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Code of Conduct

St. Gregory Catholic School Code of Conduct

 

"The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist."  -  Saint Gregory the Great

MISSION STATEMENT

We are a Catholic School community which embraces its responsibility for the education and development of faithful, hopeful and socially responsible persons who will demonstrate the values, knowledge and skills that enable them to lead fulfilling lives.

PURPOSE

It is a basic tenet of our Catholic faith that all people are created in the image of God. As members of God's family, we are all deserving of respect and love. We should be secure in the knowledge that we work and live in a community which fosters respect and love, and abhors any activity that undermines this. We accept the Gospel challenge to foster healing, offer forgiveness and work toward the restoration of relationships whenever any member of the body of Christ is hurting.

A positive school climate and a safe learning and teaching environment are essential if students are to succeed in school. The community of St. Gregory Catholic School is committed to the welfare and safety of all members, especially our children.  This Code of Conduct, which is based on the Ontario Code of Conduct, is intended to be a clearly communicated set of expectations formulated for all members of the school community. We will focus on prevention and restorative practices that will foster dignity and respect while ensuring the safety of everyone through fair and progressive strategies designed to promote self-respect and respect for others. We believe all children are created in the image of God and can achieve academic excellence within a safe and caring, Christ-centered, learning environment.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Catholic schools are places of learning and growing in faith. At St. Gregory Catholic school we promote responsibility, respect, civility and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. All students, parents, volunteers, visitors, teachers and staff have the right to be safe, and feel safe, in our school community.  With this right comes the responsibility to be accountable for our actions.  Each member of our school community is called to respect human dignity and value the uniqueness and worth of others.

The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board acknowledges the roles and responsibilities for students and staff as follows:

Principals, under the direction of the school board, take a leadership role in the daily operation of the school. They provide leadership by:

  • demonstrating care and commitment to academic excellence and a safe teaching environment and learning environment;
  • Promoting and developing an active community of faith within the school;
  • holding everyone, under their authority, accountable for their behaviour and actions;
  • developing and enforcing local codes of conduct;
  • communicating the contents and expectations contained in local codes of conduct regularly with all members of their school community;
  • ensuring the communication of local codes of conduct includes a communication plan that outlines how these standards will be made clear to the entire school community;
  • providing an example of respect and civility for all members of the school community;
  • empowering students to be positive leaders in their schools and community.

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

  • help students work to their full potential and develop their self-worth;
  • communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents;
  • maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students;
  • demonstrate respect for all students, staff, visitors, and parents;
  • empower students to be positive leaders in the classroom, school and 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; and
  • follows the established rules, policies and local codes of conduct and takes responsibility for his or her own actions.

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

  • show an active interest in their child's school work and progress;
  • communicate regularly, and appropriately, 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;

Volunteers play an important role at our school. Under the direction of the principal and teachers, volunteers contribute to our school in many different ways.  Volunteers fulfill their responsibility when they:

  • consider any information to which they have access while assisting at the school as confidential;
  • avoid any comments/conversations which may be harmful/hurtful to students;
  • use the same care and consideration that they would use with their own children;
  • refer any concerns or requests for student information to the school principal.

Parish and Clergy Members provide support and resources in the development of the faith life, providing the foundation for the moral tone of our school community.           

Police and community partners are essential in making our schools and communities safer. Community members need to support and respect the rules of our school. Police investigate incidents in accordance with the Police/School Board Protocol developed by our school board. These protocols are based on a provincial model developed by the Ministry of Education.

STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOUR

We believe that at St. Gregory Catholic School, RESPECT FOR OTHERS is directly tied to how WE RESPECT OURSELVES.  By treating all people in a positive, supportive, and caring manner, we also respect ourselves.

The standards of behaviour apply:

  • on school property,
    • while traveling on a school bus that is under contract to the school/board,
    • in off-site school-sponsored activities such as trips and tournaments
    • in circumstances where engaging in an activity could have a negative impact on the school climate (i.e. Internet)

      Respect, Civility and Responsible Citizenship

         All members of the school community must:
  • conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Faith;
  • show respect and comply with all applicable federal and provincial acts and regulations and municipal by-laws;
  • demonstrate honesty and integrity;
  • show respect for differences in people, their ideas and opinions;
  • treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement;
  • show respect and treat others fairly, regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;
  • show respect for 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;
  • show respect for persons who are in a position of authority;
  • show respect for the needs of others to work in an environment of learning and teaching;
  • comply with standards regarding appropriate dress, as required.

