For the past several years, 4th through 8th grade teachers and students have begun the year by setting personal and community goals. They have asked the question, "What do we need written in a social contract to ensure that every member of our community can reach her/his goals."
Up until last year, this process took place in each individual classroom. While we found establishing a classroom social contract to be useful, we realized that having several different social contracts was not helping to bring our community closer together nor was it providing consistency for students in different situations around the school.
For the past two years, we have held a "social contract convention" for 4th through 8th grade students and teachers. This year each class sent its Student Council representative to the convention, and those seven students, with the guidance of three teachers, combined all of the individual classroom rules to make one social contract. The students celebrated the unveiling of the contract at last Friday's 4th-8th grade assembly, with the class reps revealing the contract's final wording and with everyone playing a huge game of Entourage. (Ask your child how to play; it's a ton of fun!)
Here is the 4th-8th grade social contract:
1. Be respectful.
2. Strive to achieve your goals!
3. Be resilient and have a flexible attitude.
4. “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” (from the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio)