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AE Safe and Caring Schools

Adopted:  January 13, 2004

Policy

The Board expects staff and students to model and reinforce socially responsible and respectful behaviors so that teaching and learning can occur in safe and caring environments.

Definitions

Safe:

Untouched or not exposed to danger; secure from damage, harm or loss.

Caring:

Watchful attention, concern, custody, diligence, direction; to be concerned with and attend to the needs of others.

Secure:

Protected from unauthorized access.

Safe and Caring School:

A safe and caring school is physically, emotionally and psychologically safe for students and staff.  It is an environment wherein everyone is accorded respect and dignity, and their safety and well-being are paramount considerations.

Critical Incident:

An event or condition with the potential to jeopardize the safety or security of persons and/ or to cause damage to Board property or reputation.

Guidelines

1.   In educating its students, the goal of the Board is to develop responsible, caring and respectful members of a just, peaceful and democratic society.

2.   The Board believes that promoting a safe and caring school system requires the support and assistance of all members of the jurisdiction’s community.

3.   Discipline is an essential part of a positive school climate.  A positive school climate contributes to the prevention and reduction of misconduct in schools.

4.   The best educational interests of students and fundamental rights and safety of all school community members are paramount considerations.

Procedures

Responsibilities

1.   The School Board shall:

  • ensure that all schools are safe and caring by requiring schools to develop, implement and continually evaluate policies, programs and practices to prevent and respond to incidents or situations that disrupt teaching and learning;

  • provide direction, support and staff development opportunities to schools in the development and implementation of violence prevention programs and prevention and management of critical incidents.

2.   The school Principal shall:

  • Develop action plans in consultation with students, staff, parents, school council, and community resources that:

  • provide for management of critical incidents affecting the school;

  • establish criteria for implementing and evaluating violence prevention programs;

  • clarify roles and responsibilities of students, staff, parents and community resources that support a safe and caring school;

  • provide information management and internal/external communication protocol;

  • provide for staff development and training.

3.   The school staff shall:

  • establish learning environments wherein students feel physically, emotionally and psychologically safe and secure.

  • be respectful of students’ human dignity;

  • seek to establish a positive professional relationship with students that is characterized by mutual respect, trust and harmony;

  • model beliefs, principles, values and intellectual characteristics outlined in the “Guide to Education, ECS to Grade 12” and programs of study, and guide students to do the same.

4.   Students shall:

  • conduct themselves so as to reasonably comply with the following code of conduct:

  • be diligent in pursuing their studies;

  • attend school regularly and punctually;

  • comply fully with everyone authorized by the Board to provide education programs and other services;

  • comply with the rules of the school;

  • account to their teachers for their conduct;

  • respect the rights of others.

  • Demonstrate desirable personal characteristics and behaviors when interacting with others that are respectful, responsible, fair, honest, caring, loyal and committed to democratic ideals.

5.   Parents and School Council members shall:

  • Advise and consult with the Principal on matters related to student conduct, discipline and consequences, and safe and caring climate of the school.

6.   Student Conduct Policy

  • Schools must establish a student conduct policy which outlines expectations for student conduct and behavior, school rules and a range of consequences for noncompliance by students.

  • The student conduct policy shall be communicated to students and parents each school year.

7.   Prevention and Management of Critical Incidents

  • A copy of the Handbook for the Prevention and Management of Critical Incidents will be updated each school year and provided to each site in the District.

  • Schools must use the handbook as a guide to deal with the prevention and management of critical incidents.

  • Schools must have action plans specific to their students, staff, building and school community for critical incidents which should include: the establishment of a school prevention and response team; a comprehensive communications plan; evacuation, security (lock down) and crowd/traffic control procedures; staff and student medical information; training and practices; adapting emergency procedures to the school; specific incident response planning; recovery procedures.

  • Depending on the scope of a critical incident, schools may become part of a district or community-wide action plan or response, e.g., Regional Munici­pality’s Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC).

References

Legal Reference:

Alberta School Act: Preamble , 3(1) , 7 , 13 , 15 , 17 , 19 , 21 , 28(7) , 44, 103,  104, 105
Handbook for the Prevention and Management of Critical Incidents

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