Statement of Expectations
At the heart of Choate Rosemary Hall is a culture defined by integrity, respect, and compassion. All members of the community have an obligation to know and uphold Choate’s values and strive to embody them in word and deed.
We therefore expect that all members of the community will:
- Respect other people and their privacy and property, both within and beyond the School.
- Treat all human beings with dignity, refraining from behavior that intimidates, insults, threatens, bullies, coerces, abuses, exploits, harasses, humiliates, or demeans.
- Support and promote a school climate that does not discriminate against any individual or group.
- Use words constructively, avoiding gossip and other inappropriate or unproductive dissemination of information.
- Maintain high standards of honesty, avoiding deception, half-truths, and deliberately misleading words or behavior.
- Exemplify principles of responsibility and fairness in daily life.
- Observe safe behavior and report unsafe conditions or practices.
- Cultivate compassion and seek to serve others, both within and beyond Choate.
These community standards apply to our words and behavior not only in personal interactions but also in all forms of electronic media and communications.
We expect that each member of the community will take truly constructive action when these expectations are compromised. Doing so means not being a passive bystander, but rather acting in the best interests of those involved, even in situations when different values of the School (e.g., loyalty and honesty) are in tension with each other. While constructive action often means addressing concerns about inappropriate words or behavior directly with those involved, at other times it means reporting concerns to a Choate employee.
Students are encouraged and empowered to report concerns about violations of these community expectations to any trusted adult at the School, who will assist the student with next steps. Adults must report to an appropriate person as delineated in the Faculty and Staff Handbook.
The School maintains clear and transparent policies, which are explained fully in relevant handbooks, to handle any violations of our community standards and protect all members of the community. Any behavior that violates these standards and/or adversely affects the wellbeing of an individual or the community will be subject to appropriate action, from a reminder about the importance of community standards to official disciplinary response, including possible dismissal from the School or termination of employment.
Choate will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who makes a report in good faith about violations of our community standards; no one should hesitate to make a report out of fear of retaliation. Conversely, all community members must understand that intentionally making a false report is a violation of our behavioral expectations and that doing so may, after appropriate investigation, result in disciplinary action.
This Statement of Expectations clarifies not only how each of us is expected to behave as a member of the Choate Rosemary Hall community but also how we may expect to be treated.
We understand that living out these values requires responsibility, judgment, and courage. We strive to be gracious, supportive, and compassionate toward others as we work to embody our values more fully each day.
Living Our Values
Choate cultivates a school environment in which all members of the community feel valued, safe, and part of something greater than themselves. Adults in the community work to understand the developmental needs of adolescents, support their emerging identities, and promote their healthy growth, embracing the responsibility to provide a clear and consistent structure for students and engage them in conversation about our community standards.
Safety and Wellbeing
- Every member of the community has a responsibility to support a safe school environment by refraining from harmful and unsafe behavior and reporting such behavior when observed.
- Adults are expected to identify and report suspicions of harassment, abuse, and sexual or other misconduct and will not engage in such behaviors themselves. In addition to their reporting obligations to the School, all employees are mandated reporters of suspected abuse or neglect of students as specified by Connecticut state law.
Interpersonal Boundaries and Power Dynamics
- Adults must be alert to the power imbalance in their relationships, whether with students or other adults, and be especially attuned to ways in which others may perceive their words or actions given that imbalance.
- Students must also be mindful of the power they have in various roles at school. They must use their roles constructively, always avoiding intimidation and abuse of authority.
- Adults must not lean on students for emotional support, share personal information with students to an inappropriate degree, or engage in any behavior that blurs the lines between adult and student.
- Adults and students alike must be conscious of their choices regarding language, dress, personal space, and physical touch, understanding that their choices affect others.
- Adults have an obligation to model through both language and behavior the values and expectations we have as a school, being especially conscious of their actions at times and in places when students can observe them.
- Older and returning students must take seriously the power of their example on younger and newer students, accepting the responsibility to model and transmit the values and character of Choate Rosemary Hall.
Information, Confidences, Trust
- Knowing that information has power and value, members of the community must take special care to safeguard personal information with which they are entrusted, always striving to promote the dignity of others.
- Students and adults alike have an obligation to protect confidential information shared by others unless that information raises concerns that someone’s physical or mental health may be at risk. In such instances, adults must share the information through appropriate channels at the School; students are encouraged to do the same.
In the context of responsive, genuine relationships, all members of the community help others to develop a sense of belonging, encourage empathy and compassion, and promote an environment that is kind, generous, and open to the free flow of ideas. As members of this community, we acknowledge that our actions reflect not only on ourselves but also on the School as a whole and therefore strive to live in a way consistent with our values.
Alumni who have information to share regarding inappropriate behaviors or sexual misconduct during their time at school should contact independent investigator:
Ms. Nancy Kestenbaum
of Covington & Burling LLP at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (202) 662-6945.
Immediate crisis counseling is available for alumni through RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) at (800) 656-4673 or www.online.rainn.org.
Alumni who wish to access a therapy fund that has been established to support alumni who want help paying for current therapy needed because of adult sexual misconduct they experienced during their time at Choate should call RAINN’s Choate-specific line at (888) 227-0498.
All communication will be handled confidentially.