A school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. All students, parents, teachers, and staff members have the right to be safe, and to feel safe, in their school community. With this right comes the responsibility to contribute to a positive school climate.
The promotion of strategies and initiatives such as Student Success and character development, along with the employment of prevention and intervention strategies to address inappropriate behaviour, fosters a positive school climate that supports academic achievement for all students.
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 – parents, volunteers, teachers, and other staff members – 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. 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.
Guiding Principles & Purposes of the Code
All members of the school community are:
- To be treated with respect and dignity, especially persons in positions of authoriy.
- To promote responsible citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community
- To maintain an environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility
- To encourage the use of non-violent means to resolve conflict
- To promote the safety of people in the schools
- To discourage the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
Roles & Responsibilities
School boards provide direction to their schools to ensure opportunity, academic excellence, and accountability in the education system. It is the responsibility of school boards to:
- 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;
- seek input from school councils, their Parent Involvement Committee, their Special Education Advisory Committee, parents, students, staff members, and the school community;
- review these policies regularly with students, staff, parents, volunteers and the 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;
- ensure an effective intervention strategy and response to all infractions related to the standards for respect, civility, responsible citizenship and safety;
- provide opportunities for all staff to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to develop and maintain academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment.
- wherever possible, boards should collaborate to provide coordinated prevention and intervention programs and services, and should endeavour to share effective practices.
Principals, under the direction of their school board, take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school. They provide this leadership by:
- demonstrating care for the school community and a commitment to academic excellence in a safe teaching and learning
- holding everyone, under their authority, accountable for their behaviour and actions;
- empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community;
- communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community.
Teachers and school staff, 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 upholds these high standards when they:
- help students work to their full potential and develop their 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;
- prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship.
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:
- comes to school prepared, on time and ready to learn;
- shows respect for themselves, for others and for those in authority;
- refrains from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others;
- follows the established rules and takes responsibility for his or her own -action.
Parents 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:
- 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;
- assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child.
Community Partners and the Police
The police play an essential role in making our schools and communities safer.
Police investigate incidents in accordance with the protocol developed with the local school board. These protocols are based on a provincial model developed by the Ministry of the Solicitor General and the Ministry of Education.