Parent Handbook - St. Mary's School

 
Parent Handbook
TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTACT INFORMATION………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
   PERSONNEL………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
   STAFF…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……….……..…………                     4
      PARISH EDUCATION COMMITTEE…………………………………………………………………………..………………… 5
A. ST. MARY’S SCHOOL: A COMMUNITY OF FAITH…………………………………………………………………………….. 6
   1. SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………… 6
   2. SCHOOL MISSION STATEMENT……………………………………………………………………………….………………… 6
   3. STRUCTURE OF THE CATHOLIC INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OF THE VANCOUVER ARCHDIOCESE…… 7
            (CISVA)
B. SCHOOL PROGRAMS……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8
   1A. SCHOOL CURRICULUM……………………………………………………………..…………………………………………….. 8
   1B. REPORTING……………………………………………………………………………………..…………………………….……….. 8
   2. SCHOOL LITURGIES AND ASSEMBLIES……………………………………..…………………..…………………………… 8
   3. SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMS…………………………………………………………………………………………..…………. 8
   4. EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES………………………………………………..………………………………………………. 8
   5. SPECIAL EDUCATION…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
   6. LIBRARY……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
   7. FIELDTRIPS……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
   8. BOOSTER SEAT LEGISLATION……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
   9. OUTDOOR EDUCATION…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
C. MEDICAL AND SAFETY PROCEDURES……………………………………………………………………………………………… 10
   1. MEDICAL PROCEDURES…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
   2. SAFETY PROCEDURES……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
          a. Daily Presence at School……………………………………………………………………………………………… 10
          b. Visitor Sign in/Out ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10
          c. Temporary Change in Guardianship…………………………………………………………………………….. 10
          d. Fire Drill………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10
          e. Earthquake Drill………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
          f. Lockdown and Building Evacuation Procedures…………………………………………………………… 11
          g. School Closure…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
D. SCHOOL REGULATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS…………………………………………………………………………………. 12
   1. EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12
   2. DISCIPLINE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
   3. ANTI-BULLYING…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12
   4. DISCRIMINATION PROTECTION POLICY……………………………………………………………………………………… 14
   5. SCHOOL BUS DISCIPLINE …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15
   6. STUDENT SUSPENSION/EXPULSION POLICY………………………………………………………………………………. 16

                                       Page 2 of 46
E. SCHOOL SCHEDULE AND GENERAL INFORMATION…………………………………………………………………………. 17
   1. WEEKLY SCHEDULE…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
   2. ABSENTEEISM…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
   3. CARE OF BOOKS AND PROPERTY……………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
   4. SCHOOL UNIFORMS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 18
   5. LOST AND FOUND ARTICLES…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 19
   6. COMMUNICATION FROM SCHOOL…………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
   7. HOMEWORK POLICY………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
   8. LINES OF COMMUNICATION AND COMPLAINT PROCEDURE…………………………………………………….. 19
   9. ADMISSIONS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
   10.FEES…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20
          a. Tuition, Bus and Yearly Fees……………..………………………………………………………………………… 20
          b. Participation Program and Fee……………………………………………………………………………………. 20
   11.BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE …………………………..…………………………………………………………….. 21
   12.DROP OFF AND PICK UP PROCEDURES…………………………………………………………………………………….. 21
   13.LUNCHES AND CLASSROOM DELIVERIES………………………………………………………………………………….. 21
   14.NO SMOKING POLICY………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21
APPENDIX A: STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT FOR PARENTS…………………………………………..………………… 22
APPENDIX B: STUDENT DISCIPLINE POLICY……………………………..………………………………………………………… 24
APPENDIX C: SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION POLICY…………………………………………………………………………. 25
APPENDIX D: MAJOR COMPLAINTS POLICY…..………………………………………………………………………………….. 27
APPENDIX E: PERSONAL INFORMATION PRIVACY POLICY FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS…………………. 29
APPENDIX F: MEDIA POLICY …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 34
APPENDIX G: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR E-MAIL AND INTERNET USE ………………………………………………. 35
APPENDIX H: SPECIAL EDUCATION POLICY..……………………………………………………………………………………… 38
APPENDIX I: RESPONDING TO STUDENT ABUSE/NEGLECT ……………………………………………………………….. 39
APPENDIX J: STUDENT HEALTH ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 44

