School Policies - School Regulations & Sanctions
The school expects that all students and their families will affirm and agree with the basic Christian values essential to our Faith Tradition as found in this policy. In addition, students and their families are required to read and study this policy thoroughly before and while attending Notre Dame.
Should any students or families be unwilling to accept these regulations and the values they promote, it would be better for all concerned for the student(s) NOT to attend Notre Dame Regional Secondary School.
Student attendance in school is mandatory and directly linked to academic success. It is also recognized that poor attendance, which includes tardiness, adversely affects the academic success of other students as well.
ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL
Whenever a student is absent from school, a telephone call from the parent/guardian must be made to the office (255-5454) on the first day of the absence. A note must be brought to school on the day that the student returns, giving the reason for the absence, and this note must be signed by the parent/guardian. This is necessary for the annual school audit.
The B.C. Ministry of Education requires that a Notre Dame student must be present for the equivalent of at least 600 hours of instruction (120 school days) by May 15th of any year. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the student not receiving full government funding.
Once a student has been absent for the equivalent of 75 hours of instruction (15 school days) he/she runs the risk of losing government funding. Once this happens a Parent Conference with the Administration will take place.
The parents of any student who illustrates that he/she cannot honour the policies and procedures related to absenteeism will be asked to pay any funding deficiencies (up to the level of the government grant) and may receive consequences that include being asked to withdraw from Notre Dame.
ABSENCE FROM CLASS (UNEXCUSED)
“Skipping” includes leaving the school premises without signing out.
1st & 2nd Incident
The student meets with his GLC or his Administrator; the incident is recorded on the school wide discipline system. The student may receive zero for any work missed during the skipped class and a consequence as per the Progressive Discipline Model.
3rd to 4th Incident
An Administrator/Parent Conference takes place.
Appropriate follow-up action is taken (Saturday detention, community hours, the student is put on probation, contract, and/or suspension).
All Subsequent Infractions
Temporary or permanent loss of extra-curricular privileges (including graduation events)
Short or long term suspension
Withholding of the following year’s registration
Consequences for being late (unexcused) will include the following:
- After 5 cumulative lates*: 60 minute detention and a letter sent home
- After 10 cumulative lates*: 3 one hour detentions
- After 15 cumulative lates*: Meeting with student, probationary Letter sent home. One signed by the student and a legal guardian.
- After 21 cumulative lates: Meeting with legal guardian and Student and a Contract sent home.
- After 24 cumulative lates: Student may be asked to leave the School and may lose grad privileges, etc.
*letter on student file
Students who are late but who have a legitimate reason (required note or phone call from a legal guardian) will, in most cases, be excused and the late arrival will not count towards their record. Notes should accompany the student when he/she arrives at school. Phone calls should be made prior to or shortly after the students arrive at school. All students who are late must sign in at the office upon arrival.
DEPARTURE FROM SCHOOL
If a student has to leave school before the regular dismissal time for that day, the student must report to the office for permission to leave and to sign out before leaving. Failure to do so will result in a detention. A note must have been submitted to the office that morning, indicating the time and the reason for the student's early departure. The same sign-out procedure must be followed if the student leaves early because of sickness, appointments, or for other legitimate reasons. The student, or preferably a parent/guardian, must telephone the school when the student arrives home. Every effort will be made to notify working parents of such early departures.
DEPARTURE FROM CLASS
If a student has to leave class early, this fact will be recorded on the Absentee List posted for all teachers during the morning. The student should remind the class teacher at the beginning of the period of his/her early departure.
No student may leave class without the teacher's permission
Students in grades 8 and 9 may not leave the school grounds between 8:30 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. except with the permission of a teacher on duty. If a student from these grades wishes to go home for lunch on a regular basis, or at any time, the student must bring a note signed by a parent/guardian requesting this, with a date and time.
Permission to go home for lunch is simply that; it is not permission to go to a cafe, store, or elsewhere. If a parent/guardian wishes to take his/her child out to lunch, the parent/guardian must report to the office before leaving the school.
Students in grades 10, 11 and 12 may leave the school grounds at break and lunchtime only. Students are required to have permission to leave the school grounds at any other time.
Food/drink must be consumed in designated areas only.
- We do not close the school unless we feel that conditions are too dangerous for driving.
- If the school is closed, we will by approximately 6:30 am:
a) broadcast on CKNW (AM 980 KHZ)
b) broadcast on our school website
- There will be no broadcast if school is open.
- If it begins to snow while school is in session, the school WILL NOT CLOSE until the last child has gone home. It is the parent's decision whether or not to pick up their children early.
