Student/Teacher Code of Conduct
Orinda Academy is a community where students and faculty/staff develop strong bonds that facilitate student learning and development. The School encourages supportive, professional relationships with appropriate boundaries between students and faculty/staff. All employees of Orinda Academy must maintain appropriate boundaries with students to ensure that they avoid even the perception of inappropriate conduct. Comments and/or activities that may seem innocent from a faculty/staff member’s perspective can be perceived differently by a student or their family. The objective of this policy is not to prohibit positive working relationships between faculty/staff and students, but to prevent relationships that could lead to, or be perceived as, inappropriate. Faculty/staff must ensure that they do not cross the boundaries of professional, working relationships.
Orinda Academy encourages students, parents, and other members of the school community who have concerns about adults crossing appropriate boundaries with students to inform the Head of School or Chair of the Board of Trustees. The school will not retaliate against anyone who reports conduct that may violate this policy.
Below is a list of examples of inappropriate conduct in the professional working relationship between school staff and students. This list is illustrative only. Other types of behavior may also be prohibited:
- Giving gifts to an individual student that are of a personal or intimate nature;
- Unnecessary physical contact with a student;
- Seeking out one-on-one time with a student on campus or away from the School for reasons unrelated to mission or program with out parent or supervisor permission or intentionally meeting with students out of view of other adults. Discretion and good judgment, of course, are to be exercised in this area. This would not prohibit, for example, a teacher assisting a student seeking academic help after class;
- Participating in sexual jokes, stories, or jokes/comments with sexual innuendo;
- Discussion an employee's own personal troubles or intimate issues with a student;
- Becoming involved with a student so that a reasonable person may suspect inappropriate behavior;
- Inappropriate use of social media with or about students. Please see the sections in the handbook for related policies on social media use;
- Excessive attention toward a particular student;
- Transporting students in personal vehicles without prior permission of the Head of School;
- Sending emails, text messages, or letters to students of a personal nature if the content is not about School activities;
- Communicating with students or their families about School policies or School employees in a negative or disparaging manner.
Failing to keep parents and supervisors informed when a significant issue develops about a student;
Providing services such as private, off-site, and/or paid tutoring without receiving prior permission from the Head of School.