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Safe School Policy

Preamble:  Just as the Greater Essex County District School Board is, Belle River Public School is committed to creating safe, secure, and harmonious learning, teaching and work environments.  All students, parents, teachers, staff, volunteers and community members have the right to be and feel safe. 

 

Board Policy:  Members of the school community will develop the knowledge and skills required for prevention, intervention and resolution of violent incidents through school-based and Board-sponsored programs.  The message to the school and broader community will be that violence in schools is unacceptable and will be addressed based on the individual incident through appropriate consequences, whether mandatory or discretionary.  Please refer to the attached pamphlet titled "Working Together to Keep Schools Safe – Safe School Act 2000 – Information for Parents and Community."  This pamphlet was published by the board to answer questions about the Safe School Policy.

Safe environments are created through the planning, implementation and review of: 

    • codes of conduct
    • codes for appropriate dress
    • programs/activities on respect, tolerance, civic responsibility, safety, anger-management, violence prevention, non violent means to resolve conflict, prevention of alcohol, drug and substance abuse
    • early intervention strategies
    • procedures for active supervision to ensure safety
    • administration of fair and consistent disciplinary actions; and
    • procedures to control access to school property.
    • It is the policy of the Greater Essex County District School Board that violence, expressed in any form, will not be tolerated and that all partners have a responsibility in its prevention. It is policy that this plan be reviewed every two years with staff and School Council.  School Council representatives are asked to sign the policy at the end of this review.  Staff will have the information presented to them during a staff meeting in October.

      Codes of Conduct

      Belle River Public School promotes a safe, secure, tolerant environment for all students, staff, parents/guardians, and visiting members of the community.  In order to maintain this positive learning environment, the following behaviours are expected:

      EXPECTED BEHAVIOURS
      • Arrive each day prepared to learn
      • Demonstrate self control in class and outside
      • Show respect for self, others, and property
      • Be on time
      • Follow rules of the classroom/school and outside area as set out in the student agend
      • Be clean and neat
      • Wear appropriate attire
      • Use appropriate language
      • Follow safety/health rules
      • Be cooperative
      • Observe a "Hands Off" policy which means we use our hands and feet to help people, not to hurt people

The staff at Belle River work diligently to provide a safe positive learning environment.  Belle River takes bullying very seriously.  We use the following definitions for bullying.  Please review the following with your child/ward.

Bullying is a form of aggression in which there is an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim.  Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological.  The key elements of bullying are:  power imbalance, the bully's intent to harm, victim's distress and the act is repeated over time.  Verbal Bullying behaviours include

  • Making fun of another student
  • Name calling, put downs, insults, taunts, sarcasm
  • Hurtful comments about individual differences, family, clothes or other possessions
  • Racial and/or religious slurs
  • Hurtful comments about sexual gender and preference
  • Spreading rumours
  • Telling students not to play or interact with another
  • Unwelcomed comments that degrade or make another feel uncomfortable
  • Intimidating telephone calls, emails, MSN messages, text messages
  • Threats of violence against person, friends, or family
  • Public challenges to do something

Non-Verbal Bullying Behaviours

  • Graffiti
  • Hateful or hurtful written comments
  • Slamming books
  • Passing notes with the intent to humiliate or threaten another
  • Written comments telling others to exclude, ignore or reject another person
  • Revealing personal information that could lead to public humiliation
  • Internet bullying behaviour – blogs, websites, MSN messages

Physical Bullying Behaviours Include:

  • Hitting, pushing, kicking, shoving, poking, chasing, spitting
  • Physical intimidation or assault - with or without weapon
  • Defacing or destroying property
  • Stealing, extortion
  • Acts that demean another such as hazing
  • Unwanted touching

The staff works diligently to ensure Belle River Public School is free from bullying.  We can't do it alone.  Please reinforce the following strategies with your child/ward.

