Student Behavior


Producing ethical citizens and caring individuals is a top priority at North School and is an important part of the Hillsborough Essential Outcomes. All students are taught the three North School Norms: Show respect, Make good decisions, and Solve your problems. These social norms foster high expectations for behavior and encourage students to use good character and practice their life skills. Teachers individually establish and enforce a set of classroom rules and procedures consistent with District policies and procedures. Parents should clarify these with the individual teacher as questions arise.


  • Show respect
  • Make good decisions
  • Solve your problems


At North, our goal as educators is to prepare our students for a successful, happy life, and we do so by providing a physically and emotionally safe setting for them to learn and grow together. For this goal to be attainable, we must work together as a team to ensure we are fostering an environment of consistency, responsiveness, communication and compassion.


In order for students to maintain successful and appropriate behavior across all environments, it is important that they know there are school-wide expectations, including different classrooms, teachers and activities. The response to problem behavior must remain consistent to ensure our students are always aware of the outcomes of their behavior.


Problem behavior must be addressed, and must be addressed soon after the behavior occurs. Likewise, we should remember to be responsive to our students who are exhibiting positive behavior – “consequences” can be good, too!


Students who are exhibiting problem behaviors in one class are typically exhibiting them in other classes, as well. All staff members who work with a student should be involved with the specific consequences required and the chain of support for that student


There is no such thing as a “bad” student. Every student exhibiting a problem behavior is trying to communicate something to us, and we need to remember to acknowledge and respect each individual student as we work with him or her. Our goal is to maintain safety and order while we help the student to recognize their behavior, and ultimately develop internal control of their behavior. Help the student to help themselves.

“The most powerful way to address students’ misbehaviors is to put strong, consistent effort into nurturing positive behavior in the first place. Establishing strong teacher-student relationships, creating rules with students, using positive language throughout the school, modeling and reinforcing skills and routines, frequently referring to the rules in guiding children’s behavior day in and day out, designing engaging and appropriately challenging lessons, deliberately building a sense of community in the school…”

-Responsive Classrooms Approach

Chain of Support

Level 1 – Teacher

Teachers are expected to make the initial determination regarding the discipline incident – it is up to the first responding staff member to decide if this is a small issue that can be dealt with on the spot, or a bigger issue which will require intervention and follow-up. For all incidences of misbehavior, the response will adhere to the following protocol:

1.Address the misbehavior with a simple response right when it starts

2.Use a non-punitive consequence if needed.

3.Provide more intensive supports if needed.

4.Have the child leave the classroom for a small amount of time if needed.

Minor misbehaviors that will be addressed in the classroom with the teacher


Teacher Role

Possible Follow-Up

Name calling

Inappropriate language

Not following

Instructions/ Defiance



Low level teasing

Class disruption

Not using technology appropriately

Address the misbehavior right away

Inform parents if necessary

Implement classroom behavior management tool with logical consequences and positive reinforcement

Have a calming corner to support students in calming down

Do frequent classroom meetings to support students in talking about feelings/conflicts

Students do Talk it Outs in the classroom or in the playground for conflict resolution

Logical consequence



Counselor can support students with conflict resolution only if the teacher is not able to do this

Interpersonal issues

If multiple students are engaged in a behavioral issue, it is the teachers’ responsibility to determine the parties involved, the extent to which they are involved, and decide what consequences each student will be facing. When addressing any behavioral incident, you should be sure to focus on respect, empathy, and de-escalation.

Level 2 – Administration

The principal, or in the absence of the principal, the Teacher In charge, will get involved only if the situation is a “big issue” or has escalated to the point that there are concerns for student safety. Students sent to the principal will be sent with a North Office Behavior Referral form including what the incident was, who was involved, and what steps have already been taken. Students in the principal’s office will complete a Reflection form or an Incident Report, including but not limited to recapping the situation filling out a behavior map, possible consequences, as well as a plan for how to prevent this behavior from occurring in the future. Students will return to class with a completed Reflection Form. This will inform the teachers and parents of the steps that were taken.

Major Misbehaviors


Teacher Role

Possible Follow-Up



Fighting/ physical aggression

Sexual or racial


Abusive language

Overt defiance

Property destruction

Follow up with parents to let them know how things are going

Inform the principal

Continue to implement a classroom behavior tool with logical consequences and positive reinforcement

Establish more frequent classroom meetings to teach expected behavior

May be referred to see the counselor

Loss of privilege


Potential suspension (in house or out of school)

Take-a-break outside of the classroom (in another room or in the office)

Level 3 – Families

Minor: Teachers will inform parents if minor misbehaviors are reoccurring.

Major: When a student's’ behavior escalates to the point of a “big issue,” parents will be notified in a brief, concise and neutral email.


The District Governing Board believes that appropriate dress and grooming contribute to a productive learning environment. The Board expects students to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to wear clothes that are suitable for the school activities in which they participate. Students' clothing must not present a health or safety hazard or a distraction which would interfere with the educational process. Hats should be removed and hoods should be lowered upon entering any building (unless it is due to medical necessity). Flip flops are not recommended and tennis shoes must be worn during P.E. for safety.


Playground rules are established to support safety, game inclusion, and great physical activity. Students should follow these rules and parents should reinforce these rules under their supervision after school.


Students should arrive at school no earlier than 8:10 a.m. unless he/she is going to the Before School Recreation program. Supervision on the playground is not available before 8:10 a.m. Any students arriving before 8:10am must report to the office for safety.Parents may only supervise their own children if arriving before school supervision begins. There is a warning bell that rings at 8:25 a.m. Students should be in their classrooms by 8:30 a.m.


Stay on the blacktop, rubberized surface, and jungle

Students should stay in areas where they are visible by the adults who are supervising.

