School Governance

The Mountain School's financial and legal matters are guided by a board of directors drawn from a larger group of faculty, parents, and friends. Pedagogical and administrative issues are the responsibility of the staff. The Mountain School is recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit, tax exempt educational organization. The school admits students of any race, creed, sex, nationality, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, and national or ethnic origins in any school administered program.

 
The true aim of education is to awaken real powers of perception and judgment in relation to life and living. For only such awakening can lead to true freedom.
— Rudolf Steiner
 

Compassionate Communication

At TMS we believe everyone deserves to work and learn in a healthy, vibrant, and emotionally safe environment and therefore the staff and faculty studies and practices Compassionate Communication techniques developed by Marshall Rosenberg, director of the Center for Non-Violent Communication.

Through Compassionate Communication (CC) we can quickly learn how to express our emotions in a truthful yet respectful manner.  CC also provides us with conflict resolution and problem solving skills.   Compassionate Communication empowers people to resolve differences inter personally without always needing a third party’s guidance or direction. 

For more information on NVC, please visit Marshall’s page www.cnvc.org

TMS Community Expectations

We call for every member of The Mountain School community, including parents, students and faculty the following:

  • Act in an ethical manner worthy of trust.
  • Respect and support each member of the school community.
  • Be honest in all situations- academic and personal.
  • Protect and take care of our local and global environment, including the Schools facilities.
  • Accept responsibility for his or her actions.
  • Pursue a healthy lifestyle.
  • Be at school on time and in the classroom on time for every lesson.
  • Remain within school boundaries during school and never leave the school campus without permission.

The Democratic Approach (Firm and Respectful)

Respectful, Calm & Clear Communication Keep it simple, not too many words.  Use simple, basic imaginations and metaphors to get your point across and avoid over-intellectualizing.

  • Encouraging Messages  Remember to tell children what they CAN do as an alternative  to what they are not allowed to do.  Also, take note when their behavior is exceptionally pleasing or helpful.  Try to avoid empty praise but specific encouragement is excellent.
  • Model Problem Solving Skills and Corrective Behavior  Children in early childhood operate out of the mode of imitation.  Modeling for them how to navigate through situations that they have not yet developed the “know how” for is far more effective than talking to them about what to do.
  • Natural and Logical Consequences Avoid non-related consequences, ie. taking away a toy for hitting their sibling.  Instead choose consequences that correlate to the child’s misdeed, ie. for hitting the child may become ‘the doctor’ to heal the injured, to fix what has been broken or rest when the ears must be too tired to work right.
  • Clear, Immediate, Calm Action
  • Extra Parent Conferences – for the purpose of early intervention if students persistently test limits, violate classroom rules, or fail to carry out basic responsibilities.

“When we give direction to a child, make a request, or say that we are going to do something, we must be clear, stay with the direction, follow through, and be consistent. If we reverse direction we damage the child, causing nervousness and instilling in him a feeling of insecurity. Parents and teachers who constantly give in disallow the child to meet the realities of existence. He is then educated for a life which does not exist, and possibly will become weak and at the mercy of his surroundings and of other people.”- Margaret Meyerkort

Parent Responsibilities

It is every adult’s responsibility to make sure that students are kept safe at school and learn respect for their environment and for one another. With this in mind, parents are asked to be co-guardians of all school children. If you see a child misbehaving, please address him or her directly and inform a teacher. In this way students learn that all adults are caring for them.

Children must always be supervised by an adult. Parents who remain at school after dismissal are responsible for children in their care. Waldorf education endeavors to form students who will develop into free thinking adults, able to impart purpose and direction to their lives. Students are encouraged to strive for intellectual freedom, artistic creativity and a sense of social responsibility. In order to realize these goals, clear expectations for students, teachers and parents are essential. 

The following are not permitted in school or on school grounds:

  • Pocketknives and other potentially dangerous items.
  • Riding bikes or scooters during school hours unless sanctioned and supervised by a teacher.
  • Chewing gum.
  • Using music players, electronic games, etc.
  • Playing ball, riding bikes and scooters, or roller-blades inside the school building.
  • Excessive wrestling or roughhousing.
  • Throwing rocks and other hard objects. Snowball throws are permitted with teacher permission and supervision.
  • Using sticks for sword fights unless supervised by a teacher.
  • Sleds with metals runners and sliding or sledding head first.
  • Hard balls.
  • Using swings, ropes and other playground equipment in a manner that puts anyone at risk.

Notice of Concern

Teachers may notify parents in writing of behavioral problems and other concerns that may arise for a student. This Notice of Concern will be emailed or  hand delivered to parents in order to inform them of a situation that requires their cooperation. Please speak directly with your child regarding this matter. Sign the form and return it to school the next day. This confirms that you are aware of the situation. If you need more information please contact the teacher by phone or schedule a meeting. (See Communication with Teachers)

Suspension or Expulsion of a Student

Due to severe or persistent behavior problems, lack of progress, or extreme violations of conduct or safety a child may be asked to leave the school for one or more days. This action makes it clear to all students in the class and school that such behavior will not be tolerated. Suspension from school for a period of time or permanent expulsion may result from the following behaviors:

  • Blatant defiance and disrespect.
  • Consistent, repetitive inappropriate behavior.
  • Use of swear words or inappropriate language.
  • Any action that endangers the safety or life of another person or oneself.
  •  Violent acts that deliberately hurt another person or oneself or deliberately destroy property.
  • Use or possession of illegal substances.
  • Bringing weapons to school.
  • Theft or accessory to theft.
  • Leaving school grounds during school hours without permission.
  • Sexual harassment. Defined by law as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
  • An accumulated record of general misconduct.

In most cases a student’s expulsion is preceded by one or more of the following steps:

  1. Member of the Faculty meet with parents and inform them of the problem and possible consequeces.
  2. If problems persist, TMS may recommend dismissal.
  3. Re-admittance is handled on a case-by-case basis decided by the faculty and administration.