                                       Page 3 of 46
CONTACT INFORMATION
St. Mary’s Elementary School
8909 Mary Street,
Chilliwack, BC
V2P 4J4
Phone:           604-792-7715                              Website:     http://www.saintmarysschool.ca
Facsimile:       604-792-7031

                                                       PERSONNEL
STAFF
The school’s staff for the year is as follows:

PASTOR:........................................ Father Wilfred Gomes
ASSISTANT PASTOR: .................... Father Mark McGuckin
PRINCIPAL: ................................... Mr. Thomas Slivinski
OFFICE MANAGER: …………………….Mrs. Pat Symes
BOOKKEEPER: ……………………………Mrs. Lucero Kwan

KINDERGARTEN:........................... Mrs. Jeanine Sallos
GRADE 1: ...................................... Ms. Marlene Kessler
GRADE 2: ...................................... Ms. Carolyn Dostal
GRADE 3: ...................................... Mrs. Laura Nejedly
GRADE 4: ...................................... Mrs. Delaine Weberg
GRADE 5: ...................................... Mr. John Mills
GRADE 6: ...................................... Mrs. Robin Olivares
GRADE 7:.......................................Mrs. Kristina Choboter
ELL: …………………………………………..Mrs. Marla MacPherson
TECH & PE: ................................... Mr. Eric Martinen
FRENCH:........................................ Mrs. Angela Prost
LIBRARIAN .................................... Mrs. Alison ten Bohmer
BEFORE SCHOOL CARE:………………Mrs. Johanna Chiappetta
AFTER SCHOOL CARE …………………Ms. Jena Koverchuk , Ms. Nicole Sansalone, Mrs. Johanna Chiappetta
LEARNING RESOURCE TEACHER: . Mrs. Loralei Holm
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT: .......... Mrs. Melinda Hurley
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT:…………Mrs. Debbi Tyzio
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT:...........Mrs. Jaime King
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT:…………Mrs. Chrystal Netzlaw
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT:…………Mrs. Johanna Chiappetta
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT:…………Mrs. Barb Delviken
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT:…………Ms. Jelena Rados
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT:…………Mr. Landon Turenne
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT:…………Mrs. Krissy Buckle
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT:…………Mrs. Johanna Chiappetta

MAINTENANCE:………………………… Mr. Ron Kuester
BUS DRIVER:……………………………… Mr. Ron Kuester
BUS DRIVER:……………………………… Mrs. Elaine Short
BUS DRIVER:……………………………… Ms. Sylvia Fauth

                                                         Page 4 of 46
PARISH EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The Parish Education Committee is as follows:

PASTOR:........................................ Father Wilfred Gomes
CHAIRPERSON: ............................. Mr. Dave Johnson
VICE CHAIR: .................................. Mrs. Rhonda Sexsmith
TREASURER: ................................. Mr. Mark Filiatrault
SECRETARY: .................................. Mrs. Jenna Winterhoff
DELEGATE TO CISVA:………………….Mr. Dale Wagner
MAINTENANCE COORDINATOR:…Mr. Adrian Gannon
MEMBER AT LARGE.......................Mrs. Lori Johnson

The role of the Parish Education Committee is to cooperate with and to assist the pastor in the operation of
the school. The committee sees that Archdiocesan policies are implemented, and they set policy for the local
school. You are welcome to bring concerns or questions to the PEC. Written requests/proposals for
presentation to PEC should be submitted to the PEC Chairperson at least a week in advance of the next PEC
meeting.

The Committee manages the finances of the school and the hiring of staff in consultation with the principal
and they assist the pastor and principal in the general overview of school programs.

