Statement of Purpose
At Ladysmith Primary School we are dedicated to developing a safe, caring, inclusive and welcoming environment that promotes the rights and responsibilities of all who learn and work together. This environment will allow each child to reach his or her potential, experience growth, be a contributing citizen and a lifelong learner. Our approach to student behavior and learning is focused on educative (what have we learned from this experience?), restorative, preventative responses.
RESPECT: People’s feelings, property and learning environment
SAFETY: Play safe
RESPONSIBILITY: For learning, property and safe conduct
The following points are examples only and are not an all-inclusive list.
- interfere with the learning of others
- interfere with an orderly environment
- create unsafe conditions
- Bullying, harassment or intimidation
- Physical violence
- Retribution against a person who has reported incidents
Illegal acts, such as:
- Theft of or damage to property
- Possession, use or distribution of illegal or restricted substances such as firecrackers
- Possession or use of weapon
When a student is suspended from his/her regular educational program the suspension should not exceed five (5) school days. If a suspension greater than five (5) school days, or expulsion from the district is warranted, this will be decided in consultation with the Assistant Superintendent’s office.
Where there are reasonable grounds to conclude that a student is in possession of a substance for the purpose of selling, supplying or making available at school functions or while under the jurisdiction of the school, the principal should normally suspend the student immediately, inform the parents, and report the incident to the Assistant Superintendent’s Office.
BC Human Rights Code
Our school’s Code of Conduct is also guided by the BC Human Rights Code and specifically includes the guidelines pertaining to discrimination s stated below:
The BC Human Rights Code states that three of its purposes are to:
“(a) foster a society in British Columbia in which there are no impediments to full and free participation in economic social political and cultural life of British Columbia
(b) promote a climate of understanding and mutual respect where all are equal in dignity and rights.
(e) to provide a means of redress for those persons who are discriminated against contrary to this Code.”
It further states 8 1 (b) a person must not “discriminate against a person or class of persons regarding any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age of that person or class of persons.”
The Safe Caring and Orderly Schools: A Guide states, schools should be places where students are free from harm, where clear expectations of acceptable behaviour are held and met, and where all members feel they belong.
|NLPS Inclusion Policy states that all members of our school community “have the right to expect that policies, procedures, programs and communications are inclusive and respectful”
|Administrative Procedure that support the school Code of Conduct include:
• AP 312 – Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Discrimination
• AP 344 – Code of Conduct
• AP 345 – Student Suspension
• AP 347 – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
• AP 250 – Honouring Diversity and Challenging Racism
Ladysmith Primary School believes that all students, staff and volunteers should be provided a safe, secure and welcoming learning and working environment. To that end, acts of bullying and harassment will not be tolerated.
Bullying is defined as an intentional action on the part of an individual, which causes emotional or physical distress of a victim. Bullying implies a power difference of one individual over another. It many involve a single incident or a series of incidents over time.
Barbara Coloroso, the author of, The Bully, The Bullied and The Bystander”, says, “bystanders are the supporting cast who aid and abet the bully through acts of omission and commission. It is important that kids recognize that they are all responsible for helping to create a safe, caring, respectful and bully-free environment.” Bystanders will have consequences if they don’t accept the responsibility of reporting incidences to teachers or supervisors.
Bullying takes three main forms:
- Verbal bullying – using words to hurt or humiliate others.
- Physical bullying – involves hitting the victim in some way or taking or damaging a victim’s property.
- Relational bullying – trying to convince their peers to exclude or reject a certain person or people, and cut the victims off from their social connections.
Ladysmith Primary’s Code of Conduct expects that students will demonstrate socially responsible behaviours that reflect respect and safety at school and while attending a school function at any location.
Acceptable conduct refers to socially responsible behaviours that help to make the school a safe, caring and inclusive environment including:
- Contributing to the school community
- Solving problems in peaceful ways
- Valuing diversity
- Defending human rights
- Respectful interactions with students, staff and community members
- Speaking up and reporting incidents that demean others or threaten the personal or emotional safety of individuals or groups
- Respect the law as it applies to yourself and others
Note: Additional specific expectations for acceptable conduct are outlined in Ladymith Primary’s positive behavior matrix. The behaviours are taught, practiced and modeled by all staff and students.
