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Principal's Page

Mrs. Schlappi

It doesn’t take anyone long to discover that the Doña Merced community possesses qualities that set it apart and make it a very special school.  Its reputation and tradition of academic excellence is due to the passionate teaching staff that go over and beyond to seek out opportunities, ideas and best practices that challenge and inspire students. The enthusiasm and commitment of Doña’s scholars is evident across the campus. Along with the support of our generous Business Partners, and the dedication of a hard working PTA and support staff, students and families are provided opportunities for fun and learning through a wide variety of programs and events.  Access our “About Our School” page for a brief description of the many distinctions offered at Doña Merced.  Doña is truly a treasure among schools and I am honored to serve as its leader. 

Pam Schlappi

Helping students make good choices

One important facet of my job is to work with our staff to manage student behavior at school.  I view these elementary school years as ones in which students are learning how to make good choices and understanding that all choices carry consequences, both positive and negative. Although each teacher may have unique and specific guidelines for procedures within his/her own classroom, all staff members communicate three school-wide rules and expectations with all students:

 

Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself.

Do what adults in charge tell you to do.

Treat other people the way you want to be treated.

 

Most often when there is an infraction of these rules, the adult in charge will communicate the problem to the child’s teacher, who will handle the situation and communicate with you, as necessary.  For a serious infraction, or an accumulation of minor infractions, I may be called upon to intervene.  As part of the process of dealing with a behavior issue, I work through the answers to the following question with the student:

 

What can you do if you make a poor choice?

  • Notice and admit your mistake. (Honesty is often the most difficult step.)
  • Cooperate with the adults who care about you and want to help.
  • Choose to make it right. (This may include making amends and an appropriate apology.)
  • Accept your consequences. (The consequence will be determined based upon the student’s history and the seriousness of the offense.)
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Make better choices next time.

In order to facilitate collaboration with parents/guardians to help students make better choices, it is my intention to call home when I become involved and have a conversation like this with a student.  Please do not be alarmed if your child tells you he/she had to speak with the principal but you did not get a call from me.  There are times when I speak with many students while investigating a situation so I can make decisions based upon the best information I can glean.

There are times when your child will alert you to situations at school as well.  We take your concerns seriously and will do everything we can to investigate and remedy problems.  Please remember, contacting your child’s teacher is always the best first step when you have a question or concern, but when needs arise, I am available to mediate.  Using my e-mail link through our school website is a great way to communicate with me, as I am not always readily available by phone throughout the day.

For a copy of our school-wide behavior management system, click here.  To view Doña's bullying policy, click here.

School-wide Character Focus

Every year Doña’s students and staff focus on developing and deepening a specific character and or/scholarly traits.  This year students will be  focusing on three different character traits.

Trimester 1

 RESPECT

Trimester 2

KINDNESS

Trimester 3

Teachers will choose a different trait per grade level, unique to the needs of students this year.

Be sure to help reinforce these important concepts by asking your children what they know about these traits as they are introduced in school and providing opportunities to implement at home as well.

Scholarly Traits we have worked on over recent years will continue to be taught and practiced in the classrooms, including:

Goal Setting

Scholars set long-term and short-term goals in life.

Preparation

Scholars are prepared and ready with all the necessary tools for the job.

Practice

Scholars know when they do something over and over, they get better at it

Perseverance

Scholars don't give up.  They keep going, even when the work is hard.

Risk Taking

Scholars take intellectual risks and think outside the box.

School Safety

We take the safety of students at Doña Merced very seriously.  Our school’s safety team, comprised of teachers, support staff, parent representatives, and the principal, meets regularly to monitor and maintain our Comprehensive Safe School Plan.  Our school's Safe School Plan is updated regularly, reviewed by the School Site Council and approved by the Central School District School Board every year.  The plan  is in compliance with California Education Code and includes items such as detailed plans and procedures to be followed in the event of a disaster or emergency, child abuse reporting procedures, discrimination and harassment policies, and plans for maintaining a safe and orderly environment during the school day as well as during drop-off and dismissal. For a closer look at our safety plan, feel free to make an appointment with me.