All teaching and learning at UCLA Lab School begins with our Safe School System, which articulates and reinforces our values as a community. These values include respect, kindness, honesty, integrity and responsibility.
Safe School is not a discipline program. The goal is for students to build a set of internal, lifelong strategies for working with each other and solving problems.
We do not expect to create a school without social conflict; rather, we want our school to be a safe place for problems to occur, one where students can develop conflict resolution skills through authentic situations. Children are able to share different points of view and engage in respectful negotiations in a real-life social context.
Setting the foundation for our Safe School system is a set of guidelines regarding everyday behavior and language for all members or our school community.
Cool Tools For Young Children
An important component of our Safe School System is Cool Tools, which guides young children in resolving conflicts by using concrete objects to teach abstract concepts. Cool Tools vividly teaches lifelong strategies for handling all forms of conflict through the use of a toolbox filled with kaleidoscopes, mazes, bubbles, toothpaste tubes and more. These “tools” serve as prompts to help children explore, understand and remember behaviors and concepts such as responsibility, decision making, personal space, inclusion, consideration, kindness, integrity, empathy, fairness, patience, forgiveness and determination. Lessons with our older students shift focus from the concrete tools to school values and ask students to reflect on decision-making in areas that include media literacy, stereotypes, and human development.
UCLA Lab School Safe School Guidelines
As a safe school, we are committed to a caring community for learning in a safe environment, whether in person or online. Therefore, we will adhere to the following guidelines.
(1) We will respect differences of all types — physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual.
We will choose our words and actions to help, not hurt, others. We will work to keep our school free of verbal and nonverbal put-downs regarding the following:
• academic progress
• appearance / body image / mannerisms
• athletic ability
• belief systems
• cultural, ethnic and/or racial background
• family background and family composition
• learning styles
• physical challenges
• sexual harassment of any type, including gender stereotypes and homophobic taunts
(2) We will use language that is appropriate for school.
(3) We will not tolerate physical abuse, taunts or threats.
As a safe school, we will accept responsibility for our words and actions without excuses.