- If conditions are bad where you live, please make your own decision whether or not to bring your child to school.
Remember, that the weather during the winter can change at any time, so all families should have emergency arrangements in place in case school has to close.
SPECIAL SCHOOL DAYS
Any school day on which the regular timetable is not in effect and a special activity held is considered to be as essential for attendance purposes as any regular day. Such days give an opportunity to educate in the broader sense. Examples of these days include the annual Walk-A-Thon, Student Council activities (Playland visit, etc.) and, most important of all, the Retreat and Workshop days. These are not to be considered days for dental, medical or other personal appointments to be made. Absences on these days, if unexcused, will be followed up by the administration.
DENTAL AND MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS
As far as possible, dental or medical appointments should be made after school or at a time when school is not in session. To help parents in planning, a schedule of all professional days and half-days is sent home in September. A doctor's or dentist's note is required as proof of attendance during school hours. The school reserves the right to phone a medical office to confirm the validity of an appointment.
VACATIONS OR TIME-OFF SCHOOL FOR NON-MEDICAL REASONS and EARLY DEPARTURE AT YEAR-END
Students absent from school because of family vacations, private vacations approved by their parents, or for non-medical reasons, and particularly for early departure before the official end of the school year on June 30, are absolutely responsible for making up missed work, and in the latter case no special arrangements for the early writing of final examinations will be made. Notification of such extended absences should be made to the school before the vacation. The school strongly advises families NOT to take their children out of school during the school year for vacations. If any government income is lost, the family will be charged accordingly.
The school office is open daily throughout the year from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. during holidays. The office is closed for a three-week period in the first three weeks of August.
SCHOOL OFFICE AND STAFF
Office staff will contact students only in a case of emergency.
Ideally, if a student has forgotten some item or if a family member wishes to give or have any item delivered to a student at school, the student and the family member involved must arrange to have the item brought to the main entrance on Parker Street either during break or lunch or at the end of the school day.
Students should not be on school property before 7:00 a.m. or after 3:30 p.m. unless the student is at the school outside these times by special arrangement with a teacher or a school administrator. Attendance at practices, rehearsals, concerts, plays, dances, or games is understood to be a special arrangement.
STUDENTS IN THE SCHOOL: WEEKENDS & VACATION PERIODS
No student should be in the school on the weekends or during vacation periods, unless there is a teacher present with the student, or for an activity at which and for which a teacher is in charge and responsible. Even though the school is open for use by other groups at other times, students should not enter the building.
ACADEMIC ISSUES & INFORMATION
- The academic year is divided into four reporting periods utilizing a linear grading system where marks are cumulative from September to June. There will be formal examinations at the end of December and in June.
- There are compulsory provincial final examinations in the following subjects:
Grade 10 - English, Mathematics, and Science
Grade 11 - Social Studies 11
Grade 12 - Communications and English
- There are currently three levels of academic recognition at Notre Dame:
i) Principal’s list - Overall rating of 89.5% or higher
ii) First Honors - Overall rating of 85.5% to 89.4%
iii) Second Honors - Overall rating of 79.5% to 85.4%
For students in grades 8-12, the academic average is based on their marks calculated from all of their courses. [This corresponds to the standards set forth by the Ministry of Education and is an amendment to the policy currently in the school agenda handbook].
This applies to all marks recorded up to and including the third reporting period.
REPORT CARDS AND PARENT-TEACHER INTERVIEWS
Report cards are issued four times a year. In mid-November parents will receive a copy of the report card prior to the parent-teacher interview session. In February and April, the report card will be mailed home or sent home with the student. In June, reports cards are given to the student to take home. Report cards include marks, work habits, comments, and absences. Parents are urged to refer to the school’s website for report card dates and other related issues. Parent-teacher interviews in February are by appointment only.
It is NDEC policy that any report card, including the final report in June and the yearbook, may be held back for any outstanding debt to the school.
NOTRE DAME EDUCATION COMMITTEE POLICY
RE: CHRISTIAN EDUCATION FAILURE
Any student who has an overall failure in Christian Education at the end of the school’s academic year will, in most cases, NOT be allowed to return to Notre Dame in the following year
Textbooks are expensive. When textbooks are issued to students, the numbers are recorded and a note is made of any existing damage. Students are required to pay for lost or stolen textbooks and for any damage done to textbooks while in their possession. A student who is required to write a final examination, but fails to return a textbook or pay its replacement cost may not receive his/her report card and yearbook until payment is made.
