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Hillcrest Middle School
School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
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Hillcrest Code of Conduct

 

Code of Conduct

June 2018

Hillcrest Middle School

 

School Mission:
"The Hillcrest School Community is committed to providing educational opportunities in a safe and respectful environment that encourages students to become responsible life-long learners, both individually and cooperatively."


                Hillcrest Middle School Code of Conduct

 

I.            INTRODUCTION

 
Our school code of conduct has been developed in accordance with ministry requirements as outlined in the Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools' document. 

At Hillcrest, we are committed to providing educational opportunities in a safe, caring, orderly, and respectful environment that encourages students to become responsible life-long learners academically, socially, individually and cooperatively. Featured in our school planner with the District Code of Conduct and School Policies, our Code is accessible to students, parents and staff. Although this set of policies is detailed, we seek to simply state our expectations to ensure that Hillcrest is a safe, nurturing educational environment.

II.           CODE OF CONDUCT:  KEY ELEMENTS

 
1.       Process:  Our Code is reviewed annually by administration and teachers during staff meetings and team meetings.  We consult with parents via communication in school newsletters, through our school website and at PAC meetings.  Student input is gathered in class meetings and team or grade level settings.

 

2.       Communication:  The two main themes in our Code of Conduct are Respect and Safety.  These two themes form the context of all our communications about the Code of Conduct.  Our Code of Conduct is published in our September Welcome Package, accessible on our website, reviewed by administration, staff teams, individual teachers with students and our PAC.  The Code of Conduct is reviewed with ALL STAFF in the fall and then specific sections are revisited throughout the year as issues arise.  The Code of Conduct is made available to temporary staff in our TOC/Casual EA handbooks.  The Code of Conduct is posted near the office along with information about what it means to be using Restorative Practices together with our Student and Staff Charters. School staff members are asked to refer to the Code of Conduct with students and parents when discussing behavior concerns.

 
3.       Implementation:  At the beginning of the school year it is expected that parents read and sign consent/understanding to the Code of Conduct published in the September Welcome Package.  Parents are asked to reinforce the school's expectations with students.  The Code of Conduct is implemented among students by introducing it to students during team-wide first week activities in September.  Key behavioral expectations are then reviewed with students throughout the year in assemblies, McFaul Moments, restorative sessions and in core class settings.  Instructional methods include multimedia, discussion, role playing and class meetings. In addition, students involved in our Hillcrest School Leadership teams are given opportunities to collaboratively, with teacher facilitation, create their own set of expectations regarding school wide events.   The Code of Conduct is implemented by teaching staff, in part by being the basis for establishing class expectations and Class Charters at the start of the school year.  Hillcrest staff takes time in the September staff meeting to review key concepts in the Code of Conduct and make a commitment to modeling socially responsible behavior across the school and formulating our own Staff Charter.  The use of Restorative Practices as a method to help students deal with solving problems are daily exercises that are modelled and managed with minor and severe incidents. Continuation of our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Committee to discuss, support and monitor our school's progress in on going. Administrators stress to all staff the importance of positive modeling.  Administrators' discussions with individual students about specific behavior or discipline issues usually include references to the Code of Conduct and resolving conflicts peacefully.  Our school motto, "Take the High Road" embodies the high expectations we have of our students' conduct and level of responsibility. 

4.       Monitoring and Review
The Hillcrest Code of Conduct is monitored throughout the year during its implementation (see above).  It is formally reviewed annually in the spring in a collaborative process involving:

  • McFaul Moments meetings with all students in their teams.  These involve a review of the themes and content of the Code of Conduct, followed by a feedback session in which students give their suggestions and questions.
  • Class meetings focusing on developing the five social competencies of: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making all focusing on strategies and skills for students to use when dealing with stress and inappropriate conduct and work issues.
  • Spring PAC meeting with parents
  • Student survey in the Fall and Spring sessions
  • Discussion at a spring Team Leader Meeting and Staff Meeting about the Code of Conduct and what conduct is deemed acceptable and what conduct is deemed unacceptable

 
Hillcrest Middle's Administration monitors the effectiveness of the Code of Conduct by using a systematic data collection strategy.  The school's Behavior Incident Form has been constructed to capture key information about specific incidents.  This data is reviewed on a regular basis for analysis and evaluation of our students' conduct.

