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Code of Conduct

We, at the District School Board of Niagara believe every child has:

  • the right to learn
  • the right to be safe
  • the right to be respected

Rationale

To this end, a school is a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment.

All students, parents, teachers, and staff have the right to be safe and feel safe in their school community. Every student has the right to an education without disruption and a corresponding responsibility not to deny this right to any other student. With this right also comes the responsibility to be law-abiding citizens and to be accountable for actions that put at risk the safety of others or oneself. All members of the school community are to be treated with respect and are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflicts.

The School Code of Conduct sets clear standards for behaviour in order to promote a positive educational atmosphere for all. To this end, the learning environment must be free from abuse, bullying, discrimination, intimidation, hateful words and deeds, and physical violence in any form. The standards of behaviour in the Code of Conduct apply not only to students, but also to all individuals involved in the publicly funded system (parents/guardians, volunteers, teachers, and other staff members) whether they are on school property, on school buses, or at school-authorized events or activities.

The information in this booklet outlines roles and responsibilities, standards of behaviour, and consequences for unacceptable behaviour. Also included are the mandatory consequences outlined in the �Ontario Schools: Code of Conduct� legislated by the provincial government.

Standards of Behaviour

A school is a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment.
Ministry of Education for the Province of Ontario
Code of Conduct, p. 1

A. Respect, Civility and Responsible Citizenship

All school members must:

  • show respect for themselves, for others, and for those in authority, addressing people in a polite and courteous manner;
  • show respect for themselves and others by avoiding inappropriate public displays of affection;
  • show respect for themselves and others by using acceptable language and by avoiding racist, profane, or obscene comments;
  • show respect for the property of others and of the school;
  • refrain from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others;
  • follow the established rules and take responsibility for their own actions.

In addition, all students must:

  • come to school prepared, having all the necessary supplies as well as all homework and assignments completed;
  • come to school on time, being accountable for work or assignments missed due to absences or lateness;
  • come to school ready to learn with a positive attitude, participate in activities, be industrious in all assignments, and strive for excellence

B. Physical Safety

Physical Aggression

All students must:

  • follow the �Hands Off� Policy at Edith Cavell;
  • seek staff assistance, if necessary, to resolve conflicts peacefully;
  • not engage in rough play, bullying, fighting, and physically and verbally abusive behaviour;
  • not inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm to another person;
  • refrain from throwing snowballs on or in the proximity of the school grounds.

Action Plan:

  • removal from playground for a specific period of time
  • parental contact/meeting and removal from playground for a specific period of time
  • exclusion from optional activities
  • involvement of resource personnel
  • removal from classroom and provided with an alternate program supervised by the office, followed by parental contact/meeting
  • out of school suspension for a specific period of time

Weapons

All students must:

  • not be in possession of any weapon including, but not limited to, firearms, explosive materials, and firecrackers;
  • not use any object to threaten or intimidate another person;
  • not cause injury to any person with an object.

Action Plan

  • confiscation of prohibited materials
  • out of school suspension for a specific period of time

Alcohol, Cigarettes and Drugs

All students must not:

  • be in possession of, or under the influence of, or provide others with alcohol, cigarettes, or illegal drugs (mandatory suspension);
  • be in possession of matches or lighters.

Action Plan:

  • confiscation of prohibited materials
  • removal from playground for a specific period of time
  • exclusion from optional activities
  • removal from classroom and provided with an alternate program supervised by the office followed by parental contact/meeting
  • out of school suspension

C. Destruction of Property

All students must not:

  • deface, damage, or destroy any equipment or other property that is not their own.

Action Plan:

  • removal from playground for a specific period of time
  • monetary restitution for damages along with parent contact/meeting

School Routines

A pupil shall . . .

  • attend classes punctually and regularly;
  • be courteous to fellow pupils and obedient and courteous to teachers;
  • be clean in person and habits;
  • take such examinations as are required;
  • show respect for school property.
    Ontario Regulation 298 s.23

Attendance and Punctuality

All school members must:

  • arrive at school punctually and attend regularly.

Action Plan:

  • parent contact
  • letter of notice
  • referral to attendance officer
  • referral to outside agencies

Arrival and Departure

All students must:

  • walk bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and roller blades to and from the street when arriving on or leaving school property;
  • upon arrival, go directly to the assigned area while waiting for the bell to ring;
  • use the entrance designated for their classroom;
  • leave the building promptly at noon-hour and after school by the designated exit or report promptly to the activity permitted by the co-instructional program;
  • move quickly and quietly to all classes in the time allotted.

Action Plan:

  • removal from playground for a specific period of time
  • confiscation of property with parental involvement/contact

Lunchroom Routines

All students must:

  • sit quietly and eat their lunch in a mannerly fashion;
  • ensure that food is eaten only in assigned areas and at appropriate times;
  • clear their tables and deposit garbage into the appropriate container(s);
  • remain on school property during lunch unless picked up by parents or permission to leave has been requested in writing (with date and signature) by parent and/or guardian and granted by the school office;
  • refrain from bringing food products containing nut ingredients or peanut oil.

