Code of Conduct

Our school promotes responsibility, respect, civility and academic excellence in a safe learning environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and are accepted.  All students, parents/guardians and staff members have the right to be safe and feel safe, be listened to and heard, have concerns addressed, and be treated with respect and dignity in their school community. With this right comes the responsibility to contribute to a positive school climate.   

The Orchard Park School Code of Conduct applies to all school members whether they are on school property, on school buses, at school-authorized events or activities, or in other circumstances that could have an impact on the school climate. Everyone has a responsibility to promote a safe environment. 

Roles and Responsibilities: 

 Students
Students of Orchard Park 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. Students show this when they: 
  • come to school prepared, on time, and ready to learn; 

  • work hard and complete work to the best of their abilities; 

  • show respect for themselves, for others and for those in authority; 

  • show respect for school property and the property of others; 

  • exercise self-discipline and self-regulation; 

  • refrain from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others; 

  • follow the established expectations and rules and take responsibility for their own action. 

  • solve conflicts using words not physical actions (e.g.  hands off / feet and body contact); 

  • wear clothing that is appropriate and follows the school dress code. 

 Parents
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/Guardians fulfil this responsibility when they: 
  • show an active interest in their child's schoolwork, learning habits, and progress; 

  • communicate regularly with the school; 

  • help their child be 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 Code of Conduct and school rules; 

  • help maintain a positive learning environment; 

  • encourage and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour and exercise self-discipline; 

  • assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child.  

 Staff
School staff, under the leadership of their principal, maintain order in the school and are expected to hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour. As role models, staff uphold these standards when they: 
  • help students work to their full potential and develop their self-worth; 

  • empower students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school and community; 

  • respect and reinforce school expectations; 

  • set reasonable consequences; 

  • communicate regularly and professionally with parents/guardians; 

  • maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all members of the school community; 

  • include parents/guardians and students in creating a positive environment; 

  • prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship. 

 Principal
Principals, under the direction of TVDSB, are leaders in the daily operation of a school. They provide this leadership by: 
  • demonstrating care for the school community and commitment to academic excellence in a safe learning environment; 

  • holding everyone, under their authority, accountable for their behaviour and actions; 

  • empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community; 

  • communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community. 

Your child's safety is our priority. We believe in providing a safe learning environment for everyone that promotes social and creative learning, ensuring a comfortable space for kids to explore, learn and grow. 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. 

Standards of Behaviour

 Respect, Civility and Responsible Citizenship
All members of the school community must: 
  • respect and follow all applicable laws; 

  • demonstrate honesty and integrity; 

  • respect differences in people, their ideas, and opinions; 

  • treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement; 

  • respect and treat others fairly, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability; 

  • respect the rights of others; 

  • show care and respect for school property and the property of others; 

  • take appropriate measures to help those in need; 

  • respect all members of the school community, especially persons in positions of authority; 

  • respect the need of others to work in an environment that encourages learning and teaching.    

  • seek help from school staff, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully; 

  • use language that is respectful and free from profanity. 

  • respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and free from ridicule.  

 Guiding Principles
 Our Guiding Principles 
  • to ensure that all members of the school community are treated with respect and dignity; 

  • to promote responsible citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community;  

  • 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 and illegal drugs; 

  • to address conflict and difference in a manner characterized by respect and civility. 

TVDSB is committed to supporting a system strategy for promoting a safe and inclusive school climate. Schools are expected to develop and maintain safe, inclusive and accepting learning environments that are free from violence.

The purpose of the TVDSB Code of Conduct is to ensure the rights and responsibilities of all members of the school community. Practices will focus on prevention and will foster dignity and respect while ensuring the safety of all through firm, fair and progressive strategies designed to promote self-respect and respect for others.

 Safe Schools

All members of the school community must not: 

  • engage in any form of bullying, whether it is in person or through technology, like email or cell phones; 

  • commit sexual assault; 

  • traffic weapons or illegal drugs; 

  • commit robbery; 

  • give alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age; 

  • be in possession of any weapon, including firearms; 

  • use any object to threaten or intimidate another person; 

  • injure anyone with an object; 

  • be in the possession or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, or give them to anyone else; 

  • inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm; 

  • engage in hate propaganda or other types of behaviour caused by hate or bias; 

  • commit an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property or to property on the school premises. 

Consequences for any of the above-mentioned actions will result in disciplinary action and if necessary, coordination with the authorities. The police play an essential role in making our schools and communities safer. Police investigate incidents in accordance with the protocol developed with TVDSB. These protocols are based on a provincial model developed by the Ministry of the Solicitor General and the Ministry of Education. TVDSB's Safe School Policy can be viewed at https://www.tvdsb.ca/en/our-board/policies-and-procedures.aspx  (Select Policy and Procedures Directory, and enter keyword search " Safe Schools")

 Dress Code
Our dress code allows for personal choice and emphasizes our values for respect of oneself and others while also maintaining a positive and respectful learning environment. It includes all participants involved in the school system whether they are on school property, school busses, or attending school authorized events or activities. Clothing should be suitable for active participation in daily school programs. We encourage all staff, students and families to follow these guidelines:   
  • No bare feet; indoor shoes must be worn at all times for safety reasons, and in case of evacuation. 

