Learning Environment

All aspects of life at SCS are designed to form personas íntegras. Academics, athletics, and relationships are all built upon a foundation of mutual respect for one another as individuals created in God's image. Members of the school community submit to an honor system in order to promote an environment characterized by integrity and respect and to foster these values in our students. Love and Logic is employed as a practical system for nurturing responsible student behavior and a positive school climate that facilitates learning. ECE and the Elementary School embrace the Responsive Classroom approach, which was developed to create classroom and school-wide learning environments where young students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. These elements combine to create a safe and nurturing learning environment in which students are freed to think deeply and critically, express themselves creatively, articulate ideas effectively, and thrive academically.

Strong communities are held together by shared values and moral principles.
The Honor System emphasizes integrity in all forms, honesty, and respect. By annually signing the Honor Code, weekly reciting the Honor Pledge, and daily practicing integrity, students actively contribute to an atmosphere of trust among the members of the SCS community.

Honor System

The Honor Code

The Honor Code is the written code of conduct that encapsulates the commitments and goals of those who are part of the SCS community. At the beginning of each year, all students in middle and high school sign the Honor Code, promising to uphold it as the standard for character and conduct at SCS. The Honor Code states: “Santiago Christian School students are personas íntegras who reflect Jesus in character, wisdom, and influence. As an SCS student, I commit to act with honesty and integrity, treat others with respect, and seek the good of all in our community.”

 

Acting with honesty and integrity includes refraining from cheating, plagiarism, and any other form of unauthorized aid on academic assignments. On every test, quiz, project, or paper, all high school students are required to hand-write and sign the following affirmation:On my honor, I pledge that I have not violated the honor code on this assignment.”

The Honor Pledge

Each Monday morning at flag raising, the whole school community recites the Honor Pledge in unison as a poignant reminder of each person’s commitment to upholding the shared values of the SCS family. The Honor Pledge states: “As children of God, we aim to be personas íntegras, reflecting Jesus in character, wisdom, and influence. Today, I commit to act with honesty and integrity, treat others with respect, and seek the good of all in our community. Heavenly Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight. Amen.”

The Honor Board

An honor board composed of carefully chosen student leaders is charged with promoting the Honor Code and hearing cases of alleged infractions against it. The purposes of the Honor Board are redemptive. The Honor Board is convened at the discretion of the Principal when a violation has occurred. The Honor Board reports its findings to the Administration with recommended consequences and a plan for the full restoration of the offending student to the community. Commitment to the values embodied in the Honor Code is the foundation for establishing honor and integrity as a way of life for all members of the SCS community.

Love and Logic

Love and Logic is a practical system for nurturing responsible student behavior and a positive school climate that facilitates learning. The basis of Love and Logic is a healthy relationship between teachers and students that sets limits in a loving way and allows students to make the choice to do the right thing.

At SCS, we believe that some of life's most valuable lessons are learned in relationship with others. For this reason, we have adopted a set of core beliefs that augment the approaches to discipline and school climate at each grade level – Love and Logic across the grades and Responsive Classroom in the Elementary School and ECE. The SCS Core Beliefs document states:

All students and teachers are created by God, in His image. We are His creation, yet we are sinful by nature and redeemed and transformed by His grace. In this context, we believe that:

  1. Every attempt should be made to nurture the dignity of both the student and the adult as a unique bearer of God's image.
  2. Misbehavior should be viewed as an opportunity for individual discipleship, problem-solving, and development of life skills as opposed to a personal attack on the school or staff.
  3. Students should be given the opportunity to make decisions and live with the results, whether the consequences are good or bad.
  4. Students should be guided and expected to solve their problems and the ones they create without making problems for anyone else.
  5. Misbehavior should be handled with natural consequences instead of punishments whenever possible.
  6. Students should have the opportunity to be heard (at an appropriate time) when consequences are necessary.

Problems become learning experiences when we operate out of these core beliefs. In a close school community, every day presents new challenges. Rather than dread these challenges, SCS teachers welcome them as opportunities to deepen treasured relationships and promote a learning environment that helps students excel academically.

For more information on the Love and Logic approach, please visit www.loveandlogic.com

Responsive Classroom

ECE and the Elementary School embrace the Responsive Classroom approach, which was developed to create classroom and school-wide learning environments where young students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Our skilled elementary school teachers use the Responsive Classroom philosophy to guide instruction and interactions with students and their parents. SCS teachers understand that all students' needs—academic, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual —are important. Their aim is to create a safe and nurturing learning environment that responds to all of those needs so that every child can do his or her best learning.

Responsive Classroom components implemented under the umbrella of Love and Logic help young students develop leadership skills, advocate for the needs of others, model love, respect, humility, empathy, and tolerance through the fellowship of a school community that provides a sense of belonging, significance, and fun.

For more information on the Responsive Classroom approach, please visit www.responsiveclassroom.org.