Administrative Procedure 351: Code of Conduct Policy - School Board Protocol

Legal References:

Education Act: Section 265 Duties of Principal; Education Act: Part XIII Behaviour, Discipline and Safety; Guideline - Ontario Schools Code of Conduct; Ministry of
Education Policy and Program Memorandum (PPM) 119 Developing and Implementing Equity and Inclusive Education Policies in Ontario Schools; PPM128 The Provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes of Conduct; PPM144 Bullying Prevention and Intervention; PPM145 Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behavior; Cannabis Control Act, 2017; Cannabis Act, 2018


Related References:


A school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe, respectful learning and teaching environment. All members of a school community have the right to be safe, and to feel safe, in their school community. The Avon Maitland District School Board Code of Conduct (included as Appendix A) establishes the expectation that in all district schools, all members of the school community will foster and maintain safe, positive, orderly, nurturing and respectful teaching, learning, and working environments to create positive school climates.


1. Objectives of the Code of Conduct

This code of conduct has been developed:

1.1 To comply with the Ministry of Education requirement that Avon Maitland District School Board develop a Code of Conduct;
1.2 To ensure that all members of the school community, especially people in positions of authority, are treated with respect and dignity;
1.3 To identify standards of behaviour expected for students, staff, and other members of the school community;
1.4 To promote responsible citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation in the civic and digital life of the school community;
1.5 To maintain an environment where conflict and differences can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility;
1.6 To encourage the use of non-violent means to resolve conflict;
1.7 To promote the safety and well-being of all people in our schools;
1.8 To discourage the use of alcohol and illegal, restricted or illicit drugs such as prescription medication for the non-intended user and, except by a medical cannabis
user, cannabis; and,
1.9 To prevent bullying (including cyber) and other inappropriate acts where a person's dignity or physical presence is threatened in schools.


2. Guiding Principles

2.1 A school is a place where respect, civility, and academic excellence are promoted in a safe, positive and inclusive teaching and learning environment.

2.2 All members of the school community, including students, parents/guardians, volunteers, teachers, and support staff have the right to be safe, and feel safe, in
their school community. With this right comes the responsibility to be law-abiding citizens, and to be accountable for actions that place at risk the safety or well-being
of any person whether they are on school property, on school buses, at authorized school events or activities, or in other circumstances that could have an impact on
the school culture.

2.3 The standards of behaviour in the Code of Conduct apply not only to students, but to all members of the school community.

2.4 The standards of behaviour in the Code of Conduct apply during school hours and at school events which fall outside the normally scheduled school day, on the way to and from school, on school buses and buses used for school events, and at all school events whether on school property or at an alternate location.

2.5 All members of the school community are to be treated with respect and dignity.
 
2.6 Members of the school community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict.

2.7 The Avon Maitland District School Board's expectation is that school learning environments will be safe, inclusive, orderly, positive and respectful. They must be
free from abuse, bullying, discrimination, intimidation, hateful and/or profane words and deeds, and physical violence in any form.

2.8 The Avon Maitland District School 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 the community to provide programs that emphasize early identification, conflict prevention and intervention, counseling, and the inclusion of social and global and digital citizenship skills in the curriculum and daily life.


3. Roles and Responsibilities

3.1 The board, Director of Education, and system and school administrators provide direction to the schools that promotes opportunity, excellence, and accountability in the education system by:

3.1.1 developing procedures that set out how the schools will implement and enforce the Ontario Schools Code of Conduct and other rules that they develop as related to the provincial standards for respect, civility, responsible citizenship, and physical safety;
3.1.2 seeking input from school councils and reviewing these procedures regularly with students, staff, parents/guardians, volunteers and the community;
3.1.3 establishing a process that clearly communicates the Ontario Schools Code of Conduct to all parents, students and staff in a manner that ensures their
commitment and support;
3.1.4 requiring that all groups using school spaces comply with the provincial, board and school Codes of Conduct;
3.1.5 providing intervention strategies and responses to all infractions related to the standards for respect, civility, responsible citizenship and physical safety;
and,
3.1.6 providing opportunities for all staff to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to develop and maintain academic excellence and safe
learning and teaching environments.

3.2 Principals, under the direction of the board, Director and senior administrators, take a leadership role in the daily operation of their schools. They provide this leadership by:

3.2.1 demonstrating care and commitment to academic excellence and a safe teaching, learning and working environment;
3.2.2 holding everyone under their authority accountable for their behaviour and actions;
3.2.3 empowering students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school, and community; and,
3.2.4 communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community.

