Disciplinary Process

Responses to infractions vary, but we expect you to understand that you are accountable for your actions.

Disciplinary Committee (Major Rule Violations)

Though the Disciplinary Committee (DC) can serve a fact-finding function, it is not a court of law or a judicial mechanism. Rather, a hearing before the DC is an educational process meant to help students understand the rules, the reasons for them, and the need for consequences when those rules are broken and mistakes are made. The Discipline Committee is responsible for upholding the Academy’s standards.

If a student is suspected to be in violation of a major school rule, a Discipline Committee is convened to hear the student’s case. This Committee is composed of the following:

  • The Dean of Students, who chairs the committee
  • The Class Dean, who presents the case
  • Three students, and two faculty members—selected from a pool of DC representatives
 (Students facing a DC may identify one student member of the pool whom they wish to exclude from selection.)

The Dean of Students votes only in the case of a tie. A student’s advisor, though present throughout the hearing and deliberations, does not vote. Any student appearing before the Committee has the option of selecting a community member to serve as his or her advocate during the hearing. After the Committee has established the facts, the student and advocate leave the hearing. Based upon clear and convincing evidence, and by majority vote, the Committee decides whether a major school rule has been broken. If so, the Committee then, again by majority vote, formulates a disciplinary response for consideration by the Dean of Students.

 The Head of School and/or the Dean of Students may alter this procedure and the constitution of the Committee when practical considerations – such as privacy, safety, or logistics – interfere.

Academic Honor Committee (Major Rule Violations)

When faculty members suspect academic dishonesty, regardless of degree and/or nature, they must report it to their department chairs. If teacher and chair agree that a violation has occurred, the teacher informs the Academic Dean. The Academic Dean, at his discretion, may convene an Academic Honor Committee to consider the allegation and to hear the explanation of the student in question. The Academic Honor Committee is composed of:

  • Academic Dean, who chairs the committee
  • Director of Studies, who presents the case
  • Three students and two faculty members—selected from a pool of AHC representatives

The Academic Dean votes only in the case of a tie. A student’s advisor, though present throughout the hearing and deliberations, does not vote. Additionally, the classroom teacher or department chair will be present for the hearing, to help the Committee understand the disciplinary context. Any student appearing before the Committee has the option of selecting a community member to serve as his or her advocate during the hearing. After the Committee has established the facts, the student and advocate leave the hearing. Based upon clear and convincing evidence, and by majority vote, the Committee decides whether a major school rule has been broken. If so, the Committee, again by majority vote, formulates a disciplinary response for consideration by the Academic Dean.

The Head of School and/or Academic Dean may alter this procedure and the constitution of the Committee when practical considerations – such as privacy, safety, or logistics – interfere.

16 Day Rule

Seniors forfeit the privilege of being on campus during graduation weekend if they…

  • Are found to have violated a major school rule during the last 16 days before graduation
  • Have not fulfilled the academic requirements for graduation by the deadline for submission of senior spring term grades. In the case of a borderline failure that might be remedied by a make-up exam or exercise, the student will return to campus for the underclass exam period to do the make-up work.

In addition, the Head of School, at her discretion, may choose to delay the awarding of diplomas to students having been found in violation of the 16-day rule.

Walking Privileges at Commencement

Seniors who fail to meet their obligations during spring term may lose the privilege of walking at graduation. At spring midterm, a committee–comprised of the Dean of Students or Class Dean, Academic Dean’s Office representative, and three Department Chairs–converse to evaluate seniors. Concerns may include:

  • Lack of community engagement, or failure to meet expectations in residential life and/or daily commitments
  • Accumulation of APs (Level 2 Sanctions or above)
  • A drop of 5 or more points in a student’s cumulative average
  • A drop in course average of 10 or more points in a single year-long course
  • Any grade below 70%
  • Faculty concerns

If the committee identifies serious concerns, a formal letter is sent to the student and parents, setting expectations that must be met for the student to walk at commencement.

The committee convenes again in the last week of the term to make a final decision about walking privileges and makes a recommendation to the Head of School.

Responding to Hazing, Bullying, & Harassment

Any student who believes that he or she is a victim of hazing, harassment, or mistreatment of any kind should contact a faculty member and either the Dean of Students or a member of Community Conduct Committee immediately. The student involved then has two principal options to pursue:

  1. Students should contact a member of the Community Conduct Committee, which provides a forum to speak about possible responses to harassment or other kinds of mistreatment. This panel consists of faculty and staff members who help the student reach an outcome that addresses the situation. This process may preclude the usual disciplinary process and response.
  2. Students should report the situation to the Dean of Students Office, at which time a Discipline Committee may be convened to hear the allegations. In some cases, the Head of School or the Dean of Students may choose to form an ad hoc committee (which includes at least one member of the Community Conduct Committee) to hear the allegations and to assist in formulating a response. This ad-hoc process may preclude the usual disciplinary process and response.

