach to bullying, we had an assembly arranged for by the Shared Decision Making Team and sponsored by our PTA, featuring entertainer Kevin McCarthy, who encouraged us to believe in ourselves. For the last several years, all classes in grades K-4 have had a shared read-aloud, Do Unto Otters; A Book About Manners, by Laurie Keller. This year, in addition, all classes shared the book, Have You Filled A Bucket Today; A Guide to Daily Happiness For Kids, by Carol McLoud. This has become a building wide theme as we attempt to fill one another’s buckets with happiness rather than empty them. Both of these books have been used to assist teachers in setting a respectful tone for the school year and clearly establishing expectations for all. In December, we are introducing a bucket in the lobby whereby students will be able to report bucket fillers and bucket dippers. This allows students another option to report bullying while celebrating our bucket fillers.

We also have a Manner of the Month which we focus on with a display in the cafeteria and reminders on the announcements. Our health curriculum provides opportunities to address bullying issues and teachers have easy electronic access to lessons about bullying.

Our Wellness Committee was busy in October as we all wore orange to show our support for Unity Day and demonstrate that we are all taking a stand against bullying. We started the day by reciting a pledge and all holding hands together, forming a ring around the school. Each staff member and student in the school signed a banner reiterating our commitment. Mix-it Up Day will give us a chance to wear mismatched clothing while inviting us, at lunchtime, to reach out and sit with someone different, allowing students and staff to get to know someone new by eating a meal with them.

Our Shared Decision Making Team has started a campaign to help us to THINK before we speak. Each student and staff member has a button to wear on School Spirit Day.

THINK is an acronym for:

  • T -is it True?
  • H -is it Helpful?
  • I -is it Inspiring?
  • N -Is it Necessary?
  • K -Is it Kind?
At Maple East, our Wellness Committee, Respect Committee, Shared Decision Making Committee, PTA, administrators, faculty, staff and students are committed to respect for all  throughout the entire school year. We do this, “Because we are Maple East.”