Student learning is the heart of Neil Cummins Elementary. At Neil Cummins, 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 Neil Cummins 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 Zones of Regulation as tools to support students with social and emotional regulation.

    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:

    • Take Care Of Yourself
    • Take Care Of Others
    • Take Care Of This Place

    Through Neil Cummins character education program (Character Counts!, Second Step, Mindfulness, Kimochi Social Emotional Learning) we are committed to helping students, staff and parents learn and model ways to treat each other with respect. Students receive Character Ed lessons and activities at all grade levels throughout the school year.


    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.

    We use conflict mediation to limit the negative aspects of student disagreements and provide students with the tools necessary to solve conflicts. The goal of conflict mediation is to enhance learning and group outcomes, including effectiveness and/or performance in the school setting. Conflict mediation is used by all staff and students to help resolve problems at Neil Cummins.

    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, staff and families to create an individual plan to address behaviors that are negatively impacting the school setting and the student’s school experience.


    At Neil Cummins School we expect student behaviors that are honest, respectful, and demonstrate readiness to learn. Examples include:

    • Older students being mindful of younger students’ perspectives and their needs. (E.g.: Give way on playground equipment; carry things for them)
    • Being kind and considerate to each other in word and deed.
    • Resolving conflicts peacefully.

    In order to maintain a safe, clean and respectful learning environment, Neil Cummins prohibits the following:

    • Gum chewing (unsupervised)
    • Wheels on campus (including bikes, skateboard, scooters, 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

    Neil Cummins School prohibits behaviors that are intended to cause another individual physical or mental harm, interfere with staff’s ability to maintain a positive learning environment, and/or are illegal. Examples include:

    • Possession or use of a weapon (including plastic knives, pocket knives, water guns or any imitation weapon)
    • Possession, sale, or use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
    • Theft
    • Fighting: physical assault or battery of any kind
    • Bullying: 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, including expulsion. Bullying includes but is not limited to the following:

      • Physical acts (shoving, hitting, pinching, etc.)
      • Verbal acts (intimidation, name calling, spreading rumors, sarcasm, threats, extortion, ridiculing, teasing, etc.)
      • Non-verbal acts (aggressively excluding others, rude or upsetting gestures, etc.)
      • Cyber-bullying
      • Any incidents of bullying via the computer, cell phones, or related media (email, blogs, websites, 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)).

    • Sexual harassment of any kind
    • Arson
    • Selling or buying items at school
    • Gambling
    • Forgery (of parent notes, etc.)

    These situations/incidences may result in suspension. The goal at Neil Cummins 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 also 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)

    For students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans, disciplinary procedures will adhere to regulations specified in the California Education Code.


    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, for less serious incidents, parents/guardians may not receive immediate notice of every verbal warning, consequence or student conference with the principal.


Last Modified on June 16, 2022