Code of Conduct
You are a unique individual with respect to your personality, family, background, attitudes and abilities. You and your education are very important to us. We encourage you to be energetic, enthusiastic, and committed to learning.
To achieve this; your school has to have a safe, positive, orderly and nurturing environment. We share the responsibility to promote respect, civility, and responsible citizenship, and to treat others fairly, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.
We will assist you in solving problems and protect your right to learn. While recognizing the wide range of ages and stages of maturity and development of the students in our school, discipline will be progressive, fair and consistent.
We look forward to helping you make your school experience both positive and rewarding.
The Avon Maitland District School Board
Introduction to the Code of Conduct
All students, parents and guardians, teachers and staff have the right to be safe, and to feel safe, in their school community. With this right comes the responsibility to be law-abiding citizens and to be accountable for actions that put at risk the safety of others or oneself. This is the Code of Conduct for the Avon Maitland District School Board. The code defines the standards of behavior and progressive discipline consequences outlined in The Provincial Code of Conduct, legislated by the provincial government.
The standards of behavior apply not only to students, but to all members of the school community. The school community includes parents/guardians, volunteers, support workers, school staff, and all those who contribute to the school environment. The standards apply on school property, school buses, at school-authorized events and activities; and includes any activity that will have a negative impact on the climate of the school.
The Avon Maitland District School Boards Character Education program, Cultivating Character, is based on 10 attributes selected by our school communities. Cultivating Character is the foundation for a positive school environment in all our schools.
Fairness - Treating everyone in a just and accepting manner
Honesty -Being trustworthy, sincere and truthful
Empathy - Understanding how someone else feels
Respect - Valuing self, others and our world
Courage - Facing the challenge
Integrity - Doing what is right and honourable
Optimism - Choosing to be positive
Compassion - Showing care and consideration
Perseverance - Staying purposeful and committed
Responsibility - Being reliable and accountable
All members of the school community are to be treated with respect and dignity. Members of the school community are expected to maintain a positive school environment characterized by respect and civility.
The Avon Maitland District School Board believes that school learning environments must be safe, orderly, positive and respectful. To achieve a positive environment the Avon Maitland District School Board schools actively promote and support positive behaviours that reflect our student success, equity and inclusive education, and character development initiatives.
The Board is committed to establishing and maintaining high expectations for behaviour in order to help students develop appropriate behaviours and self-discipline as responsible members of a democratic society. It also supports the efforts of principals, staff, and community agencies who provide programs that emphasize early identification, conflict prevention and intervention, counseling and the inclusion of social skills in the curriculum.
Roles and Responsibilities
Students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, student behaviour must demonstrate respect for self, others and the responsibilities of citizenship.
Students are responsible citizens when they:
- come to school prepared, on time and ready to learn;
- show respect for themselves, others and property;
- demonstrate consideration and ensure the safety of others;
- follow established rules and take responsibility for their own actions; and
- comply with the school's dress code as established by individual School Councils.
Teachers and school staff, under the leadership of school administration, are expected to adhere to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour.
As role models, staffs uphold these high standards when they:
- demonstrate and model respect;
- help students unlock their full potential and promote self-esteem;
- communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents;
- maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students;
- report and respond to any inappropriate and/or disrespectful behaviour that causes a negative impact on the school climate; and
- prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship.
All principals and vice principals must comply with the requirements of the Education Act and its Regulations.
Principals, as school leaders, have a duty to manage the operations of the school. They provide leadership by:
- demonstrating care and commitment to student success and a safe teaching, learning and working environment;
- holding everyone accountable for behaviour and actions;
- communicating regularly and meaningfully with school communities; and
- assisting staff in addressing individual student needs.
Police and community agencies work in partnership with the board to actively promote, support and recognize appropriate and positive student behavior. The police respond and investigate incidents at the school in accordance with the police-school board protocol. Where inappropriate behavior occurs, disciplinary measures will be both corrective and supportive.
- Community partners play an essential role in safe schools.
- Community resource agencies deliver prevention and intervention programs.
Standards of Behaviour
The following standards of behaviour apply to all school communities in the Avon Maitland District School Board.
Respect, Civility and Responsible Citizenship
All school community members:
- respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws;
- demonstrate honesty and integrity;
- treat each other with dignity;
- respect differences in people and treat others fairly, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;
- do not accept bullying or harassment;
- respect the rights of others;
- seek assistance, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully;
- show proper care and regard for school property and for the property of others; and
- assist those in need.
Progressive Discipline - Promoting Positive Student Behaviour
Students are at various stages of learning acceptable behaviour and in some circumstances positive practices may not be effective to address inappropriate student behavior. In such circumstances the use of progressive discipline, appropriate to the individual and related to the circumstances may be required.
Progressive Discipline may include interventions and consequences such as:
- notification of parents/guardians;
- restricted privileges;
- withdrawal from classes;
- restorative practices including; restitution or community service;
- conflict mediation and resolution;
- peer mentoring; and
- referral to counseling and/or consultation.
Principals and teachers take into account the particular student and circumstances, the nature and severity of the behaviour; and the impact of the inappropriate behavior on the school climate when considering the appropriate progressive discipline. The goal of progressive discipline is to promote positive student behavior. If the inappropriate behavior continues or warrants the consequence, progressive discipline includes suspension and / or expulsion. The board and/or school must consider all mitigating or other factors required by the Education Act when considering progressive discipline including suspension and/or expulsion.
The denial of a students privilege to attend school and school activities for one (1) to twenty (20) days.
Infractions for which a suspension must be considered:
- Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person
- Possessing alcohol or restricted 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 against any school property or to property located on the school premises
- 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 any member of the school community
- Any act considered by the principal to be contrary to the Board or School Code of Conduct
Long Term Suspensions
- Where a student is suspended for six (6) or more days, the student will be assigned an alternative program (Alternative Suspension Program, ASP). A Student Action Plan (SAP) will be developed for every pupil who agrees to participate in an Alternative Suspension Program.
- A student suspended for six (6) to ten (10) days will be provided with a SAP including academic supports. Students suspended for eleven (11) or more school days will be provided with academic and non-academic supports where appropriate and available.
The full-time withdrawal of a student's right to attend a particular school and/or all schools in the Avon Maitland District School Board.
Smoke-Free Ontario Act
All residents in the province of Ontario breathing easy now! The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which came into effect on May 31, 2006, makes all enclosed public places and workplaces smoke-free. Under the Act, smoking and/or using a tobacco product is prohibited on all Avon Maitland District School Board properties, school buses and at school or board sponsored events. Principals and Vice-Principals are required to notify the local health unit of any infractions. Consequences may include warnings, suspensions and/or a Provincial Offence ticket.