Code of Conduct

Our school has developed a School Code of Conduct based on the Ministry of Education's Code of Conduct. As per our Board's policy and the Ontario Safe School Act, a school's Code of Conduct is developed in consultation with parents, educators and the Catholic School Advisory Council. All members of our school community are responsible for adhering to the expectations as outlined in this Code of Conduct.

We focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the key to maintaining a positive school environment in which students can learn and educators can teach. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, our schools are required to utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate and provide opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes. In some cases, a short-term suspension may be a useful tool. If a serious incident occurs, a long-term suspension or expulsion may be required.

Please review our Code of Conduct with your child(ren). If you have any questions, please contact the school.   

 

Elementary School
 
Restorative Schools 

We believe that safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents.  To foster these relationships, staff in the Durham Catholic District School Board use restorative practices, including classroom circles and small group conferences to build community within the classroom and the school.  Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada’s Native Aboriginal communities.  It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them.  When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behavior in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship.  It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature.  The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed.

 Catholic Restorative Schools will:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make
        reparations
  • Provide a voice for the victim
  • Use a common set of restorative questions both in and out of our classrooms to give the victim a voice and
        enable the perpetrator to determine the effect of his/her actions. “How do you think your actions had
        an impact on others?” “What do you think you need to do to make things right?”
  • Use circles, or small group conferences to build community, develop empathy and understanding, and
        when needed, to repair relationships
  • Celebrate our Catholic community through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations
  • Use think papers and reflective discussion papers aligned with the restorative questions
 
School Code of Conduct

School Code of Conduct

All schools base their individual school Code of Conduct on the Ministry of Education Code of Conduct.  As per Board Policy and the Ontario Safe School Act, each school’s Code of Conduct will be developed in consultation with parents, teachers and the Catholic School Advisory Council.  All members of the school community will be responsible for adhering to the expectations as outlined in this Code of Conduct. 

Schools within the Durham Catholic District School Board will focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the key to maintaining a positive school environment in which students can learn and educators can teach. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, all staff members will utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, that include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and that focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short term suspension may be the method of progressive discipline utilized. In the case of a serious incident, long-term suspension or expulsion, which is further along the continuum of progressive discipline, may be the response that is required. 

 

 Statement of Purpose

The provincial Code of Conduct sets clear provincial standards of behaviour. These standards of behaviour apply not only to students, but also to all individuals involved in the publicly funded school system whether they are on school property, on school buses, at school-related events or activities, or in other circumstances that could have an impact on the school climate. 

The purpose of the Provincial Code of Conduct and the School Code of Conduct is:

  • To promote the well-being and safety of all students and staff in the virtual learning environment
  • To ensure that all members of the school community, especially people in positions of authority, are
        treated with respect and dignity.
  • To promote responsible digital citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation in the civic life of the
         school community and virtual learning environment.
  • To maintain a virtual learning environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner
        characterized by respect and civility.
 
Guiding Principles 
  • Responsible citizenship involves appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community.
  • Active and engaged citizens are aware of their rights, but more importantly, they accept responsibility
        for protecting their rights and the rights of others.
  • Members of the school community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict.
  • Physically aggressive behaviour is not a responsible way to interact with others.
  • The possession, use or threatened use of any object to injure another person endangers the safety of
        oneself and others.
  • Alcohol, cannabis and illegal drugs are addictive and present a health hazard.
  • The school will work cooperatively with police, drug and alcohol agencies to promote prevention
        strategies and, where necessary, respond to school members who are in possession of, or under the
        influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Insults, disrespect, and other hurtful acts disrupt learning and teaching in a school community.
  • Members of the school community have a responsibility to maintain an environment where conflict and
        difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility.