ACADEMIC PROBATION & THE ACADEMIC IMPROVEMENT CLASS
Any student who fails TWO or MORE subjects in any report period will be placed on ACADEMIC PROBATION. While on probation, the student must attend the mandatory Academic Improvement Class three times a week and, in most cases, may temporarily or permanently lose the privilege of participating in extra-curricular activities at school. Any student who continues to fail two or more subjects in any ensuing report period may lose the privilege of attending Notre Dame and/or reregistering for the following year. In most cases, when this decision is deemed necessary, the school will assist the student in finding a more suitable school for him/her.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AT NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame functions on a basis of friendly cooperation among staff, students, administrators and the larger community. Basic expectations are that students will behave in a responsible manner that
- promotes their active learning & that of others
- demonstrates respect for themselves, for others, and their property
- indicates a tolerance for different views, customs, cultures, genders, values, & abilities
- ensures safety for themselves & others
- develops a sense of community and pride in Notre Dame & its environment
Each student who attends Notre Dame is required to have read all school regulations. The parent of each student is required to do the same. Ignorance of these regulations will not be considered an excuse when determining sanctions in response to broken regulations.
The following behaviour from any Notre Dame student is unacceptable:
CHEATING & PLAGIARISM
This includes but is not restricted to the copying from another student or any undisclosed source in any form, or the altering of marks or report cards, etc.
UNSAFE & RECKLESS BEHAVIOUR
This includes but is not restricted to any action that would endanger anyone's safety, including tampering with or damaging in any manner fire extinguishers, fire alarms, computer hardware & networks, or security systems, etc.
No student is to consume/possess/share/give/sell alcohol in any amount at any school function at anytime or for any reason, be the function at the school or at another facility. Any evidence of prior consumption of alcohol when a student attends a school function is considered a breach of this regulation.
- No student, at anytime or for any reason, is to use illicit drugs in the school, on school property, during school hours or at any school function held at the school or at another facility or location.
- No student is to have in his/her possession, locker, school bag, purse, or vehicle, any amount of illicit drugs or related paraphernalia in the school, on school property or at any school function held at the school or at another facility or location.
- No student, at anytime or for any reason, is to give any drug, illicit or prescription, regardless of amount or substance, to another student, to sell any drug to any student or person, to share any drug with any student or person, to offer any drug to any student or person, in the school, on school property or at any school function held at the school or at another facility.
No student, at anytime or for any reason, is to have in his/her possession, locker, school bag, purse, or vehicle, any type of weapon in the school, on school property, or at any school function held at the school or at another facility. The school reserves the right to define “weapon” in a particular circumstance.
Consequences related the schools policy on alcohol, drugs, and weapons will, in most cases, involved one or more of the following:
- Expulsion (may include criminal charges)
BULLYING & HARASSMENT
No student, at any time, is to tease, threaten to hurt, or to hurt any other person. No student, at any time is to continually disturb, pester, or torment any other student. Racial, ethnic, sexual, or gender slurs are included in this offence. The Safety and well-being of children at Notre Dame is of paramount consideration. Children deserve to be protected from abuse, neglect, bullying, harm or threat of harm. Therefore, Notre Dame will ensure that children attending our school will experience a learning environment that enables every child to feel safe, accepted and respected.
Notre Dame will continuously develop strategies to make students feel valued, respected and connected within the school community. while remaining consistent with the independent school’s faith-values, cultural perspectives and philosophical values
Students with knowledge of such anti-social behaviour are expected to inform an appropriate adult.
Notre Dame supports and subscribes to the CISVA policy Erase Bullying. All parents and students are highly encouraged to familiarize themselves with this important information by clicking on the link below.
VIOLENCE AND RELATED ISSUES
No student, at any time or for any reason, may invite/encourage (an) other student(s) from Notre Dame or elsewhere to the premises or any school-related event to threaten/commit a violent act against any other student or member of the Notre Dame community.
It is only natural in a co-educational school for relationships to develop. However, the feelings of others must be respected at all times, and any excess of affection shown between two students at best causes embarrassment to others, and at worst gives scandal to the community.
LEGAL CONVICTIONS & PUBLIC SCANDAL
Any student who through legal process is convicted of any offence will be considered by Notre Dame to have caused serious damage to the reputation of the school.
Any student whose behaviour causes public scandal will also be considered to have seriously damaged the reputation of the school and will face serious consequences such as suspension and /or expulsion
Each student is assigned a locker for the year; that assigned locker is the responsibility of that student. The locker must be kept locked with a school issued combination lock. (Replacement or extra locks will be available for $10.00). Only school issued locks will be allowed on assigned lockers. Non-school locks (on assigned lockers) will be removed at the expense of the student). Each locker has a number; no other marks of any kind are permitted on lockers. A school administrator may open and search a locker at any time for good reason.
