Student learning is the heart of The Cove School. At Cove, we subscribe to the Responsive Classroom approach to discipline.

    Our goals are to:

    • Establish a calm, orderly and safe environment for learning
    • Help children develop self-control and self-discipline
    • Teach children to be responsible, contributing members of our Cove community
    • Promote respectful, kind and healthy staff-student and student-student interactions.

    We believe that discipline can be taught and children learn best when they are actively constructing their own knowledge. Students learn about mindfulness and other specific tools to help self-regulate and increase focus.

    School Rules

    Rules are connected to students’ and teachers’ goals for social and academic learning. Rules are created collaboratively between students and teachers in the early weeks of school. Students learn why rules exist and their role in keeping everyone safe and helping them achieve their learning goals.

    Our school rules are:

    • Show respect
    • Solve problems
    • Make good decisions


    Character Education

    Through the Cove character education program (components include but are not limited to: Responsive Classroom, Mindfulness, Zones of Regulation, Kimochi Social Emotional Learning, Toolbox) we are committed to helping students, staff and parents learn and model ways to treat each other and ourselves with respect. Students receive character education lessons at all grade levels.

    Conflict Mediation

    When children need redirection, our staff uses strategies to respectfully stop the behavior and restore positive behavior as quickly as possible. Staff members strive to be firm, kind and consistent while explicitly teaching strategies for conflict mediation. They also seek to understand the underlying cause or motivation for the behavior.

    We use conflict mediation to provide students with the tools necessary to solve conflicts. The purpose of conflict mediation is to help students learn from their actions and to improve/repair any negative impact of their actions. Strategies used by staff may include verbal warnings, a required break from an activity, cleaning or repairing something that has been broken or damaged, a written reflection and plan for improving the situation in the future, conference with the teacher, conference with the principal, phone or in-person conference with parents, or other reasonable interventions as needed.

    Students get a “fresh start” at the beginning of each day. When a behavior pattern emerges, we work with students and families to create an individual plan to address behaviors that are negatively impacting the school setting and the student’s school experience.

    More serious situations may result in suspension. The goal at Cove is to keep all students in school and work on remediation and problem solving in the school setting. We use “in house” suspension as necessary. Students may be suspended from attending school for a partial day, a full day, or up to 5 days. Suspended students will have a conference with the superintendent, principal, or designated teacher-in-charge before serving a suspension from school. (CA Ed Code Sections 48900-48914) Parents of suspended students will be notified in advance of the serving of the suspension. The student and a parent/guardian are required to meet with the school principal for a “re-entry conference” before returning to class following a suspension.

    Referral to the Central Marin Police Authority will also occur in the case of unlawful behaviors (CA Ed. Code 48902(a)). By state law, some student conduct requires expulsion from school, and other student conduct requires a recommendation for expulsion and a hearing. Other student conduct may result in expulsion. Parents will be notified in advance of any expulsion proceedings. Students recommended for expulsion will receive their due process rights as identified in the California Education Code. (CA Ed Code Sections 48900-48927)

    Communication Home

    We recognize the importance of timely communication between home and school in order to maintain a safe and caring environment that promotes and encourages learning. Classroom teachers have the primary responsibility of informing parents of most student incidents. The principal will inform parents of more serious incidents. However, less serious incidents will be handled by school staff and do not require parent/ guardian notification.

    Dress Code

    The following guidelines shall apply to all regular school activities:
    1. Certain body parts must be covered for all students. Clothes must be worn in a way such that genitals, buttocks, and breasts are covered with opaque material.
    2. Students Must Wear:*
      • Shirt
      • Bottom:  Pants/sweatpants/shorts/skirt/dress/leggings
      • Shoes:  Activity-specific shoe requirements are permitted (for example for physical education, field trips, or science labs) 
    3. Clothing, jewelry and personal items shall be free of writing, pictures or any other insignia which:
      • Are vulgar, lewd, obscene, violent, or profane
      • Contain hate speech
      • Promote the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or other illegal activity.
    4. Students may not wear bathing suits or visible underwear. Visible waistbands or straps on undergarments worn under other clothing are not a violation.


    *Middle-school courses that include attire as part of the curriculum (for example, presentations and public speaking) may include assignment-specific dress, but should not focus on covering students’ bodies or promoting culturally-specific attire.

    The dress code shall be modified as appropriate to accommodate a student's religious or cultural observance, health condition, or other circumstance deemed necessary by the principal or designee. In addition, the principal or designee may impose dress requirements to accommodate the needs of special school activities, physical education classes, athletic activities, and other extracurricular and co-curricular activities.


    Specific Rules
    In order to maintain a safe, clean and respectful learning environment, The Cove School prohibits the following:

    • Gum chewing (unsupervised)
    • Wheels on campus (including bikes, skateboard, heelies, etc).
    • Climbing of fences, trees, or buildings
    • Use of portable electronic devices while on school grounds during the school day (cell phones, music players, etc.), except with permission from a teacher or staff member. Students may use school telephones to make necessary calls while on school grounds. We discourage students from carrying music players or cell phones to school. Students may keep such devices in their backpacks or in the school office in the off position.
    • Entrance in school buildings during school hours without adult supervision
    • Possession or use of a weapon including fake or imitation weapons such as water guns, any knives (including plastic knives, pocket knives), etc.
    • Possession, sale, or use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
    • Theft
    • Fighting: physical assault or battery of any kind
    • Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and will NOT be tolerated. Repeated bullying of a student may be treated as harassment, and the bullying student subject to more serious disciplinary action. Bullying includes but is not limited to the following:
      • Physical acts
      • Verbal acts
      • Non-verbal acts
      • Cyber-bullying
    • Any incidents of bullying via the computer, cell phones, or related media (e-mail, blogs, web sites, instant messaging, pictures/photos, text messaging, etc.) which affect student relationship/behavior within the school building are subject to disciplinary action. This applies to messaging which takes place outside of school, as well as any prohibited messaging which might take place within the school.
    • Harassing, threatening, or intimidating a pupil who is a complaining witness or a witness in a school disciplinary proceeding for the purpose of either preventing that pupil from being a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness, or both (CA Ed. Code 48902(a)).
    • Disrespect toward an adult (cursing, name calling, etc.)
    • Defiance of school staff
    • Sexual harassment of any kind
    • Arson
    • Inappropriate displays of affection
    • Selling or buying items at school
    • Gambling
    • Forgery (of parent notes, etc.)