Student Agenda

A class of Grade 8 students in a classroom.

Student Agenda 

Safe Arrival

Three options to report your child’s absence

1.       Student Absence/Late Arrival Reporting 1-844-288-7628

2.       Parents can log into a website:  go.schoolmessenger.ca to report student absences.

3.       Parents can download the SafeArrival app for iOS and Android smartphones.  Search for the keyword  
          school messenger in the Google Play store or the Apple App store.  Select Canada, select sign up, enter your email address that
          is on file with the school, enter a password.

Mission Statement

We are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ.

School Slogan

    ‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire’ – St. Catherine of Siena

Bell Time

Please note that supervision in the morning begins at 8:25 am– do not leave students unattended at any time before supervision begins

For all students’ safety, students are expected to leave school property promptly at 3:10 pm, as there is no supervision after this time

Important Times

Time

Entry Bell

8:40 am

Recess

9:45 am - 10:00 am

Lunch

11:25 am -12:25 am

Recess

1:30 pm -1:45 pm

Dismissal

3:10 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Drop Off

Supervision outside takes place from 8:25 to 8:40 a.m.  We encourage you to try to arrive before 8:40 a.m. to avoid peak traffic times. If you are driving your child to school and dropping them off, please do not enter the bus area as the buses need to unload the students safely.  Please drive through the driveway closes to the parking spaces and drop off your child at the end of the lane so that they can walk across safely to the walkway.  Please do not park/stop in this laneway this is a drop off area only. We need to keep all our students safe during the morning drop off and pick up at the end of the day. There are plenty of supervisors outside to help students walk to their specific area.  Kindergarten and primary students are walked to their designated area as they come off the bus.  

Lunch Hour Routines

Students will eat their lunch from 11:25 a.m. -11:45 a.m. and enjoy a recess break outside (weather permitting) from 11:45 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.. For your convenience, there is a lunch drop off table in the front foyer where you can leave your child’s lunch with his/her name clearly labeled. The privilege of going out for lunch is reserved for intermediate (grades 7 & 8) students on Fridays only. Intermediate students leaving school property for lunch on Fridays must have a dated and signed note, for each occasion, indicating that they have parent or guardian permission to leave school property during the lunch hour. Students will not be allowed to call home to make arrangements and verbal permission will not be accepted. Students are expected to be back on time for the start of class at 12:25.

Important Contact Information

Parish Information

Daycare Information

St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church

1001 Ravenscroft Road

Ajax, Ontario   L1T 4X1

Phone (905) 683-1403

Website: www.stfrancisdesales.ca

Phone: 905 683-1403

Fax:     905 683-2301

Pastor: Rev. Joseph Singh

Associate: Rev. Massimo

 

Weekend Masses:

Saturday: 5:00pm

Sunday: 8:30am, 10:15am,12 Noon,7:00pm   

P.R.Y.D.E. Learning Centre

15 Bennett Avenue

Ajax, Ontario L1T 3 P1

Phone (905) 428-6421

Supervisor, R.E.C.E.:

Denise Steenson

 

School Year Calendar Dates

School Holidays Professional Activity (PA) Days
Labour Day - Monday, September 2, 2019 Monday, October 11, 2019
Thanksgiving - Monday, October 8, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019
Christmas Break - Monday, December 23, 2019 - Friday, January 3, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020
Family Day - Monday, February 17, 2020 Friday, April 3, 2020
March Break - Friday, March 13 - Friday, March 20, 2020 Friday, June 5, 2020
Good Friday - Friday, April 10, 2020 Friday, June 26, 2020
Easter Monday - Monday, April 13, 2020  
Victoria Day - Monday, May 18, 2020

 

Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations & Catholic Virtues

Month

Catholic Graduate Expectation

Catholic Virtue or Theme

September A Collaborative Contributor  Building Community
October A Discerning Believer   Faith
November A Reflective, Creative and Holistic Thinker   Justice
December   Hope
January    Fortitude (Courage) 
February  A Self-Directed, Responsible, Life-Long Learner Love
March  A Caring Family Member  Temperance (Self-Control)
April    Prudence (Right Choice)
May  A Responsible Citizen Service
June  An Effective Communicator  Celebrating Our Gifts and Talents 

                                           

Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS)  

Office: (905) 666-6295 or 1 (800) 240-6943

Automated Telephone Line: (905) 666-6979 or 1 (866) 908-6578

Website: www.dsts.on.ca

Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS) is responsible for the management of all home to school transportation for eligible students in Durham Region. The DSTS automated phone line is the easiest way to obtain accurate information. You will need to have your child’s date of birth and student OEN number (9 digit student number found on your child’s report card).