Large sums of money or valuables should not be brought to school and/or stored in lockers. The use of a locker by a student is a privilege, not a right. Abuse of that privilege may result in the school reclaiming the locker from the student. Any interior decoration of the locker must be in good taste.
Students may use school equipment only with the permission of a teacher. Any student who breaks or damages any item of school equipment will be required to pay the repair or replacement cost of the item. Students must report immediately to a teacher when equipment is broken or damaged. When it is apparent to the teacher that the damage to the equipment was not the fault of the student, the student will not be required to pay repair or replacement costs.
Student and staff safety is of paramount importance. Consequently student visitors are allowed in the school or on the property before, during or after school hours only if approved by the administration. Former students who have transferred out must be aware that Notre Dame is no longer their school. They no longer enjoy the use of school resources or property.
LOST AND FOUND
Money, wallets, jewellery, calculators, textbooks, or other valuables found in any part of the school or on any part of school property must be handed in to the office.
During P.E. classes and extracurricular activities, valuables such as money, jewellery and/or cellular phones should not be left in the change rooms. Please ensure that all valuables are safely stored in your personal lockers before you attend classes or events.
The school accepts no responsibility for lost/stolen articles.
The following areas of the school are off-limits to all students at all times unless a student enters with a teacher or other adult member of the Notre Dame staff: backstage areas and catwalks, drama rooms, the mechanical room, the main office, the GLC room and counsellors’ offices, the computer and library offices, the staffroom, the boardroom, storage rooms, the kitchen, all basement areas, all roofs, teachers' and P.E. offices, P.E. and school equipment rooms, and book-rooms.
Apart from when students attend class, students are not allowed to be in or remain in any classroom, computer room, laboratory, or the library without the explicit permission of the teacher in charge.
Only a student with a valid driver’s license is to operate a motor vehicle on school grounds. The vehicle must be parked in the upper area of the west end of the school property. The vehicle’s license number must be registered with the student’s GLC and the school office. The school speed limit is 20 km/h. The only access for student vehicles is the Kaslo west gate. Excessive speed, careless or reckless driving, riding on the outside of vehicles, the leaving of garbage, and other abuses, will result in the loss of this privilege. The school is not responsible for any damage caused to any vehicle parked on the school property or for any items stolen from same.
HANDHELD ELECTRONIC DEVICE POLICY
Personal electronic devices, i.e., cell phones, pagers, I pods, Mp3 players, digital cameras, electronic games or any unnecessary devices deemed potentially disruptive shall not be allowed in the school during school hours except during the break and lunch time.
Students bringing any electronic devices for a class project must make arrangements with the teacher or the administration for safekeeping.
If a device is discovered or heard during school hours, it will be confiscated by the teacher and handed in at the school office. Teachers have the right to inspect any student’s personal electronic device at any time. Students may claim any confiscated items at the end of the day from the school office. In some instances, it will be returned to the student’s parents.
As per the school’s Progressive Discipline model, the following consequences will be in place:
- Device confiscated for the first and second time may be retrieved at the end of the school day at the office.
- Device confiscated for the third time may be retrieved at the end of one week (end of school day) at the office.
- Subsequent violations of this policy may result in consequences that may include losing the device up to one week, meeting with the parents/guardian and/ or a loss of school privileges.
Cell Phones – the policy regarding electronic devices, including cell phones will remain in place for the upcoming school year. With respect to cell phones the policy reads:
Cell phones cannot be seen, heard or used throughout the instructional day. Violations of this policy will result in the phones being confiscated (up to one week) and/or returned only to a parent or guardian.
To help avoid the hassle of not having a cell phone for up to one full week, students/parents are reminded of the following:
- In the event of a minor or major emergency, students may use their cell phones in the main office area (after receiving permission)
- Parents/Guardians are asked to contact the main office (the old fashioned way) if they need to contact one or more of their children during school hours.
- Students may get permission to use a school phone if and when necessary.
The use of any handheld electronic device in an illicit fashion is a breach of the Notre Dame Regional Secondary School policy and the Criminal Code of Canada. Students who are in violation of this policy will be subject to school-imposed sanctions as laid out in the Agenda Book. Depending on the severity of the offence, this could include suspension, or even expulsion.
Please refer to this Agenda Book under “Unacceptable Behaviour and School Sanctions”.
EXAMINATIONS & TESTS
Text messaging or the transmitting of digital images under test conditions will be treated like any other form of cheating.
