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Code of Conduct

It is the mission of the District School Board of Niagara to provide the best possible educational opportunities for its students. Westmount Public School, in accordance with the Board, believes that a school is a place that promotes responsibility, respect, tolerance and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment.

Discipline is learned, and it should be taught in the home, the school and the community.

The purpose of this code of conduct is to ensure that all students and their parents/guardians understand:

  • the rights and responsibilities of students, staff, and parents.
  • school rules
  • some logical consequences for misbehaving or breaking school rules (consistent with those outlined in the “Ontario Schools: Code of Conduct)

Rights and Responsibilities

Like members of any community, students, staff and parents have both rights and responsibilities. A right is a privilege to which one is justly entitled. A responsibility is an obligation one has because it is expected. Responsibilities are things that one should do without being told to do them.

Student Rights

We believe that students at Westmount School have a right to:

  1. receive the best educational program possible that is designed to meet their needs;
  2. be respected;
  3. feel safe and secure from physical and verbal harassment;
  4. be treated in a fair and consistent manner;
  5. to have a clean and pleasant learning environment;
  6. to receive assistance for social, emotional and academic concerns.

Student Responsibilities

We believe that students at Westmount School have a responsibility to:

  1. participate in learning activities to the best of their ability, (i.e. by completing work on time and to do the best of their ability);
  2. attend school regularly and on time;
  3. adhere to school rules, expectations and regulations both in and out of the classroom and during any school sponsored activity;
  4. seek help for social, emotional and academic problems;
  5. respect the rights, feelings and property or others, by being courteous, co-operative and respectful of everyone associated with the school.

Staff Rights

We believe that staff members of Westmount School have a right to:

  1. expect their students to behave in a co-operative and attentive manner;
  2. receive support from parents, administration and officials in fulfilling their duties;
  3. expect their students to be prepared in class (i.e. homework, assignments and necessary equipment);
  4. exclude a student from class who is interfering with the learning of others;
  5. expect students to be diligent in their studies;
  6. be respected.

Staff Responsibilities

We believe that staff members of Westmount Public School have a responsibility to:

  1. prepare interesting and effective lessons for their students;
  2. treat all students in a fair and consistent manner;
  3. treat all students as individuals and attempt to meet students’ individual needs;
  4. provide a pleasant and friendly learning environment for their students;
  5. keep parents informed regarding the behaviour and academic progress of their child(ren);
  6. be on time and be responsible for specific duties;
  7. set a positive example to students re: behaviour, dress code and general professionalism
  8. respect the rights and needs of students.

Parent/Guardian Rights

We believe that parents/guardians of students at Westmount Public School have a right to:

  1. be informed of the academic and social progress of their children;
  2. expect the school to be conducted in an orderly manner;
  3. expect teachers to act as “kind but firm, judicious educators”;
  4. be provided with an educational program designed to meet the individual needs of their children;
  5. have their children receive an education in a warm, pleasant and secure learning environment;
  6. be supplied with the school Code of Conduct;
  7. to be a welcomed participant in their child’s education in co-operation with the teacher;
  8. be respected.

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

We believe that parents/guardians of students at Westmount Public School have a responsibility to:

  1. send their children to school appropriately dressed and nourished to take part in the school program;
  2. ensure that their children are in good health to attend school regularly and on time;
  3. be actively involved in supporting and assisting the education of their children both at home and in school (i.e. with homework);
  4. encourage their children to become involved in the total school program;
  5. communicate with the school regarding the progress of their children;
  6. promote positive public relations between the school and the community;
  7. be aware of the rules and expectations of the school;
  8. support school policies and courses of action;
  9. encourage children to follow school rules.

Standards of Behavior

“A school is a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment.”

  1. Respect, Civility and Responsible Citizenship
    All school members must:
    show respect for themselves, for others and for those in authority, addressing people in a polite and courteous manner;
    show respect for themselves and others by using acceptable language, avoiding racist, profane or obscene comments;
    show respect for the property of others and of the school;
    refrain from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others;
    follow the established rules and take responsibility for their own actions;
    show respect for themselves and others by avoiding inappropriate public displays of affection.
  2. School Preparedness
    All students must:
    come to school prepared, having all the necessary supplies as well as all homework and assignments completed;
    come to school on time, being accountable for work or assignments missed due to absences or lateness;
    come to school ready to learn with a positive attitude, participate in activities and strive for excellence.
  3. Physical Aggression
    All students must:
    not inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm;
    not engage in rough play, bullying, fighting, physically and verbally abusive behaviour.
  4. Snow / Ice
    All students must:
    refrain from throwing/kicking snow/ice on or in the proximity of the school grounds.
  5. Care of School Property
    All students are expected to:
    take care of things that belong to the school (i.e. textbooks, etc.);
    keep desks free of litter;
    share the responsibility for keeping the school and school grounds clean;
    report any damage to school property to the office immediately.
  6. Vandalism / Theft
    All students must:
    NOT intentionally damage school property or property of any others in any way;
    NOT go through any other person’s desk, backpack, belongings, etc. for ANY reason. Theft is a violation of the law and will not be tolerated.
  7. Gum / Spitting / Biting
    For health and safety reasons, all students must:
    refrain from chewing gum in the school building or on school trips/activities;
    avoid spitting in the school or on school grounds;
    never bite another student.

