Code of Conduct
Updated: August 28, 2018
CODE OF CONDUCT
(Template revised Sept. 2018)
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.
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.
Student Rights Include:
- to be treated with dignity and respect
- to be provided with activities that are success oriented and build on individual strengths
- to receive a quality education
Parent Rights Include:
- to be treated with dignity and respect
- to be heard and to have concerns addressed
- to communicate with the school
Staff Rights Include:
- to be treated with dignity and respect
- to have a safe working environment
- to expect 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 must:
- 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.
All members of the school community must not:
- engage in bullying behaviours
Definition of bullying:
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,
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
Creating a negative environment at a school for another individual, and
The behaviour occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between pupil 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)
- Bullying by electronic means (commonly known as cyber-bullying), including:
- creating a webpage or a blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person;
- impersonating another person as the author of content or messages posted on the internet; and
- 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 assault;
- traffic in weapons or illegal drugs;
- 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, cannabis or illegal drugs;
- 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 robbery;
- 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 to 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.
All students will:
- be treated with respect and dignity by all school and board staff;
- accept responsibility for their personal actions;
- demonstrate respect for self, and others, and for those in authority;
- fulfil expected academic obligations;
- come to school punctually each day, prepared and willing 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
The Principal will:
- take a leadership role in the daily operation of the school by demonstrating care and commitment to academic excellence and a safe teaching and learning environment;
- hold those under their authority accountable for their actions and behaviour;
- empower students to be positive leaders in their school and community, and
- communicate meaningfully and on a regular basis with all members of the school’s community.
- ensure that a School Code of Conduct, based on the Ontario Code of Conduct and the Board’s Code of Conduct is developed and communicated annually to the school community; and
- review the school Code of Conduct at least once every three years, and seek input from School Council, staff, students, parents and guardians.
Teachers and school staff will:
maintain order in the school;
- serve as role models;
- maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students;
- help students work to fulfill their potential, develop self-worth, and prepare them for the full responsibilities of citizenship;
- communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents/guardians;
- demonstrate respect for all students, staff, parents, volunteers, and members of the school community; and
- empower students to be positive leaders in their school and community.
Parents play an important role in the education of their children and can fulfill this responsibility by:
- demonstrating respect for all students, staff, volunteers and members of the school community;
- supporting the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment;
- showing an active interest in their child’s school work and progress;
- communicating regularly with their child’s school;
- assisting staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child;
- helping their child be neat, dress appropriately, be well rested and prepared and ready to learn;
- ensuring that their child attends school regularly and on time;
- promptly reporting their child’s absence or late arrival;
- showing that they are 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
- helping and encouraging 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
- no play wrestling or body contact games
- play only in designated areas in clear view of yard supervisors (avoid dumpsters, parking lot, snow piles)
- rules for using electronic devices at school
- obey winter rules (no throwing snowballs)
- Note: The use of roller blades, heelie shoes, skateboards, and scooters by students on school property is not allowed.
Please refer to the UGDSB Student Dress Code guidelines.
Appropriate dress is defined as student attire that is free of symbols of hate, gang membership, or images that portray violence, death, abuse, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, racial discrimination, obscene words, political or sexual statements.
The Board believes that the Police are partners with schools and school boards in maintaining safe schools and communities. Through the guidelines established in the Police/School Board Protocol Agreement, Police support schools by encouraging, enabling and maintaining positive relationships with school administrators, staff, students, parents and members of the school community.
The Board believes that community agencies and members of the school community are resources that can help boards deliver prevention and intervention programs. Current and new partnerships, protocols and outreach are encouraged and supported by the Board to formalize and enhance relationships to maintain safe communities.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SCHOOL’S CODE OF CONDUCT
Schools focus on prevention and early intervention as the key to maintaining a positive school environment in which pupils can learn. The Board supports the use of positive practices and progressive discipline as a whole school approach to foster the building of healthy relationships and encourage appropriate behaviours, as well as the application of consequences for inappropriate behaviour.
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;
- being sensitive to unique circumstances which may affect student behaviour;
- ensuring that contact with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of students, under the age of eighteen, is made early in the disciplinary process;
- maintaining contact with the parent(s)/guardian(s) and involving them in a plan to improve the behaviour until the behaviour is acceptable.
- 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
- impact on the school climate
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 a progressive discipline approach;
- utilize Student Success or Character Development strategies and programs;
- provide students with the opportunity to learn life skills such as conflict resolution, anger management and communication skills;
- utilize models such as those based on the concepts of peer mediation and/or peer counselling;
- document incidents requiring disciplinary measures, and apply the mitigating factors to be sensitive to unique circumstances which may affect student behaviour;
- ensure that contact with the parents and guardians of students under the age of eighteen, or students over the age of 18 or those 16 or 17 years old who have withdrawn from parental control (adult students), is made early in the disciplinary process and involves them in a plan to improve the student’s behaviour until the behaviour is acceptable; and/or
- utilize consequences such as short-term suspension as a useful tool, and respond as required with long-term suspension or expulsion.
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:
review of expectations / rules
written or verbal apology
yard: 5 minutes on the wall
yard: walk with the teacher
letter written to parent
Examples of Supports / Interventions:
discussion with P / VP
reflective paragraph / essay
discussion with parents (next steps, solutions)
conference with others involved
phone call home
student contract sheet
in-school community service
class time detentions
loss of in-school privileges
loss of field trip privileges
suspension from the bus
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 / Expulsion Program
SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION
It is understood that discipline serves not only to correct inappropriate behaviour, but also as a deterrent. 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 Student Discipline 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.
The Principal will consider the following mitigating factors when considering a suspension:
- the pupil does not have the ability to control his or her behaviour;
- the pupil does not have the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behaviour;
- the pupil’s continuing presence in the school does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety of any other person.
The Principal will also consider the following factors if they mitigate (moderate) the seriousness of the incident or the behaviour of the student involved:
- the pupil’s history and age, whether progressive discipline has been used, if a behaviour has been motivated by harassment or discrimination, the impact on the ongoing education of the student, the student’s Individual Education Plan.
Note: In some cases, even though the offence calls for a mandatory suspension pending an investigation, the consideration of the mitigating circumstances may cause a principal not to suspend.
INFRACTIONS THAT MAY LEAD TO A SUSPENSION
Police may be involved, as required, 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 or unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user, cannabis;
- 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;
- medical immunization;
- persistent opposition to authority;
- habitual neglect of duty;
- a serious breach of the Board or School’s Code of Conduct.
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, as required, 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 to a minor;
- persistent bullying – previous suspension / risk to others;
- any suspendable activity that is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate.