School Rules – What would you chose?

standard December 2, 2011 7 responses

It’s no secret that I’m struggling this week. There are so many balls in the air that I don’t know which to catch first and frankly, I’m sorely tempted to let them all crash to the floor while I go off to Hawaii for a quick jaunt in the surf. Instead though, I’ll sit here, sipping a Gingerbread Latte, dunking my donut and I’ll rally. It’s what I do best.

Since, beyond arranging for childcare and entertainment for the kids, I can’t actively do anything about the fact that my husband is having surgery next week, I’m noodling the school issue.

Let me ask you a question. Below I’m posting two sets of school rules. You tell me which one makes you want to go learn. Maybe it’ll help everyone understand why I’m struggling so much with what to do with the kids next year.

School 1, where C has been for two years now. As posted in each classroom. 

School 2. One of the school options for Little L’s Kindergarten.

1. Treat others and their property with kindness and respect
2. Take care of school property and treat campus with respect
3. Use playground and school equipment the way it was intended to be used
4. Do not use abusive language, gestures or physical aggression
5. Do not throw sand, stones, dirt, tanbark, pebbles or rocks
6. No personal toys, sports equipment, cards or electronic devices are allowed at school
7. Bicycles, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades must be stored off school grounds or in the bike storage area. No riding in the hallways.
8. No gum allowed on campus
9. Do NOT leave campus unless signed out by a parent/guardian in the office
10. No student, or unauthorized adult shall be in the! classrooms, library or multi-purpose room without supervision or !permission.
11. Report problems at school to an adult. Students who witness problems and fail to report them are just as responsible as those who caused the problem.


The end result is going to be the same: respectful kids in a safe environment. It’s just that the first set of rules are… I dunno… more friendly? Easier to want to follow?

If you’re anything like me after the third NO in the second set of rules your eyes glazed over and you started skimming.

If you’re like most people you felt inspired by the first set of rules. They’re rules that apply all life long, which is the premise of the school. They teach the kids lessons that will be valuable their entire lives.

It’s a tough conundrum. Environment #1 is a private school meaning the kids don’t grow their neighborhood community through school. Environment #2 is a public school, so we’d grow our local community, but lose on the school environment we love so much.

What would you do in our case? Which would you pick? (For the sake of argument, assume both schools rank similarly as far as academics go, the distinction lies in the realm of emotional education.)

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7 responses

  • While I can’t comment fully, not having seen School 1 rules (tech glitch at time of comment?), I do have a strong desire to help School 2 rewrite their rules in a way that is not only more friendly but also more permissive.

    4. Do not use abusive language, gestures or physical aggression (NEW: Treat all students, teachers, school officials and invited visitors with kindness and respect)
    5. Do not throw sand, stones, dirt, tanbark, pebbles or rocks (NEW: All ground cover stays on the ground. Throwing things at others is unkind.)
    6. No personal toys, sports equipment, cards or electronic devices are allowed at school (NEW: Please keep your personal toys, … at home where they are safe)

    OK, I’ll get off my high horse now. And feel free to offer me change for my 2-cents.

  • I would choose the school that has an environment that feels right for you. We just recently chose a school for my son who is starting next year and I chose the school that had the best ‘feel’ to it. One where people seemed friendly, welcoming, kids were friendly and well-behaved, where I knew my son would be in an environment where he will be nurtured in all areas (academically, socially, emotionally).

    As a substitute teacher who has taught in all manner of schools (both public and private) it was important to me to find a school that not only caters to my son academically (has a good literacy and numeracy program), but also has the kind of environment I feel comfortable sending my son into. In my personal experience I have found small private schools (in particular religious ones) have the lovliest environments–less bullying, more respect and a general feeling of family and caring. Environments like these are better learning environments because teachers are spending less time on behaviour management because it is not needed as much and therefore able to spend more time on individual learning.

    Which school to you feels like it has this kind of environment? At which school do you feel most comfortable?

  • Just wanted to add, if I was going by those sets of rules alone I would have chosen school 2. While some of school 2’s rules need to be reworded to be less negative, I found schools 1’s rules to be a bit too non-specific. School 2’s rules seemed to be more focused on respect.

  • Sorry for the multiple posts.

    Also just wanted to add, if the only reason you’re worried about the private school is because of community, don’t be. There is no reason why you can’t grow your community at a private school. If you find the school itself is not offering enough opportunities for growth in the community, seek other opportunities like sports, scouts and other community based activities.

  • One of the reasons we picked the school my kids are at is because it nurtures and educates them.

    The second one doesn’t sound very friendly to me.

  • I’d choose number one in a heartbeat. Emotional health is the most enduring and has the strongest impact throughout life. It, like math and reading, is also something that has to be learned and nurtured. To me it is a simple decision, private school or not.

  • Kit

    I’d just like to point out that public schools and private schools operate , to a certain extent, under different rules period.
    The private school may ask kids who do not obey to leave.
    The public school is required to educate all children and must follow strict procedures when removing from the classroom or the school a child who becomes a safety issue.
    And when you must defend your ruling in a court of law, which set would you prefer to have on hand to defend your decision when the parents of the violent kid who was actually a danger brings little angel into the courtroom and sues for the amount of your entire special ed budget for the next three years ?

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