Code of Conduct

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Fundamental Standards of Student Behavior

Catlin Gabel encourages self-discipline, sound judgment, and respect for self and others. Our goal is to help students learn from experiences both in and out of the classroom, to grow from errors in judgment, to be accountable for their own actions, and to behave honorably. The following are considered fundamental standards of student behavior.


Students are expected to act with honesty and integrity in all their actions at the school. They are expected to take responsibility for their actions, work, and behavior. Catlin Gabel regards dishonesty and disrespect as serious infractions and responds accordingly. Lack of personal integrity is evidenced by such actions as lying, stealing, or forgery. Lack of academic honesty is evidenced by such acts as plagiarism, cheating, or allowing others to represent your work as their own.

Respect and Responsibility

Students are expected to demonstrate respect for self, others, and the environment. Behavior that is detrimental to the spirit and welfare of Catlin Gabel or to its individual members is subject to disciplinary action. The following are not acceptable in this community.

  • Discrimination: open or implied acts or statements directed against any racial, sexual, or religious group within or outside of the school community.
  • Disruptive behavior: actions that interfere with the educational environment or process, or are detrimental to the welfare of others.
  • Intimidation: an intentional threat by word or action.
  • Vandalism: willfully damaging, defacing, or destroying property.
  • Verbal abuse and harassment: put downs, insults, slander, and ostracism. Language or behavior that insults, demeans, ridicules, or torments another person. 

Alcohol and Drugs

Students who possess, distribute, sell, or give evidence of having consumed or used alcohol or illegal drugs during or prior to a school activity, shall be subject to both professional assessment of their use and appropriate discipline. Discipline will typically involve suspension, and may involve expulsion. Smoking and the use of tobacco products are prohibited on the school’s property or at events sponsored by the school.

Sexual Activity

Sexual activity is not appropriate on campus or on school-sponsored trips and activities off campus.

Violation of any of these fundamental standards is likely to result in a student’s being sent before the Judicial Council. This group, consisting of students and faculty, considers violations of the community standards and recommends action to the Upper School head.

All students are expected to play a part in creating a safe, hospitable, and healthy community.

Appropriate Use of Computers and Technology

Appropriate use of technology at Catlin Gabel should reflect the core values of the school: academic honesty, respect for oneself and others, and respect for private and intellectual property. This means that students may not use computers or the network in ways that interfere with academic use of computers or that violate trust or community standards of behavior. The school will handle computer and technology related problems in the same way as other disciplinary matters.

We do not wish to try to make rules to cover all contingencies, and students are expected to guide their behavior according to the principles above and the educational goals of the school. Some specific guidelines are below:

Student responsibilities for laptops on campus:

  • All laptops and associated equipment must be clearly labeled with the student’s name.
  • Students are responsible for the security of their laptops on campus. They should use a padded case.
  • Students are required to back up all work. Failure to have a back-up is not an acceptable reason for failure to turn in assignments.

Classroom guidelines for use of computers

Teachers will establish specific rules for the use of laptops in their classrooms. In most cases these will include:

  • Screen down times (“tilt times”): students must immediately tilt screens when asked to do so.
  • Students may connect to the internet only when specifically instructed to do so.
  • Students may not use e-mail or instant messenger during class time unless asked to do so by the teacher.

Use of Cell Phones

Catlin Gabel encourages students to actively engage each other and their teachers socially and academically. Use of cell phones on campus can interfere with face-to-face communication and may adversely affect academic and interpersonal focus.

Students generated our guidelines for appropriate cell phone texting and talking, which limit cell phone use on campus to practical, not social, purposes. Cell phone use is prohibited during assemblies and in classrooms, the library, and the science building.

Routine expectations of students

Arriving on time: School begins with first period at 8 a.m. Students are expected to be on campus from 8 a.m. until 3:15 p.m., even if they have free periods at the beginning or end of the day.

Absences: A parent must notify the school by 9 a.m. if a student is absent. Planned absences require a form to be filled in at least three days in advance. Unexcused absences may result in referral to the Judicial Council.

Automobile Use: All drivers must drive slowly and carefully. Students must register their cars with the Upper School office and park in the theater parking lot or another assigned space.

Leaving Campus: Freshmen and sophomores may not leave campus during the school day (8:00 a.m.-3:15 p.m.). Juniors and seniors may leave campus for lunch, and must sign out before leaving campus. Any student who needs to leave school for any other reason must have permission from their advisor or the Upper School office before they sign out. The school is not responsible for any students while they are off campus at any time during the school day, unless they are participating in a school-sponsored event.

Dress: The school’s standard is simply that clothing be neat, clean, and appropriate to the program of the day. Students who arrive on campus wearing inappropriate clothing will be asked to return home to change.