Progressive Discipline

At St. Gregory we practice Progressive Discipline. It is a step-by-step process of supporting positive behaviours and responding to and resolving a wide range of infractions and conflicts with appropriate interventions and consequences.  It is a whole school approach that helps to facilitate the renewal of relationships and to ensure new beginnings for students within a nurturing environment. It considers the developmental needs of all students and provides opportunities for students to learn and grow.  Progressive discipline exists at all times for all students and includes classroom management strategies and school wide programs, such as the Zones of Regulation and Restorative Practice. These programs teach and reinforce positive social skills, provide support for students, promote virtue formation, and foster Catholic values.

                    Progressive Discipline includes:

Bullying (including electronic or cyber bullying*)

Bullying is never acceptable. It needs to be reported and will be addressed immediately. Please inform your child's teacher when a situation has arisen. Teachers will make a referral to the office if additional support is required.

It is often difficult for children to differentiate between bullying and conflict.

The Ontario Ministry of Education Definition of Bullying: means aggressive and typically repeated behaviour by a pupil where;

the behaviour is intended by the pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to know that the behaviour would likely have the effect of,

  1. causing harm, fear or distress to another individual, including physical, psychological, social or academic harm, harm to the individual's reputation or harm to the individual's property, or
  2. the behaviours occurs in a context where there is real; or perceived power imbalance between the pupil and the individual based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, peer group power, economic status, social status, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, disability or the receipt of special education ("intimidation").

*Cyberspace/Cell Phones/Electronic Devices/Computers – students are to be aware that they may be subject to discipline (or, if applicable, confiscation of personal property) for misuse of technology if it negatively impacts on the school environment

Respect

  • Of Self – Students should show respect for themselves as creations of God, appreciate their special gifts, and make an effort to contribute to their school;
  • For Others – Students are expected to treat all members of the school community in a polite and cooperative manner.  Profanity, name-calling, poor sportsmanship, verbal or physical threats, racial slurs, and sexual harassment are unacceptable.  Bullying, including verbal, and physical acts of aggression, will not be tolerated.
  • For Authority – Students are to be respectful and honest when dealing with school staff, and are to follow the rules and expectations of the school.  Lying, stealing, and cheating are unacceptable.
  • For Property – Students are expected to treat their own property, school property, and the property of others respectfully.  Supplies, equipment, and textbooks must be used with care, keeping conservation in mind.  Students have a responsibility to maintain the school yard, desks, and washrooms in a neat and tidy manner.  Persons who damage property will be held financially responsible.

PROCEDURES

Attendance at School

We believe that every school day counts. Missing an average of just two days of instruction per month is the equivalent of missing an entire month of the school year. Students are more successful if they attend regularly.  Parents/guardians are to contact the school before 7:45 a.m. if your child is going to be unavoidably late or absent. Our answering machine is in operation 24 hours a day. All absences not cleared on the day of the absence will be recorded as truancy. Students who are not in the classroom prior to the end of our morning announcements will be recorded as late. Please note that attendance concerns not resolved at the school level will result in a referral to the school board attendance counselor.

Students are expected to remain on school property.  Students who walk to school may walk home for lunch, provided they have parental permission that is communicated to the classroom teacher in writing at the beginning of the year.  Any change to routines should be accompanied by a note. All other students shall remain at school for lunch unless they are being picked up by a parent/guardian.    

Parents/guardians are to notify the school by phone or in the student agenda if their child will be leaving school for an appointment. Parents/guardians are to meet their child(ren) at the office and inform the staff upon leaving.

Punctuality

  • Children are invited to arrive when supervision is available at 8:00am.
  • Classes begin in the morning at 8:15a.m. Dismissal is at 2:25 p.m.
  • It is very important to have students arrive on time. Habitually late students interrupt morning prayers, announcements, and lessons. They miss important concepts, and burden the office at the busiest time of the day. Being 10 minutes late each morning is the equivalent of missing 6 days of instruction.
  • The late arrival of students will be monitored and recorded on school records.  All students who arrive late must report to the office prior to going to their classrooms

Personal Appearance

Our goal is to have an atmosphere where learning can occur safely and at the highest levels. If something prevents this at school pertaining to dress, parents will be notified.  Below are the current guidelines for dress during a regular school day:

  • All clothing should be without inappropriate or offensive pictures or words.
  • Hats may not be worn indoors unless approved by the principal.
  • Clothing must not have inappropriate holes or tears.
  • Undergarments should not be visible.
  • Shirts must cover the midriff, back and belly button.
  • Skirts and shorts must be of at least mid-thigh length.
  • Leggings may be worn under dresses, skirts and shorts but should not be worn alone as pants.
  • Shorts or leggings worn under skirts allow for more active play.
  • Shorts or pants should be worn at the waist without undue sagging.
  • Coats must be removed inside the building unless approved by the teacher.
  • Athletic shoes are the preferred footwear. This helps keep students safe.
  • Flip flops, high heels, and footwear without ankle support are highly discouraged and unsafe for active play.
  • Loose jewelry, such as hoop earrings and large rings, pose a safety concern and are discouraged.


