As a student of Geffen Academy, I will adhere to the principles of integrity and equal opportunity. I will not impede other students' or my ability to learn and thrive, both as a student and as a person.

Honor Code

In Geffen Academy's founding year, student created an honor code that  encapsulated the key values of Geffen Academy and could serve as a statement that students could refer to in order to analyze any kind of behavior. All students are expected to adhere to the principles of the Honor Code, and more specifically, to their grade-wide and division-wide classroom behavior expectations, in their daily decision-making and operating as students of Geffen Academy. If and when it is found that students have contradicted the tenets of the Honor Code, a series of restorative procedures are in place to ensure the reparation of the wrongdoing. 
 
These are the key elements of the Honor Code:
 
Integrity
Integrity embodies the idea of “doing the right thing,” and furthermore, “doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.” Students at Geffen Academy strive to not only produce original work, but produce it ethically and honestly whether or not someone is monitoring them. The concept of integrity applies to academic endeavors and beyond. Students thrive to demonstrate integrity through their words and actions, especially as they pertain to the reputation of others. 
 
Equal Opportunity 
Students at Geffen Academy acknowledge the incredible diversity they embody as a community; diversity across multiple threads of identity and experience. Students expect to work individually and together in a way that ensures all students have equal and fair access to opportunities that this school affords them, whether it be in the class or in co-curricular activities. When possible, students will use their identities and experiences to be allies and accomplices to each other. 
 
Ability to Learn 
All students deserve to learn at school in a safe, predictable, and stimulating environment. Students acknowledge that they are a community of learners, and their habits and behaviors in class can either support each other’s learning, or prevent maximum learning from taking place. Students will ensure their behavior is such that it does not interfere with anyone else’s ability to learn. 
 
Ability to Thrive 
All students deserve to be healthy and happy as whole people. When students are driven to thwart or hide important facets of themselves, they cannot flourish socially, emotionally, or academically at school. Students will not behave in a way that prevents others from being their full, authentic selves at school.

Restorative Practices at Geffen Academy

Restorative practices are communication practices that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community and repairing relationships when harm has occurred. 

In a traditional approach to school discipline, the emphasis is placed on school and rules being violated. In a restorative approach, the emphasis is on people and relationships which may be violated. When we center people and relationships, we center the purpose of school and communal spaces. Accountability in a restorative approach focuses on identifying and meeting the needs and obligations of those who have been harmed, rather than establishing guilt. Through this approach, both the wrongdoer and those who have been harmed are given equal attention and voice in the resolution. A restorative approach allows for reflection, remorse and genuine repair. Geffen Academy believes that restorative practices allow for our students to grow as empathetic beings authentically cognizant of their actions and the impact their behavior has on others. 

The goals of restorative practices are for students to:
  • Recognize harm 
  • Take responsibility for the harm 
  • Make reparations for the harm (and ensure non-recurrance) 

In the majority of cases, students will engage with the Deans or other Educators to address harm and engage in a conflict-resolution process with those who have been harmed (either through 1:1 dialogue or group circles). In cases where the harm cannot effectively be addressed in this manner, further conversations with Educators are had and resolutions are enacted. 

A restorative approach requires courage from all parties involved, as well as deep trust in the process. The process takes longer than a traditional approach to discipline, and requires a certain level of transparency and willingness to engage in open and honest dialogue in order to move forward.