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Plymouth Public School – Code of Conduct

Students at Plymouth School, like members of any community, have both rights and responsibilities.  The school is obliged to protect these rights and ensure that students uphold their responsibilities.

A school provides its students academic knowledge and skills that will help them to be successful citizens in the future.  To accomplish this goal, there must be rules.  These rules tell us what is acceptable, what is not, and help make it possible for everyone in the school to live and work together in a productive and positive learning environment.

This guide is designed to make sure that students, parents and teachers all understand their rights and responsibilities, the school rules, and the consequences for students who do not comply with these standards.

A Word to the Parents Visitors to the School Student Rights and Responsibilities Teacher Rights and Responsibilities
Parent Rights and Responsibilities Student Conduct Expectations Violations and Consequences Violence
Behaviour Dress Code Language Netiquette
Attendance and Punctuality Care of School Property Lunch Procedures Smoking
Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, Prescription Medications Weapons Prohibited Items Busing Instructions

A Word to the Parents

We need your help.  As a parent, you play an important role in the education of your children.  You have a responsibility to support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all students.  You fulfill this responsibility when you:

¨   Show an active interest in your child’s school work and progress

¨   Communicate regularly with the school

¨   Help your child be neat, appropriately dressed and prepared for school

¨   Ensure that your child attends school regularly and on time

¨   Promptly report to the school your child’s absence or late arrival

¨   Become familiar with the Code of Conduct and school rules

¨   Encourage and assist your child to follow the rules of behaviour

¨   Assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues

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Visitors to the School
All visitors must report to the office when entering the school.  Parents and guardians are considered to be visitors and therefore must report.

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Rights and Responsibilities

1. Students

Students have the right to …

¨   Receive the best education program possible designed to meet their needs

¨   Feel safe and secure from physical and verbal harassment

¨   Be treated in a fair and consistent manner

¨   A clean and pleasant learning environment

¨   Receive assistance for social, emotional and academic concerns

It is expected that students will …

¨   Participate in learning activities to the best of their ability

¨   Attend school regularly and on time

¨   Adhere to the school rules and expectations when in class, on and around the school grounds and during any school-sponsored activity

¨   Respect the rights, feelings and property of everyone associated with our school

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Rights and Responsibilities (Continued)

2. Teachers

Teachers have the right to …

¨   Expect their students to behave in a cooperative and attentive manner

¨   Receive support from parents, administration and officials in fulfilling their duties

¨   Expect their students to be prepared in class, i.e. homework, assignments and necessary equipment and supplies

It is expected that teachers will …

¨   Treat all students in a fair and consistent manner

¨   Treat all students as individuals and attempt to meet their individual needs

¨   Provide a pleasant and friendly learning environment for their students

¨   Prepare interesting and effective lessons for their students

¨   Keep parents informed regarding the behaviour and academic progress of their children

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3. Parents

Parents have the right to …

¨   Be informed of the academic and social progress of their children

¨   Expect teachers to act as “kind, but firm, judicious parents”

¨   Be provided with an educational program to meet the individual needs of their children

¨   Have their children receive an education in a warm, pleasant and secure learning environment

It is expected that parents will …

¨   Report to the office when entering the school

¨   Ensure that their children are in good health to attend school regularly and on time

¨   Be actively involved in supporting and assisting the education of their children both at home and in the school

¨   Encourage their children to become actively involved in the total school program

¨   Communicate with the school regarding the progress of their children

¨   Ensure the health of their children through good nutrition, appropriate exercise and dress

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School Rules

Student Conduct Expectations

Students must develop self-discipline and problem-solving skills.  They must respect the rights and property of others. 

These skills and behaviours are learned at home and at school.  By working together, we can encourage our children to become good decision makers, problem solvers and responsible, caring citizens.

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Violations and Consequences

Violation of rules that are known and understood must be followed by consequences that are also known and understood.  The most common expectations and procedures are presented here.  No such list can be complete; other situations may arise. 

It should be understood that each incident will be dealt with individually and with a disciplinary action that suits both the infraction and the student.  A consequence should be one that will bring about a change of attitude and behaviour by the offending person.  Ultimately, an offence should not recur.

Consequences may include the following:

Discussion – the student meets with a teacher, youth worker, vice principal or principal to talk about the problem in order to avoid another instance

Detention – the student is detained, usually to make up for lost or wasted instructional time

Community Service – the student loses freedom at recesses and / or lunchtime and performs tasks to enhance the school environment

Withdrawal of Privileges – the student loses the opportunity to participate in optional activities where appropriate behaviour is essential

Alternative Learning Environment – the student is withdrawn from class to a quiet workplace within the school for a specific length of time

Out-of-School Suspension – a measure taken under the authority of the Education Act for persistent opposition to authority and for serious breaches of the behaviour code

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1. Violence

Violence is forbidden on school property, on any school bus and while on school trips.  This includes any incident where the physical or emotional well-being of any person is threatened. 

Physical acts – fighting, biting, hitting, etc.

Verbal acts – threats, insults, racial slurs, etc. and including e-mail harassment

Sexual acts – inappropriate touching, suggestions, etc.