  • Seek help from an adult or a peer
  • Make assertive statements to the bully addressing your feelings
  • Look the bully in the eye and say, "Stop"
  • Walk away from the bully
  • Remember there is safety in numbers
  • Avoid certain places to avoid a bullying situation

If you know that someone is being bullied, report the situation to the closest teacher or an adult in the building.   Incidents of bullying regardless of place of origin may be dealt with at the school level if it affects the moral tone of the school and/or welfare of students.

Codes for Appropriate Dress

School is about learning.  Students should be dressed neatly. 

  • T-Shirts with questionable, inappropriate or objectionable pictures and/or words such as references to alcohol, drugs, profanity, obscene language, statements promoting violence, racism or illegal behaviour, sex, including words or phrases with double meaning, or gender-offensive language are not acceptable. 
  • Shorts and skirts should be mid-thigh length (Thumb-tip rule).
  •  Tops should ensure the chest area is completely covered. All tops must reach pant or skirt line, when hands are raised.  No bare midriffs.   Shirt straps should be at least two fingers wide.
  • Pajama bottoms, tube tops, backless tops, swim attire, mesh or transparent clothing are not acceptable. 
  • No undergarments are to be revealed by clothing selected.
  • Sunglasses or dark glasses are not to be worn inside the building.
  • For Health and Safety reasons, shoes must be worn at all times. 
  • Hats or baseball caps, hoods, do-rags, bandanas are not to be worn in the building or in class. 

Graduation dress should be appropriate for an elementary school graduation.  Tuxedos, formal prom dresses and limousines are discouraged.  Clothing should be suitable for a "family event" or what might be worn to a place of worship.

Students must wear appropriate clothing for Physical Education classes.  Running shoes are a minimum uniform requirement for all grades. For primary classes, students are encouraged to wear clothing suitable for exercising to school.  Dresses are not appropriate clothing for Physical Education classes.   Junior and intermediate classes are expected to change into athletic clothes for physical education class.  Proper gym attire includes shorts, jogging pants and a T-shirt.  Some students may need to apply deodorant before and after gym class.  Please note that spray deodorant or perfumes are not allowed.   All jewelry and watches must be removed for safety sake. Daily Physical Activity (DPA) is a requirement - Ministry of Education.  Students will be participating in physical activity every day.  Sandals and dress shoes are not appropriate footwear for DPA.

In order to use the playground equipment, students should where closed toe shoes.  For safety, no flip-flops, crocks or sandals may be worn.

 

Programs/activities on respect, tolerance, civic responsibility, safety, anger-management, violence prevention, non violent means to resolve conflict, prevention of alcohol, drug and substance abuse

Belle River has a variety of programs and activities which promote character development.  Staff encourage students to conduct themselves with graciousness, courtesy and to employ good common sense in all actions.  The staff holds high expectations for themselves and our students.  We use the following resources to address respect, tolerance, civic responsibility, safety, anger-management, violence prevention, conflict resolution and prevention of alcohol, drug, and substance abuse:  

GECDSB's Bullying Awareness School Based Kits, Second Step, Stand Up Against Bullying, High School Performances, Safety Village Programs, Community Police Officer, Health Unit, Leadership Camps.    We also work with our school special education team (Social Worker, School Psychologist, and Child and Youth Worker,) to deliver programs dealing with anger-management, respect and conflict resolution.   We utilize community services through Help-link to deliver specialized programs for students with specific challenges.   

 

Early intervention strategies

At Belle River we follow the GECDSB's mission statement:  All children can learn.  We believe a safe, stimulating, caring and welcoming environment promotes and facilitates the learning process.  As a staff we set up classroom routines which foster success.  When a student is having difficulty we work with the child, the family and Special Education Support Staff to set up appropriate behaviour plans and/or educational plans to address the student's needs.  Several staff members have been trained in Non-violent Crisis Intervention/Behaviour Management System.  This is a program which teaches staff to de-escalate a student's anger and to deal safely and appropriately with an angry child.

As a staff, we review the GECDSB's Emergency Response Flip Chart to prepare for emergency situations such as gas leaks, tornados, lockdowns or other situations where school evacuations are needed.  Each school year we have six fire drills, three in the fall and three in the spring.  We practice one shelter and place (tornado) drill and one lockdown drill.   

