Our Code of Behaviour actively promotes and celebrates our desire to be caring, responsible, faith-filled citizens of Ontario. Through our School Board Vision Statement, we assert our duty to create this Code of Behaviour in a fashion that, reverences the dignity of the whole person, while continuing to build community in our school. Students who choose to come to Bishop Smith Catholic High School will respect the following Code of Behaviour, developed and approved by School Council.
Every student has the right to . . .
be provided with an opportunity to skills for peaceful and cooperative problem solving;
a violence-free school environment embracing the teachings of Christ;
an environment free from sexual, physical, and/or verbal harassment;
a positive classroom learning environment;
Every student has a responsibility to . . .
respect the Catholic nature of our school;
follow the direction of School Board Policy;
be courteous to fellow pupils and obedient and courteous to all staff;
respect school property and structures on school property;
exercise self-discipline in and out of the classroom;
follow the direction of the Code of Behaviour;
attend classes regularly and punctually;
take pride in yourself and your school;
respect all school staff members.
A. BULLYING PREVENTION POLICY
Bullying activities will not be tolerated at Bishop Smith Catholic High School, at school-sponsored events, or while being bussed to or from school. It is an expectation that each student will feel welcome and safe at school and that they will experience a positive learning environment in which they can reach their full potential. Students who engage in any activity that adversely affects the learning potential of other students will be held accountable for their behaviour. It is the goal of Administration and all staff to effectively deal with incidences of bullying to ensure that these inappropriate behaviours are not repeated.
1. “Bullying is defined as a dynamic of unhealthy interaction. It is a form of repeated aggression used from a position of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or social.” (Shaping Safer Schools, 2005).
Bullying can be direct or indirect. Physical bullying includes hitting, shoving, stealing or damaging property. Verbal bullying involves name calling, mocking, making threats, sexual harassment, racist or homophobic comments. Social bullying can be carried out by excluding others from a group or by spreading gossip or rumours about them. These rumours are often spread quickly through cyber bullying (e-mail, cell phone, or text messages) to threaten, harass or exclude.
2. Ultimately, bullying prevention is about, and for, the student. It starts with an acceptance of their responsibility for their own behaviour and then realizing their new responsibility to change. As a bully, the student needs to be taught how to influence positively, to appreciate the behaviours expected, and the consequences of unacceptable behaviour. As a victim of bullying, the student needs to know that what they are experiencing is unacceptable and that help is available. Bystanders must see their choice to watch as contributing to the bullying problem: safe, positive intervention strategies need to be taught. Reporting an incident needs to be understood as the “right” thing to do. Staff will play a proactive role to ensure that any bullying incidences are dealt with consistently and positively for all involved. As role models, they will set the standards regarding what behaviours and attitudes are acceptable and not acceptable. They will work collaboratively with Administration to effect positive change.
Bullying incident reporting forms will be used by staff and students to report incidences of bullying. These forms will be forwarded to the Main Office and students/parents will be informed of the inappropriate behaviour and actions being taken. It is our intent to educate those students who adversely affect other students so that a positive change is realized. It is important that we develop empathy in all of our students – the ability to see the effects through another person’s eyes.
Through consistency and appropriate interventions involving administration, staff, parents, and students, we can develop a truly welcoming and inclusive school community.
B. SCHOOL RULES
While a student at Bishop Smith Catholic High School, it is expected that all students will attend classes. If any class is to be missed, a valid reason must be provided to the office before the absence date. Attendance at Homeroom periods and activities is compulsory.
The following are valid reasons for being absent: Illness, family emergency or accident, verified by parent or legal guardian, for an absence of two days or less; court appearance or legal counselling as verified by a note from a legal professional or court subpoena; illness or accident, verified by a doctor’s certificate or note, for an absence of three days or more; Participation in a school-sponsored, extra-curricular activity or field trip.
Upon returning from an absence, it is the student’s obligation to provide the office with the explanation and respective verification for the absence. Forged notes, altering school attendance, and impersonation (identifying oneself as someone else etc., by note or by telephone) are strictly prohibited and may result in immediate suspension.
