Safe Schools and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour
A progressive discipline is a whole-school approach to dealing with inappropriate student behavior. The approach uses a continuum of interventions, supports, and consequences to reinforce positive behavior while helping students make good choices. It includes the use of early and ongoing intervention strategies to address inappropriate behavior promptly and consistently. Students are given opportunities to learn from the choices they make and have provisions that enable them to continue their education.
The Education Act requires staff to report to the principal incidents for which students can be suspended or expelled; the principal to contact parents of victims of serious incidents; and staff working directly with students to address all instances of inappropriate and disrespectful behavior including racist, sexist, and/or homophobic comments. (Adapted from Ontario Schools Policy and Program Requirements, 2011.) Students are responsible to report all incidents of inappropriate or dangerous behaviours to a staff member.
Disciplinary actions may involve but are not limited to a warning, a referral, a call home, completion of a discipline package, detention(s), removal from the class (short term or permanently), removal from a school activity, and/or an out-of-school suspension. If appropriate, Restorative Justice is an option that can be made available. Decisions regarding disciplinary action are at the discretion of the administration and may move further along the continuum of progressive discipline.
Guidance Department and Wellness Room
The guidance department staff runs a wellness room that is available to students who need any kind of emotional or mental health support services. Referrals may be made to outside services where needed, but in general, the guidance department will work with students and help build their skills so that they can overcome day-to-day challenges and return to class able to complete their work. The wellness room and guidance program will not necessarily solve students’ problems, but try to help them overcome the distraction that problems can cause in order to be able to operate at school. Outside referrals, social skills programs, or one-on-one time may be scheduled with students to assist them.
Should progressive discipline not be working, or should a student’s actions be of a severity requiring more serious consequences, students will be suspended or expelled from SNP STEAM Academy. Following the Safe Schools Act and Education Act the following actions require a mandatory suspension and consideration for expulsion:
- Possessing a weapon, including possessing a firearm
- Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person
- Physical assault causing bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner
- Committing sexual assault
- Trafficking in weapons or illegal drugs
- Committing robbery
- Giving alcohol or drugs to a minor
- Bullying, if: the pupil has been suspended for bullying previously, and the pupil’s continued presence in the school creates an unacceptable safety risk
- Any suspendable activity that is motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate
SNP STEAM Academy policy also considers, but is not limited to, the following actions requiring a suspension and possible expulsion:
- Premeditated physical assault (where premeditation is likely)
- Any situation where the pupil’s continued presence in the school creates an unacceptable safety risk
Following the Safe Schools Act and Education Act the following actions may result in a discretionary suspension:
- Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person
- Possessing alcohol or illegal drugs
- Being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority
- Vandalism that causes extensive damage to, or to property located on, the pupil’s school
- Bullying (any repeated pattern of physical, mental, or emotional abuse with one or more students)
SNP STEAM Academy policy also considers, but is not limited to, the following actions possibly requiring a suspension:
- Violations of the Code of Conduct
- Physical assault
- Persistent opposition to authority
- Conduct inconsistent with the physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing of others in the school
Respect for Peers and All Others
All students are entitled to an environment that is safe, welcoming, and free of violence. This means such things as intimidation, weapons, and hate literature are not to be part of school life.
Students are expected to be courteous and considerate in dealings with others, and honour individual gifts and achievements. Relationships should demonstrate the use of the four gifts of love, compassion, strength, and a good mind. Physical, verbal, sexual, or psychological abuse, bullying, cyberbullying or discrimination on the basis of race, culture, religion, gender, language, disability, sexual orientation, or any other attribute is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Involvement in a fight or provoking/encouraging a fight may result in suspension. Continued involvement in fights or other such behaviours will result in increased length of suspensions and may have legal consequences.
Respect for Authority
STEAM Academy strives to create and sustain a safe teaching and learning environment that allows all students to reach their full potential while feeling safe, comfortable, and accepted. Teachers are responsible for keeping order in their classrooms, in the school, and on school-sponsored events. To achieve this, students are expected to comply with the rules of the school and to accept the authority of all school personnel.
For safety reasons, students must provide full names to staff members upon request and must stop for staff members if and when requested. If a student is directed to go to the office to speak with an administrator, the student must go straight to the office to deal with the situation. Failure to do so compromises the safety of the school community and may result in disciplinary consequences.
Respect for Property
Students are to demonstrate care and concern for all elements of Mother Earth. This includes treating STEAM Academy school grounds, the building, buses, and all property within the school with care and concern. Our custodial staff is excellent in their constant attention to repair and cleanliness. Students are expected to help keep it tidy and in good repair. Any malfunctions, broken equipment, or destruction of property is to be reported to a staff member. Staff and students try to reduce their carbon footprint by reusing, recycling, and reducing waste.
Students who destroy or deface school property, including texts and school equipment, or property belonging to others, will be required to pay the cost of repair or replacement. Destruction of school property may result in suspension or expulsion and possible legal action.
Theft within the school is regarded as it is in society. Students found guilty of theft may face legal and school consequences. Parents will be notified and restitution will be addressed.
School Dress Code
In keeping with Hodinohso:ni values of Ganigohi:yo/Kanikonhri:io (Respect and a Good Mind), STEAM Academy maintains reasonable and responsible standards for a dress for staff and students. The dress code is to be adhered to every day while in school, during exams, or while participating in any off‐campus school‐sanctioned event. The student dress code standards for reasonable and responsible attire includes:
- Clothing that is neat, clean, and appropriate
- Clothing that does not display inappropriate messages or pictures
- Clothing that might suggest a “double” meaning which is inappropriate
- Clothing that covers the shoulders and is not deemed to be “see-through”
- Undergarments must not be visible
- Clothing that is not considered beachwear, such as male muscle shirts and tank tops, female halter tops, and crop tops (bare midriff)
- The bottom of the top must meet the top of the bottom and not reveal skin
- Shoes are to be worn at all times for health and safety reasons
- The wearing of hats is allowed, but hoods are not.