Safety Expectations

  • Students who ride on the bus must behave appropriately in order to ensure the safety of themselves and others
  • Students may only get on and off the bus at their designated stop
  • Students need to be at their stop five minutes before their scheduled pick up
  • Bus students will go home on the bus unless a signed and dated note is sent indicating alternate arrangements
  • Any permanent changes to bussing must be arranged through DSTS

Riding a school bus is a privilege. The students must exhibit proper and safe behaviours while riding the bus. If an infraction occurs, a warning letter may be sent home. For repeated infractions, your child may be suspended from riding the bus for a designated period of time. Alternate transportation arrangements will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian during this time.

Cancellations Due to Weather Conditions

  • Our school is located in Zone 4 for Inclement Weather
  • Transportation services cancelled in the morning are cancelled for the entire day
  • Where transportation is cancelled, parents are responsible for transportation to and from school
  • Cancellations will be communicated to school communities beginning at 7:00 a.m. or earlier
  • Radio stations include 680 AM and CHFI (98.1); television stations include Global and City TV
  • Receive automatic notifications of delays and cancellations, SIGN UP under Track Your Child’s Bus at www.dsts.on.ca

It is important that parents ensure the school has up-to-date information for September.  If your daycare provider changes or you are moving, please remember to call the school with any changes.  Please note Caregivers’ addresses are accepted for elementary students only.  School bus route changes take three to five days to implement.

Bus students are permitted to ride only their designated bus to and from school, and must be picked up and discharged only at their designated stop.  Bus students cannot walk home without written permission.

Online School Purchase

For safety and efficiency reasons, our school Board is reducing the amount of cash and cheques we receive, by offering you the convenience of paying online.  To register, click on the “Online School Purchase” button located under our school’s website banner or visit https://durhamcatholic.schoolcashonline.com/.  Select the “Get Started Today” option.  You will need your child’s OEN number to register.  The OEN number is available on your child’s report card.  If you require help signing up please call KEV Help Line:  1-866-961-1803.

Subscribe to our School Website

We encourage you to subscribe to our calendar and news webpages to stay informed and receive emails about upcoming events and information.  Our school website is stcatherine.dcdsb.ca.

Signing Your Child In and Out of School

The safety of our students is of utmost importance. Along with our regular attendance procedures, students are required to be signed in and out of the school, during the regular school day, if they are coming or going outside of the regular entry and dismissal times. To help facilitate this process, we ask that you record any scheduled appointments in your child’s agenda so that classroom educators will be aware and send students down to the office at the required time.

Bicycle & Skateboard Safety

Students may ride their bicycles or skateboards to school with their parent/guardian’s permission. It is required by law that helmets are worn, and this is the expectation for all students who choose to ride their bicycle or skateboard. Once on school property, students must walk for the safety of themselves and others. Bicycles can be locked in the bicycle racks and skateboards should be dropped off in the office until the end of the day.

Access to School Premises and Instructional Zones

During school hours, all parents and visitors are required to report to the main office. If you are dropping off or picking up your child, or dropping off any items during the school day, you are asked to wait in the main office or front foyer.  To maintain the safety of all students and protect instructional time, parents and visitors are not permitted in the school hallways, classrooms or schoolyard unless by special invitation. In this case, you are required to sign in at the office.

Parent Volunteers in the School & Police Vulnerable Sector Checks

Parent volunteers are a welcome and vital part of our school community. Volunteers provide valuable assistance in classrooms, during school trips, and support special programs and events in the school. If you are interested in volunteering in the school, a Police Vulnerable Sector Check is required. Once completed, please return to the office.

Catholic School Council (CSC)

The purpose of the Catholic School Council (CSC) is to advise the principal on matters set out by the Ministry of Education and the Durham Catholic District School Board. CSC is composed of parent representatives, the principal, vice-principal, teaching and non-teaching representatives, a parish representative and a community representative. Elections will be held during the first meeting in September and meeting dates will be posted on our website. All parents and guardians are always welcome!

