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Positive School Culture

All San José Unified schools use a culture and climate program to create a positive school climate for students, employees, and families. Building a positive school climate is a schoolwide initiative where positive expectations are integrated into all aspects of the school day. Combined with the use of social-emotional learning curriculum, the positive school climate programs establish a foundation of positive and proactive support. San José Unified provides school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

Merritt Trace Elementary uses the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework for creating a safe, positive, equitable school where every student can feel valued, connected to the school community, and supported by caring adults.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based framework to promote positive behavior and create safe learning environments. Through PBIS, students co-develop and are taught expected behaviors and what they look like in the different campus settings. Students who display expected behaviors are positively acknowledged and rewarded.

Establishing school-wide expectations with students sets the tone for the classroom and helps build a healthy learning environment. PBIS is part of San José Unified’s tiered supports for students, and is used at most of our schools.  Student Services coaches provide support with program implementation and ongoing maintenance. The school PBIS team reviews discipline data on a regular basis and reteaches behavior expectations as needed.

Our students and community are unified in following our school expectations:

  • Be Safe / Sé Cuidadoso
  • Be Responsible / Sé Responsable
  • Be Respectful / Sé Respetuoso

These expectations aim to improve the quality or our instructional programs by allowing teachers to teach and students to learn. To ensure an optimal learning environment, students and parents are informed through assemblies and notices sent home about district, school grounds, classroom and cafeteria policies.


At Trace Elementary, we ask that we eat in designated areas to maintain our campus clean and avoid choking hazards. 

We also discourage the sharing of food. It has been observed that once a student begins sharing food, their peers will help themselves to their friend’s lunch on other occasions. Therefore, please remind your student not to share or give away food. We have plenty of cafeteria food should students be hungry after finishing their first meal.

Please kindly remind students that we do not play with our food, to be mindful and not wasteful, and to throw away all trash.


We will not accept outside food deliveries from strangers or food delivery companies for students. If you are dropping off a lunch for your student, please have it labeled and drop it off on the shelf by the entrance of the main office (or go to Kinder World’s office for students on that side of the school). Please ensure that the lunch arrives before the student’s lunchtime and that the student and teacher know about the delivery. Should the lunch arrive later than lunchtime, the student will be provided a free lunch from the cafeteria.

Electronic devices, toys, trading cards/items, and selling of objects 

Students are not to bring any electronic devices to school. This includes but is not limited to personal tablets and handheld video games (Nintendo Switch, GameBoy, etc.) Cell phones and phone/smartwatches may be brought to school, but they must stay turned off and stored in backpacks during the school day.

Students are not allowed to use their personal cell phones, including phone watches, for calling or texting during the school day or before and after school transition periods on campus. This adds an extra layer to our student safety protocol. For more information, please check out our Comprehensive Student Safety Plan.

Other items not to be brought to school include perfumes, cologne sprays, makeup, balls, toys,
trading cards (Pokemon), pocket knives/weapons, or large amounts of money. Students are not
allowed to buy, sell or trade items at school. There are vendors outside of our school grounds, and to prevent students from going off campus, please do not send students to school with money.

The school assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of personal items.