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Guiding Principles

The mission of the Sudbury Catholic District School Board is to provide all students with a Catholic education that includes the knowledge, skills and values required to live a meaningful and faith filled life. The Board is committed to making each and every one of its schools a caring place that is safe for one’s faith development and learning. The Board has determined that progressive discipline will be the framework for all discipline in its schools within the context of a Catholic community which roots its mission in the partnership between home, school and parish.

The Board is committed to meeting its obligation under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act by providing safe schools and workplaces that respect the rights of every individual. The Catholic school roots its educational mission in the Roman Catholic Church and accordingly the initiative entitled Safe Schools is rooted in the cardinal virtue of “Justice”.

Every student, employee, trustee, parent, parish and community member has the right to learn, work and pray in an environment which is safe and reasonably secure from the peril of harm.

The Board acknowledges the importance of actively promoting and supporting appropriate and positive student behaviours that contribute to and sustain a safe learning and teaching environment in which every student can reach his or her full academic and spiritual potential.

The Board will support and maintain positive school climates that enhance safety and focus on prevention and early intervention with opportunities for reconciliation, forgiveness and restoration of the community. The Board will provide direction to its schools with respect to progressive discipline to ensure excellence and accountability in the education system. In this regard, the Board will:

• Ensure that all members of the Catholic school community, particularly students and parents, have access to information about progressive discipline;

• Require schools to use progressive discipline as a common and standard practice rooted in Catholic teachings of justice, responsibility and reconciliation to build up the reign of God;

• Ensure that a principal conducts an investigation prior to determining the consequences to a student for inappropriate behaviour in accordance with legislated and professional standards which support wise decision making and justice;

• Provide support to students and their families affected by bullying or acts of violence (i.e., restorative justice);

• Support and protect students who have been bullied or affected by violence;

• Ensure that in-school disciplinary alternatives are created as steps in a progressive discipline framework with a goal of avoiding suspensions or expulsions, if possible. Despite this being our goal, there are situations which may require a suspension or expulsion for the learning of the student who committed the unacceptable act and the safety of the Catholic school community. This procedure will be based on the principles of progressive discipline and will include but is not limited to:

a) detention:

b) peer mediation;

c) restorative justice;

d) referrals for consultation; and

e) transfer.


Prevention

Prevention is the establishment and use of programs such as catechesis rooted in the Religious and Family Life education programs, bullying prevention, social skills programs, anger management groups, as well as other positive activities designed to promote the building of healthy relationships and appropriate behaviours.

Generally, prevention measures and initiatives are either school wide or shaped specifically to address a concern within a class or at a grade level. Catholic schools have prevention and intervention strategies to support the development of a child toward adulthood and to foster a positive school climate that supports academic achievement as well as faith and moral development for all students. Catholic schools focus on prevention and early intervention as key to maintaining a positive school environment so that students can learn.

A positive school climate is a crucial component of prevention; it may be defined as the sum total of all of the personal relationships within a Catholic school. The very ministry of the Catholic school is rooted and flows from the relationships between home, school and parish. When these relationships are founded in mutual acceptance and inclusion, and modelled by all, a culture of respect becomes the norm. A positive climate exists when all members of the Catholic school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted.

Programs and activities that focus on the building of healthy relationships, and positive peer relations provide the foundation for an effective continuum of strategies within a school and school-related activities. These supportive strategies and empowerment programs are the basis for creating a positive school climate.

In addition to teachers and administrators, other staff such as educational assistants, social workers, child and youth workers, psychologists, and attendance counsellors all play an important role in supporting students and contributing to a positive learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate also includes the participation of the school community, including parents, parish members as well as the broader community, which can have a major impact on the success of all students in the school.

The Board will implement a continuum of preventive strategies and empowerment programs rooted in the catechetical programs which focus on:

• Alternative dispute resolution

• Healthy lifestyles and relationships

• Student leadership

• Catholic virtues

• Restorative Justice

• Reconciliation

• Bullying prevention

• Peer Mediation

Further, the Board will ensure that there are individual safety plans for students with special needs who exhibit behaviours that could endanger themselves or others.

The Board recognizes the importance of actively promoting and supporting those appropriate and positive behaviours that create and sustain a positive learning environment. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, schools look at and employ a range of consequences that are developmentally appropriate with the opportunity for the individual to learn from mistakes, focus on improving behaviour and create opportunities for reconciliation to occur. Schools work in collaboration with parents and maintain communication through meetings, reports or phone calls about student behaviour and learning. Additionally, school teams of administration, educators and professional staff meet to review student learning and behaviour to implement a pyramid of interventions designed to redirect negative student behaviour so that it supports the student’s learning more successfully and provides the student with the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and actions to achieve the Catholic School Graduate Expectations.

 
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