  • Keep rocks or sticks on the ground
  • Tag - is only allowed on the green rubber or other designated areas
  • Starburst climber – is only used for climbing
  • Sand – stays in sand area
  • Swings – Yellow safety bars must be locked in place, No twisting or swinging sideways; count to 120 to take turns
  • Do not jump off any structure
  • Handballs should be played in designated areas only and balls should be used appropriately.

When Bell Rings at recess

  • FREEZE and hold equipment
  • Stop swings immediately (do not jump off); get off and freeze
  • Climb down equipment then freeze
  • Walk back to class when the whistle is blown


  • Students will wait for a North School employee (not a Recess Pal/parent) at the apple tree before entering the field
  • When walking to the field students must walk down the stairs not on the preschool side of school. Students must return to class the same way


  • Classes will arrive to the “Student Pick-Up Zone” promptly at 2:45pm, 2:50pm, and 3:00pm respectively
  • Students who are waiting for their parents should be seated and follow instructions by school staff
  • Once a parent picks up his/her child, they must remain in sight of their parent and continue to follow school rules


The Governing Board desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district's academic and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The Board prohibits, at any district school or school activity, unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student based on the student's actual race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression; the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

While suspensions and expulsions are infrequent in the HCSD, they do occur. Please contact the District Office for information about district board policies. The following link gives details information regarding California Education Code: 48900-48927 and describes those activities that can result in suspensions and expulsions:


The term “suspension” refers a disciplinary action whereby a student must remain away from school or school-related activities for a short period of time. Please take extra time reviewing bolded items with your children.

SUSPENSIONS may occur for the following behaviors and expulsion may result when a student has:

a) Caused, attempted, or threatened to cause physical injury, except in self-defense [48900(a)]

b) Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished a firearm, knife, or other dangerous object [48900(b)]

c) Possessed, sold, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol [48900(c)]

d) Offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell drugs or alcohol [48900(d)]

e) Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion [48900(e)]

f) Caused or attempted to damage school or private property [48900(f)]

g) Stole or attempted to steal school or private property [48900(g)]

h) Possessed or used tobacco, or products containing tobacco or nicotine products [48900(h)]

i) Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity [48900(i)]

j) Unlawfully possessed, offered, arranged or negotiated to sell drug paraphernalia [48900(j)]

k) Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied valid authority [48900(k)]

l) Knowingly received stolen school or private property [48900(l)]

m) Possessed an imitation firearm [48900(m)]

n) Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault or sexual battery [48900(n)]

o) Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a student who is a complaining witness in a school disciplinary proceeding or retaliating against the student for being a witness [48900(o)]

p) Offered, arranged to sell, or sold the prescription drug Soma [48900(p)]

q) Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing. [48900(q)]

r) Engaged in an act of “bullying” – defined as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act that has or can be reasonably predicted to have an effect on one or more of the following: [48900(r)]

a. Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that pupil's or those pupils' person or property.

b. Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his/her physical or mental health.

c. Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance.

d. Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Students in 4th-5th grades may also be suspended and/or expelled for the following behaviors:

1)Sexual Harassment [48900.2]

2)Hate violence [48900.3]

3)Harassment, threats, or intimidation [48900.4]

SEXUAL HARASSMENT (BP5145.7; AR5145.7) [48900.2]

The Governing Board recognizes that sexual harassment causes embarrassment, feelings of powerlessness, loss of self-confidence, reduced ability to perform schoolwork, and increased absenteeism or tardiness.

To promote an environment free of sexual harassment, the principal or designee shall take appropriate actions such as removing vulgar or offending graffiti, establishing site rules, and providing student in-service or student instruction and counseling.Teachers shall discuss this policy with their students in age-appropriate ways and shall assure them they need not endure any form of sexual harassment.

The Board shall not tolerate the sexual harassment of any student by any other student or any district employee.Any student or employee who is found guilty of sexual harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action.

The Board encourages students or staff to immediately report any incidences of sexual harassment to the principal or designee.The Superintendent or designee shall promptly investigate each complaint of sexual harassment in a way that ensures the privacy of all parties concerned.In no case shall the student be required to resolve the complaint directly with the alleged offending person.

Pursuant to law, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:(Education Code 212.5):

1. Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s academic status or progress; or

2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the individual; or

3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact on the individual’s academic or work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment; or Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the school.

Other types of conduct which are prohibited in the district and which may constitute sexual harassment include:

1) Unwelcome sexual flirtations or propositions

2) Verbal abuse of a sexual nature

3) Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body

4) Sexually degrading words used to describe an individual

5) Display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures in the educational environment that are not related to the instructional program

6) Any act of retaliation against an individual who reports a violation of the district’s sexual harassment policy or who participates in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint


    • 300 El Cerrito Avenue
    • Hillsborough,
    • CA
    • 94010
  • Phone (650) 342-5193
  • Fax (650) 342-6964

Our schools have received 26 California Distinguished School Awards, 7 National Blue Ribbon Awards, and 29 Kent Awards for Innovative Programs. Our success is due to high quality staff, committed and involved families and community members, a supportive Board, a cohesive vision, and a strong commitment to excellence.
Interested in current district discussions, view Superintendent Reports here.

More than two decades of research findings are unequivocal: the most important aspect of a school in terms of student learning is teacher quality, and our teachers are among the best!

Students in K-2 have access to a reading specialist. 3rd-5th grade students participate in our Innovation Labs where they create and explore. K-5 students participate in music classes, and 4th-8th grade students have access to instrument instruction. Spanish instruction begins in 4th grade, and Mandarin is offered in our middle school. All of our schools have a dedicated counselor, teacher librarian, physical educator, and more!

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Interested in current district discussions, view Superintendent Reports here.

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