Students witnessing any of these acts are expected to report them to a staff member.  Failure to report, or being a “bystander” is considered being part of the “act.”

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2.  Behaviour

Appropriate behaviour includes …

¨   Treating classmates and peers fairly and with respect for each person’s uniqueness

¨   Showing respect and consideration at all times for the authority of teachers, supply  teachers, volunteers and other school personnel, including student monitors and helpers

¨   Demonstrating courtesy during assemblies or presentations and showing respect to those being honoured or performing

¨   Walking quietly on the right side of hallways

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3. Dress

Students are required to wear clothing that is neat, clean and appropriate for the school environment.  Clothing that is provocative or carries racial, religious, sexual or obscene messages is not allowed.  Provocative clothing not allowed includes, but is not limited to, the following:

¨   Visible undergarments

¨   Bare midriffs

¨   Short shorts

¨   Tube tops

The principal, or teacher-in-charge will determine the appropriateness of dress.

Hats, caps and hoods must be removed upon entering the building.  Outdoor clothing and winter footwear must be stored neatly in the lockers or designated areas.

In the interest of good health and safety, appropriate gym attire is to be worn for Physical Education and sports activities. The school may designate specific gym attire.

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4. Language

Profanity or remarks spoken in a way that offends others will not be tolerated.

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5. Netiquette – Code of Conduct for the Internet

Every student has access to the Internet under teacher supervision.  With the privilege of using the Internet comes the responsibility to use it appropriately.  Board policy requires that each student and parent sign a contract called “Netiquette” before going online. 

This contract outlines the etiquette and appropriate use of the Internet by all District School Board of Niagara students and staff. 

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6. Attendance and Punctuality

All students must attend classes punctually and regularly. 

The District School Board has a call back policy for absent students.  It is important that an adult place a call to our secretary (or at any time to our answering machine) at 905-732-4110 to inform the office if your child will be absent or late.  Otherwise, the school must attempt to reach you or an emergency alternate.

A note is required if a child is going to arrive late or be dismissed early.  If your child is to be picked up by an alternative caregiver or guardian, the school must be notified.

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7. Care of School Property

As a student, you are expected to take care of things the school lets you use.  This includes property such as textbooks, library books and materials, furniture and equipment, buildings and grounds.  Graffiti is strictly prohibited anywhere.  Vandalism is a violation of the law and will not be tolerated.

Locker use is a privilege.  As such, lockers are subject to inspection at any time by school staff.  Lockers and desks must be kept clean and free of litter.  Note that opened beverage containers are not allowed in lockers. 

All students share the responsibility of keeping the school and school grounds clean.

Students are expected to report any damage of school property to the office immediately.

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8. Lunch Procedures

Students are encouraged to go home for lunch when the distance is practical.  Orchard Park is on a “Balanced School Day” schedule.  This means that the students have two 20 minute nutrition breaks and two 20 minute fitness breaks during the day.  The first break takes place between 10:40 a.m. and 11:20 a.m., and the second break between 1:00 p.m. and 1:40 p.m.  Students that go home for lunch are to do so during the second nutrition break only.  Students that stay at the school to eat are in supervised classrooms. 

Students are expected to eat their lunches seated in a polite, orderly fashion and tidy up their eating area when done.  They must obtain permission from a supervisor to go to the washroom.

Students who stay for lunch MUST REMAIN ON SCHOOL PROPERTY for the duration of the lunch period.  A written note from a parent is required for a lunch student to leave school property.  Any parent or guardian picking up a student for lunch must inform the office.

Failure to act appropriately may result in the loss of lunchtime privileges.

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9.  Smoking

It is illegal for persons under the age of 19 to purchase tobacco products.  The School Board forbids students to possess, use, or smoke tobacco on school property or on a school bus.

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10. Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, Prescription Medications

All school members must not be in possession of, be under the influence of, or provide others with, alcohol or illegal drugs.  All prescription medications must be stored and dispensed at the office.

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11. Weapons

All school members …

¨   Must not be in possession of any weapon, including but not limited to firearms.

¨   Must not use any object to threaten or intimidate another person.

¨   Must not cause injury to any person with an object.

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12. Prohibited Items

Some objects are prohibited at school because they are dangerous to you or others.  These items include matches, lighters, unauthorized pills and medicines, pets, pocketknives, firecrackers, cap guns and toy weapons.

Certain items may not be used on school grounds.  This includes items such as skateboards, roller blades, Heelies, scooters, cell phones, pagers, electronic games and other items the school may deem to be inappropriate.

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13. Busing Instructions

All school rules apply on the bus as they do at school.

Students are expected to …

¨   Remain in their seats as directed by the driver

¨   Not distract the driver in any way (including unnecessary noise or uncooperative behaviour)

¨   Use polite language

¨   Demonstrate acceptable behaviour with respect to the rights of other passengers

Any parent or guardian picking up a student who normally takes the bus must inform the office.

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14. Textbooks, Library Books, Other Resource Materials

These items are on loan to students during the school year and are collected at the end of the year.  The student and/or parent is responsible for the cost of any loss or damage beyond normal use.  The school reserves the right to withhold school records until the item is returned or satisfactory restitution is made.

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