Code of Conduct
School boards and schools are entrusted through the School Act with authority and responsibility to establish codes of conduct. This document reflects Aspenwood's efforts to establish and maintain a Code of Conduct that defines our philosophy with respect to student behaviour, our expectations for student behaviour, how we will communicate those expectations, how we will facilitate student compliance with those expectations and how we will respond when a child behaves in a fashion counter to our expectations.
Our school continues to work on the implementation of a Code of Conduct that is consistent with Provincial and District expectations.
Code of Conduct: Key Elements
We recognize that, in developing and maintaining our Code of Conduct at Aspenwood, it is imperative that we involve all members of our school community including: students, parents, caregivers, staff, and appropriate community partners. Through this continuing process, we hope to maintain a strong sense of ownership for our Code of Conduct and establish common expectations, language and practices in our school and in our community of schools.
Aspenwood's Code of Conduct is reviewed annually. The 2020/2021 Code of Conduct is more consistent with Ministry of Education and SD #43 expectations but we plan to review it with stakeholder groups during the school year to educate, increase commitment and further reflect stakeholder values.
As a group, Aspenwood students come to school with a high degree of self-regulation for their relative ages. Incidents of inappropriate physical contact or sustained negative behavior are rare. However, this does not decrease the onus for diligence. We are challenged to cast a wider net to ensure that we are systematically teaching children to make pro-social choices in their interactions.
We believe that the Code of Conduct (and its implementation) is one of the cornerstones of a school-wide program developing social responsibility in students. We routinely promote our expectations, reinforce the positive language associated with our expectations and recognize when students have demonstrated exemplary behaviour consistent with our expectations.
In the 2020-2021 school-year the Code of Conduct will be:
- Published on the school website;
- Distributed to all grade 1 – 5 parents in the student planner;
- Parents will be asked to read Aspenwood's Code of Conduct and an excepted version of the District's Code of Conduct and sign that they have reviewed it with their children;
- Discussed as a central element of the first week activities and elements discussed regularly at the bi-weekly sessions that administration has with all grade groups;
- Referred to in communication with parents;
- Discussed as a central element of a PAC meeting early during the school-year;
- Discussed routinely at staff meetings
The primary expectations for student behaviour are described to the whole school community at some point during opening week. One Wednesday each month during the school-year we have a community gathering including all students and staff and many parents. One aspect is routinely a reflection on how students are doing with respect to their behaviour. Students making particularly good choices are often identified, while specific problems (patterns, not students) are identified in the context of our expectations.
The Principal or Vice Principal twice-weekly takes students in grade groups while providing teachers with common planning time. The focus of most of these sessions is activity based leadership practice. The message differs but all revolve around learning to demonstrate behavior that is respectful, positive and socially responsible. The emphasis is on explicitly outlining the behaviours that we expect students to show us and giving them opportunities to demonstrate those behaviours.
Prior to transitions, assemblies, inside days, or any activity where students might predictably make poor choices in their behaviour, we describe on daily announcements explicitly what we expect to see, prior to any behaviour occurring. There is also an explicit expectation for the adults in the building that they will model the appropriate behaviour that we wish to see from our students. This is addressed in staff discussions, in assemblies where parents are present and at least once per year in newsletters.
We implement regular opportunities for students to practice appropriate behaviour. Learning to conduct themselves when there are minimal restrictions is an important goal that we have for our students. For them to achieve this goal we must provide them with opportunities to make behaviour choices in a safe environment and to receive appropriate feedback so they learn from the experience.
We feel confident that bullying (sustained targeted behavior intended to harm) is not occurring at Aspenwood. However, how to appropriately navigate social situations is a learned behavior for some children. At the classroom level students are encouraged to explore pro-social alternatives to unkind behavior. In the current school year we are implementing regular “friendship groups" at all appropriate grade levels. We recognize that unkind behavior is often a misplaced attempt to make social contact. This is a pattern for a number of our students. We believe that if students learn and practice appropriate social behavior incidents of problem behavior will decrease.
4. Monitoring and Review
Student conduct has direct implications for every aspect of the school. We constantly monitor patterns of behavior and assess our responses in the context of ensuring students learn how to behave in ways that are positive for the community. While issues are often dealt with at the classroom level they are referred to Administration if they appear significant or if behaviours are repeated. The number of incidents is very small and patterns of behaviours become apparent quickly.
The implementation and monitoring of the Code of Conduct will be an agenda item and reviewed at the first staff meeting of the year each September. Teachers will be given the onus of reviewing the Code of Conduct with their students, so that future and on-going discussions can be informed by their assessment of student behavior.
The Code of Conduct will also be referred to the PAC with the suggestion that it be reviewed at a PAC Meeting.
While we routinely discuss students we articulate with the Middle School we send them to, we have yet to specifically discuss our Codes of Conduct. We will be proposing more formal discussions with the administration from Eagle Mountain and will propose an annual meeting with them and the administration from Heritage Woods. The focus of these meetings would be how we can support each other and particularly support families we share.