5.       Alignment
The Hilltop/Hillside Families of Schools have recently initiated discussions about Codes of Conduct at all three levels.  Our Code of Conduct is approaching greater alignment with the codes of our local family of schools and with middle schools across the district.  Hillcrest Middle School's Code of Conduct is aligned with our school district Code of Conduct policy (Policy17)

District Code of Conduct – Policy 17
The Board believes it has a responsibility to establish expectations of students as part of its governance role for the district. The Board further believes that the responsibility for student discipline in school is shared among students, staff and parents. Students have a responsibility to respect the rights and dignity of others and to become actively and productively involved in their own academic learning and social growth. Educators are responsible for establishing a positive school climate in which structure, support and encouragement assist the students in developing a sense of self-discipline and responsibility. Parents are responsible for establishing a positive learning atmosphere in the home, knowing school policies and procedures, supporting the school in the enactment of these policies and procedures, and encouraging their children to understand and respect these policies and procedures. To support these aims, the Board has established a District Code of Conduct for Students, which shall be followed in all schools.

              Specifically
The Board believes that appropriate student conduct, based on respect for oneself, respect for others, and respect for property is essential to the development of responsible citizens.  To this end students are expected to:

·       be aware of and obey all school rules;
·       attend classes punctually and regularly;
·       work cooperatively and diligently at their studies and with home assignments;
·       respect the rights of all persons within the school including peers, staff and parents;
·       respect the legitimate authority of the school staff;
·       respect the school's physical school facilities;
·       respect the ethnic diversity of our school community;
·       behave in a safe and responsible manner always; and
·       not threaten, harass, bully, intimidate or assault, in any way, any person within the school community
·       not be in possession or under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol

Our Hillcrest Middle School Code of Conduct is also supported by Policy 18 (Violence, Intimidation, and Possession of Weapons),

       Violence, Intimidation and Possession of Weapons - Policy 18
The Board believes that schools are purposeful places where students and staff must be able to work, learn and play without the threat of physical or psychological harm. Schools are characterized by sensitivity and respect for all individuals, an environment of non-violence, clear student behavioral expectations and disciplinary practices that are enforced consistently and fairly. The Board acknowledges its role in providing secure learning environments which are safe from threats, violence or intimidation.

Administrative Procedure 355 (Suspension of Students),

       Suspension of Students – AP 355
The effective management of student discipline is a necessity in establishing safe, caring and orderly school environments that foster student learning needs. When student misconduct occurs, the school and district must respond fairly, quickly, and effectively, imposing a disciplinary consequence that is appropriate to the circumstances and that reinforces for the student involved and students generally, appropriate standards of student behavior.

The Principal has overall responsibility for the maintenance of student discipline and school rules. Under the general supervision of the Superintendent and subject to administrative procedures, a Principal and/or Vice Principal has the authority to suspend or remove a suspension imposed on a student.

Section 85 of the School Act, Policy 13 (Appeals Regarding Student Matters)

       Resolution of Student or Parent School Concerns – AP 380
The district encourages students and/or parents to discuss their questions or concerns regarding the education of their children with school personnel as early and as directly as possible.

Procedures:  Students or parents who disagree with or wish to question decisions or actions that are taken by teachers and/or administrators are expected to seek a resolution by pursuing the following steps:

A.      Teacher or Classroom Level Problem
1.       Discuss the matter directly with the teacher whose judgement or decision is being questioned.
2.       If not resolved, discuss your concern with the Principal.
3.       If still unsatisfied with the outcome, discuss your concern with the Assistant Superintendent (contact the Board office at 604-939-9201).
4.       Unresolved matters may be referred to the Board as per Board Policy 13.

B.      Principal or School Level Problem
1.       Discuss directly with the Principal the action, policy, procedure or practice being questioned.
2.       If not resolved, refer to the Assistant Superintendent. (see contact information above)
3.       If not resolved, refer to the Board as per Board Policy 13.

It is expected that school district personnel will seek a resolution to the problem as quickly as possible.

The BC Human Rights Code.

