• School Climate and Community Expectations – 2019/2020


    Show Grace    Act Responsibly        Build Peace




    Inspired by the Montessori philosophy, the mission of Cottage is to guide and empower each child to think critically while becoming an intrinsically motivated, 21st century learner who understands their responsibility within the diverse planet, through the delivery of personalized instruction, in a child-centered environment supported by a nurturing community.



    All members of the school community have the responsibility to ensure and maintain the stability of a positive learning environment. Trust, acceptance and concern for each individual must be fostered in order to achieve this climate in school. A collective responsibility for guiding individuals and recognizing their positive efforts is key to building and maintaining a peaceful community.


    SCHOOL STAFF - All school staff have primary responsibility for providing a teaching-learning environment which contributes to the atmosphere of grace and trust within the school community. School staff is responsible for modeling and teaching their students the community expectations for the classroom and the school as a whole. They enforce the school/district rules and regulations and continually recognize positive efforts to show grace, act responsibly, and build peace.


    PARENTS/GUARDIANS - Parents/guardians are responsible for reinforcing behaviors consistent with the Cottage School Climate and Community Expectations and district policy with their children. Parents/guardians function in a partnership with school staff regarding decisions directly affecting their children and the well-being of the school as a whole. 


    STUDENTS - Students are responsible for following community expectations and procedures established by the Cottage School Climate and Community Expectations.  Positive student attitudes and actions are an essential to the establishment of a peaceful and productive school climate.





    Keeping parents and students informed of current and upcoming school events and issues is necessary for maintaining a positive school environment. Our school newsletter, Comet Connection, is an integral part of that communication. Other methods of school-to-home communication include Connect-Ed, automated phone messages, and our school website, www.Cottage Elementary.SanJuan.edu. which is also linked to our school Facebook page.


    Additionally, each classroom teacher will send home weekly communication to keep parents informed of grade level curriculum and special events. Student progress updates will be provided regularly through progress reports, conferences, and report cards. Teachers will contact families individually when additional communication is needed.


    All Cottage families are given a white and blue Cottage Comet folder to use at home for organizing school information. The folder includes helpful information including important dates for the school year. Every Wednesday, students will bring home their Cottage Communication Folder. The folder will contain important community, school, and class communication. The folder should be returned to the classroom promptly for weekly use.


    Parents/Guardians are encouraged to contact Cottage staff if they have input, questions, or need clarification on any school or classroom topic. Parents may use email, voicemail, or notes to communicate with Cottage staff. Communication regarding classroom topics should begin with the teacher. Parents/Guardians should schedule an appointment in advance for classroom visitation or an individual conference with staff.





    Cottage is a Positive Behavior and Intervention Support (PBIS) school. PBIS is an evidence-based approach for creating a peaceful and focused school environment. The approach is implemented on a school-wide level, a classroom level, and an individual student level. It is not a curriculum; rather, it is a collaborative process that results in supports and interventions designed for the unique needs of each school, classroom, and individual student. 




    Show Grace    Act Responsibly        Build Peace



    1. Students will follow the Cottage Dress Code Policy.

    2. Students will use the restrooms for their intended use only and respect the privacy of others while in the restroom.

    3. Food is allowed at designated times and in designated areas only. Healthy snacks are encouraged. Chewing gum is not allowed at school.

    4. Personal property (toys, games, radios, lasers, pagers, tape & MP3 players, etc.) should not be brought to school. Exception: calculators and curriculum related items. The buying and selling of personal items is not allowed.

    5. Students possessing cell phones must have them powered off and in their backpacks during school hours. A current CELL PHONE POLICY must be signed and on file in the office.