If a student feels that s/he is being harassed in any way:

  • If possible, the situation should be addressed immediately—verbally or in writing. Students should communicate that the behavior is unwelcome and must cease immediately.
  • If the situation persists, students should talk to someone they trust beyond friends, such as a faculty resident, advisor, teacher, coach, proctor, peer counselor, a member of the Dean of Students staff, or the Head of School.
  • In addition, students may find it helpful to write down what happened. Students should be as specific as possible, recording direct quotations, actions, and witnesses.
  • The Community Conduct Committee should be contacted.

With additional questions about the Community Conduct Committee please contact the committee chairs, Ms. Loftus and Mr. Pitcher

Academic Standing

The Academic Standing Committee meets at the end of each term to review the records of those students who have experienced academic difficulties. It is co-chaired by the Director of Studies and the Head of School and composed of the Academic Dean, Assistant Academic Dean, Class Deans, Dean of Students, Director of College Advising, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, School Doctor, School Counselor, Library Director, Director of Information Technology, and Chairs of every academic department. The Academic Standing Committee recommends ways to help students strengthen their performance and determines how individual course failures may be addressed. The Academy, at the recommendation of the Academic Standing Committee, reserves the right to dismiss a student at any time for academic reasons.

Accountability Points (APs)

The accountability point values include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Academic Obligation: 4
  • Academy Event: 4
  • Co-curricular Obligation: 3
  • Sit-down Meal: 2
  • Sunday Sit-down Dinner: 3
  • Waiting On Table Responsibility: 3
  • School Meeting or Other Required Meeting: 2
  • Removing Dishes From The Dining Hall: 2
  • Failure To Respond To Email or Voicemail: 1
  • Fire Code Violation: 1 (first offense), 3 (subsequent offenses)
  • Dress Code Violation: 1
  • Tardiness To A Class: 1 or more

The failure to meet other obligations (e.g. handing in a required form, returning equipment, reporting for a work assignment, etc.) may also result in the assignment of APs. Additional Accountability Points may be assigned at the discretion of faculty and staff, who are encouraged to address students directly about expectations for behavior.

Students, advisors, and faculty residents (including associates) are notified when APs are assigned. Students are allowed three class days to contest APs with their Class Dean.

Repeated or excessive accumulation of APs may be treated as a violation of a major school rule and escalated to the Disciplinary Committee for response.

Sanctions

APs are totaled daily. At the end of each term AP totals are reset to zero; sanctions, however, carry over to the succeeding term when appropriate.

Level One | 12-16 APs per term for non-seniors | 17-21 APs for seniors

A student who reaches Level I sanctions is required to attend study hall on Friday from 7:30-10:30 pm for two consecutive weekends. Parents receive a copy of the Level I sanction memorandum.

Level Two | 17-24 APs per term for non-seniors | 22-29 APs for seniors

A student who reaches Level II sanctions receives an additional two weekends of Friday study hall (to commence after the Level I sanction is over). Parents receive a copy of the Level II sanction memorandum.

Level Three | 25+ APs per term for non-seniors | 30+ APs for seniors

A student who reaches Level III sanctions meet with their Class Dean and parents to examine the problem and form a solution. Further, the student will be subject to the following limits: 

  • Required Friday study halls
  • Two weeks’ early check-in: 7:45pm Sunday-Thursday, 8pm on Saturday
  • Loss of off-campus travel and sleepover privileges for two weeks
  • Ten hours of work detail

For additional support, counseling may be required. A student who fails to meet obligations after reaching Level III Sanctions will be liable for further discipline, up to and including dismissal. Students who accumulate Level III APs for a second time will face a Disciplinary Committee hearing.

Loss of Leadership Positions

Student leaders should be aware that they set an example for the community. A student leader found in violation of a major school rule may be subject to the loss of his/her leadership position.

Loss of Other Privileges

At any time, and at their discretion, faculty may remove privileges or assign duties for students in their charge as a form of heuristic discipline. Examples of this include:

  • Confiscation of cell phone
  • Loss of off campus privileges
  • Loss of overnight privileges
  • Loss of dormitory visitation privileges
  • Assignment of additional waiting responsibilities
  • Assignment of dormitory cleanup responsibilities
  • Requirement for early check-in
  • Loss of privileges to study outside the dormitory
  • Assignment of Friday restrictions

Appeal Process

If a student feels that the disciplinary process was procedurally flawed or that new and salient information has come to light, then he or she may ask the Dean of Students or Academic Dean to initiate an appeal. If the Head of School agrees, then a Disciplinary Appeal Committee will be convened. The Disciplinary Appeal Committee is composed of four faculty DC or AHC members, four senior DC or AHC, the student’s advisor, and the Dean of Students (or Academic Dean in the case of an academic honor hearing). The appeal procedure is the same for both Discipline Committee and Academic Honor Committee hearings, and the Dean of Students or Academic Dean, respectively, determines the school’s response based on the committee’s recommendation.

Head of School Discretion

At any time, the Head of School may respond to inappropriate behavior by immediately dismissing a student or by imposing a lesser disciplinary response.