 

 
Standards of Behaviour 

 I) 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 their opinions;
  • Treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement;
  • Respect and treat others fairly, regardless of, for example, 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;
  • Take appropriate measures to help those in need;
  • Seek assistance from a member of the school staff, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully;
  • Respect all members of the school community, especially persons in positions of authority;
  • Respect the need 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.
  • Ensure that their communication is respectful, whether done verbally or in writing.
  • Use their own name and image when representing themselves in the virtual learning environment.
  • Complete all work to the best of their ability as independently as possible.
  • Safeguard the password to their online virtual learning platforms to protect themselves against others
       obtaining unauthorized access to their accounts. Students must only access their own account.
  • Adhere to the student dress code (as outlined for non-uniform days) when posting videos, images or
        accessing live communication. Such videos, images or live communication should be completed in a
        manner that limits access to a student’s home environment (e.g., filmed against a bare wall versus in a
        bedroom).
  • Receive the written permission of the person who posted any materials (e.g., images, videos) before
        any recording or capturing of materials is allowed. 

 

 II) Safety

All members of the school community must not:

  • Engage in bullying behaviours;
  • Commit sexual assault;
  • Traffic weapons, illegal or illicit drugs;
  • Give alcohol, cannabis or illegal drugs 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 under the influence of, or provide others with alcohol 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 bias;
  • Commit an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property or to property located on
        the premises of the school.
 
Consequences for Student Behaviour 

Commensurate with the Durham Catholic District School Board’s Progressive Discipline Policy, when inappropriate behaviour occurs, schools are required to utilize a range of interventions, supports, and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, provide opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short-term suspension may be the appropriate consequence while in more serious incidents, long-term suspension or expulsion may be the response that is required.

 

Suspension 

The infractions for which a suspension may be considered by the principal include:

  • Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
  • Possessing alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user);
  • Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis
        user);
  • 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
  • Uttering a racial slur or comment;
  • Sexual slurs or harassment;
  • Possession and/or use of tobacco products;
  • Disrespect towards or desecration of the religious dimension of the school;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable: 
    • Fighting/Violence
    • Use of profane or improper language
    • Persistent opposition to authority
    • Persistent tardiness and/or truancy including “skipping” classes
    • Theft
    • Inappropriate use of Social Media
    • Any other behaviours deemed to be contrary to the school Code of Conduct.

A student may be suspended for a minimum of one (1) school day and a maximum of twenty (20) school days.

 
Expulsion 

The infractions for which a principal shall suspend and may consider recommending to the Board that a pupil be expelled from the pupil’s school or from all schools of the Board include:

  • Possessing a weapon, including possessing a knife or a firearm;
  • Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person;
  • Bullying, if the pupil has previously been suspended for engaging in bullying, and the pupil’s
        continuing presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of 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 restricted or illegal drugs;
  • Committing robbery;
  • Giving cannabis to a minor;
  • Giving alcohol to a minor;
  • Any activity listed in the Code of Conduct for which a suspension must be considered that is
        motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour,
        religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender
        expression, or any other similar factor;
  • Engaging in activities or patterns of behaviour on or off school property that cause the pupil’s
        presence in the school to create an unacceptable risk to the physical or mental well-being of other
        person(s) in the school or Board;
  • Engaging in activities on or off school property that have caused extensive damage to the property of
        the Board or to goods that are/were on Board property;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable:
  • Any act considered by the Principal and Family of Schools Superintendent to be a serious violation of
        the Board or school Code of Conduct.
 
Mitigating Factors 

Before the principal or vice principal makes a decision to suspend or recommend an expulsion he/she must consider all mitigating circumstances.

  • Whether the student has the ability to control his or her behaviour;
  • Whether the student has the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her
        behavior; and
  • Whether the student’s continuing presence in the school does or does not create an unacceptable risk
        to the safety of any person in the school.
 
  Other Factors to be Considered
  • The student’s academic, discipline and personal history
  • Whether a progressive discipline approach has been used with the student;
  • Whether the activity for which the student may be or is being suspended or expelled was related to
        any harassment of the student because of race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual
        orientation or to any other harassment;
  • The impact of the discipline on the student’s ongoing education;
  • The age of the student;
  • In the case where the student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or disability-related needs:
  • Whether the behaviour was a manifestation of a disability identified in the student’s Individual
        Education Plan;
  • Whether appropriate individualized accommodation has been provided, and
  • Whether the suspension is likely to result in aggravating or worsening of the student’s behaviour or
        conduct.
 

