Student Code of Conduct
As stated in The Education Act, Section 33, the district is committed to providing welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments that respect diversity and foster a sense of belonging. Each member shares responsibility for the well-being of every other member of the district. As such, a code of conduct must be established and reviewed yearly and shared publicly with staff, parents/legal guardians, and students.
The following elements will be common to the code of conduct in each district school:
1. Statement of Purpose
Calgary Catholic School District’s value statement is as follows:
“All members of our community are sacred and must be treated with dignity and respect. We value excellence in Catholic education, guided by shared responsibility and the moral authority of the Church.”
This statement guides all district stakeholders as they work to support student success and achievement. The school should be a positive learning environment in which students are safe, secure and successful. The code of conduct will outline expectations for student behaviour while at school, at a school-related activity, or while engaging in an activity that may have an impact on others in the school. The school’s code of conduct will be communicated to parents, students and staff annually and reviewed regularly.
2. The Alberta Human Rights Act
Section three of the Alberta Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of an individual’s race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation of that person or class of persons. Any behaviour that supports this discrimination is prohibited.
3. Acceptable Behaviours
All district schools have established Catholic Community of Caring programs that focus on building respectful and caring school environments, rooted in Catholic values. Catholic Communities of Caring programs align with the School Act’s requirement to provide welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments. Within our schools, we are building communities that are inclusive and celebrate respect for one another, community and diversity. This includes placing a strong value on:
- Respecting all others, regardless of race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation.
- Respecting the school authority.
- Respecting the school and district property, as well as the property of others.
- Respecting yourself and the rights of others in the school.
- Making sure your conduct contributes to a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment in the school that respects the diversity and fosters a sense of belonging of others in your school.
- Refraining from, reporting and refusing to tolerate bullying or bullying behaviour, even if it happens outside of the school or school hours or electronically.
- Informing an adult you trust in a timely manner of incidents of bullying, harassment, intimidation or other safety concerns in the school.
- Acting in ways that honour and appropriately represent you and your school.
- Attending school regularly and punctually.
- Being ready to learn and actively engage in and diligently pursue your education.
- Knowing and complying with the rules of your school.
- Cooperating with all school staff.
- Being accountable for your behaviour to your teachers and other school staff.
- Contribute positively to your school and community.
4. Unacceptable Behaviours
Behaviours that do not support the Community of Caring program, and therefore interfere with the establishment of welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments are considered unacceptable. These include, but are not limited to:
Behaviours that interfere with the learning of others and/or the school environment, or that create unsafe conditions;
- Acts of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, or intimidation;
- Retribution against any person in the school who has intervened to prevent or report bullying or any other incident or safety concern;
- Breaches of digital on-line safety;
- Inappropriate use of mobile devices as outlined in the student handbook;
- Inappropriate student dress as outlined in the student handbook;
- Physical violence or threats;
- Personal or sexual harassment;
- Illegal activity such as:
- Gang activity;
- Possession or use of weapons;
- Possession, use or distribution of illegal or restricted substances (including drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or e-cigarette products);
- Theft or damage to property.
As outlined in Alberta’s Education Act, students can be held accountable for conduct that occurs outside of the school building or school day and electronically (e.g. social media), if the conduct negatively affects a member of the school or interferes with the school environment.
5. Progressive discipline plan
Students who engage in unacceptable behavior will be held accountable through the school’s progressive discipline plan. Consistent and logical consequences, rather than punitive measures, are important to support students in making appropriate choices and help shape their future actions.
In any disciplinary situation, each student will be dealt with on an individual basis, and will take into account the student’s age, maturity and individual circumstances. As well, parental or district involvement may be requested to support school discipline procedures.
The school’s use of the progressive discipline plan will determine the expectations, consequences and the progression of actions to be taken depending on the severity and/or frequency of the occurrences. At all times, teachers and administrators will use their professional judgment in applying consequences.
Consequences must have a positive effect on the student’s journey through reconciliation, either formally or informally, with the school community and those affected by the student’s behaviour. The following consequences are progressive in their degree of intervention and will be enacted depending on the frequency and severity of occurrences. They will be applied consistently and equally to all students, notwithstanding the individual differences of children and the uniqueness of specific circumstances and situations.
Progressive discipline is a whole-school approach that utilizes a continuum of interventions, supports, and consequences, including:
- prevention measures and initiatives;
- early and ongoing intervention strategies;
- strategies to address unacceptable behaviour.
- Interventions and consequences increase when:
- the concerning behavior is persistent;
- the concerning behavior escalates;
- there is a very serious infraction of the code of conduct.
- Interventions and consequences may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- informal conferences;
- restriction of privileges;
- parent conferences;
- in-school suspensions;
- risk assessment;
- suspension / expulsion (AP 356);
- student redirection
- Behaviour Support Plan (as part of the Learner Support Plan);involvement of Instructional Services and supports; involvement of external services and supports.
The principal may involve police in disciplinary matters when criminal activity has become evident. When police are involved, the principal will conduct a separate, parallel investigation at the school level and provide disciplinary action separate from any criminal charges that may be issued.
6. Student support
Support will be provided to students impacted by inappropriate behaviour and to those students who engage in inappropriate behaviour. This is significant because while the student code of conduct must address the consequences for inappropriate behaviour, such as bullying, it also ensures that support (not just consequences) is provided to those students who engage in unacceptable behaviour. Examples of how support could be provided to students who have engaged in unacceptable behaviour include mentoring, restorative processes, regular check-ins with teachers or schools counsellors, counselling, etc.
7. Consideration of student diversity
The School Act requires that the student code of conduct address consequences for unacceptable behaviour and that these reasonable consequences take into account the student’s age, maturity, and individual circumstances. The specific circumstances of the situation and of the student need to be taken into account when determining appropriate consequences. For example, any diverse needs that the student has – whether they are physical, behavioural, communicational, mental health, trauma, etc. – must be considered. The age and maturity of students involved should be considered when determining the consequences and support required.
The district prohibits students from possessing weapons or engaging in violent or threatening acts on school property, and at school sponsored functions and activities. "Weapon" means any object, device, or instrument designed or through its use is capable of threatening or producing bodily harm to oneself or others. By this definition, air rifles/guns are therefore considered weapons. As it is challenging to visually identify these weapons as air rifles/guns, school staff, Calgary Police Services and the RCMP will likely respond in the same manner as they would an actual rifle/gun. For the safety of all students, staff and visitors in the school, these items are not allowed on school property or at school-related activities under any circumstance.