In the case of illness, parents/guardians are encouraged to call the school at 735-5496 and leave a message on the answering machine before 7:30 a.m. indicating that the student will be absent. All absence calls are appreciated whether before 7:30 a.m. or after. Students with unscheduled periods or “spares” are to be in the library, cafeteria, or off school property.
2. Students of Legal Age
It is the policy of Bishop Smith Catholic High School to conduct the same communication with parents of students 18 years and older, as with parents of younger students. Though students who are 18 years and older are permitted to sign notes explaining absence from school, lates, early leaves, etc. The school reserves the right to inform parents when notes are used for “unacceptable” reasons (i.e. missing tests, presentations, assignments, etc.) or are in excess. Notes signed by students do not absolve them from the consequences of school procedures and policies.
The right of an 18-year-old student to sign himself/herself out of school is not a license to miss school for unacceptable reasons. These students are subject to the same Ministry of Education and Training regulation – Section 21(2)(6) – as are their parents concerning attendance at school. “A child is excused from attendance at school only if the child is unable to attend school by reason or other unavoidable cause”.
Occasionally, lateness occurs for reasons beyond one’s control. Persistent lateness, however, shall result in consequences for the student. When a student is late for class, the classroom teacher will assign a consequence. After five lates, the teacher will refer the student to the office for further consequences. If a student is more than fifteen minutes late for a class, the student will be referred to the office.
Students needing to leave early from school must present a note to office staff at the beginning of the day to obtain permission to leave. Students without a note must call parents/guardians, in the presence of office staff, to obtain verbal permission prior to leaving school grounds.
4. Grade 8
Grade 8 students at Bishop Smith Catholic High School are to remain on school property throughout the school day. Exceptions can be made with expressed parental permission addressed through the Principal or Vice-Principal.
5. Dress Code
It is the endeavour of our school to outline reasonable standards of dress which mark our school as a special place. As a Catholic school offers a distinctive atmosphere within the community, the way the students dress needs to portray this distinction. We are committed to providing a safe, friendly learning environment for our students. Appearance is not only a reflection of the individual student, but also of the general learning environment.
Students are encouraged to wear clothing and accessories that express their individual personalities. School clothing must be in keeping with standards of good taste.
Student, staff, and parent representatives have agreed to the following dress code:
Gym attire may be worn only for gym classes.
Footwear must be worn at all times in school buildings.
Sunglasses are not to be worn in class unless required for medical reasons.
No articles of clothing, or accessories, decorated with Anti-Christian messages, obscene phrases, references to beer, alcohol, contraband, or tobacco or any language that may be interpreted as abusive or vulgar, may be worn in the school or at school-related activities.
Clothing generally worn for activities outside the classroom (boots, hats, jackets, etc.) will be stored in the lockers and will not be allowed in the classroom without the consent of the Principal and/or his/her designate.
Skirts, dresses and shorts will be worn at an appropriate length. The appropriate length will be determined by having the student stand up straight and have his/her arms by his/her side, fully extended with all fingers pointing downward. To be considered appropriate, the student’s fingertips should not be longer than the skirt, dress or shorts.
Any article of clothing that is torn or ripped must meet the same measuring standard as above for skirts and shorts. Clothing with rips showing visible skin above the fingertip length are not permitted.
Clothing must cover the midriff and no undergarments should be visible. The following are inappropriate school wear: halter tops, tube tops, low cut or backless shirts and muscle shirts. A neckline must be no lower than the student’s palm width from the base of the neck at the collarbone area. Shoulders must be covered by no less than two finger widths of fabric.
Form-fitting pants, such as yoga and workout pants, should be opaque and should be worn in keeping with the standards of good taste.
Hats, toques, caps, hoods and other head coverings deemed inappropriate by the Principal or Vice-Principal may not be worn in the school at any time. Staff may, following a protocol of consequences, keep a hat for a specified time period.
Before a dramatic change in hair colour or style, students are encouraged to consult admin. Hairstyles or hair colours that are connected in any way to hazing, bullying, or exclusionary tactics will not be permitted.
