Administrative Procedure 352: Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour
Education Act: Section 265 Part XIII Behaviour, Discipline and Safety; Bill 157 Education Amendment Act, 2009 “Keeping Our Kids Safe at School”; The Human Rights Code of Ontario; O. Reg. 181/98 Identification & Placement of Exceptional Students; O. Reg. 472/07: Behaviour, Discipline and Safety; Ontario First Nation, Metis & Inuit Education Policy Framework, 2007; English Language Learners: ESL and ELD Programs and Services, 2007; Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 119 Developing and Implementing Equity and Inclusive Education Policies in Ontario Schools; PPM 128 The Provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes of Conduct; PPM 144 Bully Prevention and Intervention; PPM145 Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour; PPM149 Protocol for Partnerships with External Agencies; PPM161 Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions in Schools
Board Policy 13 Appeals and Hearings Regarding Student Matters; Administrative Procedure (AP) 120 External Collaboration Protocol; AP 138 Positive Workplace Environment; AP 142 Religious Accommodation; AP 160 Access to School Premises; AP 175 Accidents, Incidents and Occupational Illnesses; AP 266 Field Trips and Excursions; AP 314 Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions in Schools; AP 346 Children in Need of Protection; AP 351 Code of Conduct; AP 353 Student Suspension; AP 354 Student Expulsion; AP 355 Student Dress Code; AP 356 Substance Abuse by Students; AP 357 Violence Threat and Risk Assessment; AP 359 Police/School Board Protocol; AP 364 Search and Seizure Guidelines; AP 378 Reporting and Responding to Racist and Hate-based/Biased Incidents Involving or Impacting Students of the AMDSB; AP 467 Delegation of Authority; AP 495 Volunteer Programs in the Schools; AP 589 Transportation; AMDSB Equity, Inclusivity and Diversity Plan
1. Promoting and Supporting Positive Student Behavior
A whole-school approach, which involves all members of the school community, is also important in supporting efforts to ensure that schools are safe, inclusive, and accepting. It is an effective approach to making systemic changes that will benefit all students and the broader community. Implementation of a whole-school approach needs to occur at all levels – the board, school, class, individual, family, and community. It involves the development of respectful and caring relationships between staff, between students, and between staff and students. All aspects of school life are included in a whole-school approach, such as curriculum, school climate, teaching practices, policies, and procedures. To improve the school climate, members of the school community need to share information to develop an awareness of factors that have an impact on the school climate and to provide information about the effectiveness of prevention and intervention strategies, practices, and programs in their school. A whole-school approach is also valuable in addressing such issues as racism, intolerance based on religion or disability, bullying, homophobia, and gender-based violence.
The school climate may be defined as the learning environment and relationships found within a school and school community. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, included, and accepted, and actively promote positive behaviours and interactions. Principles of equity and inclusive education are embedded in the learning environment to support a positive school climate and a culture of mutual respect. A positive school climate is a crucial component of the prevention of inappropriate behaviour.
Programs and activities that focus on the building of healthy relationships, a safe, inclusive, and accepting learning environment, and positive peer relations provide the foundation for an effective continuum of strategies within a school and school-related activities. These supportive strategies and empowerment programs are the basis for creating a positive school climate.
2. Guiding Principles
2.1 Progressive discipline is an approach that makes use of a continuum of prevention programs, interventions, supports, and consequences, building upon strategies that build skills for healthy relationships and promote positive behaviours.
2.2 The goal of the procedure is to support an equitable, safe, inclusive, and accepting learning and teaching environment in which every student can reach their full potential.
2.3 All inappropriate student behaviour including racist incidents, hate incidents and bullying, that is related to any harassment of the student because of their race ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other harassment, must be addressed
2.4 Responses to behaviours that are contrary to the board’s code of conduct must be developmentally appropriate.
2.5 The range of interventions, supports, and consequences used by the board and all schools must be clear and developmentally appropriate, and must include learning opportunities for students in order to reinforce positive behaviours and help students make good choices.
2.6 Information in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) must be considered in the determination of interventions, supports, and consequences for students with special education needs.
2.7 The board, and school administrators, must consider all mitigating and other factors, as required by the Education Act and as set out in Ontario Regulation 472/07. Mitigating circumstances include:
- Whether the student has the ability to control his or her temper
- Whether the student has the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behaviour; and
- 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.