Action Plan:

  • removal from playground for a specific period of time
  • removal from lunch room and playground for a specific period of time
  • loss of lunch privileges at school
  • parental contact or meeting

Classroom Expectations

All students must:

  • keep gym bags, purses and backpacks in their designated areas;
  • not have gum in the school;
  • not bring cell phones, hard balls, hockey sticks, baseball bats, and rackets to school, except when permitted as part of a school program;
  • not use skateboards, bicycles, roller blades, and scooters on school property;
  • behave in a manner that is conducive to the learning, safety, and respect of self and others;
  • be accountable for participation in learning and assessment activities.

Action Plan:

  • confiscation of item
  • removal from playground for a specific period of time
  • parental contact or meeting

Dress Code

We believe that student dress should be appropriate to an academic setting and contribute to an overall positive image of our school.

To create a consistent approach to school dress and to enhance an educational environment and tone conducive to the achievement of excellence, the following rules concerning student dress have been adopted and applied to both male and female attire. This dress code will have a minimum impact or influence on most students since the vast majority of students presently dress in a fashion that complies with these rules. The stated rules serve to answer questions and confirm decisions made by teachers, students, and parents about appropriate school dress.

  • Hats or head-coverings (bandanas, wave caps, hoods, visors, etc.) are to be removed before entering the school or participating in indoor field trips and/or indoor activities. Head dresses or head coverings worn for religious or medical purposes are exempt.
    This social and traditional sign of respect and courtesy is not only a point of established Canadian etiquette, but has also proven to be a good security practice which allows quick and easy identification of students and/or trespassers. As a result, its inclusion in school dress codes is wide-spread in the majority of the Board�s schools.
  • Metal spike studded collars, wrist bands, etc., and �hardware� chains (used as wallet chains or jewellery) are not to be present in the school, on school sponsored field trips, or during activities.
    These items can serve as open displays of potential weapons and contribute to an intimidating school atmosphere.
  • Halter-tops, tube tops, tank tops (excluding school athletic team uniforms that are worn in game and/or practice situations), muscle shirts, and see-through or mesh tops (unless worn with an undershirt) are not to be worn at school. Blouses, shirts, or tops that reveal bare backs, midriffs, or undergarments or that have spaghetti straps or revealing necklines are not to be worn at school or on field trips.
  • Shorts and skirts are to be of a length that is appropriate to a school environment and activity and that do not reveal undergarments in the normal range of movement.
  • Low riding pants, shorts, or skirts are to be worn above the hip points and in such a fashion that undergarments are not revealed. The bottom on the pant should rest on the top of the shoe and not be of a length that allows students to walk on them (for safety reasons).
  • Clothing which advertises or promotes drugs, violence, or racism or that displays obscene, distasteful, or hurtful messages are not to be worn in school or in any of its activities or field trips.
  • No �gang� associated clothing, symbol, or paraphernalia is to be worn or displayed in the school, in school activities, on field trips, or on school property.
  • Students are expected to dress appropriately for the weather. All outdoor use coats and jackets are to be placed in designated areas until the student leaves the school.

Action Plan:

  • reversal of clothing
  • removal of inappropriate accessories
  • parental contact or meeting

The final decision as to the appropriateness of dress will be decided by the principal/vice principal or designate. If issues of attire continue, parents will be contacted. The dress code will be reviewed annually by the staff and the School Advisory Council

Responses to Behaviour

The District School Board of Niagara believes that the primary aim of discipline is for all students to acquire positive skills and attitudes associated with responsible conduct.
District School Board of Niagara
Administrative Procedures, AP3-11

Responses to inappropriate behaviour will be determined by the nature and frequency of the behaviour. Responses may take two forms:

  • Positive practices that reinforce appropriate behaviours
  • Corrective practices that may require intervention

Communication between home and school will facilitate this process.

Positive Practices include:

  • program modification
  • program accommodation
  • positive feedback for desired behaviours
  • interview between teacher and student and/or parent
  • involvement of resource personnel (ie., youth counsellor, resource teacher, in-school team, Board/community agencies)
  • formal interview between student, teacher, principal, vice principal

Corrective Practices include:

  • withdrawal of privileges
  • classroom detention
  • exclusion from optional activities
  • restitution of damages
  • removal from classroom and provided with an alternate program supervised by the office followed by parental contact/meeting
  • suspension from school for major or repeated offenses ranging from 1 to 20 days
  • expulsion for extremely serious offenses (under Board authority)

Corrective practices will not necessarily be imposed in sequential order but will depend greatly on the severity of the behaviour. It is important to note that parent consultation will take place whenever the misbehaviour is of a serious nature.

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