                                                          Page 5 of 46
St. Mary’s School
                             Parent Handbook
   Welcome to St. Mary’s School community. We hope the following information will
   help you become aware of our policies and procedures so that we can all work well
                                                     together.

A. ST. MARY’S SCHOOL: A COMMUNITY OF FAITH
1. SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY
  St. Mary’s is a community of faith which seeks to provide a quality Catholic Education for each child, and foster
  a school environment that is safe, respectful, and an accepting place for all students. We celebrate and are
  challenged by God’s presence, by the story of the Christian community, and by the vision of the Gospel. The
  purpose of the school is the purpose of the church. This purpose is to communicate, in theory and practice, the
  teachings of our faith and the love of God. This is a high purpose demanding commitment and sacrifice. St.
  Mary’s School has done well in making that purpose a reality in our community. Our school continues to
  provide, for any who enter its doors, the means and possibility of growing in the way of Christ.

2. ST. MARY’S SCHOOL AND CISVA MISSION STATEMENT
  St. Mary’s School shares in the mission of the Church to proclaim and build the Kingdom of God. St. Mary’s, as
  a faith community, is committed to excellence in Catholicity and in all areas that promote the development of
  the whole child to his or her full potential. The Catholic School strives to develop Christian leaders, responsible
  citizens and life-long learners.

                                                    Page 6 of 46
3. THE STRUCTURE OF THE CATHOLIC INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OF VANCOUVER
   ARCHDIOCESE (C.I.S.V.A.)
  The following diagram is included to assist in understanding the complex structure and the interactive roles
  involving parish organization and the integration necessary to ensure the success of our parish school and
  Catholic community.

                                                   Archbishop

                 Catholic Independent
                 Schools of Vancouver
                 Archdiocese Board of
                      Directors

                     Superintendent and Central
                             Office Staff

                     Parish Education Committee                                                   Pastor

                                                           Principal

                                                                                Teachers
                 Parent
                                                Clerical                           and
              Participation
                                                 Staff                          Teachers
               Programs
                                                                                Assistants

  "Motivated by a Christ centred vision of humanity and human history, our school promotes the formation of
  the whole person. Such formation embraces not only intellectual, but also physical, emotional, moral and
  spiritual dimensions of human growth. Intellect, emotions, creative ability and cultural heritage have a place
  in the life of the school. Human knowledge and skills are recognized as precious in themselves but find their
  deepest meaning in God's plan for creation." From PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION FOR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN
  THE PROVICE OF B.C. by Catholic Bishops of B.C.

                                                  Page 7 of 46
B. SCHOOL PROGRAMS
  1A. SCHOOL CURRICULUM
  St. Mary’s School follows the prescribed curriculum as set out by the B.C. Ministry of Education. French is
  included for all students. Detailed information is available at the Ministry of Education website:
  www.bced.gov.bc.ca
  Learning assistance is provided for those students who are experiencing difficulty in achieving the learning
  outcomes of the regular school programs.

  1B. REPORTING
  Reporting is an ongoing process that involves assessment (the systematic process of gathering authentic data
  and evidence of student abilities and achievement) and evaluation (the ongoing communication with student,
  parent and other professionals about student growth, development and achievement) with three formal
  written reports to parents during the school year and 2 informal reports, in the form of parent-student-
  teacher conferences.

  Included in this process are:
   Informal sharing of student work samples
   Informal reports such as notes, phone calls, interim reports, and meetings with parents
   Asking parents to sign student work to say they have seen it
   Regular use of student Planners as a communication tool
   Parent/teacher conferences on an as needed appointment basis

  2. SCHOOL LITURGIES & ASSEMBLIES
  The importance of the Mass is recognized as a way of increasing the faith of the children and helping in the
  building of a Christian community. Masses are regularly offered for the whole school. Students are given an
  opportunity to share in the preparation of the Masses and families are invited to attend. It is school policy
  that children are expected to participate in all aspects of school religion and sacramental programs. Updated
  information is available on the school monthly calendar.