3.1 Director and Superintendents must:
3.1.1 Create, promote and monitor the AMDSB Equity, Inclusivity and Diversity Plan to provide opportunities for all members of the school community to increase their knowledge and understanding of such issues as racism, bias, stereotyping, discrimination, prejudice, and hate; bullying; violence; inappropriate sexual behaviour; critical media literacy; and safe Internet use.
3.1.2 Establish and collaborate with school principals to provide annual professional development programs to educate teachers and other school staff about the prevention of inappropriate behaviour and strategies for promoting a positive school climate
3.1.3 Conduct voluntary, anonymous school climate surveys of students, staff, and parents at least once every two years, including questions on bullying/harassment related to marginalization, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, as well as questions on sexual harassment.
3.1.4 Formalize relationships (AP 120 External Collaboration Protocol) with community partners to facilitate the delivery of prevention, intervention, and response programs, the use of referral processes, and the provision of services and support for students and their parents and families
3.1.5 Actively communicate policies and guidelines to all students, parents, staff members, Special Education Advisory Committee, and school council members. Boards should also provide this information to their Indigenous Education Advisory Council, their Parent Involvement Committee, and other relevant groups.
3.1.6 Monitor, review, and evaluate the effectiveness of board progressive discipline procedures, using indicators provided by the Ministry and established in consultation with teachers, other school staff, students, parents, school councils, their Special Education Advisory Committee, their Indigenous Education Advisory Council, and community-based service providers.
3.2 Principals must:
3.2.1 Promote and monitor the AMDSB Equity, Inclusivity and Diversity Plan to provide opportunities for all members of the school community to increase their knowledge and understanding of such issues as racism, bias, stereotyping, discrimination, prejudice, and hate; bullying; violence; inappropriate sexual behaviour; critical media literacy; and safe Internet use
3.2.2 For race based and hate incidents, reference AP 378 Reporting and Responding to Racist and Hate-based/Biased Incidents Involving or Impacting Students of the AMDSB
3.2.3 Provide support for all students who are affected by serious student incidents and all inappropriate behaviour, and for those who engage in these types of incidents, to assist them in developing healthy relationships, making choices that support continuing their learning, and achieving success
3.2.4 Include the requirements for the provision of special education programs and services for students with special education needs in a caring, safe, and inclusive environment.
3.2.5 Collaborate with their safe and accepting school teams to build strategies into their school improvement plans to improve the school climate regarding issues identified through their climate surveys.
3.2.6 Respond to any inappropriate and disrespectful student behaviour that is likely to have a negative impact on the school climate
3.2.7 Share confidential Notification of Potential Risk of Injury information so that employees can carry out their duties, including their duty to respond to inappropriate and disrespectful student behaviour where the behaviour may present risk of physical harm
3.2.8 Investigate all reports submitted by board employees and third-party contractors (e.g. bus drivers, before and after school care providers) and communicate the results (not more than is reasonably necessary) of the investigation to the person who made the report.
3.2.9 Acknowledge receipt of Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form - Part I using the electronic “Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form – Part II” with either “investigation in progress” or “investigation completed”
3.2.10 File the Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form - Part 1 in the OSR of each student whose behavior was inappropriate. Details identifying other students must be removed.
3.2.11 The form must be kept in the OSR for a minimum of one year. Administrator notes on the investigation must be kept for a minimum of one year.
3.2.12 Violent incidents include:
- Possessing a weapon
- Physical assault causing bodily harm requiring medical attention
- Sexual assault
- Using a weapon to cause of threaten bodily harm to another person
- Hate and/or bias motivated occurrences
3.2.13 If the principal has identified the incident as violent the Safe Schools Reporting form must be retained in the student’s OSR for:
- one year, if the student’s suspension was quashed or withdrawn and the record of suspension expunged. Documentation of any other action taken (other than suspension or expulsion) must also be retained for this period;
- three years, if the student was suspended for the violent incident;
- five years, if the student was expelled for the violent incident.
3.2.14 Follow the direction provided in the Police/School Board Protocol with respect to incidents that require police notification and response.
