Safe Schools: In Diverse and Inclusive Communities
Ensuring the safety of all students and staff is of utmost concern. A positive school climate is necessary to support an inclusive, responsive learning environment for all students and to maximize student success. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, included, and accepted, and actively promote positive behaviours and interactions. The Whole School Approach including parents, students, staff, and community partners is critical to promote a positive school climate and acceptance for all.
Bullying Awareness, Prevention, and Intervention
Bullying will not be accepted on school property, at school-related activities, on school buses, or in any other circumstances (e.g., online) where engaging in bullying will have a negative impact on the school climate.
Staff are teaching students to identify bullying behaviour and giving them tools to respond and to stop it from happening as part of our awareness and prevention strategies.
Bullying is typically a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at another person that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear, distress and/or harm to that person's body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation. Bullying occurs when there is a real or perceived imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal, social, or occur through electronic (cyber) communication.
When someone experiences or observes bullying behaviour, he/she is expected to report it to a teacher, teaching assistant or school administrator immediately. Bullying behaviour will be addressed using a progressive discipline approach with a range of interventions and consequences.
The school encourages, supports and recognizes acceptable behaviour in our students through a variety of positive practices. Progressive discipline is an approach that makes use of a continuum of interventions, supports and consequences, building upon strategies which promote positive behaviours.
We encourage students to take responsibility for their behaviour and to accept the consequences of their actions. A progressive discipline approach will be used to deal with inappropriate behaviour. This may include: oral reminders, review of expectations, contact with parent(s)/guardians(s), written reflection, volunteer services in the school community, conflict mediation and resolution, peer mentoring, and/or referral for support services.
We recognize that each student is a unique individual and that every situation that requires disciplinary action has its own set of extenuating circumstances. All factors that may have affected the student's behaviour will be considered before progressive discipline is applied. Students who behave inappropriately will receive an age and developmentally appropriate consequence. For a student with special education or disability-related needs, all progressive discipline approaches will be consistent with his or her Individual Education Plan and his or her demonstrated abilities.
Suspension and Expulsion
As part of progressive discipline, the school may also use suspension and/or expulsion for serious incidents as outlined in the Limestone District School Board's Safe Schools Policy.
Before considering whether to impose a suspension or make a recommendation for an expulsion, a principal must consider mitigating and other factors.
A principal or vice principal shall consider whether to suspend a pupil if he or she believes that the pupil has engaged in any of the following activities while at school, at a school-related activity or in other circumstances where engaging in the activity will have an impact on the school climate:
- swearing (written or verbal) at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority
- uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person
- committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property
- possessing alcohol or restricted drugs
- being under the influence of alcohol or restricted drugs
- committing any act considered by the principal to:
- have a negative impact on the moral tone of the school
- have a negative impact on the physical or mental well-being of one or more school community members
- be contrary to the school or Limestone Board Codes of Conduct.
A principal shall suspend a pupil if he or she believes that the pupil has engaged in any of the following activities while at school, at a school-related activity, or in other circumstances where engaging in the activity will have an impact on the school climate. For the following incidents the principal will suspend and will also consider recommending to the Board’s Discipline Committee that a student be expelled:
- physically assaulting another person causing bodily harm that requires medical treatment
- possessing a weapon or using a weapon to threaten or frighten another person
- trafficking in restricted drugs or weapons
- giving alcohol to a minor
- committing robbery
- committing sexual assault
- bullying, if the student has been previously suspended for engaging in bullying and the student’s continuing presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of another person
any activity that a principal or vice principal shall consider for suspension that is motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate
- is significantly detrimental to the school climate and/or to the physical or mental wellbeing of others, whether the incident occurred at school or outside of the school
- causes extensive damage to school property
- causes his/her continued presence at the school to pose an unacceptable risk to other members of the school community
- a pattern of behaviour so inappropriate the student's continued presence is detrimental to the effective learning or working environment of others
- demonstrates a persistent resistance to changes in behaviour that would enable him or her to be successful
- is a serious violation of the school or the Limestone Board Codes of Conduct.
Tobacco Products, Alcohol, and Illegal Drugs
The school recognizes the benefits of a tobacco-free environment to all persons. By law, smoking is not permitted at the school, on Board property, on school buses or while attending any school-related activity. School property includes cars that are on school grounds and all lands to the edge of the street. The no smoking rule will be enforced within these areas. Other tobacco products also may not be used on school property.
Providing tobacco products to anyone under 19 years of age is illegal.
Alcohol and restricted drugs may be addictive and represent a health hazard. Possessing, using, trafficking in, or providing others with restricted drugs and/or alcohol is illegal and is unacceptable at the school, on Limestone property or at any school-related event or activity at any time. Lighters and drug-related paraphernalia that can be used for substance abuse are not permitted on school property.
Possessing or displaying weapons of any kind, including real, toy or replica, and all other objects that could inflict or threaten bodily harm, including all types of knives, are not permitted at the school, on any Limestone Board property, or at any school-related event or activity at any time. Any weapon found will be confiscated, and potentially involve police contact, forfeiture of the item, and disciplinary consequences.