  3. SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMS
  Each year the Grade Two students prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. It is parish
  policy that the parents of students in this program attend all meetings and preparation Masses throughout
  the months preceding the reception of the Sacrament.

  Students in Grade Seven prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Parents of all children being confirmed
  are required to attend all meetings relevant to their child’s preparation for the sacrament.

  The children wear gowns, provided by the parish, for both the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.

  4. EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
  St. Mary’s School offers many opportunities for team sports, fine arts activities, and personal development.
  However, only students in good standing, in both academics and behavior, will be permitted to participate.
  This is at the discretion of the teacher and/or principal. These activities may include, but are not limited to:
  basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and field, choir, school musical, speech arts, Reading Link Challenge, and
  office support.

  Parents are most welcome to participate in extracurricular programs through volunteer coaching, coming for
  practice and providing transportation.
                                                 Page 8 of 46
5. SPECIAL EDUCATION
St. Mary’s School prides itself in being an inclusive community, welcoming children of all walks of life. Christ
teaches us that all human persons have value, and that we are all children of God. St. Mary’s School is
committed to educating the whole child, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and academically, and is
committed to the inclusion and integration of students with special needs.

                         St. Mary’s School adheres to CISVA Special Needs Policy 421.
                      Please refer to Appendix H for the CISVA Special Education Policy.

6. LIBRARY
The library is staffed by a librarian and/or parent volunteer and is open during school hours every day. All
classes are scheduled for weekly library visits.

7. FIELD TRIPS
Field trips and in-school presentations play a supporting role in the presentation of curriculum. As such, only
students in good standing, in both academics and behaviour, will be permitted to participate. This is at the
discretion of the teacher and/or principal. We sometimes rely upon the generosity of parent drivers for some
of our field trips when use of our buses is not appropriate. Drivers will be required to provide a copy of their
driver’s licence and a driver’s abstract to the office. Volunteers will also be required to fill out a form, listing
the children that will be travelling in their vehicle. Most field trips will require help from parents as
supervisors.

Please be sure to return signed field trip consent forms or your child will not be able to participate in a
fieldtrip. Last minute phone calls made by the secretary or students will no longer be permitted.

The Society of the Catholic Independent Schools has provided an Excess Third Party Liability policy to cover
privately owned vehicles. This policy with I.C.B.C. gives protection to each teacher, parent, or other volunteer
(or their spouse) while driving their own vehicle in the course of a school activity and with the authority or
approval of the school board. Coverage of $10,000,000.00 is in excess of the limit specified on the Owner’s
Certificate of Insurance.

8. BOOSTER SEAT LEGISLATION
As of July 1st, 2008, booster seats are mandatory for all children weighing at least 40 lbs, until they are 4’9”
tall or nine years of age. (B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development- 15/05/07).

As such, it is school policy that all parents driving students on school field trips must ensure that an
approved booster seat is provided for and used by each child being driven, who meets the above criteria.
For more information about the origins of this new legislation, or details regarding proper installation of car
seats, please visit the B.C. Injury Research and Prevention Unit at: http://www.injuryresearch.bc.ca/. Children
in grades K-3 will be required to use a government approved booster seat.

9. OUTDOOR EDUCATION
Outdoor Education is a part of our educational program—it is a 3-day off site experience for the Grade Seven
class. The cost of this trip is covered by the students’ families. Fundraising for this trip is permitted and may
be organized and carried out by parents the year prior to the scheduled trip (i.e. when the students are in
Grade Six).

                                                  Page 9 of 46
C. MEDICAL AND SAFETY PROCEDURES

  1. MEDICAL PROCEDURES
  Each September, parents are required to fill out an emergency form to include specific medical information.
  Student medications are to be kept in the nurse’s room with an accompanying doctor certified procedure for
  the student dosage. Students will receive medication in the presence of a staff member. Students who
  require an epi-pen are responsible for carrying it with them at all times. It is imperative that parents inform
  the school office of any changes to medical information.

  If your child has allergies (food, medicine etc.) this information needs to be noted on the back of the
  emergency form. Please include specific directions to staff if there are any. This information will be used only
  if the child has an emergency situation.