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

3.3.1 help students maximize their outcomes;
3.3.2 create positive, inclusive learning environments;
3.3.3 empower students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school, and community;
3.3.4 communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents, as appropriate;
3.3.5 maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students;
3.3.6 demonstrate respect for all students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the members of the school community; and,
3.3.7 prepare students for the full responsibilities of global and digital citizenship.

3.4 Students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for others, and for the responsibilities of global and digital citizenship through acceptable behaviour. Respect and responsibility are demonstrated when students:

3.4.1 come to school prepared, on time and ready to learn;
3.4.2 show respect for themselves, for others, and for those in authority, regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or intellectual ability;
3.4.3 refrain from bringing any object to school that may compromise the safety of others;
3.4.4 follow the established rules and take responsibility for their own actions; and,
3.4.5 comply with the school’s dress code and Code of Conduct.

3.5 Parents/guardians play an important role in the education of their children and have a responsibility to support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and
respectful learning environment for all students. Parents/guardians fulfill this responsibility when they:

3.5.1 show an active interest in their child’s school work and progress;
3.5.2 communicate regularly with the school;
3.5.3 help their child be appropriately dressed, practice good hygiene and be prepared for school;
3.5.4 ensure their child attends school regularly and on time;
3.5.5 promptly report to the school their child’s absence or late arrival;
3.5.6 become familiar with the Code of Conduct and school rules;
3.5.7 encourage their child to respect diversity;
3.5.8 encourage and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour; and,
3.5.9 assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child.

3.6 Police and community partners play an essential role in making our schools and communities safer. Community partners can act as a resource to the board in the delivery of prevention and intervention programs. Community partners need to support and respect the rules of their local schools. Police investigate incidents in
accordance with the protocol developed with the local school board.


4. Standards of Behaviour

4.1 The following standards are outlined in the Ontario Code of Conduct, and apply to school communities in Avon Maitland District School Board:

4.1.1 Respect, Civility and Responsible Global and Digital Citizenship

All members of the school community must:
a) respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws;
b) demonstrate honesty and integrity;
c) respect differences in all people, and value others' ideas and opinions;
d) treat one another with dignity and respect at all times and especially when there is disagreement;
e) respect and treat others fairly, regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or intellectual disability;
f) respect the rights of others;
g) show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others;
h) take appropriate measures to help those in need;
i) seek assistance from a member of the school staff, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully;
j) respect all members of the school community, especially persons who are in a position of authority;
k) respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching, by ensuring that cellphones and other personal mobile devices are only used during instructional time for education purposes (as directed by an educator), for health and medical purposes and/or to support special education needs; and,
l) not swear at or threaten a teacher or another person in a position of authority or support personnel.

4.1.2 Safety

All members of the school community must not:
a) engage in bullying or harassing behaviour;
b) commit sexual assault;
c) sell, share, or distribute weapons or illegal or restricted drugs or prescription medications for the non-intended user;
d) sell, share or distribute alcohol to a minor;
e) commit robbery;
f) be in possession of any weapon, including but not limited to, firearms;
g) use any object to threaten or intimidate another person;
h) cause injury to any person with an object;
i) be in possession of, or under the influence of alcohol, illegal or restricted drugs including prescription medications for the non-intended user, or cannabis unless the individual is a medical cannabis user;
j) inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm on another person;
k) engage in hate propaganda and other forms of behavior motivated by hate or bias;
l) engage in physical, oral, written, electronic comment, sexual or psychological abuse, harassing behaviour, bullying, or discrimination on the basis of race, culture, creed, gender, language, sexual orientation, physical or intellectual ability; or,
m) commit an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property or to property located on the premises of the school.

4.2 In addition to these standards, all members of the school community in Avon Maitland District School Board have the responsibility to:

a) contribute to making the school environment safe, inclusive and conducive to learning and working;
b) be a partner in the school community and work cooperatively with each other;
c) model appropriate behaviour;
d) comply with the school dress code;
e) support this Code of Conduct by upholding the standards of behaviour; and,
f) report infractions of this Code of Conduct to the administration as per Administrative Procedure 352 Promoting Positive Student Behaviour Including
Progressive Discipline and Bullying Prevention and Intervention.


5. Consequences for Unacceptable Behaviour

5.1 It is recognized that students are at various stages of learning acceptable behaviour. Consequences for actions will be appropriate to the individual, related to the
circumstances and/or actions, nature and severity of the behaviour, and the impact on the school climate. The principle of progressive discipline, with consideration for mitigating factors, will be used when appropriate.

Please refer to:
AP 352 Promoting Positive Student Behaviour Including Progressive Discipline and Bullying Prevention and Intervention;
AP 353 Student Suspension; and,
AP 354 Student Expulsion.
 