In the event of a dispute, a student may appeal to the principal or his/her designate for a decision. The principal or vice principal’s decision will be final.
6. Tobacco Use
In accordance with provincial law, the use of ANY tobacco product is not permitted on school property. Students caught using tobacco products (including e-cigarettes and vaporizers) on school property are subject to consequences, including a suspension from school and a fine from the Health Unit. Students under the age of 16 caught using any tobacco product on school property will be given a summons to attend court. Any student who uses any tobacco product on school property, between classes and/or during class, will face a detention or suspension from school.
7. Drug and Alcohol Policy
Under the Education Act of Ontario all schools are required to issue mandatory suspensions or expulsions for students under the influence, or possession of, drugs or alcohol. It is further enforced by School Board Policy to maintain a zero tolerance level for students under the influence, or possession of, drugs and/or alcohol. Therefore, any or all Bishop Smith Catholic High School students will be issued strong consequences if found in possession, or under the influence of, such substances. Students are reminded that this policy is in effect for all school-related activities on and/or off school property.
When students choose not to follow the expectations listed in the Code of Behaviour, they must accept the responsibility for that choice and accept the consequences given to them by staff members. The staff will strive to make the consequences related to the misbehaviour and respectful to the student, and in many cases, in consultation with parents/guardians.
The following are some of the possible consequences:
Restitution – The repairing or replacing of damaged or lost property.
School Community Service – The mutual agreement of student and staff member on repaying a misbehaviour or infraction through a good deed at school. For example, clean up in the cafeteria.
Contract – The mutual agreement of student and staff member, that usually involves a goal for the student, a reward if the goal is achieved, and a consequence if it is not. Often, the parent will be asked to support/take part in the agreed upon reward or consequence.
Consequence Assignment – The student will be assigned specific exercises that ask the student to reflect on their misbehaviour, the reasons why they acted in that manner, and how they can improve their behaviour.
Detentions – The student will be asked to remain in a room or designated area to reflect on his/her misbehaviour or to work on specific tasks. This will take place outside of classroom time.
Loss of Privilege/Access to Area – The student will no longer be able to participate in a school-related activity or be in a specific area in the school (computer lab, gymnasium, cafeteria, Robert Tate Library, etc.)
Counselling – The student will be asked to discuss his/her misbehaviour with a staff member.
MORE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES ISSUED BY A PRINCIPAL OR VICE-PRINCIPAL
Office Detention – The student will be asked to spend the majority of his/her lunch hour in a designated area to reflect on the misbehaviour.
Removal from Class – The student will be removed from a class for a specified time period to reflect on his/her misbehaviour. During this period, exercises may be assigned to the student.
Warning of Suspension – The student will be given verbal notice that certain behaviour will not be tolerated further, or suspension will occur. The incident will be documented and parents may be informed.
Suspension – Student will be asked to leave school grounds for highly inappropriate behaviour. Upon returning to school, a re-entry program is often initiated to prevent the student from repeating the behaviour.
Expulsion – The student must leave the school. This represents the maximum consequence a student can receive for misbehaviour. Most expulsions require an inquiry and a hearing into the nature of the student misbehaviour.
Police Contact – For very serious infractions, police may be contacted to address student misbehaviour.
C. GENERAL BEHAVIOUR RULES
Backpacks and personal carrying bags are to be stored in student lockers.
Lockers are school property and are not to be damaged or marked in any fashion.
Students are to refrain from inappropriate displays of affection on school property (affectionate hugging, kissing, etc.)
All food shall be consumed in the cafeteria or in the grade 8 lounge area. There is to be no food in the hallways or the Robert Tate Library.
Students are expected to treat each other with dignity and respect. Any form of harassment or bullying will not be tolerated.
Skateboards/roller-blades are not permitted in the school, nor are they to be used on school property.
Students are to remain seated in their classrooms until dismissed by the teacher.
Use of foul or inappropriate language is not acceptable.
Gambling is not permitted on school property.
Gum chewing is not permitted in class.