  2. SAFETY PROCEDURES
  a) Daily Presence at School
  All students are expected to remain at school for the entire school day. If for any reason a child has to leave
  the school property during the day, the parent needs to provide written permission to the school and sign the
  child out at the office.

  b) Visitor Sign In/Out
  Visitors, including parents, coming into the school building must report to the office. If staying for an
  extended period, they must sign in/out in the log book provided and wear a visitor’s pass during their time in
  the school. Visitors or parents will not be permitted to visit classroom(s) unless arrangements have been
  made with the teacher beforehand.

  c) Temporary Change in Caregiver
  If your child will be staying somewhere other than the family home, or if you are away and another family
  member is taking care of your children for any length of time, please provide us with the appropriate
  information (an alternate phone number, address, the name of the caregiver and any change in pick-up) for
  that period.

  d) Fire Drill
  To give the children safety routines for school, regular fire drills are held during the school year. The fire
  department conducts regular inspections of our school building and safety equipment.

  e) Earthquake Drill
  The children are familiar with and practice specific routines for earthquake emergency.
  Because our school is located in an earthquake prone area, we want to remind you that, in the event of an
  earthquake, the following procedures will be followed:
       No student will be dismissed from the school unless a parent (or guardian designated by the parents)
        comes for him/her.

                                                    Page 10 of 46
     No child will be allowed to leave with another person, even a relative or babysitter, unless we have
      written permission to that effect or that particular person is listed on the student’s emergency form.
      With this in mind, if your child’s form is not up to date, please request a new form from our office.
     All parents, or designated guardians, who come for students, must have them signed out at the office or
      at the alternative Student Release Station at the entrance to the schoolyard.
     We are prepared to care for children in the event of a critical situation if parents are not able to reach
      the school. We have a number of people with first aid certificates, and we will be in communication
      with local emergency services.
     We do ask for your help in the following areas:
      o Please do not call the school; we must have the lines open for emergency calls.
      o Following an earthquake or other emergency, do not immediately drive to the school; streets and
          access to our school may be cluttered with debris; the school access route and street entrance areas
          must remain clear for emergency vehicles.
      o Do turn your radio to STAR 98.3 on the FM dial; information and directions will be given over the
          radio.

f) Lockdown and Building Evacuation Procedures
The CISVA and The Ministry of Education now require schools to organize specific safety procedures in the
event that there is a crisis. These measures are designed to keep our children safe and calm. The safety of our
students, faculty and staff is our utmost priority. While we always hope that these incidents never occur, we
still must be prepared.

Several times during the year, we will practice the lockdown drill at St. Mary’s School. Prior to this drill,
teachers will discuss with their students this procedure in an appropriate manner that informs the children
but does not alarm them. In the event of an emergency incident during the school day, St. Mary’s School has
specific plans in place to keep students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors safe. If an incident
occurs, school officials will be in constant communication with emergency personnel. From that point,
officials determine if we might be in a line of danger and then a lockdown order will be issued.

Although you may feel compelled to pick up your children from school at that time, we want to assure you
that your children will be cared for during the lockdown. Allowing anyone to enter or exit the building during
this time could expose the children and everyone else inside to a potentially dangerous situation.

In the event of a lock down, once school officials receive word from emergency personnel that the danger has
passed, the lock down would be lifted and if past the end of the school day, the process of student release will
begin.

     Suggestions for parents during a time of a crisis:

     1. To ensure safety for all concerned, please do not come to the school site with the intent of picking
        up your child, or enter the property during the lockdown.
     2. Keep informed by listening to STAR 98.3 FM radio station or consult the website
          http://www.saintmarysschool.ca
     3. Please do not call the school as staff will need to communicate with emergency personnel.
     4. As appropriate, you will be called as soon as possible and there will be a designated place for
        parents to pick-up students.