5.2 Police will be involved when required as indicated by the Police/School Board Protocol (Appendix B).

5.3 If staff members contravene the Code of Conduct, consequences will follow the Avon Maitland District School Board’s personnel procedures.

5.4 For an individual, other than staff or students, who is in the school, or on school premises, and who is unable to follow the Code of Conduct, the principal, in
consultation with the Regional Superintendent or Superintendent of Education (Safe Schools), may exclude the individual.

5.5 Where there is an allegation against staff of student harassment or other inappropriate behaviour, principals should apply Administrative Procedure 405
Allegations Against Employees and Volunteers.

5.6 Where there is an allegation of 'staff to staff' harassment, principals should apply Administrative Procedure 138 Positive Workplace Environment, contact the
Superintendent of Education (Human Resources), and notify the appropriate union representative.


6. School Level Plans

6.1 Each school shall have a Code of Conduct consistent with the provincial and district’s procedures.

6.2 The school Code of Conduct will:
a) communicate to all members of the school community, in a positive manner, the types of behaviour expected of them;
b) promote positive student behaviour while establishing clear and fair consequences for unacceptable behaviour;
c) use a whole school progressive discipline strategy that utilizes a continuum of interventions, supports and consequences, including opportunities for reinforcing positive behavior while helping students make good choices;
d) promote responsible global and digital citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community;
e) be developed in consultation with all members of the school community;
f) be reviewed at least every three (3) years by a committee composed of staff, students and school council;
g) be shared with students, staff, parents/guardians and the community; and,
h) be prominently displayed in schools/school handbooks/website, etc.

6.3 All school community members bear a shared responsibility for building a supportive learning environment and for the monitoring and implementation of the school Code of Conduct as per Administrative Procedure 352 Promoting Positive Student Behaviour Including Progressive Discipline and Bullying Prevention and Intervention.


7. Review and Communication

7.1 The board Code of Conduct shall be reviewed every three (3) years in consultation with the Parent Involvement Committee and the Special Education Advisory
Committee.

7.2 Each school’s Code of Conduct shall be reviewed every three (3) years in consultation with the School Council, Safe Schools Team and the Students’ Council.

7.3 Information regarding the revised Codes of Conduct will be shared with members of the community through the board website, school websites, and/or school newsletters and student handbooks.


Appendix A - Code of Conduct

Dear Student:
You are a unique individual. You and your education are very important to us. We encourage you to be energetic, enthusiastic, and committed to learning. To create the conditions for your success, our school must have a safe, positive, orderly and nurturing school and online 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, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, and physical or intellectual ability.

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, expectations will be clearly communicated, and if required, discipline will be progressive, fair and consistent.

We look forward to helping make your school experience positive and rewarding.


Cultivating Character

Fairness
Treating everyone in a just and excepting 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


Introduction to the Code of Conduct

There is a Code of Conduct for all schools in the Avon Maitland District School Board. Included  in this Code are the standards of behaviour and mandatory consequences outlined in the Provincial Code of Conduct, legislated by the provincial government.

These standards of behaviour apply not only to students, but to all members of the school and school-related online community. The school community includes parents/guardians, volunteers, support workers, school staff, and all those who contribute to the school. These standards apply on school property, school buses, online, and at school-authorized events and activities. In fact, these standards govern any activity (in school, online or out of school) that will have an impact on the climate of the school.

The information provided outlines:
  • Guiding Principles
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Standards of Behaviour
  • Consequences for Unacceptable Behaviour


Guiding Principles

All members of the school community are to be treated with respect and dignity whether in person or online. Members of the school community are expected to maintain an environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility. Non-violent strategies shall be used to resolve conflict.
The Avon Maitland District School Board believes that school learning environments must be safe, positive, respectful and orderly. They must be free from abuse, bullying, discrimination, intimidation, hateful words and deeds, and physical violence in any form.

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, counselling and the inclusion of social skills in the curriculum.

Responsibility
Responsibility creates a community of respectful individuals. It is not always easy to make responsible choices, especially if someone else is not acting appropriately. It is important to remember that individuals control their own actions.

Why?

Before respecting other people or other people’s authority or property, one must demonstrate self-respect. Students are capable of making appropriate choices. Drug and alcohol abuse, inappropriate sexual behaviour, physical or verbal assault, and bullying (including online/cyber) are not compatible with the dignity of the school community.
 
Respect for the Rights and Property of Others
Everyone has the right to be safe and feel safe in the school and online communities. Individuals are expected to be courteous to, respectful of, and compassionate to those in need. Respect for school property and the personal property of others must be demonstrated at all times.