"As per Section 8 of Human Rights Code of British Columbia, students shall not discriminate against others on the basis of the race, religion, colour, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, family status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or physical or mental disability.  Furthermore, as per Section 7 of the Human Rights Code of British Columbia, no student shall publish or display anything that would indicate an intention to discriminate against another, or expose them to contempt or ridicule, on the aforementioned bases." 

 
 
Tobacco Free Environment – AP 171
The Board declares that all buildings under its jurisdiction and all school grounds shall be designated "tobacco free".  This "no smoking" policy shall be followed by students, staff, parents and visitors at all times.

Closure of Schools for Extreme Weather Conditions – AP 132
In the case of extreme weather conditions, the Superintendent of Schools has authority on behalf of the Board, to temporarily close a school.

Procedures:  As a general expectation, parents should be advised that schools are open.  If parents believe the local conditions are unsafe, they should keep their child at home or arrange his/her early dismissal.  If schools are to be closed before morning classes begin, an announcement will be made on local radio stations CKNW (980), CKWX (1130) and CBC (690) by 8:00 am if possible and posted on the district website.
 



6.       Standards
Hillcrest Middle School's Code of Conduct is aligned with District and Provincial policies, administrative procedures, the Criminal Code of Canada, and the values expressed in the BC Human Rights Code respecting the rights of all individuals in accordance with the law – prohibiting discrimination based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, sex or sexual orientation – in respect of discriminatory publication and discrimination in accommodation, service, and facility in the school environment. (Min. Or. 6 (a)). 

a)       Statement of Purpose
The Hillcrest Code of Conduct is intended to foster and maintain a safe, respectful and orderly learning environment that encourages students to become responsible life-long learners and to reach their highest level of academic and social potential.

b)      Conduct Expectations
These expectations apply to behavior at school, during school-organized or sponsored activities, and behavior beyond these times (including on-line behavior) that negatively impacts the safe, caring, or orderly environment of the school, and/or student learning.

Acceptable Conduct:
Students are expected to act in a respectful and safe manner at all times during the school day and while travelling to and from school.  This includes arriving at and leaving school and attending school functions at any location.  Our motto is "Take the High Road" and we expect our students to make safe and respectful choices and decisions that bring credit to themselves and the school.

At Hillcrest, we believe that appropriate student conduct, based on respect for oneself, respect for others, and respect for property is essential to the development of responsible citizens.  To this end students are expected to:
·       respect the legitimate authority of the school staff
·       be aware of and obey all school expectations
·       respect the rights of all persons within the school community including peers, staff and parents
·       respect the school's physical school facilities
·       behave in a safe and responsible manner at all times
·       not be in possession or under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
·       students shall not discriminate against others on the basis of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, family status, age, religion, sex or sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability, or for any other reason set out in the Human Rights Code of British Columbia (Section 7 and 8), nor shall a student publish or display anything that would indicate an intention to discriminate against another, or expose them to contempt or ridicule, on the basis of any such grounds
·       students may be subject to discipline under the school and/or District Code of Conduct for any conduct which has the effect of negatively impacting the school environment, whether that conduct occurs on or off School District property, at a school sponsored function or activity, or otherwise
 
As a school we recognize the importance in modeling respectful and responsible processes for managing conflict.  Whenever possible we try to use a restorative approach to resolve conflict and teaching pro- social behaviors.

 

Restorative Practices:

As a school and District, we recognize the importance of modeling respectful and responsible processes for managing conflict.  Whenever possible, we try to use a restorative approach to resolve conflict and teaching pro- social behaviors.
 
The fundamental premise of restorative practice is that people are happier, more cooperative, productive, and more likely to make positive changes to their lives, when those in authority do things "with them", rather than "to them" or "for them". (International Institute for Restorative Practices http://www.iirp.edu/what-is-restorative-practices.php).  As a result, a focus of behavior intervention should be to help an offender recognize and repair any harm done.  Furthermore, the purpose is to teach the offender moving forward, and then reinforce positive behaviors, to return the offender to the school community stronger, and more resilient than before the offense. 

Every effort will be made to support all students. However, if there are ongoing conduct issues after having implemented restorative interventions, more traditional discipline approaches may be used, separate or in conjunction with restorative interventions.  All disciplinary decisions will be made with respect to the individual and context, and responses to conduct issues will take into consideration the student's age, maturity, and past conduct.
 