                                                Page 11 of 46
g) School Closure
  From time to time, the school will unexpectedly be closed (usually due to poor weather/driving conditions—
  snow, ice, etc.). In the event of an unexpected school closure, the school will provide information in the
  following manner:
  1. A decision will be made as early as possible, typically before 7:00 AM.
  2. Radio announcement: STAR – 98.3 FM will be informed, and they typically make an announcement on
       the air; they also post school closures on their website.
  3. Notice of closure will also be published on our school website http://www.saintmarysschool.ca, school
       app, and St. Mary’s Facebook page.

      Please do not call the Parish for School information.

  In the event the school needs to close during the school day you will be notified by email, the school app,
  school website and by telephone. The school will remain open until all the children have been dismissed.

4. SCHOOL REGULATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS

  1. EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS
           To arrive punctually, attend regularly, and behave appropriately.
           To come prepared for all school requirements.
           To be considerate of the rights of others: peers, staff, neighbours
           To make a sincere, concentrated effort to do “YOUR PERSONAL BEST EFFORT”
           To respect and to comply with school regulations.
           To participate attentively and reverently in all religious observances.

  2. DISCIPLINE
  Each teacher develops a system for monitoring homework and student behaviour following the St. Mary’s
  School Discipline Policy (Appendix B). Teachers will explain their classroom procedures for discipline at our
  annual “Meet the Teacher Night.” Although the expectations for students are consistent throughout the
  school, consequences may vary dependent upon the child’s age, the offence and the circumstances of the
  offence. Depending on the seriousness of an incident, the parents may be phoned immediately.

  3. ANTI-BULLYING POLICY
  Rationale
  The foundation of Catholic teaching about life and relationships is respect for the human person. “The quality
  of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it.”1 For this reason all
  persons must be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect, bullying, harm or threat of harm. CISVA is
  committed to providing and promoting a learning environment that enables every student to feel safe,
  accepted and respected.

  CISVA works continuously to develop strategies that make students feel valued, respected and connected
  within their school community, while remaining consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church. This
  includes the protection of a student’s physical safety, social connectedness, inclusiveness as well as protection
  from all forms of bullying, regardless of their gender, race, culture, religion, sexual orientation or gender
  identity and expression.

                                                  Page 12 of 46
Definition
Bullying is a pattern of repeated actions targeted at a person in a deliberate manner, intended to reduce the
perceived power that person has over the situation or to harm that person. All acts of bullying have the
characteristics of being dehumanizing, intimidating, humiliating, threatening, and evoke fear of physical harm
or emotional distress in the person being targeted.

Bullying encompasses a wide range of behaviours in a relationship between a dominant and a less dominant
person or group where:
 an imbalance of the perceived power is manifest through aggressive actions
 physical or psychological (verbal and social) abuse occurs
 negative interactions occur directly (face-to-face) or indirectly (gossip, exclusion)
 negative actions occur with intent to harm, which can include some, or all of the following:
 a)         physical actions such as punching, kicking, biting and initiating unwanted sexual touching, can hurt
    the
      person’s body, damage belongings or make the person feel badly about himself or herself;
 b)         verbal actions such as threats, name calling, insults, racial and cultural slurs or inappropriate jokes
    and/or
      comments; this includes sexual harassment; that is, when a person or group hurts another person by
      taunting or discussing sensitive sexual issues, creating sexual rumours or messages, and making
      derogatory comments on a person’s perceived sexual identity;
  c) social exclusion such as spreading rumours, ignoring, gossiping, excluding.
 negative actions are repeated and/or the intensity or the duration of the actions establishes the bully’s
  dominance over the person. The person thus becomes a victim of injustice.
 information and communication technologies are used physically to threaten, verbally harass or socially
  exclude an individual or group.

