Code of Conduct

Goal

It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to maintain a safe and inclusive learning and teaching environment through the adoption of a Code of Conduct which promotes responsibility, respect, civility and academic excellence, and sets clear standards of behaviour for all members of the school community. The goal is to create a positive school climate where all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable and accepted.

Introduction

Our School Code of Positive Student Behaviour is based upon the Ontario Code of Conduct and the Upper Grand District School Board Code of Conduct (Policy # 213) which applies to all members of the school community; students, administrators, staff, parents and guardians, community users, visitors, volunteers, etc. while on all school and Board property, school buses, at school-authorized events and off site at school-sponsored activities, or in other circumstances that could have a negative impact on the school climate.

Rights

Student have the right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect
  • be provided with activities that are success oriented and build on individual strengths
  • receive a quality education

Parent have the right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect
  • be heard and to have concerns addressed
  • communicate with the school

Staff Rights include:

  • being treated with dignity and respect
  • having a safe working environment
  • expecting parents and students to be involved in creating a positive school environment

Standards of Behaviour

A) Respect, Civility and Responsible Citizenship
All members of the school community will:

  • respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws;
  • demonstrate honesty and integrity
  • respect differences in people, their ideas and opinions;
  • treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially where there is disagreement;
  • respect and treat others fairly, regardless of their race ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;
  • respect the rights of others;
  • show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others;
  • take appropriate measures to help those in need;
  • respect all members of the school community, especially persons who are in a position of authority
  • respect the needs of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching;
  • not swear at a teacher or at another person in authority, and
  • seek school staff assistance, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully.

B) Safety

All members of the school community must not:

  • engage in bullying behaviours
    Definition of bullying:

      1. The behaviour is intended by the pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to know that the behaviour would be likely to have the effect of,
        1. Causing harm, fear or distress to another individual, including physical, psychological, social or academic harm, harm to the individual’s reputation or harm to the individual’s property, or
        2. Creating a negative environment at a school for another individual, and
      2. The behaviour occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between pupils and the individual based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, peer group power, economic status, social status, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, disability or the receipt of special education; (intimidation)
      3. Bullying by electronic means (commonly known as cyber-bullying), including:
        1. creating a webpage or a blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person;
        2. impersonating another person as the author of content or messages posted on the internet; and
        3. communicating material electronically to more than one individual or posting material on a website that may be accessed by one or more individuals.”
  • commit sexual assaults
  • traffic in weapons or illegal drugs;
  • give alcohol to a minor;
  • commit robbery
  • be in possession of any weapon including, but not limited to, firearms;
  • use any object to threaten or intimidate another person;
  • cause injury to any person with an object;
  • be in possession of, or under the influence of, or provide others with alcohol or illegal drugs, or cannabis (unless the individual has been authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes);
  • provide others with alcohol, illegal drugs, or cannabis (unless the recipient is an individual who has been authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes);
  • inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm on another person;
  • engage in hate propaganda and other forms of behaviour motivated by hate or violence;
  • commit an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property or property located on the premises of a school, or;
  • engage in any form of electronic communication directed toward an individual or group of people that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear, distress, and/or harm to other persons; feelings, self esteem, or reputation, or that has a negative impact on the school climate.

Student Roles and Responsibilities

Students are to be treated with respect and dignity.  In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for others, and for the responsibilities of citizenship through acceptable behaviour and adherence to the board and school codes of conduct.

All students will:

  • accept responsibility for their personal actions;
  • demonstrate respect for self, and others, and for those in authority;
  • come to school prepared, on time, and ready to learn;
  • obey the rules of the school, on school buses, and at other sites during school activities,
  • dress appropriately in accordance with the Board’s and the School’s policies regarding appropriate dress;
  • use respectful language, free from profanity;
  • work cooperatively with staff and other students;
  • be honest in their academic work (refrain from plagiarism, cheating, etc.);
  • use free time responsibly; and
  • refrain from bringing anything to school that compromises the safety of others

Staff Roles and Responsibilities

The Principal

Under the direction of the school board, principals take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school.  They provide this leadership by:

  • demonstrating care and commitment to student achievement and well-being in a safe, inclusive, and accepting learning environment;
  • holding those under their authority accountable for their actions and behaviour;
  • empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community;
  • communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of the school’s community.
  • ensuring that a School Code of Conduct, based on the provincial Code of Conduct and the board’s Code of Conduct is developed and communicated annually to the school community; and
  • reviewing the school Code of Conduct at least once every three years, and seeking input from School Council, staff, students, parents and guardians.