Aspenwood promotes the values as per Section 8 of the Human Rights Code of British Columbia, students shall not discriminate against others on the basis of 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) Statement of Purpose
Our purpose is to provide a safe, caring and orderly learning environment that ensures physical and emotional safety while promoting socially responsible behaviour choices. We believe that the same expectations apply when students are at school, coming to or leaving school and at any school related event. We seek to establish and maintain appropriate balances of
b) Expectations for Student Conduct
- Behave at all times in a manner that is respectful of self, others and the school
- Demonstrate pride in self and the school and act in ways that brings credit to both
- Where safe to do so, give others clear, appropriate feedback when their behaviour is inconsistent with the Code of Conduct
- Report ALL incidents of violent or threatening behaviour to a supervising adult immediately
- Engaging in purposeful learning activities in a timely manner
- Comply promptly with the moral, lawful and age-appropriate directions of a supervising adult
The school will treat seriously any behaviours that interfere with the physical, social, emotional or academic well-being of others including:
- Behaving in a way that has some likelihood of injuring self or others or bringing emotional distress to others
- Behaviour or communication that discriminates against others on the basis of the race, colour, ancestry or place of origin, age, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex or sexual orientation, 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
- Bullying (physical, verbal, relational), including cyber bullying
- Behaving in a way that unreasonably distracts other students or interferes with their ability to benefit from learning opportunities
- Defying the reasonable request or instruction of a supervising adult
- Denying responsibility for your actions or the consequences of your actions
- Illegal acts such as:
- possession, use or distribution of illegal or restricted substances
- possession, or use of weapons
- theft or damage to property
As students mature, we expect them to demonstrate increasing personal responsibility and self-discipline. Intermediate students are expected to begin demonstrating leadership behavior, particularly where they are possibly modeling for primary students.
- Students with identifiable behaviour challenges will be expected to continue to modify their behaviour in accordance with their IEP or behaviour plan
- Students will play an increasingly active role in modeling appropriate behaviour
- Students will increasingly demonstrate socially active behaviour including taking more responsibility for giving others feedback about their behaviour and reporting inappropriate behaviour to supervising adults
- The severity and frequency of the inappropriate behaviours will determine what course of disciplinary action to take.
- Consideration will be made for a child's inability to comply with the code of conduct due to a disability of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional, or behavioural nature.
- Disciplinary action will focus more on being instructive and restorative rather than being punitive.
- Students whenever possible will be encouraged to participate in the development of meaningful consequences for the violations of the established code of conduct.
- Wherever possible the consequences will allow the student to make amends to victims of his/her actions and/or provide community service to compensate for time spent in dealing with the incident
In developing our Code of Conduct we considered carefully the onus to notify parents/guardians in the event of a incident of inappropriate conduct. Currently notification is on a case by case basis. Whether parents are contacted is determined by the nature and circumstances of the incident, the age and capacity of the child (victim and/or offender), any injury or potential for injury, whether the incident was isolated or part of a pattern. These factors will also determine the nature and timing of the contact.
Depending on the seriousness of the breach, school officials may contact:
- parents of the student offender
- parents of the student victim
- school district officials – as required by school district policy
- police and/or other agencies as required by law
- the school's parent community – where it is deemed necessary to reassure the community that the school officials are aware of a serious situation and are taking appropriate actions to address it.
Policies and Administrative Procedures Overview
Complete copies of the following policies and administrative procedures (APs)
are available on the school district website: www.sd43.bc.ca (under Board of Education)
1. 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 at all times
• 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
2. 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.
Student Threat Assessment Protocol: A student threat assessment will be initiated by the school's multi-disciplinary Violent Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) team when behaviour includes, but is not limited to serious violence, or violence with intent to harm or kill, verbal/written threats to harm/kill others, internet/social media threats to harm/kill others, possession of weapons (including replicas), bomb threats and fire-setting.
3. Closure of Schools for Extreme Weather Conditions – AP 132
In the case of extreme weather conditions, the Superintendent or designate has authority, on behalf of the Board, to temporarily close a school.
Procedures: As a general expectation, parents are to be advised that schools are open. If parents believe the local conditions are unsafe, they may keep their child at home or arrange his/her early dismissal. If schools are to be closed before classes begin, an announcement will be made by 6:30 a.m. on the school district website and school websites. Announcements may also be made on School District 43 (Coquitlam) (SD43) social media and local radio stations. For more information visit: www.sd43.bc.ca/NewsEvents/Pages/EmergencyInformation.aspx.
4. Digital Responsibility for Students – AP 140-2
The District endorses the provision of district-wide network and Internet services to support student learning. While there are many benefits, there is also potential for misuse. Students are not permitted to create, distribute or access any material which is not suitable for classroom learning.
When using technology, district electronic mail (email) services, social networking, collaboration, blogging, media sharing tools, in relation to their role, students and staff are expected to act as appropriate digital citizens as laid out in the procedures.
5. Tobacco and Vapour Products Free Environment – AP 171
All school property is designated “tobacco and vapour product free". Therefore, every person, including a student, employee or visitor, is prohibited from smoking, using tobacco or vapour products of any kind, or holding lighted tobacco on school property at any time, including non-school hours.
6. Race Relations – AP 205
The District acknowledges the challenge of becoming responsive to the needs of a pluralistic society and affirms that the racial, ethno-cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of its students, staff, and community is a source of enrichment and strength for Canada.
As an educational institution, the District has a special responsibility to develop positive values, attitudes, knowledge and practices by developing a framework which will promote and support equity, justice and access to all.
7. 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.
8. Personal, Discriminatory, and Sexual Harassment – AP 356
The District recognizes the right of all students and staff members to learn and work in an environment free from personal, discriminatory or sexual harassment. The District, all staff members, students and people within school communities shall have a responsibility to promote, monitor and maintain learning environments and workplaces that are free from harassment, fear and discrimination.
9. 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 SD43 personnel will seek a resolution to the problem as quickly as possible.