The standards for dress at the school are based on common sense and are intended to support the comfort, safety and modesty of all students. There is a strong relationship between neat, clean and appropriate clothing and a positive learning environment. Please refer to your School Specific information for further details.
Lockers and Desks
- If you are assigned a locker and/or desk they are school property and should be kept clean and in good condition. The locker and/or desk are being loaned to you, and the school has the right to access all lockers and withdraw locker privileges if necessary.
- If you are assigned a desk and/or locker, the school has the right to access the desk and/or locker.
- Remember that items such as alcohol, drugs, weapons, or substances which threaten health or safety are prohibited on school property including lockers. If there is suspicion that a locker contains any of these items, it will be opened and searched. Consequences will apply if a prohibited substance or weapon is found and police will be contacted.
- It is also important that students occupy the lockers assigned to them, as they will be responsible for items found in those lockers. Only use a locker that has been assigned to you.Locks that have been placed on unassigned lockers will be cut off, and the contents of the locker removed.
- We hope that you will take pride in keeping your locker and/or desk in good condition. When lockers are open, their contents are on display to everyone. Students are not to post pictures or slogans that are inappropriate or of bad taste. You may be asked to remove material and repeated offences will result in more serious consequences. Graffiti which is written or scratched into lockers or on desks are acts of vandalism and will be treated accordingly.
- The school is not responsible for lost or stolen goods. Do not store valuable items or money in lockers or desks.
- Only locks bought through the school are allowed unless approved by the school administration.
Safe SchoolsBuilding Positive Places to Grow and Learn Together. What You Need to Know
As part of the Safe Schools requirements for schools and the amended Threat Assessment Protocols for the Limestone District School Board, this is information in a condensed form to give you an overview of the efforts made to provide the safe and inclusive education opportunities our students deserve. It is important for all students and parents to be aware of these school safety procedures.
All schools have established procedures for Shelter in Place, Hold & Secure, Lockdown, and Evacuation. Staff and students will be trained in how to implement the procedures. As with fire drills, lockdown drills will be held without the prior awareness of students and/or staff.
Threats to School Safety
In order to facilitate common understanding among all community partners, school boards across Ontario, police services, Emergency Medical Services, and fire safety officials are using the following terminology:
- Shelter in Place - used for an environmental or weather-related situation where it is necessary to keep all occupants within the school (protecting them from an external situation) Examples: chemical spills, blackouts, explosions or extreme weather.
- Hold and Secure - used when it is desirable to secure the school due to an ongoing situation outside but not related to the school Example: Bank robbery occurring near a school but not on property. School functions normally with exterior doors locked until the situation is resolved.
- Lockdown - used only when there is a major incident or threat of school violence within the school. Overuse or misuse of this high level might result in not taking the lockdown seriously, so please note that two lockdown drills for each school year will occur.
- Evacuation used in the event that students and staff must leave a school building due to some environmental concern in the school. Example: gas leak in the school or fire.
Over the course of the school year as part of its mandate to educate its students, the Limestone District School Board under the authority of the Education Act, as amended, will collect personal information about each student from both the student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s). The information collected may be written, oral or visual. This personal information will be used to register and place the student in a school or for a consistent purpose such as the allocation of staff and resources and to give information to other employees to carry out their job duties. In addition, the information may be used to deal with matters of health and safety or discipline and that may be required to be disclosed in compelling circumstances or for law enforcement matters or in accordance with any other Act. The information will be used in accordance with the Education Act, the regulations, and guidelines issued by the Minister
of Education governing the establishment, maintenance, use, retention, transfer and disposal of pupil records. For more information regarding Ontario Student Records (OSR) and mandated components of these records, please go to… http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/curricul/osr/osr.pdf
For questions about this collection of information for the OSR, please speak to your school principal or the LDSB Manager of Information Technology Services & Planning, Wayne Toms, at 613-544-6920.
Accessing Student Records
Each student and the parent/guardian(s) of a student who is not an adult (that is, a student who is under the age of eighteen) may request a meeting to review the contents of the Ontario Student Record (OSR). If the student or the parent/guardian(s) of a student who is not an adult (that is, a student who is under the age of eighteen) reviews the OSR and wants something removed, they may formally appeal to the principal. For more information, please go to… http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/curricul/osr/osr.pdf
Children in Need of Protection
In April 2000, the amended Child and Family Services Act came into effect. This legislation has an impact on everyone in our community. For Children's Aid Societies, the definition of a child in need of protection because of suspected child abuse or neglect has been expanded. For the school system, every person who has reason to believe that a child is or may be abused or neglected must report his/her suspicions immediately to the Children's Aid Society. The Limestone District School Board is fully committed to supporting staff in meeting the legal requirements of the act.
This law means that:
School staff do not have a choice if they suspect that a student is or may be in need of protection. They MUST report their suspicions to the Children's Aid Society.
When staff report concerns to Children's Aid, they must also share with Children's Aid any information about the concern which might otherwise be confidential.
It is not the school's responsibility to investigate suspicions, evaluate the situation, or assign blame.
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