Unacceptable conduct refers to behaviour that interferes with the safe and orderly environment of the school, either person-to-person basis or through social media, including, but not limited to:
- Engaging in incidents of harassment, intimidation, bullying or discrimination (being unkind, disrespectful to others)
- Interfering with the learning or orderly environment of the school or function
- Verbal threats of harm, swarming
- Physical aggression towards others
- Illegal acts such as: theft or damage to property, possession or distribution of an illegal or restricted substance, possession, use of a weapon, or physical violence.
AP 344 – Code of Conduct states: “Students with identifiable special needs might be unable to comply with a code of conduct due to having a disability of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional or behavioural nature. Such students may require special consideration in the selection of appropriate forms of intervention to ensure that they are not subject to disciplinary or intervention measures as a direct or indirect consequence of having a special need.”
Ladysmith Primary Elementary staff use the BC Performance Standards for Social Responsibility to assess and teach students appropriate social behaviour. There is an outline of progression of expectations held for students as they become older, more mature and move through successive grades. The expectations are educative, preventative and allow for many opportunities to teach the same social skill in a variety of ways.
Outcomes for unacceptable behaviours
NLPS Inclusion Policy states:
“The Board expects that all students, staff, and members of our school communities will adhere to a code of conduct that is educative, preventative and restorative in practice and response”
- Restorative/ Educative/ Preventative Practices
- focus on creating conditions for students to learn self-discipline, fix mistakes and return to the group/class/school strengthened.
- address the needs of those who have been harmed
- encourage the students, as often as possible, to participate in the development of meaningful, interventions through discussion or mediation to replace, repair or make “good” what has been taken, damaged, destroyed and/or defaced.
- responses to the harm are meaningful in addressing the needs of all involved
- help students reclaim their self-esteem through self-evaluation, personal effort and restitution
- provide opportunities to model leadership
- emphasize the importance of positive relationships in building community and,
- speak to the obligation we all have to each other to move towards wholeness, restoration and belonging.
- development of plans for alternate, positive behaviours/responses.
Meaningful outcomes may include:
- a ‘do over’ opportunity
- face to face meetings to address the harm done
- group or classroom circles to restore equity, balance and respect
- an act of service to make a positive contribution to the class, school or community
- school/community support to learn and practice problem solving or conflict resolution strategies
- reflective/think process that includes the opportunity to create a plan to restore the harm done and plan for more appropriate responses
- Student Suspension
Discipline measures used with students should be viewed within the context of helping students achieve intellectual and social development. The purpose of suspension, or any other discipline strategy, should be to meet these goals and to develop self-reliant adults.
Suspension is one strategy in a more complex problem-solving process designed to support a student in changing inappropriate behaviour. Used judiciously, suspension can have positive effects, including:
- ensuring safety for everyone in the school community
- assigning clear consequences for a range of serious breaches of code of conduct
- providing the time for planning of support for behaviour change
- promoting collaboration among family, school, and other community services to solve problems
Note: To be equitable, consequences may vary from student to student where the misconduct appears to be similar. Intervention must be appropriate to the student’s age, maturity, needs, exceptionalities, extenuating circumstances and the nature of previous intervention taking in consideration of the needs of the school.
Refer to AP 344 Student Suspension
School staff may advise other parties or agencies of serious breaches of the code of conduct depending on the severity and/or frequency of misconducts and the impact on others and/or the school community. Illegal acts will be reported to the RCMP and/or District Administration to develop a safety plan that will include the components of education, prevention and restorative action.
No student, school employee, parent or volunteer may engage in reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness, or other person who brings forward information about an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, prejudice or discrimination. Reprisal or retaliation is prohibited and will result, where appropriate, in discipline and/or in the filing of a complaint with other appropriate authorities.
The Board of Education recognizes and respects the fact that students and /or parents or guardians may sometimes disagree with decisions made by employees. The School Act of British Columbia gives parents or guardians and students (with parental consent) the right to express concerns or appeal certain decisions. This right of appeal applies to decisions that significantly affect the health, education or welfare of students. Information regarding the Board’s appeal procedure and a copy of the formal appeal bylaw can be accessed at sd68.bc.ca / Board Policies / 1000 Board Governance / 4.0 Bylaws. Prior to an appeal it is expected that school administration, students and parents or guardians will work to try to resolve concerns at the school level.