    6. Students will help to keep the school grounds clean and neat.



    Show GRACE

    Act Responsibly

    Build PEACE

    -Show sportsmanship

    -Use kind words and actions

    -Listen for and follow all adult instructions


    - Use the restroom

    -Eat snacks and play in designated areas

    -Take care of and return all equipment

    -Follow playground rules

    -Clear and clean playground

    -Use passes

    -Respect personal space

    -Include others in your activities




    Show GRACE

    Act Responsibly

    Build PEACE

    -Use personal voice

    -Use courteous table manners

    -Listen for & follow all adult instructions

    - Follow traffic patterns & wait in line patiently

    - Sit in assigned area

    -Clean up your personal area

    - Eat & touch only your own food

    -Respect personal space

    - Sit facing the table, bottom on the bench, feet on the floor and remain seated until dismissed



    Show GRACE

    Act Responsibly

    Build PEACE

    -Use silent voice

    -Follow traffic patterns

    -Stay on sidewalks

    -Use passes

    - Stay out of red zones

     -Walk at all times facing forward with hands behind back

    -Use right of way

    -Respect personal space



    Several years ago we began implementation of Olweus, a researched based bullying prevention program. We continue to teach students skills and implement strategies to insure a bullying free environment throughout the school. Our school’s anti-bullying rules are:

    1. We will not bully others.

    2. We will help students who are bullied.

    3. We will include students who are left out.

    4. If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.



    Field trips are an extension of the classroom learning environment in a less structured setting. Therefore, it is important that students participating in field trips conduct themselves in an appropriate manner which will insure their safety and the safety of others. Students' behavior must be appropriate to the setting to allow all participants the opportunity to see, hear, and learn.

    One indicator of a student's ability to participate safely and respectfully on a field trip is their pattern of following community expectations. Therefore, a student may be excluded from a field trip if prior behavior has been inappropriate and causes a concern for the safety of others or for the amount of teacher/chaperon time that would be required to monitor such behavior.





    1. On the first day of attendance at Cottage School, parents and students will receive a copy of the Cottage Family Student Staff Compact, Cottage School Climate and Community Expectations, Cottage Dress Code Policy and the SJUSD Parent Handbook including Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion.  Families are asked to read and review the documents with their child. Parent signature is required and indicates agreement to collaborate with the school to support their child’s education.

    2. Teachers will teach and practice the Cottage Community Expectations with students during the first weeks of school. Safety issues and community expectations will be reinforced and reviewed throughout the year.

    3. GRACE, RESPONSIBILITY and PEACE posters will be visible throughout the school.

    4. Regularly scheduled school gatherings will include a focus on community expectations and positive character traits.



    Cottage School strives to enhance every student’s intrinsic motivation. We focus on verbal recognition of student’s efforts to show GRACE, RESPONSIBILITY, and PEACE.   Positive character values are also emphasized and reinforced.


    1. Classroom – Teachers will have systems for recognizing GRACE, RESPONSIBILITY, and PEACE within the classroom. This information will be shared with parents at Back-to-School Night.

    2. Schoolwide-Grades 1-5 GRACE, RESPONSIBILITY, and PEACE tickets will be given to students or groups of students demonstrating GRACE, RESPONSIBILTY, or PEACE. The tickets will be collected for the community and counted regularly by students. Each time our goal is achieved we will have a community celebration!

    3. Specific examples of GRACE, RESPONSIBILTY, and PEACE on our campus will be described in the monthly Comet Connection. Classroom examples will be included in grade level newsletters.



    The natural consequence for student’s inappropriate chose is a consequence directly related to the misbehavior. This might include performing community service, loss of recess privileges, assisting in a classroom, or writing a letter of apology. A Cottage Behavior Data Form is used to record the inappropriate chose and assigned consequence. These forms are also a method of communication with home and may require a parent signature.


    The Cottage Behavior Data Form is also a data collection tool for our site, part of our school-wide PBIS.  The information collected helps determine our next steps in our ongoing focus on a positive and safe school community. Next steps may be refinement of our school-wide plan and/or focused supports for an area of our campus or a group of students. If an individual student receives several Cottage Behavior Data Forms this is also addressed. Parents are involved and plans are created to support improved behavior.


    For more serious violations, a Cottage Behavior Data Form will still be issued and a referral to the principal is likely. Refer to the Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion for greater detail on school responses to serious and unsafe misbehaviors.




    The Cottage  School Climate and Community Expectations has been written in conjunction with the mandates of San Juan Unified School District Policy 5161 - "Policies and Procedures Governing Student Behavior" and California Education Codes 48900/48915. These regulations define suspension and expulsion from school. A copy of the guidelines for suspension/expulsion can be found in the SJUSD Parent Handbook.

Last Modified on August 1, 2019