                    RESTORATIVE PRACTICES PRINCIPLES  

1. Restorative Practices focuses on harms rather than rules or persons and the consequent needs of victims, offenders and communities.

2. Restorative Practices addresses obligations of the offender resulting from those harms, as well as the community's obligations to both victims and offenders.

3. Restorative Practices uses inclusive, collaborative processes.

4. Restorative Practices involves all individuals (victims, offenders, parents, students, staff, and faculty) who have a legitimate stake in a given situation.

5. Restorative Practices seeks to put right the wrongs that have been done, so that victims feel     safe and valued, and offenders feel restored to the school community

Students are expected to:
·       Follow Section 8 of Human Rights Code of British Columbia, as listed above in our Alignment Section
·       Follow Section 7 of the Human Rights Code of British Columbia, as listed above in our Alignment Section
·       Understand and respect the rights of everyone in our community
·       Treat all students and staff members with respect
·       Act in a safe, caring and responsible manner, respecting personal space and property
·       Engage in purposeful learning activities in a productive manner
·       Respect the right of students to learn and teachers to facilitate learning
·       Follow the Classroom/ School Charters for all community members;
·       Take pride in their middle school and respect the surrounding community.
·       Model responsible problem-solving skills at school and in the community by using your W.I.T.S. to solve problems (Walk Away, Ignore, Talk About It, Seek Help)
·       Demonstrate and show respect for the feeling of others by following the "Head, Heart, Body Check"
·       Follow the Technology Charter and use computers, cell phones, tablets or electronic devices that may include cameras, text or video capabilities, appropriately and respectfully as instructed by the classroom teacher.
 

Unacceptable Conduct:
Student conduct that interferes with the learning, safety or well-being of others or him/herself; or the maintenance of an orderly and respectful environment is considered unacceptable. 
As per Section 8 of Human Rights Code of British Columbia, students shall not discriminate against others on the basis of the race, religion, colour, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, family status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or physical or mental disability.  Furthermore, as per Section 7 of the Human Rights Code of British Columbia, no student shall publish or display anything that would indicate an intention to discriminate against another, or expose them to contempt or ridicule, on the aforementioned bases. 

The following is a list of behaviors that will result in discipline; however, the list of unacceptable behaviors is not restricted to the examples provided.

Unacceptable conduct is demonstrated by behaviors such as:
·       Engaging in any form of rough play, physical violence, bullying or harassment

·       Being disrespectful to others or the school environment with words or actions

·       Bringing unsafe, illegal or inappropriate substances or items to school including electronic cigarettes and vaporizers

·       Engaging in the use of technology, on or off school grounds, that creates a negative learning environment 

 

A search by school officials of a student under their authority or a search of student property may be undertaken if the school has reasonable grounds to believe a school rule has been or will be violated, and that the evidence of that violation will be found in the location or on the person of the student being searched.  Students know that their teachers and other school authorities are responsible for providing a safe learning environment and maintaining order and discipline at school.  As a result, they must know that, where reasonable grounds exist, this may require searches of students, their lockers and their personal effects and the seizure of prohibited items.
 
Students should also be aware that the schools may collect, use and disclose personal information about students for the purposes of investigating and addressing student misconduct, safety and maintaining order and discipline in school.  Such collection and use of student information may include information that is obtained from witnesses or collected from other secondary information sources (e.g.  social media).  All personal information of students collected by the school will be collected in compliance with and under the authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ss. 26(a), (b), and(c)) and the School Act.  Questions about the collection, use or disclosure of student personal information should be directed to the Associate Director of Information and Learning Technologies Stephen Whiffin, at swhiffin@sd43.bc.ca.
 

Use of Cell Phones or Electronic Devices in the School Community

Cell phones or electronic devices, which may include cameras, text or video capabilities, must be used appropriately at school and during school activities.  Students may be subject to discipline for on or off campus misuse of technology that negatively impacts an individual or the school community. During the school day, students within a specific setting, must have the permission of the staff member and be under their direct supervision to use technology.

