Student Conduct

Post Oak students agree to follow the student code of conduct.

The Post Oak School aims to:

  • Balance the freedom and responsibility of the individual with the need for cooperation, order, restraint, and goodwill within the group;
  • Provide an environment where the young person will experience encouragement, affirmation, and community, as well as personal responsibility;
  • Work to ensure each student’s physical and psychological safety;
  • Enable each student to develop a high standard of moral integrity, gained through growth in self-discipline and personal responsibility;
  • Help students grow into mature, responsible adults;
  • Maintain a high standard for student behavior that reflects positively on self, family, school, and community;
  • Treat each student with respect and fairness.

The Post Oak School expects each student to:

  • Treat others with dignity and respect;
  • Treat one's self with that same respect;
  • Respect both the work and the property of others, and to bring only necessary materials to school;
  • Have consistent attendance and punctual arrival.

At the Museum District Campus, each student also commits to:

  • Support all other students as partners in the school community;
  • Work to get to know every other student through the principle of human heartedness that calls each person to embrace the best qualities of every other person;
  • Do the work that they have agreed to do for successful completion of the program of study;
  • Take responsibility for their actions; and
  • Follow the policies in this handbook.

MDC Public Conduct

Given the special opportunities in which students participate in the Houston Museum District, The Post Oak School and its students are quite visible in the community. Therefore, the deportment of all Post Oak community members must always be a credit to the school. It is expected that students on the premises of partner institutions will at all times maintain courteous behavior. Disrespectful or disruptive behavior at any partner institution constitutes a major offense and may result in the individual’s loss of access to partner institutions and, in certain cases, suspension or expulsion from school; in each case, at the sole discretion of the school.

Each year, students will review these principles and their commitment to them for the following year. Additionally, students will participate with the faculty in creating a more specific code of civility for the MDC community.

School Response to Adolescent Misconduct

The Post Oak School is engaged in serving students on their path to adulthood. The period of adolescence represents the end of childhood and beginning of adult roles, freedoms, and responsibilities. It is the period of life when adult frameworks and adult identity begin to be formed. When students of this age cross social, moral, or institutional boundaries, it is an important moment and the authoritative figures involved must act diligently on behalf of any victims and on behalf of the future of the transgressor.

Post Oak faculty and administration work to address misconduct issues swiftly and fairly with the best interests of all parties in mind. Simply put, the school looks at each case individually with a clear sense of the particular circumstances surrounding the event. Typically, the first step is a conversation involving the student, parents, and faculty member. The determination of consequences is made collectively by the faculty members and approved by the division director.

Minor transgressions of the school rules disrupt the flow of the orderly and peaceful educational setting of school. These include disrespectful behavior toward students or staff members and a disregard for the community life such as consistently being absent or tardy or violations of the school appearance policy.

Consequences for minor misbehavior range from receiving a reminder of appropriate decorum to limitations on the student’s freedom or, as appropriate, access in the community as specific to the circumstances. When possible, consequences for minor infractions will match the offense, such as additional cleaning responsibilities when failing to do those that have been assigned. Minor offenses are reported to parents in the course of standard progress reports and/or conferences or, if it is of particular concern to the faculty, parents will be informed by phone call or in writing. When a student repeatedly commits minor offenses, it is a signal that there is a chronic disregard for the standards of the community or that the student is unable to meet the basic expectations of the school. This is a serious situation that can erode the culture of the school and will be treated as a major offense.

Major offenses represent a threat to the safety, security, or mission of the school community. Such actions cause or have the potential to cause physical or emotional harm to oneself, others, or property. Examples include theft, harassment, bullying, chronic failure to complete academic work, and possession or use of illegal chemicals including tobacco and alcohol. Serious misbehavior also includes inappropriate behavior, rudeness, or disruption of work at any partner institutions during or outside of the school day.

Violations of a major school rule will result in more involved procedures, possibly including suspension or expulsion depending on the circumstances. In the event of an incident that constitutes a major offense, staff members will intervene immediately, document the behavior, and inform the division director, who will contact the student’s parents. Any event that results in physical harm to a student or property (including vandalism) will result in a meeting involving the student, the student’s parents, the division director, and any appropriate faculty members. Possible consequences depending on the level of severity include: activity or transportation restrictions, campus restrictions, loss of Museum District partner institution access, entering into a behavior contract, suspension, and expulsion. Repeatedly committing major offenses is viewed as a symptom of the student’s failure to accept the culture and standards of the school community and will result in expulsion. Threats of violence, even in jest, without actually committing the act being referred to, such as those regarding acts of physical harm (e.g., shootings or bombings), may result in immediate expulsion.

Disclosure Policy for Student Misconduct

Student’s Responsibility

Post Oak encourages students to lead with truthfulness and authenticity in all interactions. If a student is asked on a college application whether or not they have been involved in a disciplinary process that resulted in probation, suspension, or dismissal, that student should respond to the question honestly and accurately with a brief, written explanation. We encourage students to have their explanation reviewed by their parents and college counselor prior to submission. If a student has been involved in a disciplinary process that resulted in probation, suspension, or dismissal after the student has submitted an application or been admitted to a college or university, the student is responsible for informing the institution about any new violations when asked.

High School’s Responsibility

If a student has been involved in a disciplinary process that resulted in a probation or suspension, the school will not report this disciplinary violation to colleges or universities. In the case that a college or university contacts the High School and directly asks for more information about the misconduct, Post Oak staff will inform the family before sharing any further details. Post Oak maintains an obligation to report to colleges and universities in the case of any criminal offense, physical or sexual assault, student conduct which rises to the level of dangerous or threatening, and in the case of a student’s dismissal from the school (i.e. student is no longer attending Post Oak) and will do so at the school’s discretion. 

Expulsion

Any student who commits offenses against the community of the school sufficient to warrant expulsion, will be removed from the school. The student and the family will be informed of the offenses in writing. The parents or student may appeal the decision in writing to the head of school within 10 days of the school’s decision for expulsion. The student has the right to rebut statements of others. The school, in its sole judgment, will reach a decision in a reasonable amount of time and inform the family in writing. The family may engage the appellate function of the school following the procedure as outlined in this portal.