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The DCIS Way (Culture and Need-to-Know Info)

The DCIS Way is a framework for how we carry ourselves and support others in the school. It establishes expectations for students and staff in pursuit of the following goals:

  • Students, staff and parents will feel empowered, safe, included and accepted, and have the opportunity to be successful.
  • All who enter our building will demonstrate respect, kindness and fairness in their interactions and build healthy relationships with others that are free of negative judgment.
  • Students will encourage others, set a good example and provide support as positive leaders in our school and community.
  • Every student will have the opportunity to thrive as they work toward their own success.

These ideals translate in practical terms to the following expectations for students:

  • Show up to class on time and enter the room quietly, prepared to learn.
  • Follow directions the first time without argument.
  • Respect everyone. Don’t tease, be rude or bully.
  • Maximize learning time by staying on task, following directions and being a good listener.

Teachers are empowered to take a no-nonsense yet nurturing approach to managing their classrooms to create an environment that promotes the academic success of all students, based on the following principles:

  • Build the life-altering relationships with students that are needed to motivate them to excel academically.
  • Use restorative practices that will immediately begin transforming classroom culture.
  • Overcome cultural differences that may hinder effectiveness with students.
  • Gain the vital support needed from students’ family members.
  • Overcome cultural roadblocks that may hinder effectiveness with students.

Creating a respectful, inclusive, kind and learning-focused culture hinges not only on establishing and upholding clear expectations, but also on recognizing our successes. To that end, we encourage students, teachers and families who observe a member of the DCIS community doing something positive or helpful to complete a Caught in the Act form (in school) or a Shout-Out form (online) to highlight the good deed. Each week we’ll recognize those individuals at the all-school meeting and in our weekly newsletter.