 

Respectful School Clothing:

Hillcrest Middle School is a community of learning which brings together many different families with varying values and cultural beliefs. The expectation of school culture is one of decency and respect for all students, staff, parents and visitors. We ask that common sense be the guide and that as a community we are sensitive to others. Students are expected to refrain from wearing clothing and jewelry that:

·       advertise drug paraphernalia, drugs, liquor, or inappropriate substance use of items;

·       displays words or pictures that are derogatory, insulting, racist, sexist, threatening, violent

·       is respectful in terms of body image and visibility

·       to ensure facial recognition we expect no hats or the wearing of hoods up in the school

Rising Expectations:

As students gain maturity and knowledge, we expect a higher standard of responsibility, self-discipline and accountability. 

Consequences

Students may be subject to discipline under the school and/or District Code of Conduct for any conduct which has the effect of negatively impacting the school environment, whether that conduct occurs on or off School District property, at a school sponsored function or activity, or in other circumstances where engaging in the activity will have an impact on the school environment. In order to respond consistently and fairly to infractions, the severity and frequency of the infraction and the age and maturity of the child are considered by school staff.

 

We believe that all children can learn socially responsible behaviors.

·       Consequences of not meeting behavioural expectations are based on what is best for the student.  How can we best help him/her make a better choice next time?  Consequences of unacceptable behaviour must take account of the student's age, maturity and special needs, if any. Special considerations may apply to the imposition of consequences on a student with special needs if the student is unable to comply with this Code of Conduct, due to a disability of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional or behavioural nature.

·       Apology RAP Protocol – a written response for students to formalize the ownership of their wrongful actions and to initiate brainstorming of more respectful choices that are available for student problem solving. Responses are kept in Incident referral Book for the duration of the year.

a.       Responsibility – for offending actions

b.       Apologize – for pain, suffering or damage done

c.       Promise – commitment to not engage in further disrespectful activities

d.       All signed and dated by the student and parent/guardian

 

·       Conference Resolution Process – a collaborative discussion process that engages conflicting parties and witnesses to the event.

In the conference or circles, the four restorative questions will be discussed:

·       What happened?

·       What were you thinking at the time?

·       Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?

·       What do you think you need to do to make things right?

When the incident in question inflicted harm on another person, four additional questions will be asked on behalf of the person(s) harmed:

·       What did you think when you realized what had happened?

·       What impact has this incident had on you and others?

·       What has been the hardest thing for you?

·       What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

From (The International Institute for Restorative Practices, www.iirp.org )

 

Restorative and/or preventative, rather than punitive consequences will be applied in progressively escalating steps, depending on the severity and persistence of the difficulty.

 

Some possible consequences might be:

                             -         Apologize/fix problem

                             -         Discussion with teacher/discussion with administrator

                             -         Written apology

                             -         School service

                             -         Parent phone call/ parent meeting/ student timeout with parent guardian

                             -         Loss of noon hour/nutrition break

                             -         In-school suspension

                             -         Restorative Circle

                             -         Out-of-school suspension

 

Note:  Serious breaches of the code of conduct may result in a suspension when the child's presence at school creates an unsafe environment for him/herself, other students or school staff.

Special considerations may apply to the imposition of consequences on a student with special needs if the student is unable to comply with this Code of Conduct, due to a disability of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional or behavioural nature.

 

The school will take all reasonable steps to prevent retaliation by a person against a student who has made a complaint of a breach of a code of conduct.

 

Consequences to address breaches of the Code of Conduct are intended to provide the student with a life-lesson rather than being merely punitive.  Our objective is to work with students to help them understand what constitutes inappropriate behavior and to encourage students to implement strategies to prevent these behaviors from recurring. This may include the use of restorative practices where appropriate.

 

 

Notification

Parents and guardians will be notified should there be a serious breach of the Code of Conduct.  Parental involvement is necessary to help the child adjust his/her behavior to meet Code of Conduct expectations.  Where the breach of the Code of Conduct involves other students, the following parties will receive notification:

·       parents of student offender(s)

·       parents of student victim(s)

·       appropriate school staff

·       school district officials if necessary

·       police and/or other agencies as required by law

 

 

 


Hillcrest Middle School

2161 Regan Avenue, Coquitlam BC
V3J 3C5
604-936-4237 604-937-6878 hillcrest@sd43.bc.ca
8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Our school strives to keep our community informed. However, during urgent events, visit www.sd43.bc.ca to ensure you receive the most accurate and up-to-date information.