 

 

Roles and Responsibilities 

 

School Boards 

School Boards provide direction to their schools to ensure opportunity, academic excellence, and accountability in the education system. It is the responsibility of the School Board to:

  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Develop policies that set out how their schools will implement and enforce the provincial Code of
        Conduct and all other rules that they develop that are related to the provincial standards that promote
        and support respect, civility, responsible citizenship, and safety;
  • Review these policies regularly with students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the community;
  • Seek input from school councils, their Parent Involvement Committee, their Special Education Advisory
        Committeeparents, students, staff members, and the school community;
  • Establish a process that clearly communicates the provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes
        of Conduct to all parents, students, staff members, and members of the school community in order to
        obtain their commitment and support;
  • Develop effective intervention strategies and respond to all infractions related to the standards for
        respect, civility, responsible citizenship, and safety; and
  • Provide opportunities for all of the staff to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to
        develop and maintain academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment; and wherever
        possible, Boards should collaborate to provide coordinated prevention and intervention programs and
        services, and should endeavor to share effective practices.
 
Principals

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

  • Modeling Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Demonstrating care for the school community and a commitment to academic excellence in a safe
        teaching and learning environment;
  • Holding everyone under their authority accountable for his or her behaviour and actions;
  • Empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community; and
  • Communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community.
 
Teachers and Other School Staff Members 

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

  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Help students work to their full potential and develop their sense of self-worth;
  • Empower students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school, and community;
  • Communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents;
  • Maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students;
  • Demonstrate respect for all students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the members of the school
        community; and
  • Prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship.
 
Students 

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.

Respect and responsibility are demonstrated when a student:

  • Models Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Comes to school prepared, on time., and ready to learn;
  • Shows respect for himself or herself, for others, and for those in authority;
  • Refrains from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others; and
  • Follows the established rules and takes responsibility for his or her own actions.
 
Parents/Guardians

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

  • Support the values of our Catholic school system;
  • Conduct themselves in an appropriate manner;
  • Take responsibility and support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning
        environment for all students;
  • Show an active interest in their child’s school work and progress;
  • Communicate regularly with the school;
  • Help their child be neat, appropriately dressed, and prepared for school;
  • Ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time;
  • Promptly report to the school their child’s absence or late arrival;
  • Show that they are familiar with the provincial Code of Conduct, the Board’s Code of Conduct and
        school rules;
  • Encourage and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour; and
  • Assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child.

 

Safe and Caring Schools Report It – Non-Emergency Report System 

Parents and students are encouraged to report incidents of bullying or other school safety concerns as soon as they happen by contacting their teacher and/or school administration. We recognize that bullying affects a student’s sense of safety and security, and some people may not feel comfortable reporting bullying or other school safety incidents. To help ease this worry, students and parents are welcome to use the Report It page available on the school website to report incidents of bullying or other safety concerns that have not already been reported. School safety concerns can be reported anonymously or contact information can be given so that appropriate follow-up can occur. The information provided will be forwarded to the school principal for action and a follow-up response if requested.

 
Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol– Fair Notice 

The Durham Catholic District School Board is committed to providing safe learning environments for all students, staff, school visitors and community members. When student behaviours pose a potential threat to safety or serious harm to self or others, all schools in the Durham Catholic District School Board follow the Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol (C-TAIP), which outlines how a school responds immediately to threatening behaviour. This protocol involves supports from various partners, including community agencies, hospitals and police services. Personal information shared throughout this process will always respect and balance each individual’s right to privacy while ensuring the safety of all. For more information, please refer to the school website or ask the principal for more information.

