GENERAL RULES OF THE INSTITUTEGENERAL PRINCIPALS AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE
The Italian Constitution decrees the right to study and assigns to the school the institutional role of rendering effective that right, as an indispensable and inalienable guarantee to promote and fulfil the individual right to liberty, equality, equal opportunity and social dignity, effective participation in political, economic and social life.
The general purpose of a school, at all levels, is, therefore, the formation of the person and citizen necessary for the realization and consolidation of an effective democracy. It is on these very principles that the “Pietro della Valle” Italian School bases its specific objectives, formative programme, common rules of coexistence, disciplinary rules and statutes for both teachers and students, as structural and regulating supports indispensable for a healthy community.
- Form active, knowledgeable individuals and not simply receptors of data.
- Facilitate the acquisition and production of scientific, humanistic and technical knowledge envisaged in the respective study programmes of the various study cycles.
- Enhance the different cultural, linguistic and historical horizons of each student, allowing them to open up to other worlds, without denying their own, and on the contrary, enriching it with new experiences and wider perspectives.
- Educate students to respect life, human rights and democratic principles of peace, coexistence, pluralism, justice, solidarity and fairness.
- Create an environment that is propitious for personal and social realization and capable of limiting external conditioning that impedes the free expression of creativity and critical analysis.
- Emphasize the importance of human relations and encourage mutual respect, communication and reciprocal tolerance.
- Stimulate students to gradually and constantly develop independence, realizing and sharing distinct cultural, social and political experiences.
The school guarantees individual and collective rights. Everyone – teachers, administrative personnel, students – in the school, as in any community and living place, recognises his/her own rights and responsibilities and discharges his/her duties, contributing to the functioning of the educational institution and to the affirmation of their own and others’ rights.
- The act of enrolment constitutes full acceptance of the educational approach of the Institute and of the disciplinary norms and a commitment to comply with them.
- Students will maintain at all times an appropriate behaviour in accordance with the educational regulations of the Institute. Correctness, good manners and distinction in relationships are conditions for a peaceful and cordial coexistence.
- Daily school attendance is the first responsibility which each student commits to when enrolling.
- Students at every level have the right to elect a representative to liaise with teachers, the Management Committee and parents.
- Every student is supplied with a booklet for school-family communication which must have parents’/guardians’ signatures authorized to justify and to ask for personal scholastic leave.
- Students will diligently participate in lessons armed with text books and all necessary scholastic material, otherwise the steps taken with be at the teacher’s discretion.
- Lack of preparation for lessons, duly explained by parents, may be accepted only for serious reasons and always at the disciplinary teacher’s discretion.
- Absence from lessons, lateness and permission to leave early must be explained by parents/guardians in the appropriate section of the communication booklet. The justification must be handed by the pupil to the teacher in the first hour. Justifications written on separate sheets or by telephone will not be accepted. Students with permission to leave early must go to the Principal or Vice Principal before the bell in order to receive the appropriate endorsement. A maximum of 10 minutes’ lateness is accepted; if the student is more than 10 minutes late, he/she will remain in the Office until the beginning of the second hour when he/she will be able to go to class. The following day, an explanation must be written in the booklet by parents. Adult students may justify their own absences provided parents have presented a written delegation to the Office. Lack of punctuality in the morning obstructs the regular start of lessons; the Principal and teachers will accordingly adopt the appropriate disciplinary measures.
- Extended or frequent absences must be explained personally by the parents or guardians.
- Explanations for absences due to illness for more than 5 days must be accompanied by a medical certificate.
- Students who do not intend to attend Catholic religion lessons may opt for individual study in the library or other appropriate room where they must remain for the duration of the hour to study under teacher supervision.
- At the beginning of the year students have the right to elect a representative for each study cycle by free elections with secret vote and transparent count of votes.
- Parents are asked to cooperate with the school in order to prevent intentional absences and justifications without serious reasons. This spirit of cooperation also implies that parents phone the school the same morning giving the reason for the absence, especially if it concerns secondary school students. The Administration undertakes regular telephone checks to verify absences.
- Each year the school will endeavour to find the most suitable means of carrying out parent-teacher interviews.
- Students and parents have the right to organize a regular assembly. One assembly per month, lasting one hour, is permitted. The assembly is to be requested by the student representatives and is not to be held always on the same day of the week.
- Parents or strangers are not allowed to enter the classroom in order to communicate with students or teachers. After the bell, parents who do not have any specific tasks to carry out, must leave the school.
- Students must not use mobile phones during lessons. Normally, the school phone is not available for student use; the Office will make phone calls on request only for serious purposes.
- After lessons and out of school hours students are not allowed to remain inside the school or in the courtyard except with the specific permission of the Principal. Parents are expected to inform the Office in case of changes in picking students up after school.