Teachers and School Staff

Under the leadership of their principals, teachers and other school staff maintain a positive learning environment and are expected to hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour.  As role models, teachers and other school staff uphold these high standards when they:

  • help students work to fulfill their potential, and develop their self-worth;
  • communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents/guardians;
  • Maintain consistent and fair standards of behaviour for all students;
  • Prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship;
  • demonstrate respect for all students, staff, parents, volunteers, and members of the school community; and
  • empower students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school and community.

Parental Roles and Responsibilities

Parents play an important role in the education of their children and can support the efforts of the school staff in maintaining a safe, inclusive, accepting, and respectful learning environment for all students.  Parents fulfill their role when they:

  • demonstrate respect for all members of the school community;
  • support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment;
  • are engaged in their child’s schoolwork and progress;
  • communicate regularly with their child’s school;
  • assist staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child;
  • help their child be appropriately dressed and prepared for school;
  • ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time;
  • promptly report their child’s absence or late arrival;
  • become familiar with the Ontario Code of Conduct, the Board’s Code of Conduct, and the School’s Code of Conduct and rules of behaviour; and
  • help and encourage their child in following the Board’s Code of Conduct and the School’s Code of Conduct and the rules of behaviour.

Specific Expectations/Rules for School

School community members are expected to follow the school’s code of conduct and demonstrate respect for the learning environment, others at school, others outside of the school, school property, and use of technology.

Appropriate Dress

Appropriate dress shall be free of images, logos or language that portray ethnic prejudice, racism, sexism, vulgarity, gang-related markings, obscenities, profanity, hate speech or pornography, or reference alcohol, drugs or related paraphernalia, or other illegal conduct or activities.

Dress code implies a range of approved apparel and/or general dress protocols that are deemed appropriate for students regardless of their race, age, ability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, socio-economic circumstances, or body type/size.

Please refer to the UGDSB Student Dress Code guidelines.

Police Services

The police play an essential role in making our schools and communities safer.  The police investigate incidents in accordance with the guidelines established in the Police/School Board Protocol.

Community Partners

Community-based service providers are resources that boards can use to deliver prevention or intervention programs.  Protocols and collaborative agreements are effective ways of establishing linkages between boards and community-based service providers and of formalizing the relationship between them.  These partnerships must respect all applicable collective agreements.

Implementation of the School’s Code of Conduct

Safe Schools Policy 503 (Student Discipline, Bullying Prevention and Intervention, Suspension and Expulsion) provides direction to the school Code of Conduct in order to support and maintain a positive school climate for all students, staff, and community. The school Code of Conduct supports the use of positive practices, including prevention and early intervention, as well as consequences for inappropriate behaviour. This includes Progressive Discipline, and suspension and expulsion where necessary. Before applying disciplinary measures, the discriminatory and disproportionate impacts of disciplinary decisions on students protected by the Human Rights Code shall be considered.

Progressive Discipline

Progressive Discipline is a range of early and later interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, and include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes and that focus on improving behaviour. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Student Success and Character Development strategies and programs;
  • providing students with the opportunity to learn life skills such as conflict; resolution, anger management and communication skills;
  • utilizing models based on the concepts of peer mediation and/or peer counselling;
  • documenting incidents requiring disciplinary measures, and applying the mitigating factors;
  • ensuring that contact with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of students, under the age of eighteen, is made early in the disciplinary process;

As incidents arise, it is recognized that each situation is unique. Incidents are managed in a consistent manner to ensure that fairness is integral to the process, and that this fairness is perceived by all participants. Within this process, consideration for consequences will be given for:

  • student age
  • frequency of incidents
  • nature and severity of incidents
  • student exceptionalities
  • extenuating circumstances

Consequences

The school will use a range of interventions, supports and consequences that include learning opportunities for reinforcing positive behaviour while helping students to make good choices.

In addressing inappropriate behaviour by students, schools will:

  • Utilize appropriate and consistent action to address inappropriate behaviours within the practice of Progressive Discipline;
  • Ensure the degree of disciplinary action is in proposition to the severity of the behaviour exhibited, and that a student’s previous history and other relevant factors are taken into account;
  • Provide students with experience using conflict resolution, anger management, and communication skills;
  • Document incidents requiring disciplinary measures
  • Consider mitigating factors
  • Make contact with parents and guardians of students under the age of `8 or those 16 or 17 years old who have withdrawn from parental control (adult students), early in the disciplinary process and involve them in a plan to improve the student’s behaviour until the behaviour is acceptable and/or; 
  • Utilize consequences such as short-term suspension, and respond as required with long-term suspension or expulsion

The application of consequences, supports and interventions are determined by the incident and the individual students involved.  COnsequences, supports, and interventions used include and are not limited to:

The following are examples of consequences and supports / interventions, in no particular order. The application of consequences, supports and interventions are determined by the incident and the individual students involved.

