The Farm School Handbook

2017/2018  Whole School Agreements

The Farm School Agreements

  • The agreements between the parents, teachers, and students of The Farm School and the keeping of those agreements are central to our school community.
  • We will do our best to always keep our agreements and acknowledge that there may be times when we will not be able to do so.
  • We will give as much notice as possible when we know in advance that we will not be able to keep an agreement.
  • We will give as much notice as possible when we know in advance that we will not be able to keep an agreement.
  • We also agree to acknowledge when we have failed to keep an agreement and to then clean up any resulting mess.

General Agreements about How We Want to be Together

  • We agree to support each other having our needs met including our need to grow and learn together.
  • We agree to treat each other with love and compassion as we wish to be treated.
  • We agree to respect the different experiences, needs, interests, points of view, strengths and challenges that each of us brings to our community.
  • We agree to honor each other’s right to make our own decisions and not to use force or threats to make another do things against her or his will.
  • We agree to keep our school a safe place where each of us can be free from fear of emotional and physical violence.
  • We agree to treat our word as sacred and to speak our word truthfully from our hearts.
  • We agree to communicate with each other about our needs, feelings and requests without the use of verbal or physical violence.
  • We agree to listen to each other deeply with our full attention.
  • We agree to treat our material school as our collective treasured possession.

Specific Agreements

  • We agree to be peaceful: to not commit emotional or physical violence on others.
  • We agree to clean up any mess we make (material or otherwise) and to help in the general cleanup required even though we all do our best to clean up after ourselves.
  • We agree to let a faculty member or designated student know where we are.
  • We agree to be accompanited if we’re having trouble with the above agreements.
  • We agree to come to school for all hours we have agreed to attend and to notify the staff ahead of time when we cannot keep this agreement.
  • We agree to attend all classes we sign up for and to notify the staff ahead of time when we cannot keep this agreement.
  • We agree to keep all agreements made at any meeting. In the case of an agreement made at a morning meeting we choose to miss (for other then an excused absence) we further agree not to challenge that agreement until we have attended meeting for 2 consecutive weeks.
  • We agree to slip into class or meeting subtly if we’re late and to let others slip in rather then creating dramatic entrances.
  • We agree to obey the school board rule that we must wear helmets on all wheeled vehicles (excluding cars) during school hours.

Clothing Agreement

All members of The Farm School community will keep the front and rear of their pelvic regions covered at all times when on campus or at a school activity. All members of The Farm School community will keep their chests covered when on campus or at a school activity (excluding activities in and around water, where local customs will be followed.)

Agreements regarding Devices

Computer devices (laptops, tablets, smart phones, and MP3 players) are used for four main purposes at school: schoolwork, listening to music, playing video games, and social media. All members of The Farm School community agree to use devices only during the following times and for the following purposes:

  • Devices can be used for schoolwork at any time by class agreement and at all other times, with the exception of Friday mornings.
  • Devices can be used to listen to music during class by teacher agreement,  during breaks, before classes begin (i.e., before 9:00AM), and after school (after 4:00PM).
  • Agreed-upon video games (e.g., Minecraft and Civilization) and other non-violent games can be played only on Friday afternoons, for less than an hour.
  • Devices can be used for social media for less than on hour a day, and only during lunch breaks, before classes start (i.e.before 9:00AM), and after school (after 4:00PM).
  • No devices will be used on Friday mornings (9:00 AM-12:00PM).
  • Anyone breaking these agreements will have their right to bring hand-held devices revoked for one month.

Food Agreements

The Farm School staff will provide specific times and a space for your child to eat lunch and a snack. The Farm School staff cannot force a child to eat, and students need to eat in a timely manner during designated lunch and snack times.

Ideally, and especially during periods of pleasant weather, lunches should be ready-to-eat without any further preparation, such as cooking or heating. When bringing a lunch that needs to be prepared/heated, the student needs to be able to achieve the preparation without adult help.

All types of food may be re-heated in The Farm School kitchen, including meat products. Cooking of ovo-lacto vegetarian foods (egg, dairy, and plant-based foods) is allowed in The Farm School kitchen. Cooking of raw meat in The Farm School kitchen is not currently allowed.

Additional Information and Suggestions regarding Food

  • We ask that parents/students limit the amount of sugar and caffeine in lunches and snacks. Our request is that you not send/bring food or drink for which chocolate, caffeine, or sugar are listed as the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd ingredient.
  • Even 100% fruit juices contain a fair amount of sugar, and other fruit juices and non-diet sodas contain seriously unhealthful amounts of high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Most diet sodas contain aspartame (NutraSweet), which causes damage to nerve cells, and/or saccharin (still used in some “diet” items), which causes cancer.
  • Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the nervous system and creates an artificial “high”. The “high” that children get from sugar and caffeine can interfere with their learning.
  • Good choices for snacks include fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, popcorn, and cheese or tofu.
  • Please encourage your child to drink plenty of plain water during the school day. Drinking water is the best and most healthful way to quench thirst and remain hydrated!

The Farm School Conflict Resolution Process

The primary goal of our conflict resolution process is for each of us to learn how to put our differences together with increasing style and grace.

We believe that the best way to resolve conflicts and to learn how to put our differences together is to check in with ourselves by asking ourselves what and how we want to communicate with each other followed by direct and compassionate communication between the people involved in the conflict with increasing amounts of help as needed.

The steps in our conflict resolution process are:

1. Stop, take a deep breath, and check in with yourself. 

Is this something that needs to be resolved with another or is it a personal upset you can let go of                 or fix on your own? If it is something you want to resolve with another, what is your request of the               other person and how do you want to communicate about it? If you decide this is something that                 needs to be resolved with another:

2. Communicate with the person in conflict with you. [to request mutuality, etc. ]

Are there any solutions to your conflict that both of you agree will be to both of your benefit? If                    not, are there any solutions that require you each to give up something in a way that you both                      think is fair?  If not, can you both agree to disagree? If not:

3. Ask a third person to talk with you and the person in conflict with you. 

If, with the help of a third person, you and the other person can come to an agreement about your                request, you’re done. If not:

4. Call a Culture Committee meeting.

To call a culture committee meeting, fill out a “Request to Meet” form for the Culture Committee.                This form includes space for the name of the requestor, the date, names of participants and                          observers, a description of what happened, and the unmet request. Upon receipt of a “Request to                Meet” form, the Culture Committee may ask others named in the request to also fill out a Request                to Meet form before the actual meeting and will notify caretakers if their child is listed as a                            participant in a request to meet form.

5. Call a Special Meeting of the PTSA.

If the Culture Committee can’t resolve the conflict, any participant or observer of the conflict of                    our Principal can call a Special Meeting of the PTSA.

Incident Reports

The following outcomes trigger an automatic incident report and notification of caregivers of all students involved:

  • A physical interaction that results in a persistent injury (lasting mark or pain), or
  • A student loses their self-control and acts out in ways that disrupt group activity (screams or lashes out at others, leaves building without notification, etc.), or
  • A pattern of negative interactions develops between two children or between a child and a teacher.