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Code of Conduct

In order to promote better understanding by all members of the school community, the staff, parents and students of DeWitt Carter School have adopted the following statement of educational responsibilities and rights that form the basis of the Code of Behaviour.

The driving force behind the code is to ensure that all students have a safe and happy environment in which to learn and that staff have an orderly and productive environment in which to work. The support of parents for this Code of Behaviour is essential to its success, since the school operates as an extension of family expectations and discipline.

Public School education provides equal learning opportunity for all students. In addition to the regular curriculum, good citizenship must be taught and demonstrated. Students are expected to learn responsibility for rules and regulations adopted for the benefit of all, and to demonstrate appreciation for the rights of others. Fair, firm and consistent discipline focuses on encouraging appropriate behaviour. The government of Ontario has passed specific legislation regarding student conduct in elementary and secondary schools throughout this province.

At DeWitt Carter we believe that students and teachers should demonstrate mutual trust, respect and caring. Our expectations for student behaviour are based on such fundamental values as self-esteem, individual and social responsibility and respect for the property, beliefs and rights of others.

Below are listed the rights and responsibilities/expectations of students, teachers, and parents involved in a positive cooperative school.

Students have the right to...

  • An equal learning opportunity.
  • An appropriate and challenging program.
  • Be safe at school
  • Freedom from physical and verbal harassment.
  • Some choices in classroom activities.
  • A pleasant school atmosphere.
  • Assistance from teachers.
  • Discipline in a fair, firm and consistent manner.

Students have the responsibility/expectation to...

  • Be punctual and attend regularly.
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude, and good work habits by meeting the requirements of their courses to the best of their ability.
  • Respect the rights, show tolerance and acceptance of other students and all school personnel.
  • Complete all assigned work punctually.
  • Be aware of opportunities to participate in activities offered both during and after school hours.
  • Exhibit self-discipline by following school rules, both in and out of the classroom and during any school sponsored activity.
  • Be honest and trustworthy.
  • Be courteous, use respectful language and good manners.
  • Treat with respect the environment, lockers, equipment and materials belonging to the school, staff and other students.
  • Complete tasks and assignments when not attending class.
  • Wear appropriate clothes that are neat and clean.
  • Refrain from use or possession of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs on school property.

Teachers have the right to...

  • Expect appropriate behaviour in the classroom, throughout the school, and in all other educational settings (e.g., on the bus trips).
  • Receive support from the Principal/Vice-Principal etc. and parents in the performance of their duties.
  • Exclude from class a student who is disruptive or not trying to achieve.
  • Expect cooperation from all students in the carrying out of student responsibilities during all school functions.

Teachers have the responsibility to...

  • Be fair, firm and friendly in dealing with students.
  • Inform students of expectations of acceptable behaviour.
  • Report progress and conduct to administration and parents.
  • Take responsibility for all students in the school, when required.
  • Encourage good effort, improvement and citizenship.
  • Plan, implement and evaluate an effective program.
  • Demand excellence in all academic endeavours based on individual differences.

Parents have the right to...

  • Know that students are provided with a meaningful educational program.
  • Expect that classes will be conducted in an orderly manner.
  • Expect teachers to act as “kind but firm judicious parents”.
  • Receive regular communications from the school.
  • Confer with the school regarding any concerns for their child.

Parents have the responsibility to...

  • Encourage positive attitudes in their children towards school, learning and behaviour.
  • Ensure regular attendance and promptness.
  • Provide support and appropriate time and place for doing homework.
  • Cooperate with the school to develop appropriate student behaviour.
  • Communicate with staff concerning your child’s progress.
  • Phone the school regarding concerns.
  • Encourage children to become involved in activities sponsored by the school.

Consequences

A range of consequences is available to school personnel which should provide the flexibility necessary to meet the wide range of situations and individuals that may be encountered.

A student who does not meet the expectations of this code of behaviour will be dealt with fairly and consistently by the staff. Our aim is to teach students how to improve their behaviour, not to punish them for misdemeanors. The rights of the individual as well as the collective rights of school and community will be considered. The following consequences are possible after a breech of the code of behaviour:

  • Discussion with the student by the teacher, youth counsellor, vice-principal or principal to talk about the problem in order to avoid another instance.
  • Assignment of a specific task to help the student understand the expectations.
  • Detention of the student, usually to do classroom assignments to make up for lost or wasted instructional time.
  • Consultation with parents regarding the student
  • Withdrawal of privileges where the student loses the opportunity to participate in activities where appropriate behaviour is essential.
  • Restitution or community service where the student loses freedom at recesses and/or lunch time and performs tasks to enhance the school environment, or to repair or replace damaged or lost property.
  • Withdrawal of the student from the class setting to a quiet workplace within the school for a specific length of time.
  • Suspension from school where the student does not attend school according to the authority of the Education Act.
  • Imposition of the behavioural contract for the student.
  • Intervention of or referral to Resource personnel (e.g., Special Education Teacher, Youth Counsellor, Attendance Counsellor).
  • Referral to In-School Team, or Identification, Placement and Review Committee (I.P.R.C.).
  • Involvement of or referral to outside agencies e.g., F.A.C.S., Police.
  • Expulsion by the School Board from all schools under its jurisdiction.
    Consequences will not necessarily be imposed in sequential order but will depend greatly on the severity, frequency and duration of the behaviour.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT PARENT CONSULTATION WILL TAKE PLACE WHENEVER THE MISBEHAVIOUR IS OF A SERIOUS NATURE.