Examples of Consequences:

  • verbal reminder
  • warning
  • review of expectations / rules
  • written or verbal apology
  • incident sheet
  • yard:  5 minutes on the wall
  • yard:  walk with the teacher
  • letter written to parent
  • phone call home
  • student contract sheet
  • restitution
  • in-school community service
  • recess detentions
  • class time detentions
  • loss of in-school privileges
  • loss of field trip privileges
  • suspension from the bus
  • suspension
  • expulsion

Examples of Supports / Interventions:

  • discussion with P / VP
  • reflective paragraph / essay
  • problem solving
  • conflict mediation
  • social stories
  • discussion with parents (next steps, solutions)
  • conference with others involved
  • restorative justice
  • Child and Youth Counsellor support
  • positive reward system
  • Attendance Counsellor support
  • student / teacher / parent meeting
  • case conference with school staff and/or Board consultants
  • referral to outside agencies

Suspension and Expulsion

To maintain a safe and effective learning environment, suspensions and expulsions may be imposed not only to deter inappropriate behaviour, but also to remove individuals who pose a threat to the safety and well-being of others. The provincial Code of Conduct specifies that for student actions that do not comply with the provincial Standards of Behaviour, suspension and expulsion may be considered.  The board’s Safe Schools Policy (Policy 503) sets out the process for suspension and expulsion. This policy specifies the student actions that may result in the principal imposing a suspension, as well as the student actions that will result in the principal imposing a suspension and considering an expulsion pending an investigation of the incident.

Mitigating Factors

The principal will consider the following mitigating factors when considering the length of a suspension:

  • whether the student has the ability to control their behaviour
  • whether the student has the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of their behaviour
  • whether the student’s continuing presence in the school does or does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety of any other individual at the school

The principal will also consider the following factors:

  • the student’s academic, discipline and personal history
  • whether other Progressive Discipline has been attempted with the student, and if so, the Progressive Discipline approach(es) that has/have been attempted and any success or failure
  • whether the infraction for which the student might be disciplined was related to any harassment of the student because of race, colour, ethnic origin, place of origin, religion, creed, disability, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, citizenship, marital status, age, culture or harassment for any other reason
  • the impact of the discipline on the student’s prospects for further education
  • the student’s age

Infractions That May Lead to a Suspension

Police may be involved and a suspension  may be imposed for one of the following infractions which has occurred on school property, during a school related activity or event, and/or in circumstances where the infraction has an impact on the school climate:

  • uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
  • possessing alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • being under the influence of alcohol;
  • swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority;
  • committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil’s school or to property located on the premises of the pupil’s school;
  • bullying, including cyber bullying;
  • any act considered by the Principal to be injurious to the moral tone of the school;
  • any act considered by the Principal to be injurious to the physical or mental well-being of members of the school community;
  • persistent opposition to authority;
  • habitual neglect of duty, persistent truancy or
  • serious breach of the Board’s or school’s Code of Conduct.
  • not having an up-to-date medical/immunization record

INFRACTIONS FOR WHICH A PRINCIPAL SHALL IMPOSE A SUSPENSION, AND MAY CONSIDER RECOMMENDING TO THE BOARD THAT A STUDENT BE EXPELLED

Police may be involved and a student will be immediately suspended, an investigation will occur and  may lead to a recommendation of expulsion to the Board’s Discipline Committee for one of the following infractions which has occurred on school property, during a school related activity or event, and/or in circumstances where the infraction has an impact on the school climate:

  • possessing a weapon, including possessing a firearm;
  • using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person;
  • committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner;
  • committing sexual assault;
  • trafficking in weapons or illegal drugs;
  • committing robbery
  • giving alcohol or cannabis to a minor;
  • Persistent bullying, in the pupil has previously been suspended for bullying, and the pupil’s continuing presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of another person;
  • an activity that is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, colour, national or ethnic origin, language, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender indentity, gender expression, or another similar factor

Please review Policy 503 for additional information.