The Pike School Handbook
- Welcome From the Head of School
- Important Contact Information
- Honor Code
- Academic Program
- School Rules
- Daily Life at School
- General School Information
- Special Events
- Discipline Guidelines
- Student Health Services
- Student Support Services
- Parent Involvement
- Financial Information
- Appendix A: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan
- Appendix B: Hazing
Welcome to The Pike School Handbook!
We hope you will find this to be a helpful resource anytime you have questions about any aspect of life in our community. Please be sure to review it carefully with your child or children to be sure they understand the many aspects of being a responsible member of this community. As always, if you have any questions about any of this material, do not hesitate to contact me or anyone else you feel could be helpful.
Welcome to Pike!
John “Muddy” Waters
Head of School
Contact the Front Desk Office Assistant if:
- a student is absent or tardy (Please call the receptionist before 9:00 a.m.);
- a student’s drop-off and/or pick-up plans have changed.
- questions about the Flex program.
Contact the Nurse, x6607, with:
- questions about medical policies, procedures or forms.
Contact your Coach with:
- questions about a student’s progress in that sport.
Contact the Athletic Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, with:
- questions about the overall athletic program or philosophy;
- questions about a specific sport or game schedule.
Contact the Assistant to the Head of School, x6610, to:
- schedule the use of school facilities;
Contact the Head Librarian, x6621, about:
- library resources or programs;
- volunteering in the library.
Contact the Director of Technology, x6622, with:
- questions about the technology program or policies that are not answered from accessing the technology link on the Web site.
Contact the Director of Learning Services, x6617, with:
- questions about the philosophy of the Learning Services program;
- questions about a student’s Learning Services program.
Contact the Anchor Teacher (Lower and Middle School) or Advisor (Upper School) with:
- questions about a student’s performance in any area (academic, athletic, social, or developmental), or patterns of behavior that are cause for concern;
- information about a student that will help teachers or coaches work more effectively with the student.
Contact the Division Head, Lower School, x6616; Middle School, x6625; and Upper School, x 6626; with:
- further questions after talking with the anchor teacher or advisor;
- questions about overall academic philosophy or curriculum of that division;
- questions about academic placement, scheduling, or testing.
Contact the Business Office, x6602 or x6615, with:
- a question about the financial aspects of a student’s attendance at Pike.
Contact the Advancement Office, x6601 or x6608, about:
- fundraising programs and special events at Pike;
- making a charitable gift to the School.
Contact the Director of Community Life, x6788, with:
- questions on matters of diversity, inclusion, and multicultural practices.
Contact the Head of School, x6611, about:
- any issue after the steps outlined above have been followed;
- school-wide policies.
The Pike School seeks to develop within its community a life-long love of learning, respect for others, the joy of physical activity and a creative spirit.
A Pike education is a journey that prepares students to be independent learners and responsible citizens.
We believe the potential within each of us deserves to be recognized and nurtured.
We believe students develop best when there is an active and willing partnership between school and family.
We believe that adults are important role models, guides, and mentors for students.
We believe the connections among teachers and students are most effective in small group settings.
We believe our curriculum teaches skills and strategies that foster the acquisition of knowledge, critical thinking, and creative problem solving.
We believe that an enriching, challenging, and supportive environment is necessary for personal development.
We believe that by recognizing, respecting, sharing, and appreciating our similarities and differences, we grow and flourish.
We believe that for students to become responsible global citizens, we must teach sound environmental stewardship of our earth and its resources.
We believe in fostering lifelong social, emotional, mental, and physical aspects of wellness through comprehensive programming to support the needs of the Pike community.
The Pike School strives to:
- Provide a supportive environment where the whole student is valued and has opportunities for success and is challenged as a scholar, citizen, artist and athlete.
- Each student at Pike School will generally be well known by adults in the community.
- At Pike School, students will be encouraged to have an age-appropriate understanding of his or her own learning profile in order to be a better learner.
- At Pike School, students will be encouraged to develop and use their own voices to be effective self-advocates and contributors to the community.
- Pike School will aim to create an environment where students feel safe to explore outside their own comfort zone, understanding that growth comes from reaching beyond what they believe is possible.
- Continually improve a curriculum that focuses on the whole student and imparts the tools needed to succeed in an ever-changing world.
- Attract, develop and retain a faculty and staff who are inspired by, and committed to, the School’s mission and uses assessment of student learning to improve instruction.
- Embrace and sustain an increasingly diverse community, where diversity in all its forms is cherished and celebrated.
- Provide a vibrant, supportive and inclusive environment for members of the Pike community.
- Earn the philanthropic support of parents, alumni, faculty/administration/staff, past parents, and friends to provide a lasting legacy for generations to come.
History of School
Cynthia E. Pike founded The Pike School in 1926. It was originally located in Mrs. Pike’s home and had an enrollment of six students. Today, Pike enrolls approximately 438 students and serves virtually all of the communities of the Greater Merrimack Valley.
The School was incorporated as a non-profit educational institution in 1944. Established on 35 acres at the Sunset Rock Road location in the early 1960s, three of the four major buildings were built in 1963; the gymnasium and six more classrooms were added in 1967. Two additional classrooms and the fine arts wing were added in 1985. The Horne Building, which houses a library/technology center and 11 classrooms, was dedicated in October 1998. Most recently, in 2008, the Dahod Center for Creative Learning was added, providing a state-of-the-arts theater, art and music classrooms, community spaces, learning services classrooms, gallery spaces, and a new, modern facade to the School.
The School admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religion, mental or physical disability, genetic information, gender identity or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religion, mental or physical disability, genetic information, gender identity or sexual orientation, or any other status protected by applicable law in the administration of its educational, admissions, financial aid, athletic and other policies and programs.
Character and Honor Code
Truthfulness and honesty in all personal and academic matters are fundamental expectations of the School. Courtesy is expected at all times. Respect for the rights and property of others is essential for the well-being of the community. Participation in formal occasions such as competitions, performances, dances, field trips, etc. requires that students maintain the School standard and that they be aware that their actions reflect on the reputation of their School community.
Students are expected to approach their academic work with the utmost care and integrity. Plagiarism, cheating, and other kinds of academic misrepresentation are regarded as serious breaches of conduct. As is appropriate to lower grade levels, each case is treated individually and with the potential for learning in mind.
No form of cheating, e.g., copying a friend’s homework or obtaining online translations, is acceptable at the School. Cheating undermines the integrity of the School’s mission toward providing an academically rich environment, and deprives students of the opportunity to demonstrate genuine mastery of the curriculum.
The School is dedicated to educating students in various ways about ethical and moral behavior. Plagiarism is perhaps one of the most important issues facing educators and their students today, for academic honesty is the currency of what we do together at School. Though the School’s philosophy emphasizes collaboration, the School also strives to teach students the importance of taking responsibility for their own work, and acknowledging when any work submitted is the result of collaboration.
For full descriptions of the School’s curriculum, we encourage you to visit the School’s website.
Teachers generally announce tests and other major assessments at least one week in advance. A student who finds him/herself in a situation where workload is abnormally high is encouraged to consult with his/her advisor.
Homework and Study Habits
It is important that students develop a responsible approach toward their homework, planning their time outside of school so that they complete their assignments to the best of their ability. The faculty ask that parents help in the planning by encouraging students to study in a quiet room and by discouraging television viewing, recreational computer use, and telephone calls during the school week.
In the event of a student’s absence from class, classroom teachers will coordinate with families/students to help them manage homework and classroom assignments.
If a family celebrates a holiday for which a student will miss School for religious observance and worship, the family/student is asked to contact the teachers at least one week in advance to coordinate appropriate support for the student. As a general practice, teachers try to avoid scheduling major activities, assignments or assessments on religious holidays. Long-term assignments (assignments scheduled before the day immediately preceding a holiday and due on a day other than the day immediately following a holiday) may be assigned.
Parents play a key role in helping students with organization and time management. Of course, students should complete the homework independently so teachers can accurately assess individual academic achievement and needs. The School anticipates that, at times, students will struggle with their homework. Below are a few ways for parents to support the students:
- Find a steady study spot. This should be the same spot each day, and if possible, outside the hustle and bustle of family life, with all the necessary materials on hand such as a dictionary, thesaurus, calculator, pencils, paper, graph paper, calendar, etc.
- Set a time. Work together to set and live with a definite study time.
- Diminish distractions. Television, telephone, family members, etc. can interrupt concentration.
- Build in a breather. Breaks can increase productivity. If necessary, use a timer to signal the beginning and the end of a break. Snacks are excellent study aides.
- Sharpen focus. Students should develop an awareness of time by estimating how long an assignment will take prior to starting it.
- Watch for homework overload. If the student seems to be overloaded, limit the student’s time-on-task and encourage the student to talk with or write to the teacher the following morning, explaining the problem.
- Stick to a regular bedtime. A good night's sleep enhances school success.
Active Studying and Homework Strategies for Students
- Organize, organize, organize. Write down your assignments, organize your school supplies as suggested by your teachers, and provide yourself with a consistent place to carry your completed homework to school for every subject. If you have a question about an assignment, call a reliable classmate.
- Skim over any reading assignment before reading it closely.
- Look it up, if you do not know the definition!
- Plan your time. If a teacher has given you three weeks to complete an assignment, work on it a little each day. Please do not leave it to the last minute.
- Learn to outline and to rely upon your outlines. The outline is a valuable tool for helping you to organize your thoughts and review material.
- Recite, describe, and explain aloud the topic in your own words.
- From memory, draw and label a diagram, map, sketch, or chart, and then check the information for accuracy.
- Write questions you think will be on a quiz and recite the answers aloud, make a list of important concepts, or write a set of flashcards. Flashcards may be especially helpful in memorizing metric and vocabulary stems, element symbols, Latin and Spanish.
- Practice, practice, practice. Just like sports, you can practice academics, especially math and science problems, or speaking in another language
- Enlist your family. Perhaps your parents will learn something new by quizzing you!
Grading System and Progress Reports
The Upper School uses a letter grading system that follows the scale below:
100 – 97
96 – 93
92 – 90
89 – 87
86 – 83
82 – 80
79 – 77
76 – 73
72 – 70
69 – 67
66 – 63
62 – 60
59 or below
Grades and Honors
The academic honor roll is generally completed at the end of each term. The requirements for achieving the honor roll are as follows:
- High Honors: An average of at least A- (10) with no grade lower than a B.
- Honors: An average of B- (7) or better, with no grade lower than C and not more than one grade lower than B-.
Please note: Averages are not rounded up.
Please also note: Ninth Grade humanities is weighted twice (English and social studies).
At Closing Exercises the following Academic Awards are presented to Upper School students:
Head of School Award: This award is presented to the eighth or ninth grade student who has exhibited unusual qualities of leadership in non-academic affairs while setting a high standard of scholarship.
A. Daniel Phelan Award: Awarded to a member of the eighth or ninth grade who has displayed the qualities which characterized Dan Phelan, a Pike teacher from 1990 – 1996: meeting life’s experiences with a positive spirit and good humor, thereby becoming an inspiration to all of us.
Nicholas Grieco Prize: This award honors one of Pike’s most generous, loyal families, who played an important role in creating this campus and who continue to be involved in the School. This prize is given to the ninth grade student who has achieved notable academic improvement and personal growth at Pike, and who has been a positive influence on his or her fellow students.
Alumni Prize: This prize was established to honor alumni of The Pike School. It is awarded to the student of the eighth grade who has achieved notable academic improvement, has demonstrated that he or she can assume responsibility, and has displayed friendliness toward the faculty and his or her fellow students.
Margaret J. Little Award: Margaret Little taught English at Pike and became the second head of our School. This award honors her and the eighth or ninth grade student best exemplifying the spirit of The Pike School: Integrity, Generosity, Thoughtfulness.
David A. Frothingham Award for Community Service: Established in 1994 to honor departing Headmaster David Frothingham, this award is presented to the eighth or ninth grade student who has contributed with distinction to the betterment of the School and/or the community.
Rebecca Shovan Alumni Arts Award: This award was established by the Alumni Council in honor of Rebecca Shovan for her 32 years of dedicated service. This award recognizes a graduating eighth grade Pike student (or students) who has demonstrated an exceptional passion and commitment to the arts through performance, music, or the visual arts, and whose enthusiasm, initiative and talent are an integral part of the Pike community as well as a source of inspiration for others.
At the Upper School Evening of Recognition, the following academic prizes and athletic awards are presented to Upper School students.
John Hopkins Award: John Hopkins taught and coached sports at Pike with great dedication for 18 years. This award honors him and seventh grade students who have shown extraordinary commitment to Pike athletics and who have been the ultimate team players.
Sally Bullard Award: Sally Bullard was a member of Pike’s physical education department for many years. This award recognizes the spirit that she encouraged in her students. It is awarded to sixth grade students for whom respect for others is a way of life, who have an unfailing regard for opponents, as well as teammates, and who participate in sport for the love of it . . . to the sound of cheering within.
Kerri Kattar Award: Established in memory of Kerri Kattar, a Pike graduate, this award reminds us of her great love for, and excellence in athletics. It is awarded to students who best exemplify Kerri’s athletic ability and personal characteristics: involvement in sports, enthusiasm, and assertiveness, meeting the athletic challenges posed by opponents and team competition.
The Boys and Girls’ Athletic Awards: Awarded to eighth or ninth grade boys and girls who best exemplify outstanding sportsmanship.
Alice L. Jablonski Science Prize: Alice Jablonski retired as Head of Upper School in 1986 after 18 years of dedicated service. This award celebrates her first love - science. She came to Pike as a science teacher and headed the department for many years. It is awarded to the eighth or ninth grade science student who has best employed the scientific method in the laboratory and has achieved a high level of scholarship.