Playground Routines

  • Keep inside designated playground areas.
  • Ask permission of the adult supervisor before leaving playground to retrieve balls or equipment, or to use the washroom or fountain.
  • Share equipment and follow safety rules.
  • Drawstrings should be removed and scarf ends should not be loose to protect against strangulation hazard!
  • Refrain from all fighting, play fighting, and bullying.
  • Refrain from throwing snowballs or putting snow on others.
  • Use positive social skills to solve problems. (see Debug system)
  • Use only equipment or toys that are allowed at school (e.g. no skateboards, roller blades, sharp objects, combat toys, lighters/matches etc.)
  • Use appropriate garbage/recycling containers for litter.

Lunchroom Routines

  • At lunch time, students who walk to school should go home for lunch. All other students must stay on the school property. Special requests for other arrangements must be in writing by the parent to the office.
  • During lunch students are to sit quietly and eat lunch using good manners.
  • Canteen items will be sold by the kitchen.
  • Students remain seated until they are dismissed.
  • When dismissed, students will clear their tables, deposit garbage and recycle in the appropriate containers.

Buses and Bus Behaviour

The safety of the students on the school buses is the primary concern of the bus drivers and the school. The behaviour of the children on the school bus should be similar to behaviour expected in class. If the bus driver feels that the safety of the school bus is at risk because of the behaviour of any particular student, the parents will be informed.

Riding the bus is a privilege and if it is abused repeatedly, the privilege will be removed by the Principal.

Parents/guardians and students should be aware that fighting or swearing on the school bus will definitely suspend the student's privilege of using the school bus.

Bus Routines

Students must adhere to the following requirements in the interest of safety for all passengers. Failure to do so may lead to the suspension of riding privileges.

  • Remain in their seat at all times.
  • Use polite language.
  • Avoid distracting the driver by creating unnecessary noise or uncooperative behaviour.
  • Refrain from eating and drinking on the bus.
  • Demonstrate acceptable behaviour which respects the rights of other passengers and the driver.

The driver is at all times in complete charge of the bus and passengers. If any of the above outlined code of conduct rules are violated, the driver will report the problems to the Principal.

Debug System

Here are the five steps including a brief overview of each. This model can also be used and reinforced at home.

Step 1 - IGNORE

There are no words in this step; think of being like a statute; no eye contact; no body language; no facial expressions.
“If that doesn’t work...” move to step 2.

Step 2 - MOVE AWAY

Out on the playground this step would mean putting some distance between yourself and the other person; in class you would move your body to show the person they are bothering you (where appropriate).
“If that doesn’t work...” move to step 3.

Step 3 - TALK FRIENDLY

The words in this step are; the person’s name; a statement stating clearly what you want them to stop; then “Please stop.”
eg. “Jason it bugs me when you talk when I am trying to work. Please stop.”
“Pam it bothers me when you tease me. Please stop.”
Remember, use a friendly voice. The word please shows the other person you are using your manners.
“If that doesn’t work...” move to step 4.

Step 4 - TALK FIRMLY

Use a firm voice to say three words. The person’s name and please stop.
eg. “Jason, please stop!”
“Pam, please stop!”
“If that doesn’t work...” move to step 5.
These words act as a cue to a person who knows the steps.

Step 5 - GET AN ADULT TO HELP

At this point the adult’s response is as follows:
“Did you use the steps?”
If the response is “no”, direct the child to try the steps and then return if the problem continues.
If the response is “yes” say; “Let’s find _____________(the person who is doing the bugging) and you show me how you used the talk friendly step.

Too often adults take over the problem solving and as a result the children do not learn to be assertive self advocates. The adult’s role in step five is to help by becoming a mediator, assisting the children to come to a resolution.

We will be encouraging and reinforcing the use of the steps at the school. Hopefully they can be useful at home as well!

Summary and Conclusions

The School Behaviour Code is based on the Ministry of Education and the District School Board of Niagara policies. It emphasizes each student’s responsibility for making a positive aspect of behaviour, self-esteem, and self-discipline.

When a child is disruptive or becomes a discipline problem, our goal is to examine the situation, the policy and ourselves. We hope to ultimately be able to help the child to understand and to accept a policy so that future infractions will not occur.

The discipline policy must be flexible enough so that we are positioned to be fair and sensible in our relationships with students and others. It is not our intent to have rules for everything. Appropriate consequences are needed for inappropriate behaviour. We all want our students to become all that they are capable of becoming, to be successful and happy in their life, to make correct and acceptable choices, and to live a productive and fulfilling life.

We sincerely hope that these words help to communicate and to clarify our Code of Behaviour.

Every student has a role in helping to make our school a safe and happy place for all. Please discuss the expectations outlined in the Behaviour Code with your son/daughter. Thank you. Your comments are invited.