Why?
Our school communities are better places to learn and work when the rights and property of others are respected. This includes being polite, accepting differences among people, and encouraging others to do their best. Bullying and harassment, in person or online, are unacceptable behaviours.

Bullying
Bullying is a form of repeated, persistent, aggressive behavior that is directed at an individual or individuals and is intended to cause (or could be known to cause) fear, distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation.

Bullying adversely affects students’ ability to learn and undermines healthy relationships and the school culture. Bullying will not be accepted on school property, at school-related activities, on school buses, online, or in any other circumstances where engaging in bullying will have a negative impact on the school climate.

Academic Expectations
Students are expected to attend school, be on time and be prepared for all classes. Prepared means bringing all notebooks, textbooks, iPads, and necessary material to class and completing assigned homework (as directed by the educator).

Why?
Daily school attendance is important for student success. Missing class time affects student achievement and the progress of the class. Best effort generates best results.

Roles and Responsibilities

Students
All students are to be treated with respect and dignity. Students must demonstrate respect for self and others in our school and online communities. Students are expected to demonstrate responsible global and digital citizenship.

Students are responsible citizens when they:
  • come to school prepared, on time and ready to learn;
  • show respect for themselves, for others, and for those in authority, regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or intellectual ability;
  • include all students in their school activities;
  • refrain from bringing any object to school that may compromise the safety of others;
  • follow established rules and take responsibility for their own actions; and,
  • comply with the school’s dress code and Code of Conduct.

Staff
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, staff uphold these high standards when they:
  • demonstrate and model respect for all students and colleagues;
  • model inclusive behaviours and actions;
  • help students maximize their outcomes;
  • communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents;
  • maintain high expectations and consistent standards of behavior for all students; and,
  • prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship, both locally and globally.

Parents/Guardians
Parents/Guardians have a responsibility to support the school community. Parents/Guardians fulfil this responsibility when they:
  • communicate regularly with teachers and promptly report to the school children’s absence or late arrival;
  • encourage inclusive and respectful behavior for all;
  • ensure that children attend school regularly, on time and prepared to learn;
  • encourage and assist children to follow the Code of Conduct, school and online expectations;
  • work in partnership with school staff to address student concerns and disciplinary issues; and,
  • promote good hygiene and appropriate clothing choices.

Principals
All principals and vice principals must comply with the requirements of the Education Act and 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;
  • modeling an inclusive school and online environment;
  • holding everyone accountable for behaviour and actions;
  • communicating regularly and meaningfully with school communities; and,
  • assisting staff in meeting individual student needs.

Community Partners
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 apply to all school communities in the Avon Maitland District School Board. Respect, Civility and Responsible Global and Digital 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, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age,
    physical or intellectual ability;
  • respect the rights of others in school and online;
  • 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.

Consequences for Unacceptable Behaviour
Students are at various stages of learning acceptable behaviours. Consequences for misbehavior, shall require consideration for mitigating factors, include a number of progressive options, and will be appropriate to the individual and related to the circumstances.
Consequences may include:
  • warnings;
  • notification of parents/guardians;
  • time-outs;
  • restricted privileges;
  • withdrawal from classes;
  • restorative practices including restitution or community service;
  • detentions;
  • conflict mediation and resolution;
  • peer mentoring;
  • referral to counseling and/or consultation;
  • suspension; and/or
  • expulsion.

Principals and teachers take into account the student’s age, level of maturity, and other mitigating factors when considering appropriate consequences. The goal of any consequence is to help the student learn acceptable behaviour. Principals will access the board’s support services when required.

Suspension is the denial of a student’s privilege to attend school and/or school activities for a specified period of time.

Expulsion is the full-time withdrawal of a student’s right to attend a particular school or every school in the board.

Special Circumstances
When deciding to impose a suspension or expulsion, a principal will consider:
  • whether the student has the ability to control their behaviour;
  • whether the student has the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of their behaviour; and,
  • whether the student’s continuing presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety or well-being of any other individual at school.

Infractions for which a suspension may be considered:
  • uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
  • possessing alcohol, illegal or restricted drugs, illicit drugs including prescription medication for the unintended user, cannabis, unless the individual is a medical
    cannabis user;
  • 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);
  • persistent opposition to authority;
  • willful destruction of school property;
  • habitual neglect of duty;
  • the use of profane language or gestures which convey a disrespectful or inappropriate message;
  • 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; or,
  • 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.
    • The principal/designate will hold a planning meeting to develop the SAP.
    • A student suspended for eleven (11) or more school days will be provided with educational and social supports where appropriate and available.
 
Please refer to AP 351 for Police/School Board Protocol
 
Amendment October 2019