Creating Communities of Peace
We have developed a progressive discipline framework Called to Care… Called to Action … Called to Rebuild. It is our purpose to create safe and caring community schools which respect individuality, celebrate harmony, and strive to promote and develop responsible behaviour based on gospel values and shared discipleship. In response to Safe School legislation, policies and procedures, programs are being implemented in all our schools in consultation with our valued partners.
- A Safe School Resource and Administrative Manual provides resources and best practices.
- Anti-bullying prevention and intervention plans and procedures for tracking and reporting incidents are required.
- Progressive discipline with a continuum of interventions, supports and consequences are used to encourage students to make good choices and address inappropriate behaviour. The approach is corrective and supportive rather than punitive.
- Interventions are applied in consideration of mitigating circumstances and are consistent with the student’s strengths, needs, goals and expectations contained in his/her individual education plan.
- Empathy, social skill and anger management activities and programs are designed to encourage healthy relationships and positive behaviours.
- Training opportunities are provided and students are given leadership opportunities. The Board Catholic Code of Conduct is clearly outlined for staff, parents and community partners.
- All staff will report bullying incidents to the principal and parents, which will be responded to as per the Ministry guidelines.
Rooted in the positive relationships between home, school and parish, we recognize that students need to feel connected, capable and contributing members of our school and faith communities. All staff and students have been trained and are implementing Restorative Practices with a focus on building, maintaining and repairing relationships. Wrong doing and conflict result in harm to people. Classroom meetings and “talking” circles explicitly build positive relationship and enhance school climate. Restorative practices seek to heal and right the wrongs and focuses on the needs of the harmed, those responsible for the harm and the community. By meeting face to face, the restorative process encourages healthy communication, accountability, healing and closure for all.
Community VTRA Protocol: Violence, Threat Risk Assessment
A Collaborative Response to Assessing Potential Violence has been created by both school boards in partnership with Police Services and Community Agencies. The protocol supports collaborative planning and to reduce violence and support safe, caring and restorative approaches within our schools and communities. Specialized training, provided by experts in the field, has allowed key staff members enables the school and community partners assessment team to respond and develop intervention plans.
A revised local police-school board protocol based on the new provincial model has been developed and is being implemented with the different police services across our eight counties.
Specialized Supports and Programs
When serious conflict occurs and student behaviour is deemed unsafe, progressively intensive supports must be employed. Crisis along with Itinerant ABLE Workers support the school teams to help stabilize students and support staff to develop successful programs and plans at the school level. This process includes reviewing and revising the student safety plan or plan for success, modelling different strategies and enlisting support from parents and community partners.
Specialized A.B.L.E. (Alternative Behaviour Learning Environments) programs are provided as alternatives to suspension or long term suspension placements. In this supportive small group setting focused student action plans with academic and behavioural goals are completed and restorative reentry meetings occur when students are ready to return to their community schools.
Day treatment programs are available for students requiring longer term support from mental health agencies who as partners play an important therapeutic role in these classrooms. Mental Health and Addictions workers in our Turning Points, a partners program, in Smiths Falls and Cornwall focuses on helping students deal with mental health and addiction issues.
Enhancing Communication and Partnerships
The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meets monthly to review and discuss the Board’s annual plan, programs and policies. The minutes and agendas are posted on the Board website and a copy of the Annual Plan on the provision of Special Education programs and services is provided to each school for parents and staff review.
The Board continues to be the lead Board responsible for the Student Support Leadership Initiative implemented with our partner agencies and coterminous Board. The Checkered Flags: Everyone’s Responsibility resource document was launched in partnership with various police and community agencies, and sets the protocol for addressing and responding to students in need.