All Ministry of Education regulations governing the use of calculators during examinations or tests will be enforced at Notre Dame. For further information, please speak to the appropriate subject teacher, probably of Mathematics or Science, or refer to the link indicated below: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/exams/specs/calculator_policy.pdf
NO OTHER DEVICE WILL BE PERMITTED IN THE EXAMINATION OR TEST ROOM. Students writing Provincial Examinations should be aware of the specific guidelines governing electronic devices.
ALL MISCONDUCT. Any misconduct that occurs while the student is representing Notre Dame at any athletic event or game, competition, workshop, school-approved activity that is held at the school or at any other facility, in or out of Vancouver, the province or country, will be considered to have broken school regulations.
The school will not usually invoke its disciplinary sanctions for conduct occurring OFF the premises & OUTSIDE school hours, unless the misconduct adversely affects the standing of the school in the community or their relationships at school.
GENERAL DISCIPLINE POLICY
A spirit of Christ-like charity, respect for authority and mutual cooperation are essential elements of the learning environment at Notre Dame Regional Secondary. Students are expected to act with courtesy and respect toward one another and toward all members of the staff. They must take seriously their obligation to develop lifetime habits of self-control and concern for the well-being of others. Home and School will work together to help students to learn and live the qualities of responsible behavior and the elements of good citizenship.
A student who chooses to disrupt the good order of the school or to violate a policy or regulation will have to accept the consequences of those irresponsible choices. Appropriate discipline is within the discretion of the administration. Notre Dame Regional Secondary uses a system of progressive discipline which is designed to modify behaviors that interfere with this learning program.
Actions which violate the law, threaten or cause harm to other students or staff members, disrupt or impede the welfare and progress of the school community, or bring discredit to the school will not be tolerated. Such actions as well as other severe violations of school rules and/or other inappropriate conduct, may result in immediate dismissal. If a student persists in violating basic obligations of courtesy, consideration, respect, cooperation or safety, a Parent/Student/Administrator conference may be scheduled. If these cooperative efforts of parents and school staff prove ineffective, the student may lose the privilege of attending Notre Dame or may be denied re-admittance to the School.
It is within the rights of the administration to meet with students at any time during the course of the school day to discuss concerns or allegations of a disciplinary or academic nature. Depending on the nature of the meeting, parental presence may or may not be desired or requested. However, parental contact will be made as soon as the situation warrants it.
PLEASE NOTE: It is neither the jurisdiction nor the desire of Notre Dame Regional Secondary to specify what limits or freedoms parents/guardians may wish to set on their children’s behavior away from school or school sponsored activities. However, there are times and places in which the behavior of students reflect on Notre Dame. In all such cases, student behavior is definitely the jurisdiction of the school and appropriate measures will be taken. In accordance with our policy of progressive discipline, students who exhibit a behavior which is contrary to the mission and values of Notre Dame Regional Secondary will be facing one or more of the actions listed below.
The faculty and staff are encouraged to fill out an administrative referral form when student behavior is contrary to Notre Dame Regional Secondary’s rules, regulations and policies. One copy of the referral, with the appropriate action, is mailed to parents/guardians and other copies are distributed to the teacher who submitted the referral and to the vice principal or principal.
As outlined in the General Discipline Policy, Notre Dame subscribes to a Progressive Discipline Model. Such a model is designed in a way that repeat offenders regarding school policy violations will, in most cases, receive escalating consequences.
Notre Dame follows a Progressive Discipline Model that is intended to:
- Make clear the policies and expectations related to student behavior (i.e. letters home, student handbook, ND Website, full school, grade level and individual meetings.
- Make clear what the consequences will be when students make choices that violate one or more of the policies and/or expectations.
- Communicate with the student and parent(s) if and when initial intervention strategies are unsuccessful and the undesired behaviors continue.
- Put in writing clear stipulations when problems persist (i.e. probation, contract, etc.).
- Include correspondences and/or meetings with student and his/her parents to discuss the concerns related to the necessity of placing the student on probation or contract. Those meetings would take place prior to, during, and/or after the written documents have been prepared and would, in most cases, involve the GLC, the grade level Vice-Principal, and the Principal.
- Give students an opportunity to learn from their mistakes, improve their behavior, make better choices, and remain at Notre Dame.
This is an after school program for students who have violated school rules. Assignment to detention is made by individual teachers and/or the administrative staff. Students are given advance notice when possible and the parent/guardian is notified by phone.
In addition to this structured formal detention system, teachers have the authority to request that students stay after school under their supervision. Teachers may ask students to stay after school for either academic and/or disciplinary reasons. Parents/guardians will be notified through administrative referrals or by telephone.