3.2.15 Provide staff with training to support students who are affected by serious student incidents and all inappropriate behaviour, and for those who engage in these types of incidents, to assist them in developing healthy relationships, making choices that support continuing their learning, and achieving success
3.2.16 Notify the parents of students who have been harmed as the result of a serious student incident. Principals shall disclose the following information (no more than reasonably necessary) the nature of the activity that resulted in harm to the student, the nature of the harm to the student, the steps taken to protect the student’s safety, including the nature of any disciplinary measures taken in response to the activity, the supports that will be provided for the student in response to the harm that resulted from the activity
3.2.17 Notify the parents of students who have engaged in a serious student incident. Principals shall disclose (no more than reasonably necessary) the nature of the activity that resulted in harm to the other student, the nature of the harm to the other student, the nature of any disciplinary measures taken in response to the activity, the supports that will be provided for the student in response to their engagement in the activity
3.2.18 Not notify a parent of a student if, in the opinion of the principal, doing so would put the student at risk of harm from a parent of the student, such that notification is not in the student’s best interest and must, in accordance with Ontario Regulation 472/07, document the rationale for this decision and notify both the teacher who reported the incident and the appropriate supervisory officer of this decision
3.2.19 Call the Children’s Aid Society according to the requirements of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, if there is reason to believe that the child is in need of protection. See AP346 Children in Need of Protection
3.2.20 Work with community-based service providers, mental health agencies, or other organizations that have professional expertise in the areas of responding to: racism, hate, bullying, discrimination, violence, and harassment to provide appropriate support to students, parents, and teachers, and other school staff in addressing these issues
3.2.21 Implement a school-wide progressive discipline policy that is consistent with the board’s policy and outlines a range of prevention programs, interventions, supports, and consequences, including circumstances in which short-term suspension, long-term suspension, or expulsion may be the response required; in consultation with the School Superintendent, as per AP 353 Student Suspension
3.2.22 For students with special education needs, the information in the student’s IEP must be considered in the determination of intervention, consequences, and supports
3.2.23 Complete Delegation of Authority letters for vice-principals and teacher-in-charge
3.3 Teachers and other Staff in schools and or classrooms must:
3.3.1 Immediately address inappropriate student behaviour that may have a negative impact on the school climate. When board employees are aware that an incident involves a student with special education needs, they are expected to respond in a way that takes into account information in the student’s Individual Education Plan
3.3.2 Responding must include telling a student to stop the inappropriate behaviour; naming the type of behaviour and explaining why it is inappropriate and/or disrespectful; and asking the student to correct the behaviour in the moment and location where it occurs (e.g., to apologize for a hurtful comment and/or to rephrase a comment)
3.3.3 Report that a student may have engaged in a serious student incident to the principal as soon as reasonably possible. Board employees are not required to respond to incidents when, in their opinion, responding would cause immediate physical harm to themselves or to a student or another person. However, serious student incidents must be reported to the principal and confirmed in writing by the end of the school day
3.3.4 All employee reports, including those made to the principal orally, must be confirmed in writing, using the “Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form”
3.3.5 Access board resources (eg. Safe Schools website) to provide support for all students, in a timely and sensitive manner, who are affected by serious student incidents and all inappropriate behaviour, and for those who engage in these types of incidents, to assist them in developing healthy relationships, making choices that support continuing their learning, and achieving success
3.3.6 Engage a range of prevention programs, interventions, supports, and consequences, including circumstances in which short-term suspension, long-term suspension, or expulsion may be the response required; (see Appendix A)
3.3.7 For students with special education needs, the information in the student’s IEP must be considered in the determination of intervention and supports
3.3.8 When board employees are aware that an incident that involves a student who is black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+ and/or a member of another equity-deserving community, they are expected to respond in a way that takes into account their over representation in disciplinary programs and/or alternative education programs as indicated in provincial equity and diversity data
3.3.9 Respond and report incidents recognizing that reporting and responding to racist and hate-based/biased incidents involving or impacting students of the AMDSB supports the implementation of the EDI’s Calls to Action
3.4 Regulated Health Professionals must:
3.4.1 Members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario or the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers who are engaged in a clinical relationship with a student shall report incidents of behaviour for which suspension or expulsion must be considered to the principal as soon as it is, in their professional opinion, reasonably possible to do so without having a negative impact on the nature of the clinical relationship, in a manner that is consistent with the code of ethics and the standards of practice of their respective professions, matters that could result in the student doing physical, emotional, or psychological harm to themselves or to others
Please refer to pdf for Appendix A - Prevention and Awareness School Plan for Progressive Discipline
New June 2022