English, History, Latin, Spanish, and French Prizes: These prizes recognize outstanding achievement by Eighth and/or Ninth Grade students.
Founder’s Award (The Cynthia E. Pike Award): Cynthia Pike, our School’s founder, was especially concerned that her students receive a strong grounding in mathematics. The Mathematics Department gives this award for an outstanding record in mathematics over a two-year period.
Teachers, along with the Head of School and the Administration, make the decision regarding a student’s placement and readiness to move from one level of the School to the next. A student must be deemed ready physically, emotionally, socially, psychologically, and academically, in the School’s sole discretion, in order to move to the next level.
Standardized tests are administered to all students in Grades three through seven. The Comprehensive Testing Program of the Educational Records Bureau (commonly referred to as the “ERB”) is given. Results are sent to parents by the School.
The School also administers the Secondary School Admissions Test (commonly referred to as the “SSAT”). Students in Grades seven and eight may choose to take this standardized test if they are considering attending a secondary school that requires testing for admission.
Secondary School Advising
Families receive assistance in identifying and selecting the appropriate secondary schools from the Secondary School Advising Team, starting with an introductory parent meeting in the spring of the seventh grade year. Parents considering independent secondary schools for students are encouraged to visit the schools during the fall of the student’s eighth or ninth grade years. These visits are considered excused absences from the School. Applications are usually made by January 15. During the eighth and ninth grade school year, assigned secondary school advisors generally meet with advisees to inform and support their application process. The Secondary School Advising Team also works with the Upper School faculty to send appropriate evaluations of students to the secondary schools.
Annually, in September, Pike hosts a secondary school fair, where admissions representatives from day and boarding schools are available to discuss their programs. This event is open to the public. In October, a panel of local secondary school admission officers meets with eighth and ninth grade Pike families to share perspectives upon types of schools, choosing a matching school, and the admission process. Beginning in the seventh grade, the School’s Secondary School Placement Coordinator assists students and families with this process.
Graduation provides a special opportunity for friends, relatives, and their extended family to celebrate the unique gifts of the graduating students. Graduation is a special, formal occasion. The Graduation date is published in the School calendar.
Effective education requires a safe and orderly environment for learning. The Pike School believes that members of its community should behave in a way that creates such an environment. The general principles of honesty, respect for others, and support of the rules of the community are the foundation of the School’s expectations for students. These concepts are discussed with students as part of the curriculum within advisor and anchor groups to make the School’s expectations as clear as possible and to encourage students to be the “responsible citizens” envisioned by the School’s mission statement.
Attendance and Absences
At Pike, excused absence is the unavoidable result of sickness, injury, or compelling family circumstances. Anticipated absences should be reported to the School in advance. Absences (regardless of cause) must be reported to the School. If Pike is not informed of an absence before 9 a.m. on a school day, a telephone call will typically be made to the parent. A student may not participate in after-school activities, unless he/she has been in school for a majority of the day. Upon return to school after an absence, a student is required to bring a note from his/her parents explaining the absence.
Students who are absent from school are responsible for homework assignments. Middle School parents are encouraged to request homework from a student’s anchor teacher. Books and assignments will be placed at the reception desk by dismissal time for parent pick-up. Upper School students should check “ebackpack” (accessible on the School’s website) for homework assignments.
The School discourages student absences as a result of family vacation trips. Parents are urged to respect the school calendar, which is published prior to the start of the school year. If, for any reason, parents anticipate an absence, they are required to call the appropriate Division Head as far in advance as possible to discuss the absence.
Medical and/or dental appointments should be scheduled after school hours.
Families who take a leave of absence from the School of a year or more are generally expected to apply to the School for readmission. The student will be considered on a space-available basis, as well as within the context and competition of the applicant pool for the student’s grade level. Strength of the applicant’s file is important, including a strong finish to the student’s last year at the School, as well as a strong record of academic performance and citizenship while the student is away. Ultimately, the School cannot predict the number of openings or competitiveness of applicant pools for specific grade levels, and given the School’s high enrollment, there is never a guarantee of readmission for the following year.
Students arriving late or leaving early are required to check in and out at the reception desk in the Main Office.
Security and Emergencies
The Pike School takes the safety of its students and the community very seriously. There are systems in place in the event of an emergency on campus, and regular drills are conducted to make all those on campus aware of the procedures.
Dress Code and Appearance
The purpose of the Pike School student dress code is to identify simple, neat and equitable standards of personal appearance that reflect the School’s high standards and positive attitude toward learning.
It is expected that all Pike students follow the dress code that applies to all students and to the dress code specific to their division. The dress code in Lower School is informal. Students in Middle School have a stricter dress code and students in Upper School have the most formal dress code. All Divisions have occasional dress-down days. On these days, the “dress-down day guidelines” apply.
Students and families are asked to comply with the spirit of the dress code, rather than find ways to challenge it. Faculty are committed to explaining and enforcing the School’s expectations for appropriate dress. Teachers review the dress code in anchor and advisor groups.
A student who is deemed to be in violation of the dress code will generally be issued a warning and be required to comply with the dress code. Parents will generally be notified of violations of the dress code.
Rules for All Students in All Divisions
(Please see Lower, Middle, and Upper School sections for additional requirements.)
Prohibited for all students:
- Hats in buildings
- Excessive jewelry, including, but not limited to, heavy chains/choke collars
- Jewelry associated with body piercing
- Outside coats in classrooms
- Untied shoelaces
- Open-backed footwear
- Ripped clothing
- Revealing clothing
- Clothing with inappropriate messages and pictures
Permitted for all students:
- Hats outside
- Ear piercing
- Clean, supportive shoes
- Clean, supportive sneakers
- Sandals with backs (Spring Break to Thanksgiving Break only)
- Shorts (Spring Break to Thanksgiving Break only)
Additional Rules for Lower School Students
Prohibited for Lower School students:
- Any type of blue denim clothing* worn indoors
* Sweatshirts and Jean jackets may be worn outside.
Permitted for Lower School students:
- Athletic Clothing (sweatpants, sweatshirts, gym shorts, team jersey, etc.)
- Any type of indoor clothing
- Pike School T-shirts
Additional Requirements for Lower School students: hats, mittens, coat or jacket, snow pants, and boots (all with student’s name written in them) are required to be worn at recess in winter.
The dress code in Middle and Upper School becomes a little more formal than Lower School. Please make note of the changes.
Students are expected to conform to the basic dress code standards for school-sponsored events. Dress for field trips will not change unless specifically directed otherwise. If a student has a question about a particular item of clothing, the student may bring the item to the advisor or anchor teacher to obtain advice on whether the item is appropriate.
Permitted for Middle and Upper School students:
Plain or patterned t-shirts and collared shirts or blouses with no insignias or insignias approximately 1 inch in size (Shirts must be long enough to cover one’s midriff.)
Plain shirts are preferable but often there are pictures on shirts. Please be sure the pictures are school appropriate and that there is no wording on the shirt.
Sweaters, and pullovers of wool, cotton, or fleece are acceptable
Clean, supportive sneakers and shoes
Mid thigh length skirts and dresses
Mid-thigh length shorts (or shorts with a 5 inch inseam) are permitted from Spring Break to Thanksgiving Break
Sweatshirts and jean jackets may be worn outside.
If (non-athletic) leggings are worn, the student must wear a shirt that reaches the top of one’s thighs (front and back).
Prohibited for Middle and Upper School students:
Athletic Clothing (athletic t-shirts, sweatpants, athletic leggings, sweatshirts, gym shorts, team jersey, etc.)
Any type of indoor clothing with large/bold writing (except Pike T-shirts)
Any type of indoor clothing with logos/insignias larger than approximately 1 inch in size
Any type of denim clothing* worn indoors
Hats in buildings
Outside coats in classrooms (including full-zip fleeces)
Platform shoes or sneakers, shoes with heels greater than 2” or open-backed shoes
Excessively tight clothing
Clothing with inappropriate messages and pictures
(MS Only) open-toed shoes
Middle and Upper School dress-down days, students in all divisions may wear denim clothing, athletic clothing and athletic t- shirts, if they so choose. Any messaging must be school appropriate. All other dress code standards apply. *Upper School students may wear hats in the classroom on dress-down days.
Students are not allowed to wear the following kinds of clothing during dress-down days:
Anything with inappropriate messages on it
Anything revealing (too short, too little coverage, too tight, etc.)
Ripped clothing or clothing with holes in it
Upper School Dances
The dress code is similar to dress-down days. However, for dances students are permitted to wear flip flops, spaghetti straps, and pajama pants. Students are not permitted to wear clothing that is revealing (too short, too little coverage, too tight, etc.).
Bullying, Cyber-bullying and Retaliation
The School is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all members of its community and one that is free from bullying and cyber-bullying. The School is also committed to clearly and promptly addressing any behavior that is impeding the learning of any student or interfering with the experience of any other member of the School community. The School expects that all members of the School community will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences.
The School’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan is an integral part of our efforts to promote learning and to prevent behavior that can impede the learning process. This Plan spells out the School’s comprehensive approach to addressing bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation as required by the law. Also, the School’s behavior code and expectations are clearly communicated in this Handbook and on the School website. Please refer to Appendix A of this Handbook and the School’s website to view the Plan in its entirety.
Through education and intervention, the School endeavors to maintain an environment that is free from sexual harassment. The School does not tolerate verbal or physical behavior that constitutes sexual harassment. Most unwelcome and/or harassing behavior results from ignorance and flirting or teasing that is not welcome or that becomes excessive. Being sensitive to other people’s feelings and communicating clearly are the best ways to prevent sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as behavior involving a single instance or repeated instances of inappropriate verbal and/or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Examples include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, touching, innuendo, and other conduct of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of 1) creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; 2) interfering unreasonably with a person’s academic performance; or 3) creating a situation where an evaluation of a student depends on his or her submitting to and/or not objecting to the behavior. Sexual harassment between students, and students and employees, is prohibited: it violates both state and federal law and also the School’s core values.
The School takes seriously all complaints of sexual harassment or retaliation, and will investigate each complaint thoroughly and promptly. A student or parent who wishes to report any alleged violation of the School’s sexual harassment policy, including any instance of sexual abuse, should contact the Head of School or any other administrator. The School may act unilaterally to end sexual harassment where such intervention is deemed warranted.
Hazing is defined as “any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person.” The School strictly prohibits hazing in any form, by any School group, team, club or organization. Hazing is also a crime prohibited by law in Massachusetts.
Each year, all ninth grade students who are members of groups or organizations at the School (including athletic teams), athletic coaches, and activity sponsors are required to acknowledge in writing that they have received a document summarizing the Massachusetts hazing law (please see Appendix B). All members of the School community are reminded that these laws include a requirement to report promptly any alleged incidents of hazing. Students are briefed on this matter during assemblies and team meetings.
Electronic Communications and Acceptable Use
Students at Pike are encouraged to become lifelong learners and competent users of technology and its resources. Beginning in Pre-K and continuing through Grade 9, students are encouraged to develop technology skills through exposure and experience in the classroom.
There are five mobile wireless laptop carts, and iPads in Lower School and Middle School classrooms. A wide variety of technology resources, such as digital cameras, Interactive White Boards, and LCD projectors are available to both teachers and students.
School computers provide access to local, national, and international sources of information via the Internet. Students are expected to remember that the principal purpose of any exchange of information within this community is for educational purposes and that any communication made to or from the School, with or without School-controlled equipment, must be made in a responsible, ethical and legal manner in alignment with Pike’s mission and values. Whether physically on campus or off campus, whether during the school day or at night, on vacation or at any other time while enrolled at the School, whether linked to the School’s network from in school or from a remote location or not at all, or using their own personal computer or communication device on or off campus, students are expected to comply with this Acceptable Use Policy and any applicable policies and procedures as long as they are enrolled at the School, as set forth in this Handbook and as further described below. Students, along with their parents, are asked to read, discuss and sign the School’s “Acceptable Use Agreement” to indicate their full cooperation with it.
The School has explicit guidelines for using computers and other electronic devices, both on and off campus, using the School’s network, and accessing the Internet. The School may monitor the activity and contents (including e-mail) of computers on campus and/or connected to the School’s network, to ensure student safety and that the guidelines are being followed. The School expects students and parents to adhere to the following guidelines.
- use technology for School work or class projects and assignments, at the teacher’s discretion;
- access the Internet with teacher permission to enrich learning related to School work; and
- use technology in ways directed by the teacher.
Students may not:
- post personal contact information about themselves or other people;
- access or try to access network resources not intended for them;
- share their passwords with anyone;
- alter electronic communications to hide their identity or impersonate another person;
- communicate with or make plans to meet a stranger;
- use inappropriate language or images in email, web pages, videos, or social networking sites;
- be disrespectful by talking or posting derogatory material (images, video, etc.) via email, social networking sites, live chat, web page, or any other method;
- engage in cyber-bullying, harassment or sexting, in violation of the School’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan and related polices as stated in this Handbook;
- access inappropriate information on the Internet such as (but not restricted to) sites that bypass filtering, promote hate or violence, gaming, or sites with sexually explicit or graphic, pornographic, or obscene material;
- plagiarize printed or electronic information; students must follow all copyright, trademark, patent and other laws governing intellectual property;
- install or download software on to School computers from the Internet, home, or by any other means; they may not remove network cables, keyboards or any other components unless expressly permitted by the School;
- create or use a mobile hotspot on the School campus.
- remove any School-owned computer equipment from the School;
- store personal files on the network, except in their own network user account; any information that a student leaves on a School-owned device may be deleted at any time, with or without notice.
