Code of Conduct

JOHN BLACK PUBLIC SCHOOL 2021-2022

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, included and accepted.

INTRODUCTION

Our school Code of Conduct is based upon the provincial Code of Conduct and the Upper Grand District School Board Code of Conduct (Policy 213), which apply 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.

RIGHTS

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 BEHAVIOR

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 their opinions
  • treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially where there is disagreement
  • respect and treat others fairly, regardless of age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, colour, place of origin, culture, citizenship, ancestry, origin, religion, creed, family status, marital status, socio-economic status, employment, housing, 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
  • seek school staff assistance, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully
  • 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 a position of authority

B) SAFETY

All members of the school community will not:

  • engage in bullying behaviours, including cyber bullying

 

Definition of bullying:

As defined in section 1 of the Education Actbullying means aggressive and typically repeated behaviour by a pupil where,

  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 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
  3. Cyber-bullying as defined in section 1 of the Education Act, is bullying by electronic means 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 assault
  • traffic in weapons or illegal drugs
  • give alcohol or cannabis to a minor
  • commit robbery
  • be in possession of any weapon, including firearms
  • use any object to threaten or intimidate another person
  • cause injury to any person with an object
  • be in possession of, or be under the influence of, alcohol, 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 bias, prejudice or hate
  • commit an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property or to property located on the premises of a school

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:

  • 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,
  • 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:

  • 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
  • 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 

  • 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

PARENTAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

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

  • 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 the rules of behaviour

SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS/RULES FOR SCHOOL

John Black Public School students and staff are expected to be positive, kind, caring role models and leaders.  They will show respect at all times, engage collaboratively and take responsibility for their actions.

Entering

  • Before school and during recesses, students will stay outside unless using the washroom, with permission
  • Students should try to use the washroom at break times to avoid leaving class during instructional time
  • Enter school in a quiet and orderly fashion and go directly to class

Halls

  • Walk quietly and safely, keeping hands and feet to themselves
  • Use washroom before going outside at recess/lunch or with permission
  • Be proud of John Black Public School and keep it clean

Class Time

    • Arrive to class prepared to learn and on time
    • Co-operate and participate fully with classmates and in all class and school activities
    • Treat people, materials and school equipment with respect and courtesy

Classroom Etiquette

  • Follow all classroom expectations and instructions
  • Asking permission to leave the classroom is a requirement

Yard

  • Follow rules of safety and play fairly and cooperatively
  • Take responsibility for actions
  • Exhibit respect for themselves and others
  • Obey staff and supervisors
  • No body contact, rough play, or play fighting
  • Snowballs, hard balls, Indian rubber balls, golf balls, skateboards, scooters, hockey sticks  are prohibited on school property
  • Use appropriate equipment in the designated play areas
  • No food or drink is allowed outside
  • Use appropriate language
  • Report emergencies to supervisors immediately
  • Respect nature and the environment

Clothing

  • Shoes must be worn at all times

Technology

  • Be aware of the Acceptable Use Policy
  • Report inappropriate messages
  • Respect the privacy of others
  • Accept responsibility for the security of their username and password
  • Use the Internet responsibly
  • Electronic devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.) are to be out of sight at all times (including in the hallway) unless a teacher has given permission for their use, during a specific class on a particular day. Appropriate uses included:  research tool, planner, calculator, music during work periods
  • Devices may not be shared
  • Texting during the school day is not permitted at any time.
  • Earphones must not be worn outside of the classroom, and may only be worn in the classroom with the teacher’s permission

Break and Lunch

  • Students are to remain in their classroom at all times
  • If you wish to leave the room to get a drink or use the washroom, you must wait until the teacher on duty circulates to your class, at which point you may leave once given permission
  • The bell does not dismiss you, the teacher does. Please wait in your classroom, behind your desk with your chair pushed in to be dismissed
  • During indoor recess, all students must remain in their classroom
  • Students are to use the main floor washrooms and drinking fountain during outdoor recess

Bus Time

  • Students will line up quietly and follow the supervisor’s instructions while walking to the bus
  • Riding the bus is a privilege and everyone’s safety is our prime concern
  • Students must remain seated in their seats, and may speak in an appropriate tone to the person(s) beside them while on the bus
  • Students will exit the bus in an orderly fashion, while being respectful and obeying drivers and trip supervisors

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 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

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 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

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 whole school approach that makes use of a continuum of prevention programs, interventions, supports, and consequences to promote positive behaviours.  In developing a Progressive Discipline approach, preventative practices, corrective and supportive strategies are used to reinforce positive behaviours.  These approaches build skills for healthy relationships and promote positive behaviours.

SPECIFIC PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE STRATEGIES FOR SCHOOL

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

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 proportion 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 & communication skills
  • document incidents requiring disciplinary measures
  • consider mitigating factors
  • make contact with 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), 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:

Examples of Consequences:

  • verbal reminder
  • warning
  • review of expectations/rules
  • written or verbal apology
  • phone call home
  • student contract sheet
  • restitution
  • in-school community service
  • loss of in-school privileges
  • loss of field trip privileges
  • suspension from the bus
  • suspension
  • expulsion

Examples of Supports/Interventions:

  • problem solving discussion with P/VP
  • conflict mediation
  • social stories
  • discussion with parents (next steps, solutions)
  • restorative justice with others involved
  • 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

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, either verbal or written, to inflict serious bodily harm on another person
  • possessing alcohol or illegal drugs or, unless the student is a medical cannabis user, cannabis
  • being under the influence of alcohol or, unless the student is a medical cannabis user, cannabis
  • 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 activity that contravenes the board’s or school’s Code of Conduct
  • committing physical assault on another person that does not require treatment by a medical practitioner
  • habitual neglect of duty
  • not having an up-to-date medical/immunization record

INFRACTION 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 Student 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 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, if 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 identity, gender expression, or another similar factor

Please review Policy 503 for additional information.