Parents will be notified if there is a violation of the dress code.  If a student is dressed inappropriately, causing a distraction, is unsafe, or creating a disruption at school, parents will be notified.

Preparation for Class

Students are to be prepared for each class, to have all notebooks, textbooks and material indicated by the teacher as necessary, and to have homework assignments completed.  Assignments are to be completed by due dates and students are to be prepared for tests and examinations.  Students are expected to submit work which is original, completed by themselves, and represents their best efforts.  Students will not be excused from Physical Education class without a note from the parents or a medical certificate as required.

Safe and Orderly Conduct

  • In the mornings students from grade 1 to 8 will go directly to the schoolyard beginning at 8:00am. Students will walk their scooters, skateboards, and bicycles when on school property.
  • Students are expected to walk in a quiet, orderly manner at all times as they move through the school and classrooms. Students are to sit while eating lunch.
  • In order to ensure student safety and instill independence in our students, we ask that parents/guardians who are dropping off or picking up their child(ren) during the school day do so at the office.
  • Visitors are asked to sign in at the office and receive a visitor lanyard to wear when they are in the school.

Transportation

Students who qualify shall be granted the privilege of using transportation provided by the Board. School buses are an extension of the school system and the schools' standards of behaviour are carried over to the school bus for daily transportation as well as excursions.

 

Use of Technology

  • Computers and are in school for instructional purposes. Students are taught to be respectful digital citizens. Personal devices can be used during the school day with teacher permission for educational purposes.
  • Teachers are responsible for ensuring that all students are using the Internet to support student learning. Students are supervised at all times when given permission to access the Internet. Students and parents must sign the Acceptable Use Policy and be aware of the policy for inappropriate use of the Internet.

Electronic Devices

  • Cellular phones and other electronic devices must be used for educational purposes during regular school hours with teacher permission. Technology that is not necessary for the students' educational experience will be turned off. In the event of an emergency, a message can be left for your child at the office, and students will have access to the school phone. 
  • Our schools promote healthy, active living. Handheld electronic games will not be permitted on the school yard. In order to respect the privacy of our students and staff, students are not allowed to take photographs without permission from staff.
  • Failure to comply could result in the item being confiscated and parents having to come to the school to pick them up.  It is recommended that electronic devices not be brought to school. The school does not assume responsibility for lost, broken, or stolen property.

Illness/Injury

  • A note from parents/guardians and/or a medical certificate will be required for a student to be excused from any classes (i.e. Physical Education).
  • The best place for a child who is ill is usually their home.  Parents/guardians should refrain from asking that students be allowed to remain inside at recess as there will be no supervision.  Most students who are well enough to be at school are well enough to benefit from fresh air and the exercise of outdoor activities.
  • If a child is injured, arrangements will be made to ensure they can participate as fully as they are able. Please contact the school so that accommodations are available for your child prior to returning to school.
  • In cases of injury at school, appropriate first-aid will be administered.  If the injury appears more serious, we will notify the parent/guardian or emergency contact in order that their child may receive the necessary medical attention. It is critical that up to date information is given to the office.

Storage and Dispensing of Medication

School personnel are not authorized to dispense non-prescribed medication. Any student bringing medication to school must report it to the office where it will be stored to ensure safety.  On occasion we have been asked by a parent to ensure their child receives a prescribed medication.  Please be aware that in order to do so, we require the completion of a Medical Information and Consent Form signed by the parent and the physician prescribing the medication.  All such medication should be clearly labeled, dated, and stored in the office. It is the parent's/guardian's responsibility to initiate this arrangement on a yearly basis.

Extra-curricular Activities

All relevant school rules and expectations apply to school trips, on buses, and during school-related activities, such as sports events and dances. On-going co-operative school behaviour, such as commitment to schoolwork, regular attendance, and positive behaviour is a prerequisite for participation in any extra-curricular activity. 

It is important to remember that attendance at any such activity is a privilege which can be removed for lack of co-operation.  Students should always remember that they represent the school and they are expected to show respect in both their words and actions.

Prohibited Substances/Inappropriate Possessions

Illegal substances or inappropriate possessions will not be tolerated on school property, while commuting to and from school, or during extra-curricular activities. Such items may include but are not limited to tobacco, pornography, laser pointers, alcohol, weapons/replicas, fireworks, illegal drugs, prohibited objects, inappropriate electronic media, pocket knives, etc.

Such items will be confiscated, parents will be informed, and when applicable, the police will be contacted.

Suspensions and Expulsions

              Please refer to the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board Policy

S-2011-10-3.  This can be found on the website at www.alcdsb.on.ca

Under Parent section, look under Policies and Procedures for Schools & Students.