Anaphylaxis Alert

Anaphylaxis is a serious and rapid allergic reaction which can be LIFE THREATENING. Foods are amongst the most common causes of an allergic reaction, but medications, insect stings, latex and exercise can also cause a reaction. Several students in our school have an anaphylactic allergy to various allergens. To help ensure their safety, nuts and products containing nuts are not permitted in the school. For classrooms that have students with anaphylactic allergies, signs will be posted advising of the specific allergies. We ask that you carefully read food labels before sending snack and lunch items with your child. Your cooperation is essential in keeping all of our students safe and we thank you in advance for your support and understanding.

If your child has an anaphylactic allergy, it is essential that you inform the school and provide updated medical information and medication at the beginning of each school year and if medical conditions change. Please contact the school for more information on the required documents.

Scent Sensitive Environment

There are a number of students and staff who have scent sensitivities, please do not wear heavy perfumes and scents when visiting the school.  Students are also aware of our scent sensitive environment at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School.

Birthdays & Celebrations

In order to maintain the safety of all students, each classroom will outline a set of expectations with respect to bringing in outside food for various celebrations. Any food being brought into the classroom to be shared with the class must be approved by the classroom educator(s). Classroom rules may vary depending on the severity of allergies in each class – some classrooms may restrict outside food altogether. A great alternative to food items are fun pencils, erasers, or books.

Medical Concerns and Oral Medications

Parents must notify the school of any exceptional health conditions and the accompanying requirements. Important health information must also be included on the Student Information Forms. If your child has any health conditions or medical requirements, please inform the office and complete the appropriate information and consent forms. In special cases, where a student must regularly have medication during school hours, consent forms must be completed. In most cases, all oral medications will be kept in the office.

Asthma Medication & Ryan’s Law

Ryan's Law, 2015, was recently passed by the Ontario Legislature. This piece of legislation is an important step to support the well-being of students with asthma in Ontario schools. Over the course of the next school year, the Durham Catholic District School Board will be working to implement the requirements of this legislation and developing a more formal process to identify students with asthma and their asthma medication.

If your child has asthma, you will be required to complete the “Administration of Oral Medication”. This form provides specific details and instructions on the administration of the required medication for your child and gives parental consent to store and administer this medication at school. With your permission, your child will be allowed to carry his/her asthma medication on his/her person at all times. You are encouraged to provide a fanny pack or pouch to facilitate this. Permission will need to be renewed each school year along with any updates to your child’s medical information.

Dress Code

We encourage all parents to monitor how their children dress for school each day. With home and school guidance, our students learn to dress properly for the weather and the learning environment.

The Dress Code for St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School reflects the understanding that school is a student’s place of work.  Students are expected to be dressed appropriately.  Attire is to be consistent with the expectations of an environment reflecting a Catholic School community.  The standards of dress for students at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School are reviewed with the Catholic School Council as outlined by Board policy.  Parents need to refer to these standards when unsure about what is acceptable dress at school in order to support their children in using good judgment in this regard.  The guideline outlined applies to all in-school situations, on the school grounds and while attending all school-related activities and events.  This dress code is based on the values of good health and hygiene, safety, modesty, respect for others and one’s self.

The following are the acceptable standards of dress for students at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School:

  • Clothes should be clean and in good repair;
  • Hats, caps, bandanas shall be removed upon entry to school;
  • Clothes with slogans/pictures must be positive and appropriate for school;
  • Shirts and tops must come down over the pants/skirts/shorts.  Low-cut, open-back and bare midriff are not permitted.  Shirts
         must have sleeves or straps that are modest and fully cover undergarments.  Spaghetti straps or halter tops are not appropriate.
  • Tank top straps must be wide (3 fingers wide) enough to cover undergarments and provide decent coverage at the armpit.
  • Undergarments and/or pajamas are not to be visible.  Pajama pants are not appropriate school wear (unless it is Spirit Day)
  • Pants/Shorts/Skirts must fit appropriately and worn so as not to expose undergarments
  • Shorts, skirts and pants must be an adequate length to allow for movement and full participation in programming.
  • For health and safety reasons, appropriate and secure footwear must be worn at all times.  Bare feet and flips flops are not
         hygienic, nor safe for outdoor and active play;
  • Jewelry and accessories should be non-distracting and allow for safe participation in activities;
  • Make-up will reflect a natural appearance;
  • Fragranced products are not permitted in order to support an allergen safe environment;
  • Appropriate dress for participation in the physical education program as outlined by the classroom teacher.  A change of clothes
         is recommended, as appropriate to the age of the student.  Running shoes with non-mark soles are expected.