Detentions will, in most cases, supersede participation in extra-curricular activities.
Saturday detention may be used if/when needed. Saturday detention is held from 8:30 to 11:30 AM.
When students choose not to comply with school rules, they can hurt the Notre Dame community. When appropriate, the Vice Principal may assign service to the community as a consequence for rule infractions. Such service, which may include light maintenance or office work, will be carefully supervised.
Students who are assigned to in-school suspension will be required to spend the entire instructional day or a number of periods, as determined by the administrative staff, in a specified room. Dismissal from an in-school suspension will usually be 30 minutes after the regular dismissal time.
Students are required to bring textbooks, pens, notebooks and other material for a full day of study. Teachers will provide specific assignments for students who attend in-school suspension. The Vice Principal is responsible for coordination of the program. Parents will be notified per administrative referral system or by telephone.
Depending on the severity of the incident or misbehavior, the administrative staff may remove students from school and from school-sponsored events for a stated period of time. During the time of suspension students are not permitted to be on school grounds nor to participate or attend any school activities.
Teachers are not responsible to provide make-up work or assignments to students who are suspended. Parents/guardians will be notified by mail or by telephone prior to the effective day of the suspension. A parent/student conference may be requested prior to readmission to school. In most cases, when a student is suspended, he/she will also be placed on probabtion for a length of time determinded by the administration (usually between 3 months and one full school year).
Under extreme conditions, students may be expelled. Students who are dismissed are not allowed to participate in activities sponsored by Notre Dame nor can they be present on school grounds without written permission of an administrator. Though expulsion is often the final resort regarding consequences, it may be put into effect immediately depending on the behavior and/or behavioral history of the student or students involved.
A parent conference may be scheduled as a way of developing common strategies leading to changes in student behavior. Such conferences may be initiated by parent-guardian, by faculty and staff, or by the administration.
- Students who demonstrate a serious and consistent lack of responsibility and disregard for school rules may be placed on probation.
- The length of the probation is determined by the administration.
- It must be understood that students on probation may be subject to dismissal and their participation at school events may be denied at the discretion of the administration.
In certain situations, the administration may deem it necessary to place a student on contract. When that happens, it usually means the student has one more opportunity to improve his/her behavior. The contract will clearly stipulate what is expected of that student. In most cases, if a student on contract violates any of the stipulations, he/she will lose the privilege of attending Notre Dame, effective immediately.
Any of the disciplinary procedures and consequences listed here are subject to constant review by the faculty and by the administrative staff and are subject to additions, deletions or changes without prior written notification.
Decisions by the administrative staff are always guided by the best interests of students, parents and staff for the welfare and safety of the entire Notre Dame community.
RULINGS ON DISCIPLINARY MATTERS BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF ARE FINAL (Please also see Appeal’s Process)
CONDUCT TOWARDS STAFF AND STUDENTS
Students are to be courteous in speaking to and about the faculty, staff and other students. Students are expected to manifest the highest level of sportsmanship at athletic contests and to act like ladies and gentlemen at all activities and assemblies.
No student will at anytime, or for any reason, threaten, strike, or attempt to strike, or damage the property of any member of the Notre Dame staff.
Whistling, shouting, loud talk, rowdy conduct and inappropriate physical contact (including displays of affection) are not permitted in the school building, or in the general vicinity of the school grounds.
DEFACING/DESTRUCTION OF SCHOOL PROPERTY
Students who are responsible for defacing/destroying school property, including textbooks, will be required to make restitution for the damages and, depending on the severity of the incident, may be dismissed from school and/or charged under BC criminal code.
Students who are involved with fighting on school grounds or during school related activities will, in most cases, be suspended (1-3 days). Students may also face dismissal from school depending on severity of the incident and the student’s behavioral history. A police report may also be filed, if appropriate.
False alarms or threats are disruptive to school, cost local authorities time and money, and create a hazard for all involved. Students who are apprehended for writing or calling false alarms or threats will be reported to the local law enforcement agency for legal action and suspended or dismissed from school.
HARASSMENT, HAZING AND VERBAL ALTERCATIONS
Bullying, intimidating, harassing, hazing, name calling, verbal and/or physical confrontations will not be tolerated. Students engaged in this type of misbehavior or in possession of materials clearly designed for such purposes will be disciplined according to the progressive discipline model and, depending on the severity of the incident, may face immediate and serious consequences.
Students who bring to school or have in their possession materials that are contrary to the values and mission of Notre Dame Regional Secondary will be subject to disciplinary action.
