Welcome to Minnekhada's Code of Conduct for the 2020-2021 School Year
The Minnekhada Code of Conduct is an evolutionary document that meets the necessities of the Minnekhada teaching and learning community. It is developed, adapted and maintained by all major groups that actively participate in the Minnekhada school community. This is to ensure everyone involved in this school environment knows the day to day expectations. The Code of Conduct is reinforced and monitored throughout the year by the staff of the school, proactively and when harm has been done. A positive school environment that is shared throughout the Minnekhada school community is important for student educational success. Our Code of Conduct is the key to our successful learning environment.
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 resolving conflict and teaching pro- social behaviors. The fundamental premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.
In general, we believe the focus of behaviour interventions should be to recognize and repair the harm done, teach and reinforce positive behaviours and return the offender to the community stronger and more resilient than before the offense. Social learning is a key underpinning of the middle school landscape and we believe our practices should support positive and learning-focused social education.
We value the importance of working with students as a collective but also as individuals. Responses to conduct issues will take into consideration the student's age, maturity, and past conduct. Interventions will not discriminate against a student who cannot meet an expectation because of a disability.
Every effort will be made to support students. However, if there are ongoing conduct issues after having implemented restorative interventions, disciplinary actions will be undertaken and align with the School District #43, Code of Conduct.
II. CODE OF CONDUCT: KEY ELEMENTS
The Minnekhada school community groups have had in the past and will in the future the opportunity to analyze and contribute to the school Code of Conduct. The staff, Parent Advisory Council and student representatives have read and contributed to the code's development. Ongoing dialogue regarding our code's process and procedures take place over any given school year. Staff meetings and Team Leader meetings are structures for staff involvement and are venues where school climate and culture is continuous. Our Code of Conduct is posted to our website and communicated at the outset of the school year. Parent feedback is welcomed and received regularly by staff and school administration.
Minnekhada has taken the following steps to strengthen communication ties regarding Code of Conduct:
- Minnekhada Code of Conduct expectations are communicated electronically to all parents at the outset of the school year
- Parents are encouraged to discuss our Code of Conduct expectations with their child so each family is prepared to be active in a positive way throughout the Minnekhada community
- Code of Conduct expectations will be reviewed by all Minnekhada staff at the beginning of the year in the classrooms and in assemblies
- Copies of the Code of Conduct will be given to new students and staff members that arrive after the normal September intake
- Copies of the Code of Conduct will be accessible to temporary and part time staff
- Minnekhada Code of Conduct display will be placed in the school that is easy access for visitors to see
- The Code of Conduct will be on the Minnekhada website
- Review and reminders of expectations will be given to individuals, groups, classes, teams, the school population when needed throughout the school year
- Classroom teachers regularly engage their students with the values and expectations held by our Code of Conduct
- Teams meet several times throughout the year with administration and the student representatives to share concerns and thoughts for the Code of Conduct
- Each team within the school presents a student-led event based on a core value of our Code of Conduct
- Restitution and Restorative Practice information and resources are distributed to the Minnekhada community and establish community contribution and understanding of expectations
- Staff use class time and student relationship building activities to reflect on the need for a strong commitment in building a positive school environment which would ensure student academic and social success are not hindered by student actions
- The Minnekhada school community has developed a common language to ensure everyone fully understands communication between all school groups
- The Minnekhada school community leaders continually role model the Code of Conduct expectations and recognize students for demonstrating compliance with expectations and school values
4. Monitoring and Review:
- Restorative practices guide social learning where students are misguided and outcomes are monitored and shared
- Patterns and trends that are noticeable are shared with the school community - this includes both positive and negative school concerns of the school community
- Patterns and trends are shared with staff regularly to allow for planning and/or adapting the school environment to address community concerns
- Positive patterns are recognized and used as a base for any needed adaptations for concerned patterns
- Relevant information is shared with the student population to show the positives and concerns of the school community
Minnekhada's Code of Conduct aligns with:
- District #43's District Code of Conduct
- School District #43 middle schools' common guiding practices
- BC School Act and the BC Human Rights Code
- Current research and practice in middle years social development and learning
Minnekhada Middle School promotes the values expressed in the BC Human Rights Code respecting the rights of all individuals in accordance with the law 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 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."
a) The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to:
- Establish and maintain a safe, caring and orderly environment for a positive learning and teaching climate
- Outline and clarify school expectations and acceptable student conduct at school; on the way to and from school, and while attending any school function or activity at any location
- Ensure a positive human rights environment that cherishes openness, diversity, fairness, and equity
- Encourage thoughtful and reflective citizenship
b) Conduct Expectations:
Acceptable conduct is demonstrated by:
1. Respecting oneself, others and the environment
- Cleaning up after yourself and others on the school property
- Dressing appropriately for a learning environment
- Treating others kindly
- Believing in yourself with an “I make a difference" attitude
2. Engaging in responsible behavior in all learning and school activities
- Attend class regularly
- Be prepared for class
- Complete all assignments
- Use good manners
- Using common sense
3. Helping to ensure the school environment is a safe and caring place for all to learn
- Pay attention in class
- Work cooperatively with others
- Accept others' abilities and ideas
4. Tell an adult about an unsafe individual or behavior in a timely manner and in advance, if possible, for example, incidents of:
Unacceptable conduct is demonstrated by behaviors that:
1. Disrupt the learning and teaching environment
2. Create an unsafe or dangerous learning environment
Demonstrate bullying, harassment, intimidation or exclusion, such as:
- Physical or verbal bullying such as putdowns, name calling, or actions
- Cyber bullying, such as harassing, insulting or intimidating others using technology such as computers, the internet, email, text messaging, cellular telephone, chat rooms or the like – students may be subject to discipline for on or off campus misuse of technology if it negatively impacts on the school environment
- Discriminatory behaviors such as verbal, written or gestured comments regarding a person's race, color, ancestry, religion, physical or mental disability, gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance or health; and
- Touching or teasing any person who does not want it (all people have the right not to be touched, teased or humiliated)
- Any acts of retribution towards (get back at) someone who has reported an unsafe or violent incident
Are illegal, such as:
- Possession, use or distribution of illegal or restricted substances (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, fireworks of any kind, lighters, electronic cigarettes, etc.)