A phone call may be made to alert parents if a Dress Code concern persists.  The final decision regarding the dress code will be at the discretion of the principal or designate. 

All Dress Code infractions will be addressed with discretion and respect.

Safe, Caring and Healthy Elementary Schools

The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes that 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. It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to work together to create a positive learning environment where all members feel supported.

Access to Premises

Parents/guardians are welcome to visit the school to discuss an issue with teachers or administrators.  In keeping with the Board’s Access to School Premises Policy, all doors will remained locked during school hours.  Our Safe Welcome Program provides an intercom and camera at the main door of the school for all visitors to communicate with the office prior to entering the school.  This enhances the safety of students and staff.  Please remember that anyone coming into the school must first sign in at the office and obtain a Visitor’s badge.  (Parents/guardians are not allowed access to the school yard before school or during recesses and noon hour.) At recess time, the school yard is well supervised and staff will question anyone whose presence is not expected.  Each member of staff is wearing photo ID and is identified on duty with a safety vest.

If a parent/guardian needs to pick up his/her son/daughter during the school day, this must be facilitated at the office.  Members of the office staff will call the student down to the office to be signed out.  If parents send a friend/relative/designate to pick up their child, please advise the school in advance and ask the designate to provide photo identification at the office.  If the student returns to school before dismissal, he/she must sign back in at the office so that his/her attendance can be monitored.

Make Every Day Count - Attendance Matters

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Now is the time to start building this habit so your child learns right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college or university and in the world of work.

Did You Know?

  • Absences can add up quickly.  A child is considered chronically absent if he/she misses just two days every month!!

Research shows:

  • Children chronically absent in kindergarten and grade one are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of grade three.
  • By grade six, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school. 
  • By grade nine, good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than grade eight test scores. 
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
  •  School success goes hand in hand with good attendance!

 What You Can Do:

  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless he/she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a
         sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.  Check with your physician if frequent physical complaints are an issue.  
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, the school social worker, or other parents for advice on how
         to make him/her feel comfortable and excited about learning.  Attending school regularly and arriving on time often helps
         students feel more comfortable and less anxious in the long run. Chronic absence makes it difficult for a child to feel a part of the
         classroom community.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbour, or another parent to
         help.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
  • Communicate with the school and let us know how we can best support you and your children so that they can show up for
         school on time every day.   We want your child to be successful in school!  If you have any questions or need more information
         please contact your child’s teacher, principal or vice principal.
  • Contact the school if you are planning on taking your child out of school for more than five days as some absences require the
         permission of the school principal. 

Safe Arrival - Automated Attendance

In June 2019, The Durham Catholic District School Board adopted a new automated attendance system, called Safe Arrival, for reporting student absences. Safe Arrival reduces the time it takes to verify student attendance making it easier for you to report your child’s absence and easier for staff to respond to unexplained student absences. Parents are able to report their child’s absence quickly and conveniently using three different methods:

1. Parents can log into a website:  go.schoolmessenger.ca to report student absences.

2. Parents can call into the automated interactive telephone system using the toll free number 1-844-288-7628 through which absences
    can be reported.

3. Parents can download the SafeArrival app for iOS and Android smartphones.  Search for the keyword school messenger in the
    Google Play store or the Apple App store.  Select Canada, select sign up, enter your email address that is on file with the school,
    enter a password. 

All three methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences, like doctor’s appointments can be reported ahead of time. For more information, please visit the school website.

Restorative Schools

We believe that safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents.  To foster these relationships, staff in the Durham Catholic District School Board use restorative practices, including classroom circles and small group conferences to build community within the classroom and the school.  Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada’s Native Aboriginal communities.  It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them.  When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behavior in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship.  It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature.  The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed.

Catholic Restorative Schools will:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make reparations
  • Provide a voice for the victim
  • Use a common set of restorative questions both in and out of our classrooms to give the victim a voice and enable the
         perpetrator to determine the effect of his/her actions. “How do you think your actions had an impact on others?”  “What do you
         think you need to do to make things right?”
  • Use circles, or small group conferences to build community, develop empathy and understanding, and when needed,  to repair
         relationships
  • Celebrate our Catholic community through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations
  • Use think papers and reflective discussion papers aligned with the restorative questions

School Code of Conduct

All schools base their individual school Code of Conduct on the Ministry of Education Code of Conduct.  As per Board Policy and the Ontario Safe School Act, each school’s Code of Conduct will be developed in consultation with parents, teachers and the Catholic School Advisory Council.  All members of the school community will be responsible for adhering to the expectations as outlined in this Code of Conduct.