If any aspect of the dress code is in question, the final decision is at the discretion of the school administration. Students may be asked to change, cover-up, or leave until returning with appropriate clothing.
Riding the bus to school is a privilege. Students are responsible to the school principal and bus driver while riding the bus. Our bus drivers are trained to deliver students safely to and from school. It is the collective appropriate behavior of the passengers that ensures the ride remains safe. Bus misbehaviours are treated as all school behaviours are, and will be subject to the progressive discipline strategies the school has set out. This may extend to a suspension of transportation privileges. In accordance with the bus company transportation policies, students are to use the bus only to travel to and from school. There are no allowances for courtesy transportation such as to visit friends, go to jobs, or for other social reasons. Students may only ride on their designated bus.
Following provincial and municipal laws, smoking on SNP STEAM Academy property is an illegal act with legal and school consequences. Smoking in the school or on the grounds, including the Rise Complex building and area, is not permitted due to health, legal, and fire regulations. Students are responsible to remove themselves from the premises during appropriate breaks by leaving through the large doors in front of the STEAM office in order to smoke on the municipal property along Elgin Street and return to class on time. As cannabis has only been legalized in Ontario for persons 19 years of age and older, and as possession is still a crime, all students found to appear under the influence or in the possession of cannabis will be suspended and may have the police involved.
Drugs and Alcohol
SNP STEAM Academy operates under a policy of zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol at school, or at school-related activities. Under The Safe Schools Act (2000) any student who is in possession of alcohol or drugs, under the influence, or suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while that student is at school or engaged in a school-related activity may face a suspension. Drugs, drug paraphernalia, and alcohol will be confiscated, and it may become a police matter. Lockers and backpacks/purses can be searched as well as the contents within the lockers. If a student is in possession of drugs or alcohol for the purpose of distribution, the student may face expulsion from school.
Acceptable Use of Technology
SNP STEAM Academy provides student access to various technology devices, with free wireless access. In order to use the school computers, students must sign a computer use agreement. If the student is under the age of 18, the agreement must also be signed by a parent/guardian.
Inappropriate computer/technology use will result in disciplinary action from the teacher and/or the school administration, and in certain circumstances may include police services. Some examples of inappropriate behaviour include, but are not limited to:
- Inappropriate use of language (racist, sexist, harassing, violent, or otherwise unacceptable);
- Harassment of others;
- Destruction or damage of equipment;
- Logging in to the network using another student’s username and password;
- Providing their username and password to another student;
- Accessing a command prompt;
- Downloading or installing software;
- Adding or deleting files from the network;
- Illegally obtaining software or information from the network;
- Unauthorized use of access codes;
- Violations of copyright and software license agreements;
- Academic dishonesty i.e. plagiarism;
- Violations of computer security systems;
- Importation or transmission of pornographic, violent, profane, racist, satanic, cult, drug culture, militant, extremist, illegal or private documents;
- Any unauthorized recording of audio or video on SNP property or during an SNP STEAM event of any kind off-site;
- Gambling or betting;
- Unauthorized use of chat lines and e-mail;
- Use of any unauthorized computer games.
Electronic Devices and Cellphones
Students are to use cell phones outside of instructional time during the school day unless under the supervision of a person of authority in the school. This includes leaving class to check one’s phone. Students who do not follow these directions will have their phones confiscated and returned at the end of the school day (after the last class has ended). The school is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen electronic devices.
Phones are not to be used at any time to take photos or record events at school or during a school-related activity, unless under staff supervision and direction.
If you are being bullied OR you see someone getting bullied……YOU are empowered and responsible to choose how the situation gets handled.
Where do you start?
- Talk to your parent/guardian.
- Inform the Principal. With everyone involved, we can make SNP STEAM Academy a safe space for all.
- Talk to your teacher or a caring adult nearest to the situation. They can provide strategies and options for assistance, including ways to remain anonymous.
What Is Bullying?
(The following information was retrieved from the Ministry of Education website in PPM 144)
Bullying is typically a form of repeated and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person's body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation. Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance.
Bullying can take many forms. It can be (but is not limited to):
- Physical – hitting, shoving, stealing, or damaging property
- Verbal – name-calling, mocking, or making sexist, racist, or homophobic comments
- Social – excluding others from a group or spreading gossip or rumours about them
- Written – writing notes or signs that are hurtful or insulting
- Electronic (commonly known as cyber-bullying) – spreading rumours and hurtful comments through the use of e-mail, cell phones (e.g., text messaging), and social media sites.
Electronic bullying or Cyber-bullying
Is electronic communication that:
- is used to upset, threaten or embarrass another person.
- uses email, cell phones, text messages, and social media sites to threaten, harass, embarrass, socially exclude or damage reputations and friendships.
- includes put-downs, insults and can also involve spreading rumours, sharing private information, photos, or videos, or threatening to harm someone.
- is always aggressive and hurtful.
Students and parents are to report any incidents of bullying to SNP STEAM Academy staff. This allows the maintenance of healthy and positive relationships in a stress-free, safe learning environment.
Contact the principal or staff for further information about:
- Individual counselling about courses, careers, and personal matters
- Group presentations about careers and future education
- Records of accumulated credits
- Information about scholarships and financial aid for further education
- Help in adjusting to SNP STEAM Academy
- Personal crisis counselling
- Referrals to community agencies for help with particular problems
- Confidential referrals to an appropriate counsellor for information and counselling about physical, emotional, and sexual abuse