- Possession or use of any weapons
- Theft of or damage to property
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 email@example.com.
Digital Responsibility Guidelines
Following are appropriate use guidelines for cell phones at Minnekhada.
1. Academic and Learning Purposes:
At the discretion of the teacher, students have access to cell phones for learning purposes in the classroom including organizational applications. Teachers can require students to have cell phones in their lockers or housed in other ways in the classroom (ie. pocket charts behind teacher's desk, corner of students' desks, backpacks etc.) during instructional time in fitting with their requirements in the classroom.
2. Home Communication:
Students, with teacher permission, can communicate via instant messaging with home. Parents are encouraged to communicate outside of class hours; and, at times, students will not have access to their phones to reply to messages as this can be a distraction from learning in the classroom. Teachers reserve the right to have students use the office phone or classroom phone in place of personal devices. Parents cannot expect timely responses to instant messages.
Students are encouraged to interact with one another in face-to-face ways while at school. We value connectedness and collaboration between students during free time as this promotes positive social opportunity and personal development as well as physical health and wellness. Gaming during breaks is only allowed under the supervision of a teacher.
4. Self-Regulation in the Classroom:
At the discretion of the teacher, students will have access to their device to listen to music or other calming materials that assist in their readiness to learn.
5. Social Media
Internet safety and social media communication is the jurisdiction of both home and school. Middle school students require significant adult support to navigate social media safely and responsibly. While we are committed to educating our students about positive and safe choices on social media, our focus is on teaching and learning and social media use will not be permitted during school hours. Photography and video are strictly prohibited during school hours.
The student use of technology also has to align with our student code of conduct.
Message to Parents:
Supporting our students to use technology appropriately is the shared responsibility of home and school. Minnekhada staff is committed to working with our students and values its partnership with parents and the community. Once we have ensured a common understanding in our school at the outset of the year, this is what you can expect if your son/daughter requires extra support managing the above guidelines:
1. First offence – phone will be held in the office until the end of the school day.
2. Second offence – home contact will be made.
3. Third offence – phone will be held in the office and a parent will need to pick it up from the school.
4. Ongoing infractions will result in the student being disallowed a phone at school.
Please note that the above steps may vary for more serious infractions.
Digital responsibility is a part of educating students to be socially responsible in their workplace: school. At Minnekhada, our goal is to support our students in developmentally appropriate ways, so they thrive in every area of their learning: academic, behavioural, social, emotional and physical. We thank you for being such an important part of the work in our learning community.
Minnekhada Middle Dress Sense
Minnekhada Middle School is committed to providing students with learning environments that are safe, responsive, and inclusive for everyone. The school recognizes that decisions about dress reflect individual expression of identity, socio-cultural norms, and that they are personal.
Students may attend school and school-related functions in dress of their choice provided that their choices:
- Conform with established health and safety requirements for the intended activity;
- Reflect appropriate judgement with respect to a learning environment;
- Do not represent or promote alcohol or drugs;
- Use respectful language;
- Do not depict or promote violence, racism, sexism or discrimination; and
- Are not intimidating to others.
Ultimately, the school administration has the responsibility to apply the dress guidelines when necessary. If any person dresses in an inappropriate manner, the student should be advised personally and discretely and given an opportunity to meet school and district guidelines.
Consequences, wherever appropriate, will be restorative rather than punitive. Progressive discipline will be used if behaviors re-occur or intensify, and consequences will be designed both to prevent future behavior and to make amends for past behavior. Possible meaningful consequences include:
- School or community counseling
- Conflict resolution strategies
- Small group mediations
- Informal suspension or “time-outs" at school or at home
- Community service
- Partial day school programs
- Behavior support plans
- Formal suspension: District Code of Conduct suspension process – Level I, II or III (for serious or dangerous behaviors)
- Altered day schedules
- Connections with other schools to enhance restorative justice
- As student progress from Grade 6 to Grade 8, consequences may be more stringent as older students should have a better understanding of expectation for the Minnekhada school community
- Progressive discipline is used to give repeat offenders as many opportunities to change their behaviors and re-establish themselves with the Minnekhada community (restorative justice)
- It is understood that special needs students may not be able follow the Code of Conduct as other students are able. Adaptations and modifications to the special needs students schedule, resources and approaches to ensure the school environment remains safe and positive
- Retaliation to an individual is not acceptable.
- 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.
Depending on the nature of the unacceptable behavior, school staff will contact the following people:
- parents of students accused of bullying, harassment or illegal activity
- parents of students who repeatedly disrupt the learning of others, or who show disrespect to others and/or the environment
- parents of student victims
- school district officials – as required by school district policy
- police and/or other agencies – as required by law
- all parents – when deemed to be important to reassure members of the school community that school officials are aware of a serious situation or incident and are taking appropriate action to address it