Education, Awareness and Prevention of Bullying at St. Mary’s School:
Strategies to prevent bullying will only be effective when placed within the context of our Catholic culture
where respect for all others, made in God’s image, is consistently taught and demonstrated in every aspect of
school life. Students are instructed in bullying understanding and awareness throughout our Christian
Education classes, and through the morals and values professed at St. Mary’s School and our Catholic Faith.
The value of the individual person will be affirmed and the qualities of compassion, kindness, reconciliation,
tolerance, respect and justice are upheld and encouraged through religious education, liturgies and
assemblies. This teaching of values will extend across the curriculum to include teaching specifically related to
bullying in appropriate curriculum topics.
The students need to hear from adults very clear statements about the unacceptability of bullying behaviours,
and of positive ways of resolving conflict. St. Mary’s School will continue to provide support for teachers and
parents through information seminars and workshops.

Reporting:
Students are strongly encouraged to stand up to bullying behaviours they witness, and to report bullying
incidents to a staff member. Students also have the school’s ‘Weekly Check-in’, a confidential written form
filled in once per week and submitted to the teacher, in which they can report incidents of bullying. Incidents
of bullying will be recorded by the principal, so as to have an ongoing record of bullying occurrences at school.

Responding to Bullying:
The school will keep adequate records of all bullying incidents.
The school will work with the parents of the victim to assist their child to avoid being bullied in the future.
The school will initially assist the bully to change his/her behaviour.

                                                 Page 13 of 46
In deciding a course of action the school will weigh the consequences by age and maturity of the individuals
involved, the degree of harm done, incidences of past or continuing pattern(s) of behaviour, the relationship
between the parties involved and the context in which the incident(s) occurred.
Resistance to behaviour change and repeated offending will lead to consequences ranging from, but not
limited to, detention, missing out on special events or fieldtrips, in school suspension, out of school
suspension, and expulsion.
The school will access community resources designed to assist families and schools as needed.
The school will work with the parents of the bully to establish joint strategies for behaviour modification.

St. Mary’s School adheres to CISVA Policies 407 and 408 regarding Student Code of Conduct and Anti-Bullying.

St. Mary’s School remains committed to taking all reasonable steps to prevent retaliation by a person(s)
against a student who has made a complaint of a breach in policy.

4. ST. MARY’S SCHOOL DISCRIMINATION PROTECTION POLICY
Independent schools represent a wide range of philosophical, pedagogical, and faith-based perspectives.
Schools are generally independently operated by an authority (in our case, the Catholic Independent Schools
of the Vancouver Archdiocese, or CISVA), registered as a Society, with the BC Registrar of Companies, and
have a governance board consisting of individuals elected or appointed by the authority.

St. Mary’s is required to abide by Schedule 1 of the Independent School Act. It states that there are basic
requirements for independent schools requesting certification as Group 1, 2, 3 or 4 classifications. Article 1
states that:

Before issuing or renewing a certificate of group 1, group 2, group 3 or group 4 classification, the inspector
must be satisfied that, at St. Mary’s,
a) no program is in existence or is proposed at the independent school that would, in theory or in practice,
promote or foster doctrines of
          i) racial or ethnic superiority or persecution
          ii) religious intolerance or persecution
          iii) social change through violent action, or
          iv) sedition,
b) St. Mary’s facilities comply with the enactments of British Columbia and the municipality or regional district
in which the facilities are located, and
c) CISVA complies with this Act and regulations.

In addition to abiding by Schedule 1 of the Independent School Act, it is important that St. Mary’s School
ensures that students feel connected through the relationships that are created between students, staff, and
parents that are part of the school community.

Students who feel respected, accepted and connected tend to be physically and mentally healthier, and
perform better academically. They tend to have fewer incidents of violent or “acting out” behaviour, be less
sexually active, have a lower rate of “experimentation”, with or “use” of, drugs and alcohol (Preventing
Bullying and Ensuring Safe and Caring School Communities – Level 1; Province of British Columbia, 2013, p 13).

Discrimination Protection Policy

The safety and well-being of children at St. Mary’s is of paramount consideration. Children deserve to be
protected from abuse, neglect, bullying, harm or threat of harm. Therefore, St. Mary’s School will ensure that

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children attending our school will experience a learning environment that enables every child to feel safe,
accepted and respected.