 

Procedures for Active Supervision to Ensure Safety

Belle River Public School has set in place many routines to ensure proper supervision of students.  The safe arrival check is a process that enables our school to verify a student's absence or lateness with the parent or guardian.  Our school calls the parent at home or at work to account for the student. If parents cannot be reached, the school contacts emergency numbers.  If the school is unsuccessful, policy and/or CAS may be contacted. Parents must call the school on a timely basis if a child is going to be absent or late.  When leaving a message, please state the date, your name, the child's name, the child's teacher and the reason for absence.  Where there are siblings attending school, a note from the parent regarding the other child's absence is acceptable.

 Parents are made aware of school supervision hours and crossing guard hours in the agenda and in newsletters.  Teaching staff are scheduled into a timetable during before and after school supervision time blocks and at recess.  There is no supervision provided before scheduled supervision in the morning.  Please do not send or drop of children before the stated supervision time. Please be advised that there is no supervision for students requiring an indoor recess due to illness.  We have three noon hour aides who supervise the students at lunch. Special Education support staff are assigned to supervise IPRC'd students as needed.   Before school and after school activities are supervised by the teacher leading the extra-curricular activity.

With respect to custodial issues, the school must follow the information which is in the OSR.  It is the custodial parent's responsibility to provide the school with a copy of the most recent agreement dealing with right of access.  Non-custodial parents can receive information regarding the educational welfare of their child.

Administration of Fair and Consistent Disciplinary Actions

The code of conduct is for all students, staff, and visitors.  The action taken will depend on the severity and/or frequency of the offense. 

The Board's Personnel Policies and Procedures will come into effect for staff who violate the code. 

Parents or visitors who violate the code will be asked to refrain from the behaviour.  If the behaviour continues they will be asked to leave.  If the inappropriate behaviour continues to occur, the principal will follow procedures outlined in the Trespass to Property Act and any other pertinent legislation applicable to the age of the visitor.

Students who violate the code will be dealt with on a student by student basis at the discretion of the principal. Students are expected to be responsible for their actions and choices.  We emphasize the importance of thoughtful, good choices.  When discipline is required, minor problems are usually handled by the teacher.  More serious incidents are dealt with by school administration.  Behaviour incidents may require either a phone call home or a meeting with the parent and the teacher.  The intensity of consequences usually increases with repeated misbehaviour. The goal of any discipline is to stop inappropriate behaviour.  

 A possible range of consequences/discipline is listed below:

  • Reminder of appropriate behaviour
  • Phone calls home and/or Behaviour Letter home
  • In-school service or in-school withdrawal Reprimand/Warning
  • Restitution
  • Detention
  • Sent home with parent approval
  • Time out
  • Class suspension
  • Loss of privilege
  • Apology: verbal and/or written
  • Alternative to Suspension Programs  ie Turning Points
  • Suspension*
  • Involvement of police *
  • Expulsion *

* Before any student faces suspension/expulsion, mitigating circumstances are always considered.  When a student returns from a suspension, a re-entry plan is put in place to ensure inappropriate behaviours will not re-occur.

Procedures to Control Access to School Property

All doors to the school are locked during the instructional day according to the new educational law.  All visitors must enter the school using the "buzzing in system.  This system also includes a video camera. Visitors are asked to sign in at the office. Parents bringing lunches, books, etc. for students are asked to leave them at the office and the secretary will see that they are delivered at an appropriate time.  In this way, there is little interruption of class lessons and work periods.   

Please park only in designated areas of school. The front driveway is reserved for emergency vehicles and buses so parking and stopping is not allowed in this area.

School is in progress until 3:30p.m. and we encourage parents who are picking up children, to wait in the designated kiss and ride area   We have staff who help to supervise this pick-up.  This keeps the narrow hallways clear for student dismissal.

As per the GECDSB policy, the school is available for rentals after school hours.  People requesting the rentals, contact the Facility Service Department