AP 310 - Safe and Caring School Environments
The division’s schools must be viewed as safe and caring environments for students, staff and parents if they are to focus on positive learning programs and activities. Behavioural expectations shall be based on the important principles of respect for oneself, respect for the worth and dignity of others, and respect for personal property and the property of others. All members of the school community have the right to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness.
1. A safe school learning environment is one that is physically, emotionally and psychologically safe, characterized by:
- Respect for law and order;
- Respect for democratic values, rights and responsibilities;
- Respect for cultural diversity;
- Community, family, student and staff involvement;
- Appropriate modeling by staff and students; and
- Clear, consistent expectations for behaviour and consequences for misconduct, which are communicated to students, staff and parents.
2. A caring school learning environment is one that is characterized by:
- Freedom from physical, emotional and social abuse;
- Ongoing respect for the dignity of the individual; and
- A presence of demonstrated concern for the well-being of students and staff.
- Schools shall foster and maintain a safe and caring environment through measures which include:
- Developing the support of staff, students and parents for conditions which lead to a safe and caring school environment;
- Developing positive school climate;
- Ensuring students are provided with adequate supervision at all approved activities and making those involved in school-related activities aware of expectations for conduct;
- Preparing for and implementing the division’s Crisis Response Manual when a critical incident occurs; and
- Informing students, parents and staff of the school’s expectations for conduct and the consequences established for serious or repeated misconduct.
- In developing safe and caring school environments, programs shall be put in place which:
- Provide students with a prejudice-free environment, opportunities for and recognition of success, and enhancement of self-esteem, self-discipline and sense of responsibility;
- Assist students to develop appropriate approaches to solving problems and resolving conflicts; and
- Assist staff to deal with personal problems which interfere with their ability to carry out their assigned duties.
- School policies and procedures related to student discipline shall provide appropriate consequences up to and including suspension and expulsion for serious or repeated misbehaviour, involving:
- Conduct which threatens the safety of students and staff;
- Possession of, display of or use of a weapon (any item which may inflict injury or death to another person or which is used to threaten or intimidate);
- Assault of another individual;
- Possession of, use of or be under the influence of illegal drugs, alcohol or inhalants in school or on school property;
- Contravention of system policies related to personal harassment, smoking, student attendance, and student rights and responsibilities;
- Willful disobedience and/or open opposition to authority;
- Use or display of improper or profane language;
- Willful damage to school or others’ property;
- Interfering with the orderly conduct of the class(es) or the school; or
- Contravention of the code of conduct as set out in the School Act (Section 12).
- Each school shall develop and communicate to students and parents a policy and procedures which detail the expectations of the school related to student conduct, and which contains consequences for the failure to meet those expectations.
- School policy and procedures related to student behaviour expectations shall be:
- Developed with opportunity for input from staff, students and parents;
- Communicated to staff, students and parents annually by the principal; and
- Reviewed and revised, as required.
- The principal shall maintain records of disciplinary action taken by school staff as a result of unacceptable student behaviour. Such records shall be maintained in the student’s Confidential File and destroyed in keeping with provisions identified in Administrative Procedure 320 – Student Record Portfolio.
System employees shall inform the principal immediately of any suspected instances of misbehaviour at school or on school property, particularly possession or use of weapons, drugs, alcohol or other substance abuse.
School Act, Section 45
Cross Reference: Administrative Procedure 320 – Student Record Portfolio
Crisis Response Manual