School in the Square (S2) engages, educates and empowers adolescents in Washington Heights to respond mindfully and creatively to life’s opportunities and challenges. S2 draws its name from the concept of the public square, where communities come together to solve problems and celebrate successes. We envision S2 as a place where students, families and educators are seen, heard and inspired, and where students build the academic foundations, emotional intelligence and leadership skills necessary to excel in college and professional life. In line with our commitment to equity and diversity, S2 is dedicated to serving all students by providing a differentiated and inclusive learning environment.

Restorative Justice, Responsible Behavior

Building a sense of belonging, ownership, and mutual respect is key to the foundation upon which School in the Square is built.

Student Behavior Management and Discipline

S2 takes a proactive role in nurturing positive behaviors by providing students with a range of supports as well as meaningful opportunities for social emotional learning. S2 models its approach on the NYCDOE updated discipline code, which implements a series of escalating consequences to discourage negative behaviors and protect the school community.

S2 categorizes infractions into three levels. A range of responses for each level appears below. Whenever possible and appropriate, the response to misconduct will begin with the lowest level of disciplinary action.

Level 1: Uncooperative/Noncompliant/Disorderly Behavior

In response to uncooperative, noncompliant or disorderly behavior, teachers will begin with verbal reminders of the expected student behaviors and the behaviors expected at S2. Consequences for minor offenses include warnings from teachers or administrators, student/teacher conferences, parent/guardian conferences, phone calls home, and/or exclusion from extracurricular activities.

Level 2: Disruptive Behavior

In addition to the consequences noted above, if students are unable to adjust minor behaviors that prevent them or others from learning, or that disrupt the peace of the school community, they will be removed from the classroom. They will be referred to an administrator or advisor, who will work with them to identify pertinent issues, develop an individualized behavior plan, and return them to class as appropriate.

Level 3: Aggressive/Harmful/Dangerous/Violent Behavior

S2 will limit exclusion from learning to the extent possible, and intends to use suspension and expulsion only as a last resort to maintain the safety of the school community. Behavior issues that require these types of interventions will require involvement from the Executive Director and Principal.

Intervention Strategies

Intervention and Prevention

School in the Square employs multiple approaches to providing support to address personal and family circumstances.

Conflict Resolution and Mediation

S2 will provide students with time and space to resolve conflicts in structured and productive manners. This may involve individuals or groups. No student shall be forced to participate in conflict resolution activities, but it is highly encouraged as an effective means to repair strains on relationships within the community.

Reflection and Consequences

As part of our restorative justice approach, students will be given the opportunity to address the harm they have caused, even if it appears only to affect themselves. The nature of reparations will be determined in conference with school staff, parents, and when appropriate and to the extent possible, will involve the student(s) in discussion. Examples of reparations include replacing, fixing, or cleaning damaged property; service or assistance to make up for lost time; and/or written or verbal apologies.

In all cases, the safety and well-being of S2 students
and the community are the first priority.

Click here for our schoolwide safety plan.

S2 Distance Learning

A Peek inside S2

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