Schools within the Durham Catholic District School Board will focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the key to maintaining a positive school environment in which students can learn and educators can teach. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, all staff members will utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, that include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and that focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short term suspension may be the method of progressive discipline utilized. In the case of a serious incident, long-term suspension or expulsion, which is further along the continuum of progressive discipline, may be the response that is required.

Statement of Purpose

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 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.

 The purpose of the Provincial Code of Conduct and the School Code of Conduct is:

  • To ensure that all members of the school community, especially people in positions of authority, are treated with respect and
         dignity.
  • 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, cannabis and illegal drugs.

Guiding Principles

  • 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.
  • Members of the school community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict.
  • Physically aggressive behaviour is not a responsible way to interact with others.
  • The possession, use or threatened use of any object to injure another person endangers the safety of oneself and others.
  • Alcohol, cannabis and illegal drugs are addictive and present a health hazard.
  • The school will work cooperatively with police, drug and alcohol agencies to promote prevention strategies and, where
         necessary, respond to school members who are in possession of, or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Insults, disrespect, and other hurtful acts disrupt learning and teaching in a school community.
  • Members of the school community have a responsibility to maintain an environment where conflict and difference can be
         addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility.

 Standards of Behaviour

 I) Respect, Civility, and Responsible Citizenship

All members of the school community must:

  • Respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws;
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity;
  • Respect differences in people, their ideas, and their opinions;
  • Treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement;
  • Respect and treat others fairly, regardless of, for example, race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship,
         religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;
  • Respect the rights of others;
  • Show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others;
  • Take appropriate measures to help those in need;
  • Seek assistance from a member of the school staff, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully;
  • Respect all members of the school community, especially persons in positions of authority;
  • Respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching;
  • Not swear at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority.

 II) Safety

All members of the school community must not:

  • Engage in bullying behaviours;
  • Commit sexual assault;
  • Traffic weapons, illegal or illicit drugs;
  • Give alcohol, cannabis or illegal drugs to a minor;
  • Commit robbery;
  • Be in possession of any weapon, including firearms;
  • Use any object to threaten or intimidate another person;
  • Cause injury to any person with an object;
  • Be in possession of, or under the influence of, or provide others with alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • Inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm on another person;
  • Engage in hate propaganda and other forms of behaviour motivated by hate or bias;
  • Commit an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property or to property located on the premises of the
        school.

Consequences for Student Behaviour

Commensurate with the Durham Catholic District School Board’s Progressive Discipline Policy, when inappropriate behaviour occurs, schools are required to utilize a range of interventions, supports, and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, provide opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short-term suspension may be the appropriate consequence while in more serious incidents, long-term suspension or expulsion may be the response that is required.

Suspension

The infractions for which a suspension may be considered by the principal include:

  • Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
  • Possessing alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user);
  • Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user);
  • Swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority;
  • Committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil’s school or to property located on
         the premises of the pupil’s school;
  • Bullying
  • Uttering a racial slur or comment;
  • Sexual slurs or harassment;
  • Possession and/or use of tobacco products;
  • Disrespect towards or desecration of the religious dimension of the school;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable: e.g.,
    • Fighting/Violence
    • Use of profane or improper language
    • Persistent opposition to authority
    • Persistent tardiness and/or truancy including “skipping” classes
    • Theft
    • Inappropriate use of Social Media
    • Any other behaviours deemed to be contrary to the school Code of Conduct.

A student may be suspended for a minimum of one (1) school day and a maximum of twenty (20) school days.

 Expulsion

The infractions for which a principal shall suspend and may consider recommending to the Board that a pupil be expelled from the pupil’s school or from all schools of the Board include:

  • Possessing a weapon, including possessing a knife or a firearm;
  • Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person;
  • Bullying, if the pupil has previously been suspended for engaging in bullying, and the pupil’s continuing presence in the school
         creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of another person;
  • Committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner;
  • Committing sexual assault;
  • Trafficking in weapons or restricted or illegal drugs;
  • Committing robbery;
  • Giving cannabis to a minor;
  • Giving alcohol to a minor;
  • Any activity listed in the Code of Conduct for which a suspension must be considered that is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate
        based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation,
        gender identity, gender expression, or any other similar factor;
  • Engaging in activities or patterns of behaviour on or off school property that cause the pupil’s presence in the school to create an
         unacceptable risk to the physical or mental well-being of other person(s) in the school or Board;
  • Engaging in activities on or off school property that have caused extensive damage to the property of the Board or to goods that
         are/were on Board property;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable:
    • Any act considered by the Principal and Family of Schools Superintendent to be a serious violation of the Board or school Code of Conduct.

