Safe & Secure Schools
The WCDSB takes the safety and security of all students very seriously. Please reference our board website for detailed information from the Ministry and board regarding policies and procedures. School specific plans and information related to Safe Schools legislation and WCDSB policies are listed below.
Safe and Inclusive School Team
School Administrator: Ben McKinnon
Teacher(s): Mr. Townshend
Non-Teacher: Mrs. Casey
Community Partner: Victoria Makins, ROW Public Health
Parent: Barb Tikel
Student(s): Two intermediate students (one male, one female)
School Monitoring and Review Process
The Safe Schools Team will meet three times per school year: October, February, May
Professional Development For Members of the School Community
Members of our school community will receive bullying prevention training through:
- Encourage attendance at board sponsored workshops on positive discipline and dealing with bullying
- Provision of professional development materials and resources
- Sharing information at staff meetings
- Integrating the principles of Restorative Justice & Conflict Resolution in to teaching practice
Parent Communication Strategies
We will communicate our Bullying Prevention strategies and initiatives by:
- Including our Bullying Prevention plan in our school handbook
- Including bullying information in our electronic school newsletters and other in-house publications
- Sharing information during school assemblies and announcements
- Sharing information at School Council and other parent meetings
- Informing parents and school volunteers of our procedures for reporting incidents of bullying
- Helping parents build awareness and knowledge so they may support our positive discipline strategies
Positive School Climate Strategies
WCDSB Mission: As Disciples of Christ, we educate and nurture hope in all learners to realize their full potential to transform God’s world.
WCDSB Vision: Heart of the community– success for each, a place for all.
It is our belief that the school board’s mission and vision statements should drive our actions to ensure St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School is a place for all. This starts by creating a caring school environment with staff supporting and modeling positive interactions with students. The activities below recognize the importance of creating a positive environment that focuses on student recognition and listening to the needs of students. Unless stated otherwise, the strategies below are currently in place at St. Joseph CES.
- Student recognition programs in every classroom (e.g., bucket fillers, catch a kid, WWJD)
- Classroom Meetings
- WWJD recognition – staff will continue to recognize all student behaviour that demonstrates Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations with a WWJD card. All staff are encouraged to recognize any student…not just those in their own classroom (i.e., a whole school approach to positive recognition). Students are also encouraged to recognise their peers for WWJD behaviours, actions, and words. Together, we can make our school community a better place for all. At the end of each week, two students from each class are selected at random and are recognized for their efforts via an announcement. All WWJD cards are distributed to students to take home at the end of each week.
- Sharing good news items (i.e. local hockey teams, individual accomplishments, etc.)
- SRO visits – Waterloo Regional Police School Resource Officer program
- Religion & Family Life curriculum
- PALS (Playground Activity Leaders in Schools) Program – “There is always room for one more.”
- Intramurals Program (Primary, Junior and intermediate activities and leagues)
- Clubs in the Learning Commons – Bananagrams, shoe tying club, games club, Lego club etc.
- St. Joseph School Teams (i.e. Boys and Girls 3 Pitch, Soccer, Basketball, etc.)
- Play Day –(K-6)
- School Liturgies in the gym and School Masses
- Student Leadership opportunities: Kindergarten helpers /door monitors/ Primary Lunch buddies
- Bus and Safety Patrollers
- Behaviour / Safety Plans, etc.
- Yard supervision folders and use of two way radios
- Guest readers, performers and speakers (e.g., Sara Westbrook)
Supporting Discipline Through Positive Relationships
- Foster positive relationships with students by encouraging mutual respect
- Always reference WWJD: What Would Jesus Do?
- Watch for signs of bullying and stopping it when it happens
- Respond quickly and in a supportive manner to reports of bullying or other behavioural situations
- Take parents’ concerns about incidents and bullying seriously
- Progressive Discipline consequences for inappropriate behaviours
- Provide a safe environment for students who report bullying
- Model positive ways of getting along with others
- Treat each other respectfully; always follow our Gospel values
- Refuse to bully others
- Refuse to let others be bullied
- Do not stand by as other students are teased or bullied
- Include everyone in play, especially those who are often left out
- Report bullying to a trusted adult
- Model positive ways of getting along with others (i.e. during a disagreement)
- Help your son/daughter find ways to express anger that do not involve hurting others physically or emotionally
- Teach problem solving skills
- Inform school staff if your child tells them about a bullying incident
- Support the school’s bullying-prevention efforts
- Help your son/daughter understand the value of accepting and celebrating individual differences
- Be alert to signs your child is being bullied or may be bullying others
Responding to incidents of bullying and other inappropriate behaviour
When responding to a bullying incident, our school staff uses a progressive discipline approach. Strategies may range from early intervention to more intensive intervention in cases of persistent bullying, with possible referral to board support personnel, community or social service agencies.
Consequences are at the discretion of the Principal. Major discipline issues such as violent incidents or consistent bullying may accelerate responses and interventions to more advanced level as outlined in the Provincial Code of Conduct and Waterloo Catholic District School Board of Conduct.
Progressive Discipline Consequences may include early and/or ongoing intervention strategies such as:
- Completion of a “Student Incident Form & Restorative Justice Action plan” – filed in classrooms
- Contact with parents/guardians – note in the agenda, phone call, meeting …
- Review of expectations
- Written work assignments with a learning component
- Referral to counseling and/or community agency for anger management
- Conflict mediation and resolution and/or consultation
- Withdrawal of privileges
- Restitution for damages
- Completion of Bill 157, “Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form” – In the determination of the Principal, incidents that may lead to a suspension are filed in the school for 1 year – Incidents that may lead to a suspension and involve bullying are filed in the school for a period of 3 years
Progressive discipline is most effective when dialogue between the school and home regarding student achievement, behaviour and expectations is open, courteous and focused on student success.
When addressing inappropriate behaviour, school staff should consider the particular pupil and circumstances including mitigating and other factors as set out in the Student Discipline Procedures, the nature, and severity of the behaviour and the impact on the school climate.