 
Search and Seizure 

According to the Police/School Board Protocol for Durham Catholic District School Board, it is the right and authority of the Principal or designate to search school and personal property, such as lockers, desks, backpacks, purses, etc., without notice or permission of any person as long as the Principal or designate has reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a breach of school regulations and that the search would reveal evidence of that breach.  In exigent circumstances, Police may come onto school premises to conduct their own searches, also without prior notice to or permission of any member of the school community.

 
 Community Partners

Through outreach, school and community partnerships already in place may be enhanced and new partnerships developed with community agencies and other groups within the community (e.g., Kinark Family and Child Services, Aboriginal Elders). Community agencies are important resources that schools can use to deliver prevention or intervention programs. Protocols are effective ways of establishing connections between boards and community agencies and formalizing the partnership. These partnership agreements must respect all applicable collective agreements and Board policies.

Durham Regional Police Service Partnerships

The Durham Regional Police Service plays an essential role in making our schools and communities safer. The police investigate incidents in accordance with our Police/School Board protocol. This protocol is based on the provincial model developed by the Ministry of Education.  The Durham Regional Police Service are instrumental in supporting our schools with all emergency preparedness procedures and Safe Schools initiatives.  Each of our schools has regular access to a School Liaison Officer.

 
Permission for Photo and Video Sharing at School

As we try to keep pace with social media that is so much a part of our students’ lives, it is important to be reminded of people’s right to privacy. While taking photos or videos at various school events, please be mindful that it is illegal to post/upload/share photos or videos of anyone other than yourself your child on the internet or anywhere without the expressed consent of the person or their guardian. Sharing photos or videos of others without their consent is a privacy violation.

 
Elementary School - Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement  
  • I will protect my digital identity, my passwords, and my classmate’s right to privacy.
  • I will use electronic devices and the internet for positive purposes to make people’s lives better.
  • I will ask or tell an adult if I see something inappropriate.
  • I will take a stand against cyber-bullying.
  • I will only use personally owned electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, tablets) during class time when it is
        allowed by my teacher.
  • I will not copy the work of others from the internet.
  • I will not take pictures of people without permission from the teacher, principal and student.
  • I will not use an electronic device in private areas (e.g. washrooms, change rooms, health rooms and
        administrative offices).
  • I will only use social media in a manner that respects the dignity of others.
  • I will remember Jesus’ message do unto others as I would have done to me.
 
Secondary School 
 
Student Code of Conduct for Distance Learning 

Students participating in Distance Learning will be expected to abide by the School Code of Conduct at all times. All members of the school community will continue to be responsible for adhering to the expectations in our regular school Code of Conduct, as well as the expectations outlined in this Code of Conduct for Distance Learning. This will help to ensure that our virtual learning environments are safe and accepting for all members of our school community.

Schools within the Durham Catholic District School Board will focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the key to maintaining a positive virtual learning environment in which students can learn and educators can teach. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, all staff members will utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, that include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and that focus on improving behaviour. 

Statement of Purpose 

The purpose of the School Code of Conduct for Distance Learning is:

1. To promote the well-being and safety of students and staff in the virtual learning environment.

2. To ensure that all members of the school community, especially people in positions of authority, are treated with respect and dignity in a virtual learning environment as they would be within the regular school and classroom environment.

3. To promote responsible digital citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation within the virtual learning environment

4. To maintain a virtual learning environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and sensitivity.

When engaging in Distance Learning, students must:

  • Ensure that their communication is respectful, whether done verbally or in writing.

  • Use their own name and image when representing themselves in the virtual learning environment.

  • Complete all work to the best of their ability as independently as possible.

  • Safeguard the password to their online virtual learning platforms to protect themselves against others
        obtaining unauthorized access to their accounts.

  • Students must only access their own account.

  • Adhere to the student dress code when posting videos, images or accessing live communication.

  • Such videos, images or live communication should be completed in a manner that limits access to a
        student’s home environment (e.g., filmed against a bare wall versus in a bedroom). 

  • Receive the written permission of the person who posted any materials (e.g., images, videos) before any
        recording or capturing of materials is allowed. 
Restorative Practice and Consequences for Behaviour 

We believe that well-being and safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents. Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada’s Native Aboriginal communities. It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them. When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behaviour in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship.