 Mitigating Factors

Before the principal or vice principal makes a decision to suspend or recommend an expulsion he/she must consider all mitigating circumstances.

  • Whether the student has the ability to control his or her behaviour;
  • Whether the student has the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behavior; and
  • Whether the student’s continuing presence in the school does or does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety of any
         person in the school.

 Other Factors to be Considered

  • The student’s academic, discipline and personal history
  • Whether a progressive discipline approach has been used with the student;
  • Whether the activity for which the student may be or is being suspended or expelled was related to any harassment of the
         student because of race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation or to any other harassment;
  • The impact of the discipline on the student’s  ongoing education;
  • The age of the student;
  • In the case where the student has an Individual Education Plan(IEP) or disability-related needs:
  • Whether the behaviour was a manifestation of a disability identified in the student’s Individual Education Plan;
  • Whether appropriate individualized accommodation has been provided, and
  • Whether the suspension is likely to result in aggravating or worsening of the student’s behaviour or conduct.

Roles and Responsibilities of School Boards

School Boards provide direction to their schools to ensure opportunity, academic excellence, and accountability in the education system. It is the responsibility of the School Board to:

  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • 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;
  • Review these policies regularly with students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the community;
  • Seek input from school councils, their Parent Involvement Committee, their Special Education Advisory Committee, parents,
         students, staff members, and the school 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;
  • Develop effective intervention strategies and respond to all infractions related to the standards for respect, civility, responsible
         citizenship, and safety; and
  • Provide opportunities for all of the staff to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to develop and maintain
         academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment; and wherever possible, Boards should collaborate to provide
         coordinated prevention and intervention programs and services, and should endeavor to share effective practices.

 Principals

Under the direction of their School Boards, principals take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school. They provide this leadership by:

  • Modeling Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Demonstrating care for the school community and a commitment to academic excellence in a safe teaching and learning
        environment;
  • Holding everyone under their authority accountable for his or her behaviour and actions;
  • Empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community; and
  • Communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community.

 Teachers and Other School Staff Members

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

  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Help students work to their full potential and develop their sense of 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; and
  • Prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship.

 Students

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:

  • Models Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Comes to school prepared, on time., and ready to learn;
  • Shows respect for himself or herself, for others, and for those in authority;
  • Refrains from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others; and
  • Follows the established rules and takes responsibility for his or her own actions.

Parents/Guardians

Parents/Guardians 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:

  • Support the values of our Catholic school system;
  • Conduct themselves in an appropriate manner;
  • Take responsibility and support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all
         students;
  • 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; and
  • Assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child.

 School Code of Conduct on School Bus Vehicles

All school bus vehicles are considered an extension of the classroom and all school policies such as Safe Schools, and School Code of Conduct apply to the school bus. All transported students whether on a field trip or home to school transportation are expected to behave in a manner on the bus that ensures that everyone remains safe.  Since the bus is an extension of the school, students are accountable to the school principal who has the authority to ensure that student conduct on the school bus is appropriate.

Due to the nature of the activity of riding a bus, the following are expectations for all methods of school transportation as per the School Code of Conduct.

All students must:

  • Respect other people’s property and belongings while waiting for the school bus;
  • Treat the driver with respect and follow his/her instructions;
  • Be courteous and respectful to others on the bus at all times;
  • Act appropriately in a manner that does not endanger the safety of oneself or others including, but not limited to:

-          Not engaging in any activity that interferes with the safe operation of the bus

-          Remaining seated at all times, facing forward while the bus is in motion

-          Keeping hands, arms, feet, head and belongings inside the vehicle until the student has exited at his/her stop

-          Not distracting or speaking to the bus driver except in the case of emergency

-          Refraining from inappropriate behavior on the bus, e.g., throwing items, swearing, fighting, or bullying

-          Not bringing alcohol, drugs or weapons onto the school bus

-          Not touching safety equipment or emergency exits except in the case of an emergency

-          Not eating or drinking on the bus

Safe and Caring Schools Report It – Non-Emergency Report System

Parents and students are encouraged to report incidents of bullying or other school safety concerns as soon as they happen by contacting their teacher and/or school administration.  We recognize that bullying affects a student’s sense of safety and security, and some people may not feel comfortable reporting bullying or other school safety incidents.  To help ease this worry, students and parents are welcome to use the Report It page available on the school website to report incidents of bullying or other safety concerns that have not already been reported. School safety concerns can be reported anonymously or contact information can be given so that appropriate follow-up can occur. The information provided will be forwarded to the school principal for action and a follow-up response if requested.

Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol– Fair Notice

The Durham Catholic District School Board is committed to providing safe learning environments for all students, staff, school visitors and community members. When student behaviours pose a potential threat to safety or serious harm to self or others, all schools in the Durham Catholic District School Board follow the Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol  (C-TAIP), which outlines how a school responds immediately to threatening behaviour. This protocol involves supports from various partners, including community agencies, hospitals and police services. Personal information shared throughout this process will always respect and balance each individual’s right to privacy while ensuring the safety of all. For more information, please refer to the school website or ask the principal for more information.

Search and Seizure

According to the Police/School Board Protocol for Durham Catholic District School Board, it is the right and authority of the Principal or designate to search school and personal property, such as lockers, desks, backpacks, purses, etc., without notice or permission of any person as long as the Principal or designate has reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a breach of school regulations and that the search would reveal evidence of that breach.  In exigent circumstances, Police may come onto school premises to conduct their own searches, also without prior notice to or permission of any member of the school community.

Community Partners

Through outreach, school and community partnerships already in place may be enhanced and new partnerships developed with community agencies and other groups within the community (e.g., Kinark Family and Child Services, Aboriginal Elders). Community agencies are important resources that schools can use to deliver prevention or intervention programs. Protocols are effective ways of establishing connections between boards and community agencies and formalizing the partnership. These partnership agreements must respect all applicable collective agreements and Board policies.

Durham Regional Police Service Partnerships

The Durham Regional Police Service plays an essential role in making our schools and communities safer. The police investigate incidents in accordance with our Police/School Board protocol. This protocol is based on the provincial model developed by the Ministry of Education.  The Durham Regional Police Service are instrumental in supporting our schools with all emergency preparedness procedures and Safe Schools initiatives.  Each of our schools has regular access to a School Liaison Officer.

Emergency Response Plans

Each September, as part of our Police/Board protocol we practice our emergency response procedures so all staff and students are well prepared in the event of a real emergency.  Using newsletters and the school website, we will provide all families with details of our practices and the role that parents play in supporting a school’s emergency response.

Fire Drills: Students practise the appropriate way to exit the building when they hear a fire alarm.  Practices are held when students are in class, at recess and where an exit might be blocked.

Lockdown: Students practise the appropriate way to respond to a threat of danger inside the school using the R-SAFE acronym.  Students are taught to get to the nearest and safest location as quickly as possible, what to do when they get there and the importance of remaining quiet.

Hold and Secure: Students practice how to respond to a threat of danger outside the school.  In the case of a Hold and Secure, all exterior doors remain locked and students remain inside, away from exterior doors and windows until the Hold and Secure has been lifted.  In most cases, the need for a Hold and Secure is at the request of the police, based on a situation in the neighbourhood.  In these cases, the school must wait for the police to lift the request for a Hold and Secure

Shelter in Place: Students practice how to respond to an environmental danger, like a hurricane.  In most cases, the response will be a Hold and Secure with specific directions based on the environmental concern.

Bomb Threat: Students are taught the appropriate response to a bomb threat which includes never touching a suspicious package, and listening carefully to the directions of the teacher or the administration if an evacuation is warranted.

How can parents help?

Parents can help by following the procedures associated with each of plans should they be present during a drill or should a real situation occur.  School administration must follow the direction of the police as soon as they become involved in an emergency response.  As such, Parents must understand that schools are unable to release students during an emergency response without the expressed permission of the police.

Parents can also assist the school by emphasizing with their children the importance of closely following the direction of the staff during a drill or a real emergency.  Parents should encourage their children to share any information they may have about a threat of violence toward a school or information they may have after a violent incident. It is everyone’s responsibility to help keep our school safe.

