Policy 503 Safe Schools
It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) to support and maintain a positive school climate for all students. A positive school climate is a safe, accepting and inclusive learning and teaching environment which allows every student to reach their full potential.
The UGDSB will work with its community partners in a whole-school approach to promote positive student behaviours, focusing on early and ongoing interventions and supports, and progressive discipline practices. Principles of equity, inclusion and mutual respect will be embedded in the learning environment and inform curriculum, school climate, teaching practices, policies and procedures.
All consequences assigned as a result of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour will include the opportunity for students to continue their education, and access learning opportunities that will reinforce positive behaviours. The goal of any response will be to correct a student’s behaviour, rather than punish the student.
There are four procedures manuals to help administer Policy 503 Safe Schools. The central principles for each procedures manual are described below.
1.1 Bullying Prevention and Intervention (Procedures Manual 503-A)
1.1.1 The UGDSB recognizes that bullying is a serious issue that has far-reaching consequences. Bullying adversely affects:
- a school’s ability to educate its students
- a student’s well-being and ability to learn
- the dignity and self-esteem of students who are bullied
- school climate, including healthy relationships
1.1.2 Bullying will not be accepted on school property, at school-related activities, on school buses or in any other circumstance (e.g., cyber-bullying) where engaging in bullying will have a negative impact on the school climate.
1.2 Progressive Discipline (Procedures Manual 503-B)
1.2.1 The board will employ preventative measures and early intervention strategies to promote positive student behaviours and build skills for healthy relationships.
1.2.2 Through progressive discipline, a range of developmentally appropriate interventions, supports and consequences are utilized to address inappropriate student behaviour, and will include learning opportunities for students in order to reinforce positive behaviours and help students to make good choices.
1.3 Exclusion (Procedures Manual 503-C)
1.3.1 A principal has a duty under the Education Act to refuse to admit to the school or a classroom any person whose presence would in the principal’s judgement be detrimental to the physical or mental well-being of the students. (Education Act, Section 265(1)(m))
1.3.2 Exclusion from a classroom or a school is allowable solely on the basis of safeguarding student physical and mental well-being, and is not a disciplinary measure.
1.4 Suspension and Expulsion (Procedures Manual 503-D)
1.4.1 Suspension for an infraction listed in Section 306 of the Education Act and section 10 of the board’s Suspension and Expulsion Procedures Manual 503-D is part of a continuum of progressive discipline responses, and may only be imposed where in the principal’s judgement a response under the board’s Progressive Discipline procedures manual would not be appropriate.
1.4.2 Infractions listed under Section 310 of the Education Act and section 11 of the board’s Suspension and Expulsion Procedures Manual 503-D require a mandatory suspension pending an investigation into whether a recommendation for a school or board expulsion is warranted.
1.4.3 A principal who deems the circumstances and/or the nature of an infraction to be such that a suspension or expulsion should be imposed shall comply with the board’s Suspension and Expulsion Procedures Manual 503-D, with consideration of all mitigating and other factors, as required by the Education Act And Ontario Regulation 472/07.
- 503 Safe Schools Policy Statement
- 503-A Bullying Prevention and Intervention Procedures Manual
- 503-B Progressive Discipline Procedures Manual
- 503-C Exclusion Procedures Manual
- 503-D Suspension and Expulsion Procedures Manual
First adopted: June 2010
Revision history: June 2013, July 2016 (503-A), November 2018 (503-A), November 2020, February 2021