- use cell phones or other personal electronic communication devices during the school day;
- disclose confidential or proprietary information related to the School, make public remarks that defame or disparage the School, its employees, its students or its interests, or that recklessly disregard or distort the truth of the matters commented on;
- access, change, delete, read, or copy any file, program, or account that belongs to someone else without permission;
- use the network for illegal or commercial activities;
- intentionally vandalize, steal, or cause harm to any School-owned equipment;
- deliberately disrupt or attempt to disrupt the software or hardware of the School network; or
- be “friends” with, or otherwise directly connected to, any School employee on any social networking site that is not used primarily for educational purposes [(e.g., Twitter is often used by both faculty and the Administration for educational and informational purposes)]. If a student is contacted by a School employee via non-School channels for non-educational purposes, the student should immediately notify his or her Anchor Teacher.
Students should understand that:
- the use of inappropriate language, harassment, and disrespectful comments in email, texting or a chat room, or on a website or social networking site from either inside and outside the School, and whether during the school day, after hours, or during vacation time, as long as a student is enrolled at the School, may result in disciplinary action;
- there is no guarantee of privacy associated with their use of the School’s technology resources. Students should not expect that email, voice mail or other information created or maintained on the School’s network or School-issued devices (even those marked “personal” or “confidential”) will be private, confidential or secure. The School has the right to access and monitor both student-owned and School-owned computers and communication devices connected to the School’s network. By accessing the School’s system, each student has consented to the School’s right to view and/or monitor the School’s network and all of its associated accounts;
- they will be held accountable for unattended accounts, and for use of their computer or communication device, if such equipment is left unattended and/or used by another individual.
- they are expected to read, understand and sign the Acceptable Use Agreement. Students should understand that students are responsible for following these rules. If a student does not follow these rules, and if use of technology on or off-campus negatively impacts the educational experience of a student enrolled at the School, the student may lose computer privileges and may face disciplinary action.
Parents should understand that:
- it is the responsibility of all parents to read this policy and discuss it with the student;
- teachers and administrators will strive to help students understand this policy at a level that is appropriate to their age and maturity; and
- if a student willfully damages the hardware or software of any School-owned technology, the parent will be responsible for paying for the repair or replacement of that technology.
The School may:
- access, view, monitor and track any information or communication stored on or transmitted over the School’s network, on or over equipment that has been used to access the School’s network, or School-issued devices, and under certain circumstances, it may be required by law to allow third parties to do so. In addition, others may inadvertently view messages or data as a result of routine systems maintenance, monitoring or misdelivery; and
- restrict the material accessed and not permit computers to be used for commercial purposes or for accessing inappropriate sites.
Security on any computer network is a high priority, especially when the system involves many users. If a student feels that he or she can identify a security problem on the Internet, the student must notify a system administrator. Students should not demonstrate the problem to other users. Attempts to log on to the Internet as anyone but the student himself or herself may result in cancellation of user privileges. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the School’s network.
Vandalism will result in cancellation of privileges and may result in disciplinary action. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, Internet, or other devices or networks. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading or creation of computer viruses, attempts at gaining unauthorized access, changing hardware or software settings, or changing online materials without permission.
Students are expected to assist in the enforcement of this policy. If a student suspects a violation of this policy, or if a student feels nervous or uncomfortable about another school community member’s use of technology, the student should immediately report his or her suspicions, feelings and observations to teacher, administrator or advisor at The Pike School.
Sanctions And Discipline
Students found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to discipline including, but not limited to, the loss of computer privileges, probation, and dismissal from the School. Some violations may constitute criminal offenses as defined by local, state and federal laws, and the School may initiate or assist in the prosecution of any such violations to the fullest extent of the law.
All parents with their child must read and co-sign an Acceptable Use Agreement (“AUA”) at the beginning of each school year. Please note that this policy and the AUA do not intend to create, nor do they create, a contract or part of a contract in any way, including but not limited to, between the School and any parent, guardian or student affiliated with or attending the School. The School may, in its sole discretion and without notice, to interpret, add, revise and/or delete School policies and procedures at any time, before, during and after the School year.
The School prohibits students from using technology devices (whether owned by the student or the School, and whether through use of the School’s network or outside of the School’s network, and whether used on or off campus) to send any written message or image that contains explicit representations or references to sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or nudity (commonly known as “sexting”). Massachusetts law prohibits anyone (regardless of age) from disseminating obscene or pornographic images of minors, and the School may contact law enforcement should any student violate this policy.
Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”)
There is no need for students in Grades PreK-5 to bring personal devices to school, as Pike provides adequate computing facilities for its students with, iPads and laptops. On a case-by-case basis, the School may recommend that a student be allowed to use personal electronic aids for his/her support in the classroom. Such accommodation is required to be informed by documented assessments of the student’s learning needs. The School will not be held liable for any loss/damage to these personal laptops/electronic devices. Please contact the Director of Learning Services for more details about this policy.
Students in Grades 6 - 9 will be required to own an iPad to use in the classroom to collaborate with students and teachers, conduct research, and complete homework assignments. Please see the 1-to-1 iPad Initiative on the School’s website for more information.
The school provides students with Google Drive accounts, which should be used only for School-related work, e.g., submitting homework and assignments, transferring files to and from School, etc.
Many classes require students to create online accounts for educational purposes. Examples include Edublogs, Glogster, and Evernote. Students should only create these accounts under direction from faculty at the Pike School.
Though we employ Internet filtering systems and virus protection software, the Pike School makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing. The Pike School will not be responsible for any damages or loss suffered by the users, including, but not limited to loss, damage or unavailability of data stored on Pike School’s systems and networks or for delays or changes in interruptions of service regardless of the cause. The Pike School is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its services. The Pike School will not be responsible for any and all claims, liabilities, demands, causes of action, expenses, or obligations of any kind, known or unknown, arising out of or in any way relating to the use of, or access to, the Pike School Network and resources.
The School understands the desire of students to use social networking websites, Internet bulletin boards, blogs, chat rooms, and other online resources or websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Shutterfly, Wikipedia) (collectively referred to as “Social Media”). Whether or not a student chooses to use Social Media is a decision the student should make in consultation with the student’s parents. However, to the extent that students, parents or members of the School community represent the School to each other and to the wider community, participation in such Social Media should be done responsibly with a mind toward how both the forum where one chooses to participate and the content posted reflect on that person individually and on the School. Moreover, issues concerning respect for the privacy of students, copyrights, trademarks, and confidentiality of sensitive information are all important to understand before participating in Social Media. With the foregoing in mind, the School encourages students and parents to create an atmosphere of trust and individual accountability when accessing Social Media and the School’s network. Students are expected to comply with the policies outlined in the School’s Acceptable Use Agreement regardless of whether they are using School-provided equipment or their own personal devices.
Cell Phones And Electronic Devices
Students needing to use a telephone should see their teacher. No cell phones or other personal communication devices are to be used during the school day. Parents may contact the receptionist with messages.
Use of Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco
A student may not buy, sell, possess, or use alcohol or other unauthorized drugs or substances, including tobacco and tobacco-related products (including e-cigarettes and vaping), and/or any paraphernalia associated with the use of illegal drugs and may not intentionally misuse products that can act as inhalants, while enrolled at the School. The School provides information to parents and students about the health and social impact of drug, substance, and alcohol use and abuse. All medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, must be handed in to the Health Office and dispensed by the School Nurse.
Parents’ Role In Alcohol/Drug Prevention
Parents are concerned about the use of alcohol and drugs by students and the social acceptability of its use. The following goals have been developed for parents as a guide for discussion and as a foundation for community agreement.
As parents we will:
- Become informed about the facts of alcohol and drugs so that we can discuss these substances credibly with our children.
- Develop and communicate to our children a clear position about alcohol and drug use.
- Promote and encourage social activities without alcohol and drugs.
- Not serve alcohol to other people’s children who are under the legal drinking age or allow under-age people to bring alcohol or drugs into our homes.
- Support school and law enforcement policies regarding the use of alcohol and drugs by young people.
- Request and endorse the implementation of comprehensive and meaningful alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs.
In addition we will:
- Take responsibility for our own children and be concerned for the welfare of the children of others.
- Set a responsible example for our children.
- Attempt to resist peer pressure and encourage our children to do likewise.
- Help our children develop healthy concepts of themselves and effective problem-solving, decision-making, and communication skills.
- Not sponsor or condone activities our children or we are unable to control (such as parties with limited or no adult supervision).
- Communicate openly with other parents to establish a sense of community and to provide support in giving consistent messages to our young people.
The division heads are available for discussions with parents and students on a variety of matters, including alcohol and drug-related issues. The School Consulting Psychologist is available for consultation with parents and students on a variety of issues, including drugs and alcohol.
The School treats the use of medical marijuana by students similarly to the way the School handles the use of other prescription medications: parental consent is required and the student must have a Medication Action Plan on file with the School Nurse covering the use of medical marijuana. Because the use of medical marijuana is subject to additional regulations beyond the regulations in place for the use of other lawful, prescription medications, students with a valid authorization to use medical marijuana must abide by the following rules:
- Students may only use medical marijuana in their homes or in a medical treatment facility that permits such use; students may not use medical marijuana or possess any related paraphernalia while on the School campus or while attending any School-affiliated or School-sponsored events, whether on or off campus.
If, in the School’s judgment, a student is impaired due to the influence of medical marijuana while at School or while participating in a School-sponsored or School-affiliated activity, the School may send the student home.
The School community encourages students to seek advice from adults. The faculty endeavor to foster an atmosphere of trust on campus and views student-faculty conversations as vital to that effort. Students should seek guidance from adults whose judgment they trust and respect. The School believes that students and faculty should be guided by their obligation to and respect for other members of the community in seeking the best possible help for themselves and others. Students and faculty should inform themselves fully about this policy and should make certain they understand the options contained in it.
In order to help a particular student obtain guidance in a non-disciplinary situation, a faculty member may initiate a conversation about a concern with a student and offer a non-disciplinary response. A student thus approached is under no obligation to offer information to the faculty member.
In a discipline case, there may be reasons for medical concern about a student who is involved in the disciplinary incident but who was not observed by a faculty member. (The term “faculty member” is here understood to include adults to whom supervision of School students has been assigned.) Information obtained from other students may be used to help such a student or students receive medical care. Students who receive such care will be offered assistance without disciplinary consequence, and their parents and advisers will usually be contacted. Students whose violation of school rules was discovered by a faculty member and who provide information in order to help other students will not be exempt from disciplinary consequences that arise from their own participation in the disciplinary incident.
A student may disclose to a faculty member information about an episode of drug or alcohol violation currently underway, involving him or herself or other students. No disciplinary consequences will result from that conversation, unless a faculty member has already observed or has obtained material evidence of a violation. The student or students involved will be referred to medical care. Parents and advisers will generally be contacted.
Students should be aware that the law may require notification of state and local authorities in specific cases, including those involving child abuse and neglect, even when the school offers a non-disciplinary response. Students may be subject to law enforcement investigation and response.
Students are not allowed to have items at School that pose risk to oneself or others or will disrupt some aspect of the School day (e.g., skateboards, bikes, roller blades, snowboards, matches, lighters, slingshots, water pistols, electronic games). If in doubt about whether something is allowed, we expect students to ask a teacher or the division head students are expected to exercise good judgment about such matters.
Unless authorized or permitted by applicable law, the School prohibits the possession of any firearm, imitation firearm, pellet gun, knife, tazer or other dangerous weapon, ammunition or fireworks on campus, on any School-sponsored off-campus trip or excursion, or in any school bus. This policy applies to students, faculty, staff, applicants, alumnae, parents and anyone else who enters the campus, regardless of whether the individual has a valid permit to carry a firearm.
Search and Seizure
Lockers are the property of the School. Students exercise control over their locker from other students, but not from the School and its officials. As a result, the Head of School and his designees, as well as law enforcement officials, have the right to search lockers to ensure School safety and the students’ welfare, including, without limitation, to determine if students are harboring stolen property, weapons, or illegal or dangerous substances, and School and law enforcement officials have the right to seize such items or other items that jeopardize the safety of the students or the building or constitute health hazards. The School also may conduct random searches of School lockers throughout the year. The School may also search students’ backpacks, purses and other similar items if the School suspects a student may be violating the law or breaking a School rule.
School Day Schedule
8 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. School Year
9 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. July and August
7:00 a.m. Buildings open
7:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. Early drop-in (for a fee)
7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Early drop-in (free)
Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 2:
8:15 a.m. - 3:05 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8:15 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Wednesday
Grades 3 – 5:
8:15 a.m. - 3:10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8:15 a.m. - 2:05 p.m. Wednesday
Grades 6 – 9:
8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8:15 a.m. - 2:10 p.m. Wednesday
Upper School Sports Practice:
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Wednesday
No Practice Thursday
School may be canceled in the event of inclement weather. Beginning around 6:00 a.m., announcements are made on the radio and TV stations listed below. A school closing announcement will also be on the School’s automated phone system (978-475-1197) and on the homepage of the School’s website by 6:00 a.m. We are also using the ALERTNOW Notification Service, which will call phones listed for each Pike family, in the event of closings or emergencies. Unless an announcement is made to the contrary, all scheduled after-school and evening events are canceled on days when school is canceled. Please remember that the Pike School operates independently of the public school system. There will be school at Pike unless the School’s name is mentioned specifically in the “no school” announcements by the media outlets below, and as described above.
- Fox 25 TV
- WCVB - TV Channel 5
- WBZ – TV Channel 4 and 1030 AM Radio
- WHDH - TV Channel 7
- WRKO - 680 AM Radio
Drop Off/Pick Up Procedures
Pike provides morning supervision of students on campus in the Dining Room for free after 7:30 a.m.
