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17. Discipline

First and foremost, discipline at St. John's is characterized by love and forgiveness. Christianity proclaims that each person bears the image of God, and this vision is not to be lost when discipline is required. The teachers and administration of the school will determine the form and degree of discipline required based on the student's attitude, development and the problem at hand. All discipline is based on Orthodox principles spelled out by the Scriptures and teachings of the Fathers: reflection, reconciliation, repentance and asking of forgiveness, timely consequences/restitution, and restoration of fellowship. 


Demerits are formal records of behaviour not in accordance with Christian expectations and the policies of the school, issued by teachers or St. John's staff when improper behavior is encountered. Infractions might be issued for, for example, tardiness, being unprepared for class, rude, disrespectful, disruptive behavior, incomplete uniform, failure to attend church, fighting or slander, etc. 

Demerits are logged on a form, specifying the date and the infraction. This information is processed into a Demerit Book, and the forms passed on to parents. All demerit forms must be signed by parents and returned to the school for entry into student files. Consequences of accumulating demerits consist of detentions, community service, or suspension.

When a student receives a milestone demerit (5, 10, etc.) a committee meets to decide on a response or penalty that is appropriate to the student. Starting with the 10-demerit level, parents will be required to attend a conference held during school hours. At this conference, the school and parents together will work on a plan of action to correct the recurring behavior or problem. Upon reaching the 25 demerit mark the school reserves the right to expel the student. 

Demerits may be academic or behavioral. The following are examples of possible demerits, however this list does not cover all possible situations. 

Academic Demerits:
  • Not prepared for class: 
  • Homework not done
  • Supplies/books not in class 
  • Substandard work:
    • Sloppy work (handwriting illegible, torn, crumpled paper, etc.)
    • Late assignments 
Behavioral Demerits:
  • Speaking out of turn
  • Ignoring the teacher; wasting time
  • Rude, disrespectful behavior
  • Leaving the classroom without permission
  • Tardy to class/school
  • Not returning demerit form
  • Sloppy appearance/out of uniform (PE or regular)
  • Roughhousing and slander; gossip
  • Fighting (will normally result in an immediate suspension that day; referral to the Dean of Student for further review 


Incorporated into, or alongside, the demerit system, the Saint John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy may impose any of the following penalties for wrongful behavior, as a given situation may warrant:
  • Instruction that the offending student publicly or privately ask forgiveness from those wronged
  • Time out before the icons reflecting on and asking forgiveness for wrongs done
  • Writing sentences, or essays describing wrongful behaviour and lessons to be learnt from it
  • Janitorial work, either during recess and breaks or after school
  • Loss of privileges including recess, break time and fieldtrips
  • Prostrations
  • Parental attendance during the school day for a meeting with school staff and the student
  • Fines (payable by parents prior to further issuing of grades)
  • Suspension (either in-school or at-home, for variable periods of time)
  • Expulsion
  • Other disciplinary responses as may be deemed appropriate to specific circumstances
Absolutely no physical punishment is allowed by or at St. John's. No teacher at anytime may strike or physically harm a student.

Academic Probation

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5. Students who fall below this mark will be placed on academic probation. Failure to improve the student's grade point average could result in denial to re-entry the following year.