- Decorum, personal neatness and cleanliness is requested of all students.
- Students are expected to bring everything necessary for Physical Education lessons: track suit and clean shoes.
- If a student feels ill, he/she must inform the teacher present who will accompany him/her to sick-bay and, if necessary, will also inform the Principal. Students must not personally telephone parents; a phone call will be made directly by the Secretary in order to inform parents correctly and immediately authorize them to pick the student up.
- Students must not leave the classroom during lessons, nor move away from the recreation area during breaks without a teacher’s permission. Going to the toilet or for a drink are allowed only during change of lessons.
- No student may leave the Institute during school hours without the Principal’s explicit permission.
- Smoking is forbidden to all students at all levels.
- The general tidiness and decorum of the Institute is also entrusted to the students’ good manners and sense of respect.
- The Management does not assume responsibility for any objects lost within the Institute. Any objects found are put in a basket in the Office.
- Putting up notices on the notice board, the distribution of photocopies or other communication to the pupils must be expressly authorized by the Principal’s Office.
- The introduction of books, magazines, games or other material contrary to the morals and aims of the Institute is strictly forbidden.
- The mark in conduct is related to the assiduity and diligence in carrying out school duties, as well as to behaviour.
- The school library is available to everyone in the Institute. Students do not have direct access to the shelves but must go through the person responsible. Books on loan must not be marked or damaged. The cost of any damaged or lost books must be reimbursed. All books must be returned by the 10 th of June of each year and no other loans are allowed after this date. Library Staff will keep a check on all loans.
- Access to the gym and the use of equipment is allowed only with a teacher present.
- If, for health reasons, a student cannot take part in Physical Ed. Classes for more than 3 days, he/she must show the Principal a request for temporary exemption written and signed by the parents in the communication booklet, together with a medical certificate. A justification as above, but without a medical certificate, is sufficient in case of an impediment of less than 3 days. In case of illnesses or mishaps during the morning, the student will explain personally to the teacher and bring a written justification the following lesson. Students who are exonerated from the physical activity must, however, attend the lessons as the subject also involves a theoretical part which will be assessed.
- Students are not allowed access to the computer room without a teacher or out of set hours.
- Access to external areas is permitted during the breaks and under teacher supervision.
- The rules of behaviour in the school canteen are based on good manners and mutual respect. At least one adult is present during lunch to ensure there are no problems. Food may not be eaten out of the canteen, even if brought from home.
- Students who continuously neglect their responsibilities or are reported for behaviour which is disrespectful of civilized coexistence will be disciplined as follows:
ART.1 (GENERAL DISPOSITIONS)
School discipline is regulated under the above heading. Its aim is to preserve and maintain an environment in keeping with educational activities and is entrusted, in the main, to the students themselves with a view to self-discipline which emanates from a sense of belonging to a community and from the motivation and interest in the conscious participation in the educational and formative process that takes place in a school.
ART. 2 (IRREGULAR BEHAVIOUR)
Behaviour contrary to the regular and gainful pursuit of educational activities are:
2a) occasional disturbance of the peace of normal school life not involving offensive behaviour or harmful acts;
2b) occasional unjustified lack of respect for rules related to school hours, late arrival or early departure, absences;
2c) offending the personal dignity of school companions or staff; making false declarations;
2d) repeated violation of the above mentioned 2a, 2b, 2c;
2e) offending the decorum, hygiene and healthiness of the school environment, the school’s good name and dignity;
2f) damaging the school environment or patrimony or the property of others;
2g) offending morals and ethical or religious sentiments;
2h) persecutory and/or abusive behaviour towards fellow students and/or staff;
2i) personal violence.
ART. 3 (MITIGATING AND AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES)
Mitigating circumstances include:
3a) inadvertence as compatible with the violation/contravention;
3b) lack of emotional control connected with the brevity of the contravention and student’s age;
3c) the existence of a handicap;
3d) the immediate and sincere recognition of the violation and of its seriousness;
3e) the provocation received;
Aggravating circumstances include:
3g) the circumstances of the violation, including having committed and/or omitted an action in the laboratories, during guided visits, school trips, cultural exchanges or stages;
3h) the type of violation.
ART. 4 (SANCTIONS)
Sanctions envisaged for the violations mentioned in art. 2 are:
4a) verbal and/or written reprimand (note), temporary suspension from class, for cases 2a) and 2b);
4b) written reminder of one’s responsibilities, written declaration of reproach (censure) for violations 2c),
4c) written reminder of one’s responsibilities, suspension from classes for the day on which violations have been verified, for cases 2d) and 2e);
4d) compensation for damages, for cases 2f);
4e) suspension from school for 1 – 15 days for violations 2f), 2g), 2h), 2i).