More than one hundred cars drop off and pick up students each day. The traffic flow may include commercial vehicles. The School’s access road must be kept clear for the movement of emergency equipment if necessary. Traffic must proceed in by the Sunset Rock Road entrance and exit by Hidden Road. Traffic is limited to one-way, exiting to Hidden Road only. With everyone’s cooperation, dismissal should be smooth and safe.
Students should be dropped off and picked up only at designated areas. Students should not walk down the line of waiting cars. Parents may not pick up their students off campus in the immediate residential areas. Parents are further reminded to respect the areas designated as faculty parking, handicapped parking, loading zones, visitor parking, admission parking and bus parking.
For the safety of the students, please refrain from the use of cell phones during drop-off and pick-up.
At drop-off and pick-up times, the roads and walks of the School are filled with students. Sunset Rock Road and Hidden Road carry heavy traffic to and from the School. To be courteous to our neighbors, to area residents, other motorists, and, above all, for the safety of students, it is necessary that everyone comply fully with traffic regulations and exercise particular caution and alertness when driving in the area of the School and in the parking lot.
Permission for change in transportation arrangements, dismissal times, etc., requires a telephone call to the Main Office from parents or a note sent directly to the anchor teacher/advisor.
Late Pick-Up Fee:
Students may not remain on campus unsupervised after 3:45 p.m. (2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays). Students who remain at school after normal dismissal hours must be enrolled in either sports or Flex Day. If students are not picked up by these times, the following fees will generally be charged:
- $25 between 3:45 - 4:00p.m. and Wed., 2:30 - 2:45p.m.
- $25 between 4:00 - 4:30p.m. (plus $25 late fee) = $50
- $45 between 4:30 - 6:00p.m. (plus $25 late fee) = $75
- $60 between 3:30 - 6:00p.m. (plus $25 late fee) = $85
- Wed: $25 between 2:45 - 3:30p.m. (plus $25 late fee) = $50
Flex Day Program
The Flex Day Program offers an extension of the regular school day. Running from 3:05-6:00 p.m., except on Wednesday, when it runs from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m., the Flex Day program offers relaxing, loosely-structured group and individual activities for Lower and Middle School students.
Middle and Upper School students may participate in the Flex Day Study Hall from the close of school until 6:00 p.m. This program provides a quiet study but allows students some “down time” to participate in other supervised recreational activities. Flex Day is also available on most early dismissal and faculty professional days. To enroll your child for in the 2018-19 year on a contract basis, please click here. You can learn more about the After-School Flex program here. There you will find the instructions and more detailed information.
Single day “drop-in” is available if space allows, but only by emailing the program director at email@example.com or by calling the front desk office assistants at the main phone number 978-475-6634 press 0. This reservation must be made 24 hours in advance.
We encourage families to carpool. To sign up or see who is interested in carpooling in your neighborhood, please refer to the “carpooling made easy” section on our website.
The Town of Andover provides bus transportation for Andover residents. Pike provides the town with a list of Pike’s Andover residents, from which the town develops bus routes. There is a transportation user fee for students in grades 7–9. Questions should be addressed to the Town of Andover’s Transportation Coordinator at (978) 247-7065.
Food at School
Students are allowed snacks at a designated time. Every student is to supply their own snack. A well-balanced lunch and salad bar are provided for all students.
Students are expected to participate in the school lunch program unless there is a medical or religious reason for non-participation. A letter stating the medical or religious reason must be on file with the School Nurse each year. Except for approved special occasions, students may not bring candy, gum or soda to school or on field trips.
The Pike School is accredited by the Association of Independent Schools in New England and is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.
The School is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. It is the responsibility of this body to plan, develop, and establish policy and to assess the performance of the School consistent with the School’s Mission and philosophy. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the selection of the Head of School and works in close collaboration with the Head of School, though the Head of School is responsible for the implementation of policy and the day-to-day operations of the School.
For a list of the School’s current Trustees, please visit the School’s website.
Teachers and parents share a common interest in the well-being and growth of students. One of the values in The Pike School mission statement says, “We believe children develop best when there is an active and willing partnership between school and family.” Pike is committed to close communication between home and school. Scheduled opportunities exist for parents to learn about student progress and program. The following lists of expectations, contacts, and scheduled events are intended to create an effective communication system.
Principles of Good Communication
- Good communication is direct (to the person involved). It is fine to disagree in a respectful manner.
- It is important to honor confidentiality. It is helpful to use “I” statements.
- It is most effective to talk when both parties have the time to fully discuss the issues at hand. Only scheduled meetings provide the opportunity for such focus.
Parents at The Pike School are expected to:
- Keep abreast of school events, schedules and news;
- Sign in at the front desk when visiting the School: and wear your nametag while visiting the school;
- Respond promptly to calls from School;
- Schedule teacher meetings and classroom visits in advance to avoid interrupting classes;
- Refer to the contact list with questions;
- Bring questions or concerns directly to the appropriate person at School; and
- Attend Back-to-School Night and parent conferences.
- Contact the front desk, along with your child’s teacher if they are going to be absent, late or dismissed for that day.
Parents at The Pike School can expect the following:
- Calls or email will typically be returned within 24 hours from when a Pike teacher or staff member receives the message.
- On Back-To-School Nights, teachers will provide parents with the most effective way to contact them.
- Emergencies will be dealt with upon notification of the receptionist at the front desk.
- The School will contact parents when faculty or staff see behavior that is cause for concern.
- The School will respect the privacy of members of the community and will share sensitive information on a “need to know” basis (for more information on the School’s approach to confidentiality, please see below).
The School wants to be alerted to any concerns a parent may have.
Current Family Contact Information/Directory
Parents are requested to keep their Directory listing updated by entering changes of address; home, business, and cell phone numbers; email addresses; and other such information, in their Veracross Parent Portal account.
This Directory is provided for the use of The Pike School Community and should be used for school purposes only. It is not to be used for personal, individual or group solicitation. Please do not use this publication for any purpose unrelated to The Pike School.
Student Media Information
The School makes a concerted effort to highlight the accomplishments of our students and faculty, as well as to publicize the strength of the entire program offered by the School, in a variety of media formats. Student Media Information--including student names, photographic images (for example, portrait, picture, video, or other reproductions), audio recordings of students’ voices, video recordings of students and/or reproductions of students’ work and likenesses--may be used for educational and/or promotional purposes in print and electronic media. Outlets for publication of Student Media Information may include, but not be limited to, the School magazine, marketing materials, the School website, newsletters, and local newspapers. The School adheres to the following general guidelines when using Student Media Information:
- Photographs or references to Student Media Information in traditional, print publications, such as our yearbook and School publications, may include the first and/or last names of students and community members.
- Photographs or references to Student Media Information on the public portion of our website will not include last names.
- The School will not post student names on social media websites.
Religious and Cultural Observances
Requests for homework accommodations, due to religious observances or essential family events, should be put in writing to a student’s anchor teacher or Advisor, at least one week prior to the event.
In order for the School to most effectively communicate with parents and support each student, it is important for teachers and administrators to be aware of students who spend time in multiple households. Please be sure to communicate to the School about primary caregivers in the event of an emergency, and whether special co-parenting arrangements exist. If there are court-ordered guidelines regarding visitations, picking up a student from School, parent involvement in field trips or other issues, please include the School in your communication loop. These situations can be stressful for parents and confusing for students, and your help in minimizing the School’s phone calls to you for clarification is very important. Unless otherwise specified, each parent for whom the School has current contact information will receive a copy of the student’s report card as well as other informational mailings and electronic communications during the year.
With student safety as a priority at the School, the School conducts state and national criminal history and sex offender registry checks on all current and prospective faculty, staff and trustees of the School who may have “direct and unmonitored access to children,” including any individual who regularly provides school-related transportation to students.
The School requires any volunteers who will work independently with students to undergo a state criminal background check or “CORI” (Criminal Offender Record Information) and a state sex offender registry check or “SORI” (Sexual Offender Registry Information) (SORI). It is also School policy to require that volunteers with direct and unmonitored access to students undergo a fingerprint-based check, which is run through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and provides access to national criminal history databases. A background check is typically not necessary for parent volunteers involved with larger School functions at which many adults are typically present or in instances where there is only the potential for incidental unsupervised contact with students in commonly used areas of the School grounds.
These background checks require the completion of a brief application form and verification of a government-issued photographic identification, and are only conducted with the consent of an individual employee or volunteer. A volunteer’s service, and an individual’s employment, is contingent upon successful completion of the checks, which may take several days or weeks to process.
Completed CORI and fingerprint-based check forms must be returned to the Business Office at least two weeks in advance of volunteering.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students
The School strives to provide a safe and supportive environment that will help students succeed academically and socially. To that end, the School promotes respect for all people, and will not tolerate harassment or bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity that impacts a student’s experience at the School (whether the bullying or harassment takes place on or off campus), including cyber-bullying through the use of electronic technology (on or off the School’s campus, and on or off the School’s network). Particularly with respect to transgender and gender non-conforming students, the School will work closely with students and their families to strive to honor their wishes with respect to use of School facilities, participation in athletics, accuracy of student records, use of preferred name and pronouns, and privacy, in accordance with applicable law, and to the extent that the School’s campus facilities reasonably permit.
Students enrolled at the School from countries outside of the United States are required to ensure that their visas, health insurance coverage, and all other requirements applicable to domestic students (including vaccinations and completion of all enrollment and orientation forms) are in order prior to arriving on campus at the beginning of the school year. International students are also responsible for ensuring that their travel arrangements coincide with the school calendar. The School is not responsible for housing international students.
Visitors to Campus
For the safety of our students, our Visitor Pass policy includes parents, family members, alumni, and visitors from outside of the School community. Upon arrival, all visitors are requested to check in with the Main Office to obtain a Visitor’s Pass. Special events for an entire class and all School meetings are exceptions to this policy.
Pets on Campus
Family pets need to be left at home at all times for health and safety reasons. They should not be in attendance during the School day, or at special occasions. If a student wishes to bring a family pet for Show and Tell, a brief visit can generally be accommodated. Parents need to discuss the visit ahead of time with the teacher and, if approved, remain with the animal at all times. No matter how gentle and beloved, we do not want a dog, cat, ferret, bird, or any other pet introduced into a classroom, hallway, or play area where a student may have severe allergies or fears that can be triggered by the presence of animals.
Students’ records are kept on file at the School. Each student’s record contains a transcript with grades, commendations, test scores, formal academic, athletic and advisor comments, advisor letters, and letters involving any major discipline infractions.
Lost and Found
Please be sure to mark students’ clothes with the student’s name in indelible ink or with sewn-on labels. All unmarked clothing will be put into the lost and found box. Anything left unclaimed will be donated to charity during December break, March break, and one week after school commences in June.
Over the years, we have heard that some families were looking for guidelines about gift giving. We understand that each family may have its own feelings about giving gifts, and in a school as diverse as ours, we thought it would be helpful to present some suggestions. We offer them respectfully with the hope that they are helpful.
The most important fact is that gifts at any time of year are not an expectation of the faculty or staff. We understand that some families may have the desire to give a gift at a time of year that is significant to them, while other families, for all kinds of good reasons, choose not to do so. We want to repeat that no family at Pike should ever feel that gift giving is required or expected.
If a family chooses to show their thanks to a particular teacher or other staff member, parents should know that personal notes are highly valued. Another possibility could be a donation to a favorite charity in honor of that person. If a family chooses to give a gift, we strongly suggest that its financial worth be modest. We believe it is the act of showing gratitude that is of value rather than the value of the gift itself.
Please be aware that faculty make it a point to avoid opening gifts in front of their classes. We want to be sure that no student feels any pressure to give a gift or to worry that their gift might not be as nice as another.
The faculty and staff of Pike want all families to know how much they appreciate the innumerable ways that the Pike community supports them in their work with students.
Questions about this policy should be directed to the Head of School or the President of the Parents Association.
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
This notification is required by the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA, 40 CFR Part 763 of Title II of the Toxic Substances Control Act). Asbestos Management Plans have been developed for the School. These plans are available and accessible to the public at the School’s Physical Plant Office.
This notification is required by law and should not be construed to indicate the existence of any hazardous conditions in our school buildings.
Birthdays & Parties
Small celebrations may be arranged in conjunction with the student’s classroom or homeroom teacher. If a student is planning a birthday party or another type of gathering outside of regular School hours, we encourage parents to be sensitive to the feelings of classmates. Parties that include all the boys, all the girls, or the entire class are preferable to parties in which one or two students have been excluded. As a general rule of thumb, we respectfully but earnestly request that students invite either less than half or the entire group to parties. We also ask that invitations, cards, and the like not be distributed in School unless they are distributed to the entire class.
School Trips and Chaperones
The School offers a variety of field trips during the school year. Parents/guardians are notified of upcoming trips off campus. All School trips should be alcohol, drug, and tobacco free. Students participating in School trips are required to comply with all applicable School rules and all applicable laws.
Parents chaperoning any School trips are expected to review and follow the Chaperone Guidelines listed below.
- Each off-campus trip will be led by a Trip Leader, who is a faculty member of the School.
- Chaperones should keep in mind that his/her appearance and conduct as well as that of the other chaperones and students may affect the reputation of the School. Chaperones are expected to comply with School policies and applicable laws, follow the directions given by the Trip Leader, work cooperatively with other chaperones, and model appropriate behavior for students.
- Chaperones will likely be assigned to a specific group of students for which chaperones will be responsible. Chaperones are to remain with their group for the entirety of the trip.
- Chaperones are responsible for the safety and well-being of the student participants and the quality of their educational and social experience at all times during the trip.
- Chaperones are required to have a working, charged cellular telephone with them and the phone is required to be turned on at all times during the trip.
- Students are required to use the buddy system. No student should be permitted to leave the group and no student should ever be left behind during the trip.
