Board Policies & Administrative Procedures

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AP 3 – 26: Welcoming, Caring, Respectful, Safe and Inclusive Schools

Related Policies:
Related Procedures:
Exhibits:
Initial Approval: 2014 June 25
Last Amended:
Last Reviewed: 2019 November 28


PURPOSE

To promote and maintain welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environments that respect diversity, equity, human rights and fosters a sense of belonging among all members of the school community.


SCOPE

This procedure applies to all Chinook’s Edge School Division students and staff, parents/guardians and community members.


DEFINITIONS

Welcoming, Caring, Respectful, Safe and Inclusive School Learning Environment: A school community that is physically, emotionally, intellectually 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.

School Community: Includes students, school staff, school council, parents/guardians, community members and others (including the Board and Division Office) with ties to the interests of the neighborhood school and school division.

Violent/Threat Making/High Risk Behaviours that may require an Assessment/Intervention:

Immediate: A threat to harm and being in possession of a weapon
High Risk: Being in possession of a weapon, sexual intimidation, fire setting, making bomb threats and threats to kill or injure others
Worrisome: Drawing pictures, writing stories or making vague statements that do not, of themselves, constitute uttering threats but are causing concern because of their violent or destructive content.

Bullying: Bullying is a relationship problem and is an assertion of interpersonal power through aggression. It involves repeated and hostile or demeaning behaviour by an individual in the school community where the behaviour is intended to cause harm, fear of distress to one or more other individuals in the school community, including psychological harm or harm to an individual’s reputation and is marked by an imbalance of power. Bullying may include, but is not limited to: Repeated incidences of physical aggression and assault; extortion; verbal or written threats; social alienation; including degrading comments with regard to race, gender, religion or sexual orientation; teasing, put downs and humiliation; threatening looks, gestures or actions; hurtful rumors; false accusations; or the use of technology to disseminate hurtful intentions. Bullying is NOT Social Conflict. A disagreement or difference in perspective and is a normal part of social interaction. Students may require support to learn how to resolve their conflicts respectfully and productively.

The four most common types of bullying are:

  • Verbal Bullying—repeated name calling, sarcasm, teasing, spreading rumours, threatening, making references to one’s culture, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, unwanted comments.
  • Social (Relational) Bullying—repeated mobbing, scapegoating, purposely excluding others from a group to cause harm, humiliating others, gestures or graffiti intended to put others down.
  • Physical Bullying—repeated hitting, poking, pinching, chasing, shoving, coercing, destroying possessions, unwanted sexual touching.
  • Cyber Bullying—repeated use of the internet or text messaging to intimidate, put down or spread rumours about someone, including anonymous acts.

Discrimination: Negative differential treatment of a person or group on the basis of race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation.

Inclusive: A way of thinking and acting that demonstrates universal acceptance of, and belonging, for all members of the school community.

Intimidation: Behaviour which is reasonably known to cause fear of injury or harm.

Restorative Practices: A practice that evolved out of Restorative Justice. It is a process to involve those who have a stake in a specific offence and to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible. While there are different processes under the ‘restorative justice’ umbrella, the underlying principles remain the same.


PROCEDURES

1. The Superintendent or designate shall:

1.1. Ensure that all schools promote and maintain a welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environment

1.2 Develop, implement and continually evaluate policy, programs and practices to prevent and respond to incidents that disrupt teaching and learning in the school community

1.3 Ensure that all schools access the Violent Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) training and implement current VTRA protocol supporting the investigation and/or assessment of all high risk behaviours and threat making behaviours

1.4 Ensure that all schools, consistently throughout the school year, implement approved research based education programs to promote and maintain welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive school cultures and the prevention of discrimination, intimidation and/or bullying behaviours.

2. The Principal shall:

2.1 Ensure all staff members share responsibility for proactively creating and maintaining welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environments that acknowledge and promote understanding, respect, and the recognition of the diversity, equity and human rights of all students and families within the school community.

2.2 Advise parents on how they can help create a safe environment for children by

1. Taking an active role in their child’s educational success, including assisting their child in complying to the requirements of section 4

2. Reporting to the Principal concerns related to student conduct, discipline and consequences

3. Ensuring their conduct, as parents, contributes to a welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environment.

2.3 Ensure all members of the school community are aware of the expectation to model respectful conduct, inclusive behaviour, and an understanding and appreciation for diversity, equity and human rights.

2.4 Create a clear communication strategy at the beginning of each school year (and other times during the year as needed) that informs students and parents/guardians that violent/threat making/high risk behaviour; discriminating, intimidating and bullying behaviour will be investigated fully and responded to in accordance with school procedures and Division protocols.

2.4.1 Ensure the definition of bullying and how it is different than normal social conflict is communicated clearly to staff, students and parents/guardians

2.4.2 Ensure that all reports of violent-threat-high risk behaviours; discrimination, intimidation, and bullying incidents, are appropriately investigated, assessed and responded to.

2.5 Ensure school-wide programming and instructional activities provide equity of opportunity, equity of access so all students develop healthy relationships and attain skills and knowledge in the following competencies: social-emotional literacy, digital citizenship and resiliency.

2.6 Ensure that all reports of violent-threat-high risk behaviours, discriminating, intimidating and bullying incidents are appropriately investigated, assessed and responded to.

2.7 Ensure that appropriate corrective and supportive measures are in place to deal with violent/threat making/high risk behaviours, discriminating, intimidating and bullying incidents. Including:

2.7.1 Assessing the frequency, and severity of the behaviour when determining the level of corrective action

2.7.2 Ensuring corrective actions exercise fairness, common sense and appropriate discretion

2.7.3 Considering corrective actions that repair harm through ‘restorative practices’.

3. All Staff instructing or supervising students shall:

3.1 Create and maintain learning environments that are conducive to student learning wherein students feel physically, emotionally, intellectually and psychologically safe

3.2 Seek to establish a positive professional relationship with students that is characterized by mutual respect, trust and harmony and assist students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school and community

3.3 Actively look for any physical locations where bullying could occur and intervene/report any incident which could be construed as violent-threat-high risk behaviour, discrimination, intimidation or bullying

3.4 Embed social and emotional learning opportunities on a frequent and consistent basis so students develop skills of resiliency and embrace the confidence and ability to create and maintain positive relationships.

4. Students shall:

4.1 Ensure their conduct contributes to a welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environment that respects diversity, respects the rights of others, fosters a sense of belonging and positively contributes to the school community

4.2 Refrain from discriminating, intimidating and/or bullying behaviour by any means, directed toward others in the school building, on school board premises, or during any school or Board sponsored or supported activity.


REFERENCE AND LINKS

Education Act
Student Record Regulation A.R. 71/99
Alberta Education: Teacher Growth, Supervision, and Evaluation
Alberta Education: Review by the Minister
Teaching Quality Standard (Ministerial Order 016/97)
Guide to Education: ECS to Grade 12
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
ATA Code of Professional Conduct
Chinook’s Edge Technology Use Agreement


HISTORY

2014 Oct 07 Approved
2019 Nov 28 Reviewed