St. Mary’s School will continuously develop strategies to help students feel valued, respected and connected
within the school community. This will include the protection of the students’ physical safety, social
connectedness, inclusiveness as well as protection from all forms of bullying, regardless of their gender, race,
culture, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, while remaining consistent with the
independent school’s faith-values, cultural perspectives and philosophical values.

There are many strategies and activities that can be employed within a school to enable students to feel safe,
accepted and respected. The following suggestions are provided to facilitate a conversation on strengthening
the learning environment for children.

 Engage students in the decision-making process of policies and activities that build community
 Engage parents in the educational program and school life of their children
 Encourage parents to share their culture and expectations
 Promote open communication among administrators, teachers, staff, students, families and communities
 Be proactive in connecting with students that are experiencing academic or social issues
 Communicate expectations, values and norms that support positive health and academic behaviour in the
  school community
 Acknowledge students by name
 Be visible within the school during class transitions, breaks, before/after school
 Find ways to acknowledge students for their contributions in the school community, including those where
  improvement comes only in small increments.

5. SCHOOL BUS DISCIPLINE
St. Mary’s School bus drivers are responsible for maintaining order on the bus at all times. Bus drivers have a
duty to warn students if their behaviour is distracting/unsafe and may lead to a suspension of riding privileges.

Procedure
 1. If the student’s behaviour does not improve after a verbal warning, the driver may issue a written
    warning. A written warning will be copied to the principal and may result in the student being assigned to
    a specific seat for a period of time as determined by the driver or principal.
 2. If the student’s behaviour continues to be inappropriate, the driver may recommend suspension of the
    student’s riding privileges to the principal. Upon further examination of the incident with the PEC, the
    principal may issue the student a written suspension for parent’s signature. Loss of riding privileges are
    both to and from school (extracurricular trips are not included).
 3. School Bus suspensions
          First suspension: 2 days of no bus service
          Second suspension: 5 days/1 week of no bus service
          Third suspension: remainder of the school term (term, for this purpose, shall mean the period of
 time
           from September – December, January – March, or April – June).
           Serious cases may result in a discontinuation of bus services for whatever time is deemed necessary
           by the Principal and PEC.

                                                 Page 15 of 46
RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Driver
       Ensure the bus is in safe operating condition
       Drive safely; obey traffic laws and regulations
       Maintain order on the bus (teach students expected behaviour)
       Protect students from harm (teach students crossing the road safely, evacuation drills, and
        provide a harassment-free ride)
       Follow the regular time schedule as conditions permit

2. Parent
       Teach children about safety while waiting for or approaching the bus
       Remind children of behaviour expectations
       Teach children to embark and disembark safely at the scheduled stops
       Safety of students getting to, waiting at, or returning home from a bus stop

3.   Student
         Listen to the bus driver
         Obey all safety and behaviour rules (no electronics, no food or drink, no standing while the bus is
          moving, etc.)
        Be on time for the bus
        Be mindful of younger/smaller children
        Know that riding the bus is a privilege

4.  Teacher
       Teaching staff or designated supervisor is required to maintain discipline while on field trips or
sports
        trips and have available up-to-date passenger list which also includes all adults

5.   Principal
         Discipline that may lead to suspension of bus riding privileges (see “Procedure”)
         In serious incidents, the principal will advise the parent and/or PEC

6. STUDENT SUSPENSION/EXPULSION POLICY
Students can be required to be absent from school when a gross misconduct has taken place or when several
major misconducts have occurred. This absence is termed a suspension and may occur for the following
offences:
1)        Habitual behaviour which makes it difficult for fellow students to learn.
2)        Flagrant disrespect for teachers or students.
3)        Personal habits regarding the abuse of substances such as alcohol, nicotine and other drugs which
set
          an example which is foreign to our expectations and
4)        Disregard for standards regarding dress, attendance and punctuality.

                 St. Mary’s School adheres to the CISVA Suspension and Expulsion Policy 426.
                  Please refer to Appendix C for the CISVA Suspension and Expulsion Policy
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