- Chaperones are required to report any student complaints to the Trip Leader, including complaints of bullying, sexual assault, abuse, harassment or discrimination.
- Chaperones are required to report any student or chaperone misconduct to the Trip Leader. If a chaperone is unsure whether certain conduct is a violation of School rules, chaperones are expected to report it to the Trip Leader. If a chaperone believes that the Trip Leader has engaged in misconduct, please notify the Head of School.
The following rules apply at all School-sponsored dances:
- Once they arrive at a dance, students are required to stay in the designated area.
- Faculty representatives will be present at the dance and will be in charge at all times.
- Students may not leave the dance before it is over unless accompanied by a parent/guardian or other authorized person.
- Students may not leave a dance early and then return.
- Students that bring a guest must obtain prior approval from their Division Head and introduce the guest to a chaperone upon arrival.
- Parents are expected to pick-up students promptly once the dance concludes.
The Pike School Library supports the school's mission to develop a love of learning in our community. We strive to connect books with readers, and to help students, teachers, and parents find and use information resources effectively.
The library’s programs and services are grounded in The Pike School's mission statement, the current national standards of the American Association of School Librarians, and the work of thought leaders in the field of diverse and inclusive literature for children.
We further these principles by:
- Providing access to a wide variety of resources in many formats and from a range of viewpoints, to support learning and to inspire the imagination.
- Working in partnership with faculty to support and enhance teaching and learning.
- Promoting reading as a way to learn about ourselves and others, and as a way to see our own experiences reflected in literature.
- Teaching critical thinking skills to develop independent learners and responsible information users.
The library is staffed by two professional librarians with the assistance of a part-time instructional librarian.
Library Hours and After-School Availability
The library is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. (2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays). After school, Flex program staff supervise enrolled students. Parents and caregivers are welcome to accompany and monitor Pike students for quiet study. All students must be either enrolled in Flex or supervised by an adult.
Library Programs and Services
Lower and Middle School students have regularly scheduled classes in the library. Our youngest students enjoy a story and choose books to take home. In grades three through five, students are encouraged to learn to use the library’s resources more independently. Students become comfortable with our online resources and hone their critical thinking skills. We also nurture enthusiasm for literature, engaging students with projects such as readers’ theater and Mock Caldecott elections. The library is an integral part of the literacy curriculum, providing specialized readers’ advisory services and additional times for class visits. Upper School students visit the library to work on class projects in many different content areas and to choose free reading material. Upper School students are also able to use the library for relaxation during selected recess times.
There are many opportunities for students at all levels to develop as effective users and creators of information. From grade two research on animals to the grade eight history research paper, students are supported by librarians and teachers working together. For many class units and assignments, librarians create resource guides, customized collections of online resources to give students accessible and reliable information.
The library houses a print collection of about 18,000 volumes, comprised of reference works, non-fiction, picture books, early readers, fiction, and magazines, searchable through an online catalog. The online collection includes a suite of reference and periodical databases, and Overdrive, an e-book and digital audio platform. In addition, a collection of Nook e-readers are available for loan to students in grades three and up. Access to all resources is through the library’s website.
Students are encouraged to visit the library often to check out books for reading pleasure or for researching school assignments. Materials may be renewed, unless another patron has reserved them. Students are expected to be responsible for materials and will be asked to replace lost or damaged items.
- Lower School students may borrow one to four books at a time, depending on their grade level.
- Middle and Upper School students may borrow unlimited numbers of books as long as their account is in good standing.
Volunteers provide essential support for the library program. Parents assist with circulation, shelving books, and special projects. Lower School parents also have opportunities, through their class parent, to be a “check-out helper” when their child’s grade visits the library.
The annual Book Fair, held in November with the help of the Parents Association and Best Book Fairs, celebrates reading and raises funds for annual author visits. Past authors and illustrators have included Joseph Bruchac, Jarrett Krosoczka, Grace Lin, Mitali Perkins, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Melissa Stewart, and Matt Tavares. The Reading Without Walls challenge each spring invites our whole community to broaden their horizons by reading and sharing books and topics new to them.
Birthday Book Program
Through this program, students may select a book of their choice to be given to The Pike School Library in honor of their birthday. A book plate with their name and birthdate is placed in the front of the book. The librarians are happy to make suggestions based on current needs, but ultimately, the choice is the family's.
Eligibility and Participation
Students are required to have on file a medical form completed and signed by a medical doctor stating that the student is physically fit to participate in physical education classes and athletics. No student will be allowed to participate until this form is on file. Students must be in School for the majority of the school day to be eligible for participation in athletics and all extracurricular activities. Students should keep this in mind when scheduling appointments.
Members of Pike sports teams are expected to make a commitment to their team and to participate in the scheduled games and practices. Only one absence per week is permissible, unless it is due to illness. Members of Pike sports teams are required to notify their coach in advance if they need to miss a game or practice. It is important to look at the entire game schedule on the Pike website at the beginning of the season, to avoid any last minute absences, which may then lead to cancellations of competitions. To help to ensure the safety of athletes, if an athlete is absent and did not tell the coach, a phone call will generally be made home to make sure the parent knows that their son or daughter is not at a game or practice.
Physical education is an integral part of the School’s curriculum and is designed to provide optimum growth and development for each student. Therefore, every student is expected to participate. A student who is ill or injured will be excused only if the student has a note from home, the School Nurse, or a doctor.
Students are responsible for having appropriate and necessary clothing and sneakers for each class. All clothing should be labeled with the student’s name. Each Upper School student will be issued a locker for which the student is responsible and encouraged to use.
Pike School athletes are expected to maintain good sportsmanship at all times. Opposing team players and officials are expected to be treated with respect. It is important to represent Pike in a positive manner.
The School also encourages parents to act in a sportsman-like manner. As such, the School hopes parents will:
- Realize that athletics are part of the educational experience, and the benefits of involvement go beyond the final score of a game;
- Encourage students to perform their best, just as we would urge them on with their class-work, knowing that others will always turn in better or lesser performances;
- Participate in positive cheers and encourage our athletes, and discourage any cheer that would redirect that focus;
- Learn, understand and respect the rules of the game, the officials who administer them and their decisions;
- Respect the task our coaches face as teachers, and support them as they strive to educate our youth;
- Respect our opponents as students, and acknowledge them for striving to do their best;
- Remember that we would all like to be victorious in every situation we face in life, but just like in athletic competition, sometimes we fall short.
Interscholastic Athletic Programs
The School offers the following team sports:
Sports Clothing and Equipment
- Each team member is responsible for bringing a water bottle to games and practices. It is important to stay hydrated.
- Coaches will distribute uniforms once team rosters have been made.
- No students are allowed to take uniforms out of the storage boxes. It is the athlete’s responsibility to bring their uniform to every game.
- Uniforms may only be worn for Pike games, not PE class, practice, or any time outside of school.
- Uniforms must be returned promptly at the end of the season. If a uniform is lost, the athlete is expected to pay for the cost of a replacement uniform.
Medical and Other Excuses
A note from home should support excuses from physical education.
Head Injury/Concussion Policy
Students (and a parent) must complete an online concussion course before they are allowed to participate in Pike sports.
A “concussion” is a complex disturbance in brain function, due to direct or indirect trauma to the head, related to neurometabolic dysfunction, rather than structural injury. A concussion can occur with or without a loss of consciousness, and proper management is essential to the safety and long-term future of the injured individual. A “head injury” is a direct blow to the head or indirect trauma to the head including a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Most athletes who experience a concussion can recover completely as long as they do not return to play prematurely. The effects of repeated concussions can be cumulative, and after a concussion, there is a period in which the brain is particularly vulnerable to further injury. If an athlete sustains a second concussion during this period, the risk of permanent brain injury increases significantly.
As such, the guidelines outlined below should be followed to ensure that students are identified, treated, and referred appropriately, receive appropriate follow-up care during the school day, and are recovered prior to returning to full activity. For questions or concerns at any time, please contact the Athletics Office.
Concussions and other brain injuries can be serious and potentially life threatening. If managed properly, most athletes can enjoy long careers in sports after a concussion. Research indicates that these injuries can also have serious consequences later in life if not managed properly. The School has developed procedures to help to ensure the safety and well-being of student athletes.
A concussion occurs when there is a direct or indirect injury to the brain. As a result, transient impairment of mental functions such as memory, balance/equilibrium, and vision may occur. It is important to recognize that many sport-related concussions do not result in loss of consciousness and, therefore, all suspected head injuries should be taken seriously. Coaches, parents and fellow teammates can be helpful in identifying those who may potentially have a concussion, because a concussed athlete may not be aware of his or her condition or may be trying to hide the injury to stay in the game or practice.
Signs and Symptoms
An athlete may report one or more of the following symptoms: Headache or “pressure” in head; double or fuzzy vision; dizziness; tinnitus (ringing in the ears); nausea; just doesn’t “feel right;” sensitivity to light and/or noise; feeling sluggish, foggy, or groggy; concentration/memory problems; and/or confusion.
One or more of the following symptoms may be observed in the athlete: Loss of consciousness; appears dazed or stunned; moves clumsily; unsure of score, opponent, date, etc.; cannot recall events prior to incident; cannot recall events after incident; answers questions slowly; confused about what to do—assignments, position, etc.; forgets an instruction; shows mood, behavior, or personality changes. The School recommends that an athlete should receive prompt medical attention for the following dangerous symptoms of a concussion. These include any of the following:
- Loss of Consciousness
- Convulsions or seizures
- One pupil is larger than the other
- Difficulty recognizing people or places
- Extreme drowsiness or cannot be awakened
- Any weakness or numbness
- Headache worsens or does not go away after 24 hours
When a student-athlete shows any signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion, the athlete is expected to be promptly removed from practice or competition and evaluated by the athletic trainer and/or the student’s healthcare provider. It is recommended the student be evaluated by a health care specialist with experience in the evaluation and management of concussion.
- A student-athlete diagnosed with a concussion is expected to be withheld from the competition or practice and not return to activity for the remainder of that day.
- Parents/Guardian should be notified at once.
- The student-athlete should be monitored for signs of deterioration.
- The student-athlete should be evaluated by a concussion specialist or if at school, by the School athletic trainer.
- Return to play will typically follow a medically supervised stepwise process which should be initiated by the concussion specialist in communication with the athletic training staff.
Post-Concussion – Return To Play
The athlete must meet all of the following criteria in order to progress to activity:
- Symptom-free at rest and with exertion (including mental exertion in school).
- Have written clearance from the appropriate health care provider.
Concussion Prevention Measures
Make sure that helmets are fitted properly.
- Make sure that athletes are wearing properly fitted mouth guards during all practices and games.
- Practice correct hitting, tackling and soccer heading techniques.
- An athlete should not return to athletic activity if he/she has any symptoms at rest and/or with exertion.
Second-Impact Syndrome (SIS) results from an acute brain swelling that occurs when a second concussion is sustained before complete recovery from a previous concussion. Athletes who have mild symptoms or symptoms that have cleared are still at risk for developing brain swelling after a second impact to the head. It is important to note that virtually all of the second-impact syndrome cases that have been reported have occurred in adolescent athletes.
Please refer to the Athletic Calendar on the School’s website which is updated regularly, or check the website for last minute changes due to weather and daily events. Decisions are made by 1:00 p.m.
Violations of the School’s rules are handled on an individual basis, according to the specifics of the infraction. Faculty are encouraged to resolve minor offenses as they occur, in a manner they deem appropriate. For continued minor offenses or more serious offenses, teachers typically work with the appropriate Division Head to plan a course of action. Informal disciplinary responses may include detention, student/teacher conferences, parent/student/teacher conferences, or conferences with the appropriate Division Head or Head of School (or his designee) in the School’s sole discretion.
Consequences of misconduct (and/or attempting misconduct) applicable to all students are detailed below. Students who choose to remain present when other students are engaging in misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action. The School may, in its sole discretion, contact parents to address both minor and more serious instances of misconduct, at any stage of the discipline process.
The ultimate responsibility for the safe and orderly environment of the School rests with the Head of School (or his designee). Any questions about serious incidents or the School's disciplinary response to those incidents should be directed to the Head of School (or his designee).
More serious offenses warrant more serious discipline. Serious offenses include (but are not limited to) cheating and plagiarism, physical violence, harassment, possession or use of drugs (including alcohol and tobacco), theft, vandalism, misuse of the Internet, stealing etc. which may result in an in-school, all-day detention, suspension, probation or dismissal in the School’s sole discretion. In these instances, the parents and student are generally required to meet with the Division Head and Head of School (or his designee). At that meeting, the incident will be reviewed and the disciplinary response explained.
Students who have engaged in a serious act of misconduct (as determined in the sole discretion of the Head of School) may be suspended from School, prohibited from attending all School-related activities, or expelled from School. As indicated above, such serious acts of misconduct may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Possession or use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs;
- Improper sexual conduct;
- Sexual or other harassment;
- Threat or use of physical violence;
- Possession or use of matches, lighters, fireworks, explosives, weapons or other dangerous materials;
- Reprehensible conduct tending to reflect serious discredit to the School;
- Willful destruction of property;
- Bullying or malicious gossip;
- Repeated acts of unkindness or misconduct;
- Repeated classroom behavior that impedes other students’ learning.
Upper School students who commit minor deportment violations are generally subject to a detention. Detentions are generally served as soon as possible after the incident, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., and take precedence over any other school activity. Parents will be contacted.
A student who violates a school rule may be placed on probation, in the School’s sole discretion. While on probation, any further violation of a school rule will likely result in suspension or dismissal.
