Developing a Complete Student Code of Conduct

Teenage students in classroom.
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Many schools incorporate a student code of conduct that they expect their students to follow. It should mirror the overall mission and vision of the school. A well-written student code of conduct should be simple and cover basic expectations that each student should meet. It should entail the essential elements that if followed will lead to student success. In other words, it should serve as the blueprint that allows every student to succeed.

A well-written student code of conduct is simple in nature including only the most critical expectations.  The needs and limiting factors in each school are different. As such, schools must develop and adopt a student code of conduct that is tailored to their specific needs. 

Developing an authentic and meaningful student code of conduct should become a school-wide effort that involves school leaders, teachers, parents, students, and community members. Every stakeholder should have input as to what should be included in the student code of conduct. Providing others a voice leads to buy-in and gives the student code of conduct more authenticity. The student code of conduct should be evaluated every year and changed whenever it is necessary to fit the ever-shifting needs of the school community.

Sample Student Code of Conduct

While attending school during regular hours or during school-sponsored activities, students are expected to follow these basic rules, procedures, and expectations:

  1. Your first priority at school is to learn. Avoid distractions that interfere with or are counter-intuitive to that mission.
  2. Be in the assigned place with appropriate materials, ready to work at the designated time that class begins.
  3. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself and never intentionally harm another student.
  4. Use school appropriate language and behavior at all times while maintaining friendly and courteous behavior.
  5. Be polite and respectful to everyone including students, teachers, administrators, support staff, and visitors.
  6. Follow individual teacher instructions, class rules, and expectations at all times.
  7. Do not be a bully. If you see someone being bullied, intervene by telling them to stop or immediately report it to school personnel.
  8. Do not become a distraction for others. Give every other student the opportunity to maximize their potential. Encourage your fellow students. Never tear them down.
  9. School attendance and participation in class are an essential part of the educational process. Regular attendance at school is necessary for student success. Furthermore, it allows students to achieve the maximum possible benefits from their educational experience. All students are encouraged to be present and prompt. School attendance is the responsibility of both parents and students.
  1. Represent yourself in a manner that you will be proud of in ten years. You only get one opportunity to get life right. Take advantage of the opportunities you have at school. They will help you be successful throughout your life.