Insubordination is the refusal to follow a reasonable request, instruction, or order of any member of the school staff. Abusive language directed at a staff member is also regarded as insubordination and will not be tolerated. Consequences will be appropriate to the severity of the incident.
Appropriate language conducive to a Catholic school environment is expected at all times. Inappropriate language used in and around the school will be handled using the progressive discipline model. Inappropriate language used in the classroom or in any formal setting will result in immediate consequences that will include a detention. If and when such language is directed at a staff member the consequences will be more severe. Students involved in this type of behavior will be suspended. Depending on the severity and/or behavioral history of the student(s) more serious consequences may be deemed necessary immediately.
POSSESSION/USE OF WEAPONS
A weapon is any implement which could be used to threaten, endanger or injure oneself/or another person. If students are found with a weapon, parents and the police department will be contacted. Consequences will, in most cases, include suspension or dismissal from school will be based on the type of implement.
POSSESSION OR USE OF FIREWORKS
Possession or use of fireworks in any form is prohibited in school because of the obvious hazard of injury or fire. Students who bring any form of fireworks into school for their own use or to give to someone else, or have them in their possession or lockers, will be suspended. If warranted by the disruption caused or the potential hazard, students may face criminal charges and/or be dismissed from school.
In accordance with British Columbia provincial law, smoking in the school building or on school grounds is prohibited. By law, Notre Dame is a Tobacco Free school (includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco pipes, and all vapor-related products). School grounds are defined to include all school buildings, all outdoor grounds within the school’s property and all vehicles used to transport students or school personnel. Violators of the smoking policy will receive immediate consequences that will likely include 3 one hour detentions. Repeat offenders will face more serious consequences. Please note that the school smoking policy also applies to all vapor-related products. Those in possession of a vaporizer will likely face suspension.
THE APPEAL PROCESS FOR SUSPENSION, PROBATION, & EXPULSION
When an appeal of an expulsion is brought to a local Education Committee, an appeal sub-committee will be appointed to hear the case. The decision to overturn the expulsion must be based on one or more of the following points:
- Did the student commit the infraction he/she is accused of?
- Is the infraction covered by the school’s policy and does the policy allow the sanction of expulsion?
- Is the policy being applied properly?
- Has the school followed both its own and Archdiocesan policy regarding the handling of the expulsion?
Often parents will appeal a decision to expel, although they agree that the student is guilty of the infraction and that the school followed policy correctly. As such, the parents are not appealing the correctness of the decision, but are asking for clemency.
If an appeal is made beyond the local education committee, the CISVA Board of Directors will only address the four principles (in italics), not the issue of clemency.
- Appropriate documents for this Appeal process will be given to the student’s parent(s) at the time the sanction is imposed.
- All CISVA policies in this area supersede those of the school.
APPEAL AGAINST THE SANCTION OF EXPULSION
Because a sanction to expel a student is so serious a matter, a special process governs such appeals:
- After the Principal has followed the sanction procedure concerning a breach of school regulations considered by the school to be of a sufficiently serious nature, even were the offence not specifically mentioned in this policy, and the Principal has decided on the sanction of expulsion and has informed the family of same in writing, the Principal shall inform the family that it has the right to appeal the sanction to expel. The Principal will give the family a copy of the Notre Dame Appeal Policy.
- The family has two (2) school days from the date of the expulsion notification to inform the Principal of its decision to appeal.
- When an appeal against expulsion is being launched, the sanction to expel shall be termed "pending" until the appeal hearing has taken place, and until such time that the N.D.E.C. Appeal Authority has presented a decision on the appeal, and during this time the student shall be termed to be on an "away suspension".
PROBLEMS AND COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
We all experience problems in different areas of our lives. If and when problems do occur in relation to the school, the procedures outlined below should be followed. These procedures apply to anyone wishing to make a complaint.
If the difficulty concerns ACADEMICS, the teacher involved must be contacted first. If this does not resolve the matter, the Department Head should be notified. The Department Head will only discuss the matter after the teacher concerned has been contacted. If this has been done and the problem is still unresolved, the Principal should be approached.
If the difficulty concerns an action or a decision taken by a TEACHER or concerns the teacher's behaviour, the teacher concerned should be contacted first. If this has been done and the concern or complaint is still unresolved, the Principal should be approached.
If the difficulty concerns NON-TEACHING PERSONNEL, the member of staff involved must be approached to discuss the matter. If this has been done and the problem is still unresolved, the Principal should be approached.
If the difficulty concerns a CONFIDENTIAL AREA, one of the following persons should be contacted to discuss the matter: the Principal, the Chairperson of the Education Committee, or the Archbishop's Representative.