In-School, All-Day Detention
Upper School students who commit serious offenses, as determined in the School’s sole discretion, may receive an all-day detention. This type of detention involves a student being isolated on campus, for one day, to write a detailed explanation of the incident and to answer, in writing, other questions related to his/her behavior at school. Students will be required to do pertinent academic work, including taking any quizzes or tests assigned for that day. Students will not participate in after school Pike activities. Depending on the circumstances, a student may be placed on probation for a period of time following this type of detention.
An out-of-school suspension involves a student being barred from the campus and all School events for a specific amount of time. The family is responsible for carrying out the plan prescribed by the School, so that a student out on suspension still meets the student’s academic responsibilities in a timely and complete manner. Students in this category will likely be placed on probation for at least the remainder of the academic year, and possibly for the following academic year (or some portion thereof).
A student will generally be dismissed for a major violation of school rules or when he/she represents a threat to the safe and orderly environment for learning. Students who are dismissed from School will generally be prohibited from being on School grounds and will generally not receive academic credit for the time after which they are expelled. Nonetheless, and in most circumstances, the School will work with the family to facilitate a change to a different school.
Disciplinary matters and student issues are handled directly by teachers, administrators, and appropriate staff. If a student is having an issue with another student, parents should not attempt to deal with the other student directly about that matter. Doing so may put a student in an intimidating situation and is best resolved, when appropriate, through a School administrator. Please speak to the appropriate School administrator for guidance with respect to any questions about contacting another student or parent about a School-related matter.
Behavioral Expectations While Away From School
Students should be aware that they represent the School community at all times, both on and away from campus. While it is not the School’s intention to monitor students in all of their off-campus activities, the School may take disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal, in response to inappropriate conduct occurring outside of campus.
Disclosure to Next Schools
If a student applying to secondary school, or who has recently been accepted to attend a different school, is suspended or expelled, or experiences any significant change in status at the School after the student’s applications have been submitted to secondary or other schools, it is the obligation of the student and the student’s parents to contact all such secondary or other schools to inform them of the incident. The School may, in its sole discretion, also communicate with each secondary or other school regarding the situation. The School will generally work closely with students and families to support the honest reporting of disciplinary matters, in order to support student success at next schools.
School Nurse and Illness
A School Nurse is on duty each day during school hours. She is responsible for the treatment of minor health problems, the dispensation of prescription and over-the-counter medications, communication with parents and maintenance of required health records. Many of the faculty and staff are CPR/first aid certified. Basic first aid (band aids, antiseptic, ice, etc.) is provided for minor problems occurring during the school day. Health-related questions should be addressed to the health office by calling the School Nurse at ext. 6607.
In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for students and staff, please do not send students to school with any of the following: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, persistent cough, profuse discolored discharge from nose or eyes. Students who develop a fever of 100.0 degrees F or greater, vomiting, or diarrhea will be sent home. Students must be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to school. Parents are expected to notify the School if their child contracts a contagious illness such as strep throat, chicken pox, or head lice.
Field Trips and Nurses
When students go on a day field trip, parents are responsible for arranging to meet the anticipated medical needs of students off campus. Parents may accompany students on these field trips or designate a representative in their place after passing a background check. Teachers will give families advanced notification of the dates of these trips to provide time for arrangements to be made.
Pike will evaluate the medical needs of the students within the context of each overnight field trip, and then determine whether a nurse is necessary on the trip.
Medications at School
The School will not administer medicine (both prescription and over-the-counter) without authorization from a physician and parent. Medications must be delivered to the nurse’s office by a parent or guardian. Medication must be in a container labeled by the pharmacist or in its original container. The School Nurse, or School personnel who have been designated and trained in accordance with the School’s policy regarding delegation of prescription medication administration, will administer all medications. Medications should be picked up at the end of the school year. Any medications left after one week of School closure in June will be destroyed. As stated above, medications will not be dispensed from the nurse’s office for field trips.
Health Records, Regulations, and Access
The Massachusetts School Health Record form or a Health Examination form provided by your physician must be on file before the opening of school. This applies to all new students and current students in Kindergarten, Grades 4 and 7, and all students participating in interscholastic sports. No student will be permitted to participate on a sports team without clearance from his or her physician. Should this form expire prior to the start of sports, a new form will be required. The physical examination must be performed in the current calendar year and a physician must sign the form. In accordance with state requirements the physical must include documentation of annual vision and hearing screenings for Pre-K through 5 and once for grades 6 through 9. Pike does not conduct the health, hearing or eye exams at school. Pike thereby recommends that parents consult with their healthcare provider to ensure these exams are carried out for their children.
Parents are asked to submit the online Student Vital Health Record information as an annual requirement for all students. Parents should report information about students’ physical and/or emotional health to the School Nurse and appropriate Division Head. Such information is helpful in handling a medical situation should the need arise. The School is sensitive to the privacy of this information and is committed to protecting the confidentiality of students and their families by restricting the use of and access to this information for necessary medical management only, in accordance with applicable law. Parents are notified when additional medical attention is required. If parents cannot be reached, the indicated emergency contact person or family doctor will be contacted. Emergency situations are referred to Lawrence General Hospital.
Students participating in Pike’s interscholastic sports program, as well as their parents, are required by
Massachusetts state law to fulfill certain procedures regarding sports-related injury and concussion. Please see the Athletics section of this handbook for a more detail explanation of the School’s concussion and head injury policy.
Privacy of Health Information
The infirmary, Director of Counseling Services and coaches maintain the personal health information of students. This information is shared on a need-to-know basis among the staff at The Pike School, with outside medical service providers and law enforcement officers, when there is a compelling reason for doing so, including, without limitation, in cases of health and safety emergencies (when students or others are in imminent danger of harm); when there is concern about an individual’s ability to function academically, emotionally, physically, and/or mentally within the School environment; or when legal requirements demand that confidential information be revealed. If you have questions or concerns about this issue, please contact the School Nurse at extension 6607.
Immunization And Communicable Illness
In accordance with Massachusetts law, the School requires all students to provide proof of up-to-date immunizations or a certificate of exemption before attending school. Proof of immunization should be recorded on a Certificate of Immunization form or Patient Vaccine Administration Record and signed by a medical professional. A student with a qualified religious and/or medical exemption must provide the School with an Immunization Exemption Certification form or letter and Certificate of Immunization pursuant to state law. A Medical Immunization Exemption Certification form or letter must be signed by a medical professional, attesting that the student is exempt from a specific vaccine(s) because of medical reasons. A Religious Immunization Exemption Certification form or letter must be signed by the student’s parent or guardian (and by students age 18 and older), attesting that immunization conflicts with the tenets of their religious beliefs. The law states medical and religious exemptions must be submitted at the beginning of each school year. Philosophical exemptions are not allowed by law in Massachusetts, even if signed by a physician. Students who do not provide proof of up-to-date immunizations or qualify for an exemption will not be permitted to attend the School or participate in any school activities.
Students who are exempt from the state’s immunization requirements for religious or medical reasons and who have provided the School with an Exemption Certification Statement may be prohibited from attending school and participating in school activities in the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease. Students excluded from the School for this reason will not be permitted to return until (1) the danger of the outbreak has passed; (2) the student becomes ill with the disease and completely recovers; or (3) the student is immunized. In determining whether there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease, the School may consult with appropriate medical professionals and/or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The School may exclude from school any student who has a communicable illness or has been exposed to an infected person if the School determines, in its sole discretion, that such exclusion is appropriate for the welfare of the student who is excluded from School and/or the welfare of other students or employees at the School. In reaching the decision to exclude a student from the School, the School may consult with appropriate medical professionals and/or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Parents/legal guardians are asked to provide the School with immunization information to comply with state immunization laws. The School is committed to protecting the privacy of students and their families by treating all such medical information confidentially and restricting the use of, and access to, this information for medical management only, in accordance with applicable law.
Health And Safety Communications Regarding Communicable Illnesses
If and when appropriate, the School will disseminate information to students and families regarding campus health and safety issues through regular internal communication channels. For example, the School may provide families with information about the nature and spread of communicable illnesses, including symptoms and signs to watch for, as well as required steps to be taken in the event of an epidemic or outbreak. Of course, we encourage all parents and guardians to contact medical professionals with any questions or concerns about communicable illnesses or immunization issues.
A student may take a medical leave in the case of serious illness, bodily injury, or mental health condition, as determined by objective medical evaluation. A student’s family may request such a leave at the recommendation of medical professionals. Additionally, if in the School’s judgment, a student is exhibiting symptoms that make the student unable to participate in required academic or extracurricular activities without imposing an undue burden on the School’s resources, the School may recommend that the student be evaluated and subsequently placed on a medical leave. Discussion of a leave of absence—a meeting among advisor, senior administrators, the School Nurse, the Director of Counseling Services, parents, and student if appropriate—should begin under the following circumstances:
- When mental health or physical symptoms are preventing a student from functioning academically;
- When a physical or mental health condition is seriously interfering with a student’s attendance at school (more than six total days of absence in one quarter, or eight days in two consecutive quarters, will usually trigger such a discussion);
- When a student behaves in ways that can be considered self-destructive or dangerous to others; or
- When a student is not engaged in treatment that the School has made a condition of attendance, after the student has been evaluated by medical and/or mental health professionals, who have deemed such treatment appropriate.
This initial discussion of a medical leave should establish for School personnel what steps the family is taking to ensure that the student is well enough to participate fully in life at the School; and should establish for the family what further steps the School may take if the problem does not improve. The student’s advisor will generally consult with the student’s teachers, senior administrators, the School Nurse, the Director of Counseling Services, when appropriate, in continuing to monitor the situation. Decisions about granting or requiring a medical leave, or reinstating a student who has been on leave, rest with the senior administrators, the School Nurse, and the Director of Counseling Services; they will be guided by the principal goal of a medical leave: to give the student the opportunity to regain health and thereby function consistently, productively, and safely at the School. In the absence of a treatment plan that meets these needs in the view of these School personnel, the School may require the student to withdraw.
A medical leave agreement will include provisions for the student’s return to school. While a student on leave is excused from attending class, the student must make arrangements with the teachers involved for making up missed material, either while on leave (if possible) or upon return. While the School will strive to minimize academic disruption, the School may require that a student drop a course or courses if a prolonged absence will make it impossible for the student to complete the course. To return to school from a medical leave, a student must provide a thorough, written professional evaluation of the student’s current mental health or medical condition from the physician, psychiatrist, or other professional who treated the student during the medical leave. The School’s decision about reinstatement will depend on its confidence that the student will be able to function in school without unduly taxing the School’s support and supervisory resources. The School may require additional evaluation by a physician or mental health consultant of its choosing. The guiding principle of re-admission from a medical leave is the School’s confidence that the student can return safely; and that the student’s return will not compromise the student’s continued recovery, interfere with the School’s ability to serve other students’ needs, or place an undue burden on the School. As a corollary to this principle, a student whom the School determines can safely participate in the regular school day may nevertheless be restricted from participation in overnight field trips or other School activity.
Nut, peanut and food allergies pose a very serious risk to students in our community. In an effort to provide a safe environment for our students, parents/families and students are asked to refrain from bringing in any foods containing peanuts, nut products and oils. This is especially critical when preparing food from home for classroom parties, social events, or after school snacks. When purchasing foods, please keep in mind that products are often manufactured using the same equipment as products that contain peanuts or nuts. Please read labels carefully before sending any manufactured food to School. Parents are asked to consult the appropriate classroom teacher about any/all food allergies in the class prior to bringing food to the School. Food that is brought to the School whether store bought or home made must be labeled with an ingredient list which will be reviewed by the classroom teacher or school nurse.
The kitchen staff reviews all manufactured food products to ensure no peanut, nut or nut oils are used in food preparation. Peanut butter and foods containing peanuts, nuts or nut oils are not served in the dining hall.
The kitchen staff also offers daily food selections for students with gluten allergies, lactose intolerance as well as vegetarian/vegan options.
If a student cannot participate in the School lunch program due to dietary or medical issues, then a physician order or letter is requested.
It is important that all allergies and dietary restrictions be documented on the student’s Vital Health Record.
For further information please see Food Allergy Policy and the list of Allergies by Classroom in the Health section of the Parent Portal of the School website.
Parents of students with life threatening allergies should contact the School Nurse prior to the start of school to discuss an Anaphylaxis Action Plan.
Teachers, administrators, and coaches are trained by the School Nurse in the use and administration of Epinephrine for life threatening allergic reactions. Epinephrine Pens are located within reach in the Nurse’s office. If multiple Epinephrine Pens are available for a student then classroom teachers may have one for field trips. Additional Epinephrine Pens may be requested for students playing sports in order for the coaches to be prepared should an emergency arise.
Other Medical Conditions
Parents of students with any other medical conditions such as Asthma, Celiac, Diabetes or Seizures should contact the School Nurse Prior to the start of school to develop the appropriate action plan.
Head lice can be a nuisance but have not been shown to spread disease according to the CDC. With the desire to limit the spread of head lice across the School community, a “no live” lice policy is in place.
Whenever a case of live head lice is present, the student’s parents/guardians will be notified and are required to pick up their child from school. Treatment options will be discussed at that time. The student may return to school only after the appropriate treatment has begun and the student is free from live lice. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice. Before returning to the classroom the student will be examined by the school nurse and periodically checked for signs of re-infestation.
Without revealing the infested child's name, School will share information with parents of classmates who may have had head to head contact with the student.
It is up to the discretion of the Division Head and School Nurse whether to check other students or whole classrooms.
The School Nurse will attempt to contact parents regarding illness or injury, minor or serious, but in circumstances that warrant immediate attention when the School is unable to reach the parents/guardians, designated emergency contacts, or the student’s physician, the School physician will be consulted to determine appropriate management. In the event of a serious emergency, an ambulance will be called, the student will be taken to the nearest hospital emergency room, and at least one parent will be notified immediately. Emergency situations arising on campus will generally be referred to Lawrence General Hospital, which is just a few miles from the School. The School neither diagnoses nor treats injuries that occur on non-School time, but does offer temporary first aid for problems that arise during School. If a student complains of a persistent ear ache, sore throat, rash, stomach issues, or joint pain warrant a call to the student’s pediatrician.