  • Students are required to have a pair of running shoes designed for safe, active participation in the gym. 

  • Skirts, dresses and shorts must be worn at appropriate lengths 

  • No revealing clothing (e.g. no transparent or mesh clothing). 

  • No bare midriffs. 

  • No visible undergarments. 

  • Clothing that promotes alcohol, drugs, sex, violence, profanity, discrimination, slang or put-downs may not be displayed on any clothing or accessories. 

  • All hats, headbands, bandannas and hoodies should be removed when in the school building unless worn for medical or religious reasons, or when personal needs have been discussed with school personnel. 

Compliance and Consequences 

Students who come to school dressed inappropriately will be asked to remedy the situation; for example, if a shirt has a logo that is found offensive, ask the student to cover it up or turn the shirt inside out. If their clothing is deemed too revealing, suggest a cover up such as a hoodie or sweater. Based on the age of the student, staff will respond supportively and use the opportunity to have a discussion. If the student does not comply with staff’s requests to follow our dress code expectations, the student’s parents/guardians will be contacted to work towards finding a solution together. 

 Use of Cell Phones and/or Electronic Devices 

All members of the school community must respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching; this includes not using cell phones and/or personal mobile devices during the instructional day, including recess. 

We ask that, if students bring personal devices to school, they remain in their backpacks with the sound off and notifications muted for the duration of the school day unless their teacher has provided permission to use them for educational purposes only.  This practice supports both TVDSB and the Ministry’s guidelines with exceptions for health and medical purposes, to support special education needs, or for educational purposes as directed by an educator.Please direct any questions to your child’s homeroom teacher or speak with the principal. 

Consequences when expectations are not adhered to: 

misuse of personal technology, the student’s device will be brought to the office where it can be collected at day’s end 

misuse of Board equipment (e.g. chromebook, laptop, iPad, desktop computer) the student’s GOTVDSB account will be suspended. 

Should there be a second occurrence, parents/guardians will be contacted for a meeting. Please direct any questions or concerns about these expectations or discipline procedures to your child’s teacher or the principal. The school assumes no responsibility whatsoever for items lost or damaged no matter how it is caused.   

 Tobacco, Cannabis and Smoke-Free Environment 
Students, staff and visitors are prohibited from smoking or vaping on school board property and within 20 metres from any point of the perimeter of any school board property. This includes the smoking or holding of lighted tobacco or cannabis (marijuana) and includes a ban on the use of e-cigarettes and electronic smoking devices. Students and staff who have a legal medical document authorizing them to use medical cannabis will be able to do so on school board property, but only in a non-smoking or non-vaping form (e.g.  capsules, edibles and oils). Students, staff and visitors are also prohibited from using shisha, smokeless tobacco and/or cannabis products (unless medically prescribed) and all related accessories. This code of conduct is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and on school buses, or during any part of an official school field trip, including athletic team trips and school club excursions. 

Consequences:

Inappropriate behaviour has a negative impact on our school community. Any incidents that violate our Code of Conduct are are dealt with on an individual basis, considering student circumstances, and using progressive discipline. Consideration of student circumstances may include individual mitigating factors, the nature and severity of the behaviour, the impact on the school climate, and consultation with parents/guardians. 

Progressive discipline is a whole school approach that uses a continuum of corrective and supportive interventions. Our goal is to help students see that they are responsible for their behaviour, advocate for themselves in a respectful manner, and learn how to regulate their emotional responses, actions and reactions in heightened circumstances. Consequences will be age appropriate and might include, but are not limited to: 

  • early and ongoing interventions may include verbal reminders, review of expectations, parent/guardian contact, conflict resolution and/or detentions; 

  • further ongoing interventions may include parent/guardian meetings, withdrawal of privileges, withdrawal from a class, creation of individual behaviour plan, student support plan, management of aggressive behaviour safety plan, or referral to professional practitioners (e.g. attendance/social work counselling, psychology services, community agency and/or police involvement)

For more information on Thames Valley's Safe Schools Policies and Procedures, please CLICK HERE. (Select Policy and Procedures Directory, and enter keyword search " Safe Schools")

Please see Orchard Park's Safe School Action Plan and Bullying Prevention Intervention Plan located on our website under Parents, Safe Schools. The Orchard Park Code of Conduct is reviewed annually by our staff and School Council. 

Should you have any questions or concerns about this Code of Conduct, please feel free to direct any questions to your child’s homeroom teacher or speak with Mrs. Olson.

 

Contact(s)