ART. 5 (PROCEDURE)
Any disciplinary actions against a student envisages the rebuttal of charges and the possibility to defend and justify him/herself. Sanctions 4e) are written on the school report and the general Mark Book unless the College of Teachers is contrary; suspension from lessons is reported to parents with sufficient notice for them to take note of the suspension.
ART. 6 COMPETENT BODIES)
The preliminary inquiry for any disciplinary action is the responsibility of the School Manager. The inquiry includes receiving the violation report, verification, putting the procedure into motion, rebuttal of charges and report to the competent body to impose sanctions. Competent persons include:
6a) teachers for sanctions 2a)
6b) the School Manager for sanctions 2b), 2c), 2d)
6c) the Class Council for sanctions 2e).
The Class Council meetings for the above purpose, since people are discussed, are reserved to members only, who are sworn to official secrecy. The minutes of the meetings and all other documents are private. Copies or permission to view documents under current laws regarding administrative transparency may be given subject to a nulla osta from the Education Superintendent.
ART. 7 (GUARENTEEING BODY)
An appropriate guaranteeing commission has been set up in order to examine appeals regarding disciplinary sanctions. It is constituted by two teachers from the assessment committee, one member of the Managing Committee, one parent and an adult student representative. The decisions are taken by majority vote and members may not abstain from voting. The School Manager does not participate in the guaranteeing commission meetings; he receives the documents in order to give them enforceability after checking their legitimacy. If, according to the School Manager’s judgement, elements of illegitimacy exist, he may submit the documents to the Education Superintendent.
In order to simplify procedures regarding sanctions 2a) and 2b), a student may make a claim to the School Manager.
In the case of incompatibility between the claimant and a member of the commission, substitution by a supplementary member is allowed.
The school guarantees individual and collective rights. Everyone in the school – teachers, administrative staff and students – as in any community or living place, recognizes his/her own rights and responsibilities and discharges his/her duties, contributing to the functioning of the educational institution and to the affirmation of their own and others’ rights.
- Teachers who request or accept a position in the Institute intend to carry out the Institute’s specific educational mission.
- Teacher are expected to be familiar with and to duly implement the school directives set out in the General Rules of the Institute.
- Will be present in the school at least 5 minutes before beginning service.
- Will attend to class orderliness, attention during lessons, correct behaviour of students and respect for desks and furnishings.
- Will normally prevent students from leaving the classroom during a lesson without a serious reason and avoid sending students out of the room.
- At the end of each lesson will record homework in the class register and ensure that students write it in their diary. Will go promptly to another class, if necessary.
- Will accompany students during breaks and on leaving the school without anticipating or delaying the established timetable.
- Teachers are expected to supervise students during breaks in order to avoid any harm. The supervision roster is planned by the Principal.
- At the end of the day, the teacher of the last hour will supervise the students’ exit and ensure that students leave the school according to parents’ instructions.
- The use of mobile phones is not allowed during lessons; the school phone may be used for short calls out of lesson hours.
- Smoking is not allowed on the school premises except in the administration office and in a smoking room to be decided at the beginning of the school year.
- The personal register must be completely filled in and left at the school in the teacher’s locker.
- At the beginning of the school year, by the established date, teachers will prepare an intentional didactic programme and consign it to the Principal’s office.
- At the end of the school year, teachers will give the Principal the didactic programme actually carried out and also a final report, for classes undergoing Exams.
- Teachers will keep to the didactic procedure established by the College of Teachers and Class Councils.
- Scheduled oral tests, based on an ample and coherent part of the programme, allow teachers to establish the level of each student’s learning, his/her ability to summarise, clarity of exposition and the interdisciplinary of study.
- Each lesson must develop a coherent and well-defined topic which the teacher presents by making use of the text book and all the expedients and didactic means suggested by experience and consented by the realistic possibilities of the classroom.
- Knowing that students attend school in order to improve their learning with the teacher’s help, teachers must not ask for more than what is given, either in explaining the programme or as a stimulus and support for personal study. Normally, teachers will not give topics for homework which have not been presented in class and will not exaggerate in assigning homework and lessons.
- By making the best use of available class time, teachers ensure that students learn as much as possible during lessons and, therefore, do not normally need improvement courses or extra lessons.
A teacher’s educational duty, however, does not end with the work carried out during lessons; he/she must be available, even out of class time and in agreement with the Principal, to meet and stimulate student requests for personal or group encounters and for extra lessons.
- Written exercises or assignments, coherent with the programme, must be promptly corrected and returned to students in order to enable them to be aware of mistakes.
- Teachers will check daily that students have done their homework and diligently prepared their lessons. Written or oral tests are not allowed out of normal school hours except on rare occasions and only if previously agreed on and arranged.
- Registers and tests constitute official school documentation and must be available for inspection whenever requested by the school authority.