Parents are expected to keep Emergency Information up-to-date. Please remember, it is most important that the School have current home, work and cell phone numbers for parents/guardians, day care providers, or others (relatives, friends, or neighbors) who routinely assume temporary care of the student if the student’s parent(s) cannot be reached.
Parents will be notified of an illness or injury that may require follow-up medical care. A “Statement of Permission and Release Consent” form and “Permission for Emergency Medical and Surgical Treatment” must be on record for every student, allowing the School to obtain necessary medical assistance.
Learning Services Department
The School does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of disabilities that may be reasonably accommodated. The School will discuss with families of applicants with known disabilities whether the School will be able to offer their children the appropriate accommodations and/or academic support to help them be successful at the School.
The School is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are provided with equal access to all of the School’s programs and services, in accordance with applicable law. For students who need additional support or curricular adjustments, the School requires documentation indicating that the student’s disability substantially limits a major life activity, including learning. Students who present the School with appropriate documentation of disability will be granted those requested academic accommodations that are supported by the documentation and considered reasonable in this educational setting. Any adjustments to the academic program would be made through an interactive process between the student and the Head of School and the Director of Learning Services or his/her designee.
The Director of Learning Services works with Division Heads and Learning Specialists in the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools to provide support services for small groups and individual students. The Director also oversees programming for students receiving learning services at Pike.
Members of the Learning Services Department work collaboratively with classroom teachers to address individual learning styles by designing and implementing instructional strategies that are appropriate to the School’s mission of “preparing students to be independent learners.” They serve as a liaison between the School, families and outside evaluators and service providers (e.g., speech and language pathologist).
Even after supportive services and accommodations have been put in place, a student may still not be able to fulfill his or her academic requirements satisfactorily. In such rare instances, the student’s homeroom teacher, advisor, the Head of School and/or the Director of Learning Services or his/her designee, may notify the student’s parents that the accommodations put into place may not suffice to ensure the student’s success at the School. At that time, the Head of School and/or the Director of Learning Services or his/her designee, the student (if age appropriate), and his or her parents will discuss whether it makes sense for the student to continue at the School. If there is a disagreement, the School will decide, in its sole discretion, whether to issue a re-enrollment contract to the student.
Mental Health and Other Counseling
The School works closely with consulting psychologists. Division Heads and the Head of School will contact the consulting psychologists with any concerns. Parents with concerns about a student should contact Division Heads to determine the steps to be taken. If a student is treated and/or evaluated by a mental health professional who is not affiliated with the School, it is recommended that the results of such treatment and evaluations be shared with School personnel so that appropriate recommendations can be implemented.
Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting
The School is committed to the highest standards of care for its students. The following policy is intended to ensure that students are protected from inappropriate or hurtful actions by adults responsible for their care.
Under Massachusetts law, all professionals responsible for the care of children are required to report suspected abuse or neglect of children under the age of eighteen (18). Massachusetts law requires professionals responsible for the care of children (including, but not limited to, teachers, school administrators, guidance counselors, etc.) to make a report to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) when, in their professional capacity, they have reasonable cause to believe that a child under the age of eighteen (18) is suffering from abuse or neglect (defined below). The responsibility to report rests both on the School and also on all professionals responsible for the care of children who are associated with the School. The following procedure is established to ensure that reports are made in a timely and effective manner, and that information about students and their families is treated in a way which is respectful of their privacy.
When an employee learns of a situation of possible neglect or abuse, the employee should consult immediately with the Head of School (or his designee) about the situation so that appropriate action can be taken to protect the child and timely reports can be made to DCF. The Head of School (or the Head of School’s designee) will review the information immediately and may consult with the School Nurse, and, if appropriate, legal counsel, the child’s family, and/or a consultant specializing in the care and protection of children. If the abuse or neglect is suspected to come from the student’s family, an approach to protecting the student will be defined and the family may be notified of the School’s obligation to report the information to DCF.
If the Head of School determines that a report should be made to DCF, the Head of School (or his designee) will generally make the first report to DCF by telephone call. As required by law, a written report will follow within forty-eight (48) hours after making the oral report. However, by law, anyone who has a reasonable belief that a student is being abused or neglected may make a report to DCF at any time. School personnel, as “mandated reporters,” are obligated to make a report to DCF if they have a reasonable belief that a student is being abused or neglected. In the event it is not clear whether conduct reaches a level of reportable abuse or neglect or there is a disagreement between an employee and the School’s administration, any party who believes that the incident rises to the threshold for making a report is expected to make the report. Once again, the responsibility to report rests both on the individual professional and the School.
DCF regulations (110 C.M.R. § 2.00) define “abuse” as the non-accidental commission of any act by a caretaker upon a child under age 18 which causes, or creates a substantial risk of, physical or emotional injury; or constitutes a sexual offense under the laws of the Commonwealth; or any sexual contact between a caretaker and a child under the care of that individual. This definition is not dependent upon location (i.e., abuse can occur while the child is in an out-of-home or in-home setting).
The term “neglect” means failure by a caretaker, either deliberately or through negligence or inability, to take those actions necessary to provide a child with minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, emotional stability and growth, or other essential care; provided, however, that such inability is not due solely to inadequate economic resources or solely to the existence of a handicapping condition. This definition is not dependent upon location (i.e., neglect can occur while the child is in an out-of-home or in-home setting).
The term “physical injury” means death; or fracture of a bone, a subdural hematoma, burns, impairment of any organ, and any other such nontrivial injury; or soft tissue swelling or skin bruising, depending on such factors as the child’s age, circumstances under which the injury occurred and the number and location of bruises; or addiction to a drug or drugs at birth; or failure to thrive.
The term “emotional injury” means an impairment to or disorder of the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child as evidenced by observable and substantial reduction in the child’s ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior.
A “caretaker” can be a child’s parent, step-parent, guardian, or any household member entrusted with the responsibility for a child’s health or welfare. In addition, any other person entrusted with the responsibility for a child’s health or welfare, both in and out of the child’s home, regardless of age, is considered a caretaker. Examples may include: relatives from outside the home, teachers or school staff in a school setting, workers at day care, and child care centers (including babysitters), foster parents, staff at a group care facility, or persons charged with caring for children in any other comparable setting.
Parental Comportment and Support for School Policies
At The Pike School, we believe that a positive relationship between the School and a student’s parents or guardians is essential to the fulfillment of the School’s mission. We recognize that effective relationships are characterized by clearly defined responsibilities, a shared commitment to collaboration, and open lines of communication, mutual respect, and a common vision of the goals to be achieved.
The School understands and appreciates that parents and guardians may employ different means to meet the expectations and responsibilities expressed in this policy. Nevertheless, The Pike School, at all times may dismiss a student whose parent, guardian, family member or other adult involved with the student, in the sole judgment of the School, fails to comply with this or any other policy or procedure of the School, engages in conduct either on or off the School’s property that could undermine the authority of the School’s administration, and/or otherwise behaves in a manner that is unbecoming of a member of the School community. The School may refuse re-enrollment of a student if the School, in its sole discretion, believes the actions of a parent or guardian on or off the School’s property make a positive, constructive relationship impossible, or otherwise may interfere with the School's accomplishment of its mission and/or educational goals.
To assist in creating the most effective relationship, the School expects that parents will observe the following guidelines:
1. Share in the School’s vision.
- Support the mission of the School.
- Understand and support the School’s philosophy, policies, and procedures.
- Support the School’s disciplinary process, and understand that the School’s authority in such matters is final.
- Be supportive of the School’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive community.
- Acknowledge that the payment of tuition is an investment in the education of the student, not an investment of ownership in the School.
- Support the School’s emphasis on sustainable practices.
2. Provide a home environment that supports the intellectual, physical and emotional growth of the student.
- Create a schedule and structure that supports a student’s study and completion of homework requirements.
- Be aware of the student’s online activities and use of computers, television, and video games.
- Encourage integrity and civility in the student.
- Be a role model, especially when it comes to behavior at School and at athletic events.
- Encourage the student’s participation in events that promote high standards; actively discourage participation in events that can lead to illegal or unwise behavior.
3. Participate in the establishment of a home/School and School community relationship built on communication, collaboration, and mutual respect.
- Provide a home environment that supports positive attitudes toward the School.
- Treat each member of the community with respect, assume good will, and maintain a collaborative approach when conflicts and challenges arise.
- Help build and maintain a positive School environment by not participating in or tolerating gossip.
- Maintain tact and discretion with regard to confidential information. In cases when students or others are in imminent danger of harm, when there is a compelling reason for doing so, or when legal requirements demand that confidential information must be revealed, information may be disclosed to the Head of School, administrators, outside professionals, or law enforcement officers.
- Respect the School’s responsibility to do what is best for the entire community, while recognizing the needs of an individual student.
- Seek to resolve problems and secure information through appropriate channels (i.e., teacher/advisor/counselor, Head of School, in that order).
- Acknowledge the value of the educational experience at the School by making regular and timely School attendance a priority, scheduling non-emergency appointments outside the classroom day.
- Support the School through volunteerism and attendance at School events.
- Financially support the School to the best of one’s ability.
- Share with the School any religious, cultural, medical, or personal information that the School may need to best serve students and the School community.
- Understand and support the School's technology policies.
Parent Portal Access Policy
Parents of currently-enrolled Pike students and, in cases of remarriage, their current spouses, automatically receive logins to the Veracross Parent Portal if they have provided Pike with an email address. Parental access is denied only if the Head of School receives written notification of legal restraints that prohibit access.
The Pike School encourages gifts that enable it to fulfill its mission as an exceptional learning institution.
At the heart of our fundraising efforts is The Pike Fund. Gifts to The Pike Fund are an essential part of the school’s operating budget, complementing tuition to:
- Drive continual improvement of our educational programs;
- Provide resources necessary for student growth, learning, and engagement
- Upgrade facilities to maximize learning and student safety
Some recent examples of the impact of The Pike Fund on teaching and learning include:
- the makerspace, Spark;
- introduction of robotics, programming and STEM initiatives;
- expanded writing workshop opportunities for students;
- curricular tie-ins with the nature trail;
- mindfulness and yoga-based strategies across grades; and
- 40+ annual summer grants for teachers pursuing professional growth.
In addition to The Pike Fund, the school also actively seeks investment in our endowment and for capital projects. All Fundraising efforts on behalf of The Pike School are approved by the Office of Advancement.
Learn more about philanthropy at Pike by visiting www.pikeschool.org and clicking on “Giving”.
Students may not attend classes unless a properly executed enrollment agreement is submitted to the School in a timely manner. Enrollment agreements will be sent to returning students only if all financial obligations are current and the School is generally satisfied with the student’s academic performance or behavior. Please see the Re-Enrollment Policy below for additional information.
Unless Tuition Refund Insurance is purchased and the Insurance covers the tuition, once an enrollment agreement has been signed and accepted by the School, parents are responsible for the full tuition for the academic year, regardless of the reason for withdrawal. Please see the Handbook’s Tuition Refund Plan Policy for additional information.
Tuition Assistance/Financial Aid
Each year the trustees designate an amount of financial aid to be awarded on the basis of need to families whose children are enrolled in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 9. Families apply for financial aid through the School and Student Services by NAIS, and submit a copy of their completed Federal Income Tax Form 1040 to The Pike School. The Financial Aid Committee works to equitably distribute the awards based on a family's need and ensures all information is confidential. Families must apply each year for aid. Please contact The Pike School Business office with any questions. The deadline for financial aid application is January 15, 2019.
The Financial Aid Application Instructions are as follows:
Applying for Financial Aid is completed through School and Student Services (SSS) by NAIS. The Parent Portal for SSS opens on October 2, 2018.
- The Parents Financial Statement (PFS) must be submitted to School and Student Services (SSS) no later than January 15, 2019.
- The 2017 1040 with all schedules, and 2018 end-of-year paystub or 2018 W2 earning statement must be uploaded to SSS by January 15, 2019.
- The 2018 1040 with all schedules must be uploaded to SSS by February 14, 2019.
Tuition Assistance/Financial Aid
Each year the trustees designate an amount of financial aid to be awarded on the basis of need to families whose children are enrolled in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 9. Families apply for financial aid through the School and Student Service for Financial Aid in Princeton, New Jersey, and submit a copy of their completed Federal Income Tax Form 1040 to The Pike School. The Financial Aid Committee works to equitably distribute the awards based on a family's need. Families must apply each year for aid. Forms may be obtained from The Pike School Financial Aid Office. The deadline for financial aid application is February 1.
Tuition Billing Schedule
Tuition may be paid as follows:
- Plan A: 10-month direct payment plan for tuition-less deposit. Monthly payments are charged to your account April 1, 2018 through January 2, 2019.
- Plan B: Total tuition and fees due August 1. (Tuition Refund Plan Insurance is optional.)
- Plan C: One-half of tuition due August 1 and November 1.
- Plan D: One-third of tuition due August 1, November 1, and January 2, 2019.
No student will be permitted to begin School in September unless the tuition has been paid in full or a family is participating in one of the payment plans and is current with payment. The School does recognize that families may experience extenuating financial circumstances. While the School is willing to work with families in these instances, all accommodating payment plans must be approved in writing by the Head of School and payments must be received on a regular basis.
If an account is more than 60 days’ overdue, it will be brought to the attention of the Head of School. They will review the case, make appropriate arrangements regarding collection, and may decide the student will not be permitted to return to School the following trimester or for the remainder of the School year. No student is permitted to re-enroll if there is an outstanding account balance from the previous School year. Furthermore, the School will not release any student records, to the extent permissible by law, and may litigate for monies due.
