The goal of our conduct policy is to encourage our students to develop self-discipline. The discipline cycle allows students to make appropriate choices and provides immediate, related, responsible, and respectful consequences for inappropriate conduct. This approach leaves the student's dignity intact and involves them in finding an effective solution to their problem.
St. Dominic is committed to providing students with a school environment that is both safe and conducive to learning. We are dedicated to teaching students appropriate behavior towards themselves and others. All students are to respect each other in accordance to the Alberta Human Rights Act and shall not discriminate against race, religion, beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, ancestry, place of origin, source of income, family status or sexual orientation. The school expects these behaviours and attitudes to be promoted by the parents and guardians of our students, as parents are the primary and most influential teacher in a child's life. We expect students to behave in an appropriate manner, which does not interfere with the learning or behavior of others. We believe that people perform better when they know what is expected of them. Students are to conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful. Cell phones must not be operated inside the building during school hours without the express permission of a teacher. School-wide expectations are communicated to our students by teachers in classroom discussions, by school administration in assemblies, during morning announcements and through the school newsletter and Agenda Book. We have set behavioral guidelines for the school as a whole and have asked each teacher to apply programs and procedures designed to maximize student learning and responsibility. Since each teacher has a different style, specific expectations and procedures will vary from class to class.
The discipline cycle uses in-school suspensions (ISS) and out-of-school suspensions (OSS) only as final steps. An ISS teaches students to accept consequences for their actions, gives students time to reflect on their behavior, and to become involved in choosing positive alternatives for their inappropriate behavior. Unless the behavior is severe, an OSS is used only after an ISS has been used and the misbehavior continues. All ISS and OSS require that parents/guardians be informed of the problem and the consequence.
Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior
We concentrate on positive behavior and attitudes, however, there are times when a student has difficulty recognizing their responsibility as a student. In such cases, we have outlined a number of possible consequences for behavior. When a student behaves inappropriately, they can expect that the staff member present (teacher, administrator, teacher assistant, support or caretaking staff) will apply the most appropriate action. One or more of the following can be expected to occur:
- verbal reprimand
- restriction of privileges and activities
- parental involvement
- parent-student conference with school staff
- verbal or written apology by student
- problem solving, monitoring or reviewing behavior expectations
- replacement or repair of damaged property
- temporary exclusion of student from class
- bus suspension for students riding the bus
- in-school suspension
- out-of school suspension
- referral to Attendance Board
- behavior contract
- involvement of outside agencies
- involvement of Police
Our records show that the overwhelming majority of St. Dominic students consistently demonstrate appropriate, respectful behaviour. For those situations when intervention becomes necessary, one or more of the following steps will be implemented to deal with the behaviour according to its severity:
1. Reminder of appropriate behaviour.
2. Discussion of the inappropriate behaviour with the student (logging the occurrence by the teacher).
Note: If the infraction occurs during supervision, it is noted and reported to the child's teacher. The homeroom teacher will decide what consequence the student will have depending on where the student is in the cycle.
3. If the behaviour continues, the homeroom teacher contacts the child's parents and explains the student's behavior to them.
4. If the behaviour continues, the administration becomes involved and the parents are asked to come to the school. Parents, student and involved staff meet. The staff member goes over the behavior of concern with the parent and the student. Parents and student are both informed that if the inappropriate behavior continues, either an in-school or an out-of-school suspension may occur, depending on the infractions.
5. If the behaviour continues, the administration is informed immediately. Consequences discussed at this step are typically either in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension. Parents are notified by telephone, and the consequence is explained.
The school staff and students have identified seven major offences that are of concern, as they inhibit a safe learning environment. They are:
- Physical or verbal abuse
- Being in possession of anything that constitutes a weapon
- Continual classroom disruptions
- Swearing or offensive body language
- Deliberate damage of property
- Defiance or disobedience
Behaviour that falls into the above categories, if extreme, may be automatically bumped to Step 5 for the first offence.
Students learn best in a positive learning environment. We expect students, staff and parents to recognize their responsibility in developing student behavior and conduct.
Students will meet the expectations for behavior while on school property or when involved in any school sponsored or related activities. Students will exercise their responsibilities to use their God-given talents and abilities to gain maximum learning benefits from their school experiences. We expect that they will contribute to a positive learning environment.
In addition to expectations for behavior laid out in the Alberta Education Act, we expect that students will:
- assume responsibility for their actions and choices
- seek help from staff to assist in problem solving
- respect and celebrate our Catholic identity.