The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed. Within the virtual learning environment, Catholic Restorative Schools will continue to:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make
        reparations

  • Provide a voice for the person who was harmed All components of the virtual learning community,
        including communication threads, will be monitored and inappropriate comments, images, etc. will be
        removed by the teacher.

  • Each situation involving student behaviour that results in progressive discipline being used will involve an
        investigation and a fair process as would happen during regular school operations. 
Permission for Photo and Video Sharing at School 
As we try to keep pace with social media that is so much a part of our students’ lives, it is important to be reminded of people’s right to privacy.  While taking photos or videos at various school events, please be mindful that it is illegal to post/upload/share photos or videos of anyone other than yourself your child on the internet or anywhere without the expressed consent of the person or their guardian. Sharing photos or videos of others without their consent is a privacy violation. 
Use of Camera during Class - Expectations 

The use of cameras in order to ensure that the student is attending and participating in classes is paramount for the safety and security of the classroom, as well as to the student's success in DCVSS. Parents must inform teachers if there are technology or any other issues which prevent students from appearing on camera or participating on mic.

Students will be marked absent if:

  • They do not turn their camera on in class.
  • They freeze their screen.
  • They do not have themselves in frame.
  • They are unresponsive to teacher communication during class.

Unless parents indicate otherwise it is assumed that students have access to technology that works. Parents are asked to inform the teachers if there are other issues with students prevent students from participating in class online. 

Secondary School - Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement 
  • I will respect the dignity of others and contribute to the common good.
  • I will only use social media in a manner that respects the dignity of others.
  • I will use the internet, computers and personally owned electronic devices in a manner consistent with the
        Catholic Graduate Expectations.
  • I will respect the intellectual property rights of others and not pirate or plagiarize.
  • I will protect my digital identity, my passwords, and others’ right to privacy online.
  • I will only use personally owned electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, tablets, iPods) during class time
        when it is allowed by my teacher.
  • I will not take pictures, videos or audio recordings of people without their permission.
  • I understand that inappropriate use of electronic devices make me subject to discipline as noted in the
        Board’s Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technology Administrative Procedure, Code of
        Conduct Policy and Student Discipline Policy.
  • I will remember Jesus’ message do unto others as I would have done to me 
Computer Usage and Access Policy

Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technology Misuse and Consequences of Misuse

Where a computer user violates any of the terms and conditions one or more of the following consequences occur.

a) suspension or cancellation of user privileges;

b) liability for payment for damages;

c) discipline under other appropriate Board policies, including suspension, expulsion or termination of employment; or

d) civil or criminal liability under other applicable laws.

Disciplinary action, including, but not limited to suspension or involvement of police services, may be imposed in response to any violation of this policy when deemed necessary by the Administration based on the circumstances surrounding the offence.

When a student is using a personally owned electronic device without the permission of a teacher or principal they will be subject to progressive discipline. When the use of personally owned electronic devices has not been authorized, they must be securely stored in a silent mode out of sight of students and staff.

Prohibited use of personally owned electronic devices that may result in a student receiving disciplinary action include, but are not limited to:

a) academic integrity being compromised (e.g. use during tests or exams); 

b) disruption to the instructional day or teaching-learning environment (e.g., unsanctioned use in class);

c) recording of activities that may negatively impact school climate including, but not limited to, recording any person without their consent;

d) violation of a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy including, but not limited to:

    • posting of a person’s image(s) on the internet or in a hard copy
    • taking pictures of individuals without consent. The consent of the parent/guardian is required for a
          student with special needs
    • emailing pictures and/or recordings of individuals without consent
    • sending inappropriate text messages or images
    • compromising personal and/or school safety (e.g. bullying)
    • any other situation deemed by school Administration where school security, safety, individual privacy
          or academic integrity is compromised.

All users should be aware that in some instances, transmissions, recordings or images may be reviewed and relied on, in disciplinary matters subject to search and seizure and privacy legislation.

                                                              

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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