Tuition Refund Plan
The Tuition Refund Plan offers enrolled families an insurance policy for recovering tuition in the event of certain absences, withdrawals, or dismissals. Insurance information and an application are included in the Enrollment Agreement. Participation in the Tuition Refund Plan is required unless the full year’s fees are paid by August 1, 2018, in which case the plan is elective.
Re-enrollment at The School is not automatic. A student is promoted to the next grade when he or she has satisfactorily met the expectations of his or her current grade, when the School feels it can continue to meet the student’s needs, and when the behavior and comportment of the student and family are consistent with the School’s policies.
Re-enrollment decisions are made by The Pike School Administration Head. A decision to re-enroll a student and to subsequently forward a re-enrollment contract to the parents is based upon a student’s academic record, effort, attitude and behavior throughout the prior year, and upon the willingness of the parents to accept and exemplify their responsibility in the partnership of education further described in the Parental Comportment and Support for School Policies section above. On occasion, re-enrollment contracts are held until later (usually April or May) when the School decides that an appropriate decision about placement can be made.
In some cases, it may be determined that it is not in a student’s best interests to continue at the School. This difficult conclusion is only reached after extremely careful consideration. While parents are obviously involved in this process, the School will make the ultimate decision, and will assist, if possible, in the process of locating an appropriate alternative school.
Families should understand that the School may not offer a re-enrollment contract for a student if the parents have been uncooperative or if their actions have in any way undermined the effectiveness of our teachers, if the family is not in good financial standing, or if re-enrollment is not in the School’s best interests.
Qualified children of faculty/staff and qualified sibling candidates for Pre-K, Kindergarten and grade 6 are generally given admission priority. These applicants are expected to meet the same criteria as other students in terms of both readiness and behavior. To maintain balance at each grade level, the gender of the sibling may affect preference status.
Current families who are interested in applying for a sibling are urged to contact the Admissions Office in September. Applications for admission, from both current and new families, must be submitted by the deadline as outlined by Admissions Office materials. Enrollment decisions, regardless of a family’s prior or current relationship to the School, are always made at the School’s sole discretion.
At the Pike School, we expect that all members of our school community will treat each other with civility and respect.
It is the policy of the School to provide and maintain a learning environment that is free of bullying and any other verbal or physical misconduct that disrupts the learning environment or makes it unsafe.
The Pike School Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, set forth below, is published in response to the recently enacted Massachusetts Law against bullying and is an integral part of our efforts to promote learning and to prevent behavior that can impede the learning process. Our Plan spells out the Pike School’s comprehensive approach to addressing bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation.
This plan is consistent with broader protections at Pike against discrimination, harassment, bullying, and retaliation that appear in our Student and Parent Handbook Behavioral Expectations, our Faculty/Staff Employee Handbook, and our Acceptable Use Policy.
It is important that this Plan be well understood by all members of the Pike School community. The Head of School is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Plan. Questions and concerns related to this Plan may be referred to him or to one of the School’s Division Heads.
Policy against Bullying, Cyber-bullying and Retaliation
The School will not tolerate any form of bullying or cyber-bullying, nor will we tolerate retaliation against any person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.
Bullying and cyber-bullying are prohibited on school grounds and at school-sponsored events, activities, functions, and programs. Bullying and cyber-bullying also are prohibited at school bus stops, on school buses and other vehicles owned, leased, or used by the School, and through use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased, or used by the School.
In addition, bullying and cyber-bullying are prohibited at a location, activity, function, or program that is not school-related or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by the School, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for a targeted student; infringes on the rights of a targeted student at school; or materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of the School.
Definitions under the Law
The following definitions are drawn from the Massachusetts Law and constitute the definition of terms under Pike’s Bullying-Prevention and Intervention Plan.
Bullying: Bullying is defined as the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:
- Causes physical or emotional harm to the targeted student or damage to the targeted student’s property.
- Places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property.
- Creates a hostile environment at school for the targeted student.
- Infringes on the rights of the targeted student at school; or
- Materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of the school.
Cyber-bullying: Cyber-bullying is bullying through use of technology or electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones, computers, fax machines and the internet. It includes, but is not limited to, e-mail, instant messages, text messages, and internet postings, whether on a webpage, in a blog, or otherwise.
Hostile Environment: A hostile environment is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of a student’s education.
Retaliation: Retaliation is a form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.
Legal Definitions and School Policy
It is important to bear in mind that stricter standards of behavior may apply under The Pike School’s policies in order that we may prevent inappropriate verbal and physical conduct before a student has been subject to bullying as it is defined under the law. For example, although the law defines bullying as “repeated use” of certain expressions, acts, and/or gestures, the School reserves the right to apply disciplinary measures and other corrective action in a case of a single expression, act or gesture, if the School determines that it is of sufficient severity to warrant disciplinary measures or other remedial action or that the repetition of that expression, act, or gesture might reasonably result in bullying as defined under the law.
Prevention of Bullying and Cyber-bullying
From the earliest grades at the Pike School, students learn that as members of our community they have a right to be treated with civility and respect. Our mission statement and curriculum emphasize respect for differences, and teachers are clear in their expectations for students’ behavior. When necessary, parents are notified and asked to reinforce standards for membership in the Pike community.
The administration and faculty recognize that it is essential that expectations for student conduct extend to corridors, locker rooms, lunch, recess, carpool, buses and the like. The School strives to ensure that ample adult supervision is provided on School premises, including in the corridors and locker rooms, at lunch and at recess, and on School-provided transportation throughout the school day as well as at School-sponsored events.
LOWER and MIDDLE SCHOOL: Preventing Bullying
The Pike School employs The Open Circle Curriculum in its Lower and Middle Schools. The following data, taken from the Open Circle website, describes the program and details the lessons in the curriculum that explicitly deal with bullying and preventing bullying.
Research shows that when schools take specific steps to improve school climate and encourage positive interactions among students and staff, they can significantly reduce bullying. When schools build bullying prevention efforts around an evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) program like Open Circle, they proactively address many of the social, emotional, and environmental issues that can lead to bullying.
Open Circle Lessons that Relate to Bullying
Some key social and emotional learning skills can decrease incidences of bullying behavior: self-awareness and self-management, positive relationships and social awareness, and problem-solving skills and responsible decision-making. The lessons in the Open Circle Curriculum address these skills. The consistent teaching and practice of skills and Open Circle’s whole school approach are critical parts of a school’s bullying prevention effort. Here are some lessons that teach and reinforce these skills:
Self-Awareness and Self-Management:
- Being Calm, Getting Calm When You Feel Upset
- Practicing Self-Talk
- Speaking Up
- Understanding Feelings
- Body Language
- Expressing Anger Appropriately
- Recognizing Differences/Discrimination
Friendship Skills (Positive Relationships and Social Awareness):
- What Students Have in Common
- Listening Skills
- Including One Another
- Leadership Skills
- Dealing with Double D Behaviors
- Dealing with Annoying Behaviors
- Dealing with Teasing
- Problem Solving
- Calm Down and Identify the Problem
- Decide on a Positive Goal
- Think of Several Solutions Using Brainstorming
- Evaluate the Solutions
Make a Plan and Try It
The Curriculum follows a developmentally-appropriate scope and sequence of skills. All the lessons in grades K-2 contribute to the foundation for bullying prevention. In grades 3-5, the Curriculum includes targeted lessons on the definition of bullying, and the role of bystanders in bullying episodes.
The Curriculum also includes guidelines for teachers:
- A “Do’s and Don’ts” list to help teachers respond to bullying “in the moment”
- Clear connections for leveraging Open Circle
- Concepts and skills to prevent and address bullying
In addition to these curricula, we know that to maintain a safe and respectful school environment, it is essential to gather information about social interactions through many different means. This is done through morning meeting conversations, "feedback boxes" in classrooms where students can raise issues anonymously, and a safety survey which is given yearly to MS and US students.
UPPER SCHOOL: Preventing Bullying
The Pike Upper School’s bullying prevention program is embedded in its Advisor program. The foundation of that program is the relationships that advisors build with their advisees to help them develop the skills of being independent learners and responsible citizens. It is expected that each advisor will find ways to know each advisee well. This provides each student with an adult advocate who can help him or her navigate the challenges of middle school relationships. The program includes the elements listed below, which we believe are powerful ways to help students respond to bullying.
At least one adult who knows a student well.
Weekly team meetings to determine and address any social issues among the grade.
Provide input for creating sections to avoid situations where a student may feel unsafe.
Grade 6 Lessons
Grade 7 Lessons
Service learning throughout the year provides opportunities for students to negotiate and communicate with peers about how to accomplish tasks that will benefit the community.
Grade 8 Lessons
Assertion -- standing up to group pressure
Grade 9 Lessons
Curriculum focuses on service learning, social justice, and personal responsibility.
Reports of Bullying, Cyber-bullying, or Retaliation
Any student who is the target of bullying or cyber-bullying or has witnessed an incident of bullying or cyber-bullying or otherwise has relevant information about bullying or cyber-bullying prohibited by this policy is strongly encouraged to promptly report the matter orally or in writing to the Head of School or Division Head or to any other faculty or staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Also, any student who is subject to retaliation in violation of this policy or who knows of another student who has been subject to retaliation is urged to report it as soon as possible.
A parent of a student who is the target of bullying or cyber-bullying or of a student who has witnessed or otherwise has relevant information about bullying or cyber-bullying is strongly urged to promptly notify the Head of School or a Division Head. Furthermore, any parent who has him or herself witnessed bullying or cyber-bullying or has relevant information concerning such an incident is strongly urged to come forward to the Head of School or a Division Head. A parent should also report any incident of retaliation in violation of this policy to the Head of School or a Division Head.
Any member of the faculty or staff of the School who witnesses or otherwise becomes aware of bullying or cyber-bullying in violation of this policy or who becomes aware of retaliation against a student who reported information concerning a violation of this policy is required to report it immediately to the Head of School or one of the Division Heads. There are to be no exceptions. A member of the faculty or staff may not make promises of confidentiality to a student or parent who informs him/her of an allegation of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation.
Faculty and staff may not make reports under this policy anonymously. The School also urges students and their parents not to make reports anonymously. Although there are circumstances in which an anonymous report can be better than none at all, it is far more difficult to determine the facts of what occurred if complaints are made anonymously. Students and parents are encouraged to bear in mind that the School takes its policy against retaliation seriously. Also, while the School cannot promise strict confidentiality, because information must be shared in order to conduct an effective investigation, the School releases information concerning complaints of bullying, cyber-bullying and retaliation only on a legitimate need-to-know basis.
Responding to a Report of Bullying, Cyber-bullying, or Retaliation
When a complaint of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation is brought to the attention of the Head of School or a Division Head, an assessment is made as to whether any initial steps need to be taken to protect the well-being of students and to prevent disruption of their learning environment while the investigation is being implemented to prevent further bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation during an investigation.
Obligation to Notify Parents
It is the policy of the School to notify the parents of any student who is an alleged target of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation during an investigation.
The following is an outline of the procedure that is pursued once a complaint has been brought to the attention of the Head of School or one of the Division Heads:
An impartial investigation of the complaint is conducted by the Head of School or by the Division Head. That investigation may include (but will not necessarily be limited to) interviews with the person who made the complaint; with the student who was the target of the alleged bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation; with the person or persons against whom the complaint was made; and with any students, faculty, staff or other persons who witnessed or who may otherwise have relevant information about the alleged incident.
Depending on the circumstances, the Head of School or the Division Head conducting the investigation also may choose to consult with other teachers and/or the School’s Psychologist.
Resolution, Notification, and Follow-up
Following interviews and any other investigation undertaken, as the School deems appropriate, the Head of School or the Division Head will determine whether, and to what extent, the allegation of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation has been substantiated. If it is determined that the policy set forth in this Plan has been violated, the Head of School or the Division Head will determine what disciplinary action and/or other remedial action is appropriate and how it will be implemented.
The goal of an investigation and any disciplinary or other remedial process that is imposed following that investigation is to correct the situation to the extent it is reasonably possible and to take such steps as can be taken to prevent there being a repetition of the incident and to prevent the student or students targeted and others who participated in the investigation from being subject to retaliation.
In appropriate circumstances, such as when a crime may have been committed or a child may have been subject to abuse or neglect of the type that is reportable under Section 51A of the Massachusetts Laws, law enforcement or another appropriate government agency may be notified.
Upon completion of the investigation, the Head of School or the Division Head who conducted the investigation will meet individually with the student or students who were the target of the alleged incident and the student or students against whom the complaint was made and their parents to report the results of the investigation and, where disciplinary or other corrective action is determined to be appropriate, to inform the parties of the steps that will be taken to correct the situation. The amount of information provided in these meetings may be limited by confidentiality laws protecting student records.
Follow-up contacts will be made with any student found to have been targeted in violation of this policy and his/her parents to inquire as to whether there have been any further incidents.
This plan is intended (1) to prevent bullying and cyber-bullying among our students, (2) to encourage students and their parents to have confidence in the School’s procedures and to come forward promptly whenever a student is subject to conduct that is prohibited by this or any other School policy; and (3) to implement appropriate discipline and other corrective measures when they are found to be warranted.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires secondary schools to provide students and families enrolled at the School with a copy of the state law defining and prohibiting hazing. All members of the School community are reminded that these laws include a requirement to report promptly any alleged incidents of hazing. Students are briefed on this matter during assemblies and team meetings.
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 269, §§17-19 are provided below.
Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.
Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to herself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution's compliance with this section's requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution's recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.
Each such group, team, or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgement stating that such group, team, or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.