Permission for Photo and Video Sharing at School

As we try to keep pace with social media that is so much a part of our students’ lives, it is important to be reminded of people’s right to privacy.  While taking photos or videos at various school events, please be mindful that it is illegal to post/upload/share photos or videos of anyone other than yourself your child on the internet or anywhere without the expressed consent of the person or their guardian. Sharing photos or videos of others without their consent is a privacy violation.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD allows students to bring their own electronic devices to school for educational purposes.  Students are expected to use devices responsibly, and only with the permission and direction of teachers or other staff members.  Research indicates that the use of technology increases engagement, which leads to improved student success.  The following are reasons why BYOD works well:

  • Students are usually experts in their own device and can customize it to suit their learning needs
  • Students can use it to learn anytime, anywhere;
  • Students can collaborate and work anytime; before school, after school, and at lunchtime; and
  • Student-owned devices are often more up-to-date than those provided by the school due to the cost of replacing hardware for
         the entire system.

Our students are going to live and work in a world where people use electronic devices regularly.  They need to learn how to use devices in a respectful, responsible and ethical manner.  The Durham Catholic District School Board’s BYOD procedures, School Codes of Conduct and Ontario Graduate Expectations will guide teachers in the process of teaching students what it means to be good digital citizens.

Not every parent can, or wants to send their child to school with an electronic device.  Teachers will continue to plan lessons that do not require the use of a personally owned device.  Teachers are encouraged to give advanced notice when they plan to incorporate electronic devices into a lesson.  Students without devices will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other students or borrow a school device.

Students are required to use the Board’s wireless network, which they can access at no cost while at school.  They will not be permitted to access their paid data plans while in school.  The Durham Catholic District School Board’s network filter will help prevent students from accessing inappropriate web content while they are logged in at school.

Schools will have plans in place to help students keep their devices secures.  Ultimately, students are responsible for lost, stolen, and/or damaged personal electronic devices, just as they are for other personal items brought to school.

Elementary School - Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement

 I will protect my digital identity, my passwords, and my classmate’s right to privacy.

  • I will use electronic devices and the internet for positive purposes to make people’s lives better.
  • I will ask or tell an adult if I see something inappropriate.
  • I will take a stand against cyber-bullying.
  • I will only use personally owned electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, tablets) during class time when it is allowed by my teacher.
  • I will not copy the work of others from the internet.
  • I will not take pictures of people without permission from the teacher, principal and student.
  • I will not use an electronic device in private areas (e.g. washrooms, change rooms, health rooms and administrative offices).
  • I will only use social media in a manner that respects the dignity of others.
  • I will remember Jesus’ message do unto others as I would have done to me.

Durham Catholic District School Board Concussion Policy

All school boards in the Province of Ontario are required by law to have a Concussion policy and school board administrative procedures in place so that students, school staff and parents/guardians understand their role in preventing, managing and reporting suspected or diagnosed concussions.

A concussion is the term for a clinical diagnosis that is made by a medical doctor or a nurse practitioner. The definition of concussion below is adapted from the definition provided in the concussion protocol in the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines.

A concussion:

  • is a brain injury that causes changes in the way in which the brain functions and that can lead to symptoms that can be physical
        (e.g., headache, dizziness), cognitive (e.g., difficulty in concentrating or remembering), emotional/behavioural (e.g., depression,
         irritability), and/or related to sleep (e.g., drowsiness, difficulty in falling asleep);
  • may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, or neck or by a blow to the body that transmits a force to the head that
         causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull;
  • can occur even if there has been no loss of consciousness (in fact most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness);
  • cannot normally be seen by means of medical imaging tests, such as X-rays, standard computed tomography (CT) scans, or
         magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

A specific concussion protocol and tool now exists in all Durham Catholic District School Board schools that includes responsibilities for Board and school staff, students and parents/guardians. Additionally, health units and sports and fitness organizations in Durham are using this protocol to raise awareness to help prevent and manage concussions. 

It is important to note that all suspected concussions must be reported and a medical doctor or nurse practitioner make a diagnosis and participate in the Return To Learn and/or Physical Activity documentation process.

The concussion tool noted in this student agenda is a resource for school staff, parents/guardians and students. Parents/guardians and students are encouraged to contact your school principal for more details about the new concussion management and prevention safety protocols that exist to promote student safety and success.

The related Board policies are available on the Board’s website:  http://www.dcdsb.ca, and in the school office

  • School Code of Conduct (PO 431)
  • Fair Notice of Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technology Policy (PO431)
  • Concussion Policy (PO614)

 

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