Additional Behavioural Expectations

  1. Attendance and Punctuality
    a) If a child is to be absent (or late), it is essential that the parent call the school before the day begins (905-227-3827). This enables us to ensure your child’s safety. If no contact is made, the school will call parents of absent children.
    b) Habitual absences will be followed up with a letter from the school and/or a visit from Board personnel.
    c) Late students must report to the office and receive an “Admit Slip” to be given to their homeroom/rotary teacher upon entry.
  2. Bicycles, Skateboards, Roller Blades & Scooters
    Students must:
    Walk their bicycles on and off school property;
    Ensure the safety of their bicycle, once it is parked in the rack by using a lock;
    Due to safety and storage reasons, skateboards, roller blades and scooters are not permitted at school.
  3. Prohibited Items:
    Do not bring these items to school: hard balls, golf balls, Indian rubber balls, skateboards, roller blades, matches, lighters, pills, medicine, tobacco products, radios, walkmans, CD players, MP3 players, knives, sling-shots, pets, chewing gum, cell phones, pagers, laser pointers or any other items that may be a health/safety concern for children, or distracting to the learning process.
  4. Bus Procedures
    Students are expected to follow the instructions of the bus driver and teacher. Some of these include:
    Be at your stop on time;
    No running or pushing in line when boarding the bus;
    Remain seated at all times while on the bus;
    Bus Procedures Continued
    Ensure nothing is put outside of the windows;
    Use an appropriate voice level when riding
    If student conduct on the bus or waiting for the bus is such that there is concern for the safety on the bus (disobedience), the student will not be permitted to ride the bus. (It may be for that single ride or for a longer duration, depending on individual circumstances.) Parents will be notified and will be responsible for finding alternate transportation arrangements.
  5. Appropriate Dress
    How a student dresses affects the tone and atmosphere of the school. As a result, halter tops, tube tops, spaghetti strap tops, bare midriffs, short shorts or skirts, pants worn low, beer or alcohol logo on clothing, and clothing with inappropriate messages are NOT to be worn at school. Caps and hats are not to be worn indoors.
  6. Some Playground Guidelines
    a) Students are not to play in front of the school building.
    b) Playground equipment is out-of-bounds until a teacher is present to supervise.
    c) Students should play activities that are not rough (use common sense).
    d) Ball and other games are NOT to be played near entrances.
    e) Students should consider others nearby when playing to avoid possible accidents;
    f) Students should use all equipment safely and properly.
  7. Use of School Telephone
    Students are expected to make arrangements prior to school regarding club meetings, practices, lunch arrangements, etc. Use of the school telephone is for emergency purposes only as determined by the staff and the student must be accompanied by a staff member to use the phone.

Responses to Behaviour

“The District School Board of Niagara believes that the primary aim of discipline is for all students to acquire positive skills and attitudes associated with responsible conduct.”
Responses to inappropriate behaviour will be determined by the age of the child and the nature and frequency of the behaviour. Responses may take two forms:

  1. Positive practices that reinforce appropriate behaviours.
  2. Corrective practices that may require interventions. Communication between home and school will facilitate this process.

Positive Practices include:
Program modification / accommodation
Positive feedback for desired behaviours
Interview between teacher and student
Involvement of resource personnel (ie. youth counsellor, resource teacher, in-school team, Board/community agencies
Formal interview between student, teacher, principal, vice principal

Corrective Practices include:
Detention – in class or at the office
Community Service (i.e. cleaning up playground, completing school chores)
Withdrawal of Privileges
Exclusion from Optional Activities
In-school Detention (student completes work out of his/her classroom)
Suspension from school for major or repeated offences ranging from one to twenty days
Expulsion for extremely serious offences (under Board authority)
Restitution of Damages
Legal action, in the case of certain laws being broken

Corrective practices will not necessarily be imposed in sequential order but will depend greatly on the severity of the behaviour. It is important to note that parent consultation will take place whenever the misbehaviour is of a serious nature.

In Conclusion

In order to succeed, we need to maintain a strong partnership between students, parents, educators and the Westmount Public School community. The Staff of Westmount Public School believe that we must provide a safe, happy place for our students. We believe that students benefit from consistency with regard to expectations and to discipline. The best results occur when home and school work together to promote a responsible, caring and co-operative school environment.