- Given the particular importance which the school attaches to school-family cooperation, teachers will in every way facilitate communication, both individual and collegial, with parents and students. On the dates and times established, teachers will be available for interviews as programmed in the school calendar. Teacher-parent interviews take place as follows: weekly, during school hours and according to the timetable notified at the beginning of the year; at least twice a year, in the afternoon.
- All teachers are expected to participate in class meetings and other encounters with parents, according to the programmed calendar.
- All teachers must maintain strict professional privacy when talking to people extraneous to class councils and must not disassociate themselves from decisions taken by class councils and College of Teachers.
- The Coordinating teacher for each school division, nominated annually by the Principal, will be particularly attentive to the educational and cultural process and correct progress of classes.
- Teachers will avoid excessive familiarity with students and parents in order to maintain complete freedom to make fair decisions.
- It is explicitly forbidden to give any type of private lessons to one’s own students.
As far as concerns the Head of the Institute and the teachers, in case of violations of one’s duties, the following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed:
• Oral and/or written reprimand.
• Suspension from teaching or other office for up to one month (with loss of salary).
• Suspension for a period of one to six months (with loss of salary) and change of duties involving teaching or executive functions.
Sanction a) is imposed by the School Manager for less serious failings regarding teaching or executive duties.
Sanction b) is imposed by the Management Committee, with the approval of the School Manager and the nulla osta of the Education Superintendent, for actions not consistent with responsibilities, duties or correctness in one’s duties or for serious negligence; for violation of official secrecy; for neglecting to carry out duties of supervision.
Sanction d) is imposed by the Managing Committee, with the agreement of the School Manager and nulla osta of the Education Superintendent, for actions in serious contrast with one’s duties; for wilful actions which have brought serious damage to the school, students or families; for illegal use or misappropriation of school property or finances, administered or deposited; for serious public acts disregarding legitimate directives while on duty; for requests or acceptance of compensation or benefits in relation to business dealings on behalf of the school; for serious abuse of office.
Any disciplinary actions against a teacher and/or school manager envisages the rebuttal of charges and the possibility to defend and justify one’s actions. The preliminary inquiry for a disciplinary action against a teacher is the responsibility of the School Manager. The inquiry includes receiving the violation report, verification, putting the procedure into motion, rebuttal of charges and report to the competent body to impose punishment. The President of the school Managing Committee is responsible in the case of disciplinary action against the School Manager.
The school is a place of formation and education through study, the acquisition of knowledge and the development of a critical conscience. The life of a school community is based, therefore, on freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion, on mutual respect for all the people who are part of the community, regardless of age and position, rejecting all ideological, social and cultural barriers.
- Students have the right to a qualified cultural and professional education which respects and values each person’s identity and is open to a plurality of ideas. The school pursues the continuity of learning and enhances the students’ personal inclinations, even through adequate information, the possibility to formulate requests, to develop freely chosen themes and to carry out independent initiatives.
- The school community will promote solidarity among its components and defend a student’s right to privacy.
- Students have the right to be informed about the decisions and rules that regulate school life.
- Students have the right to participate actively and responsibly in school life. School managers and teachers, using the means envisaged by the Rules of the Institute, will activate a constructive dialogue with students on choices within their competence regarding the programming and defining of educational aims, the organisation of the school, assessment criteria, choice of text books and didactic material. Students also have the right to a transparent and prompt assessment, intent on activating a process of self-assessment which leads them to understand their own strengths and weaknesses and to improve their performance.
- When a decision has a significant impact on the organization of the school, students may request or be requested to express their opinion through consultation. In the same way, their parents may also be consulted.
- Students have the right to the freedom of learning and can independently exercise the right to choose from optional extra-curricula activities. The latter are organized according to the amount of time required and ways in which students learn and the demands in their life.
- Foreign students have the right to respect for their communities’ cultural and religious life. The school promotes and encourages initiatives which uphold and preserve their language and culture and intercultural activities.
- Students are expected to regularly attend classes and to carry out other study commitments.
- Students are expected to show the same, even formal, respect for the School Manager, teachers and other school personnel and for their fellow students which they expect for themselves.
- In exercising their rights and carrying out their responsibilities, students are expected to maintain a correct behaviour which is coherent with the principles and objectives of the school.
- Students are expected to observe organizational and safety directives dictated by the Rules of the Institute.
- Students are expected to correctly use the school facilities, machinery and teaching aids and to behave in such a way as not to damage school property.
- Students share the responsibility of making the school environment welcoming and to treat it as an important factor in the quality of school life.
- Students are expected to be well-groomed.
The General Rules of the Institute will be adopted and/or modified after consulting the College of Teachers, hearing the opinion of the Managing Committee and of student and parents’ representatives and obtaining the final nulla osta from the Education Superintendent. A copy will be given to parents and students when enrolling and to teachers upon being employed.