If the difficulty concerns PAYMENT OF SCHOOL FEES, one of the following persons should be contacted: your Pastor, the Chairperson of the Education Committee, your Parish Representative, or the Archbishop's Representative.
If the difficulty concerns SCHOOL POLICY, (any area of school life that is not covered by the above-mentioned areas: e.g. fee structure, uniforms, programs, etc.), your Parish Representative should be contacted, or a letter sent to the Education Committee, c/o Notre Dame Regional Secondary School.
Should a family or student have difficulty with our school regulations, the family or student should contact the Notre Dame Education Committee in writing, c/o Notre Dame Regional Secondary School. Families and students should note that school regulations are school policy and all concerned should be aware of school policy, especially in the following areas: lateness, absence from school, vacations or time-off for non-medical reasons, drugs, alcohol, weapons, violence, lying, damage to property, theft, uniform, public scandal, and conduct toward staff.
School sanctions are also a matter of school policy, and families and students are strongly advised to know and be fully familiar with our sanctions and our sanctions process concerning detentions, suspension in school and away from school, probation, contract, and expulsion.
The school reserves the right when dealing with any type of misconduct manifested by any student to consider the student's entire record regarding school regulations in reaching a decision on a sanction on any particular breach of school regulations.
COMPLAINTS CONCERNING SANCTIONS
- A parent/guardian who wishes to make a complaint about a sanction applied by a school administrator to his/her son/daughter may do so by writing to the Education Committee, c/o Notre Dame Regional Secondary School.
- When a parent/guardian does decide to make a complaint, it is very important that the parent/guardian state the full facts surrounding a student's behaviour and the exact reasons why the parent/guardian is making the complaint to the Education Committee.
- The Education Committee will respond to the complaint in writing, and may in some circumstances invite the parent/guardian, and also the student concerned, to attend a meeting of the Education Committee's Executive.
INTERNET ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
Notre Dame provides students with access to the Internet with its informational resources, and searching and browsing tools. This access is a privilege, not a right, and it is made available only so long as the student agrees to the Acceptable Use Policy. Inappropriate use of the Internet will lead to suspension of user privileges, and possibly other consequences.
A list of guidelines follows, as well as a list of specific behaviours that may lead to the suspension or the termination of privileges.
- Use of the Internet is intended for educational and/or research purposes.
- When interacting with others on the Internet, students are expected to behave as they would in any other environment where they represent the school.
- Using the Internet for illegal, inappropriate, or obscene purposes, or in support of such activities, is prohibited.
- The Internet is a shared resource, and must be used in moderation. Students must be aware that there are other Notre Dame users who will want to access the Internet.
- The use of "Chat" areas is not permitted.
- The use of web-based mail services (e.g. HotMail) is not permitted at this time.
- Playing on-line games is not permitted.
Inappropriate use of the Internet includes, but is not limited to the following:
- the transmission of any materials in violation of Canadian or international laws;
- the duplication, storage, or transmission of pornographic materials;
- the transmission or posting of threatening, abusive, or obscene material;
- the duplication, storage, or transmission of copyrighted material that violates copyright law;
- the participation in pyramid schemes.
When interacting with others on the Internet, students should NOT:
- criticize the spelling , writing or keyboarding of others;
- re-post personal e-mail that they receive to public forums (e.g. list serves, newsgroups) without the permission of the author;
- use abusive, vulgar, profane, obscene or other inappropriate language.
CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLATION OF GUIDELINES
These are dependent on the seriousness of the infraction:
- loss of Internet access;
- loss of access to networked computers;
- no access to Notre Dame computing facilities of any sort (includes removal from a computer-dependent course);
- ultimately, suspension or expulsion.
In each case the parent will be notified, as will the student’s grade level coordinator and an Administrator.
Notre Dame is proud of its ongoing commitment to educational technology. Teachers and students will strive to ensure that this commitment is in no way threatened by any actions that could harm our community.
A reminder to all: All parents please use our parking lot for any pick-up or drop-off. If you choose to use Venables, please make sure that you pull over to the curb before having your child exit the vechicle. DO NOT at anytime stop in the middle of the street for drop-off or pick-up. This complies with the Motor Vehicle Act of British Columbia. Failure to follow these procedures could result in a ticket, or worse a serious injury.
We would also urge you to discuss with your child the need to make sure they look both ways to ensure that they are in a safe position to cross the street. All students will be advised to excercise due diligence regarding traffic safetly in and around the school.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Mr. R. DesLauriers,