Administration, staff, and the Board work diligently to keep St. Mary a safe, learning environment. The Safe School legislation supports positive student behaviours; a safe learning environment; emphasis on the school as a learning community; and intervention to assist students to remedy their behaviour where necessary. St. Mary follows a zero tolerance policy regarding alcohol, drugs and violent behaviour. For additional information on safety, you can visit Threat Assessments.
Safe School - Bill 212
The Board has four policies to reflect Bill 212 which was passed into law on February 1, 2008:
Suspension, Expulsion and Appeal
Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour
Bullying Prevention and Intervention
Code of Conduct
These four policies with their administrative procedures can be found on the Board website.
Community Partners and the Police
St. Mary's partnerships with parishes, community agencies, and regional police help keep our school and community safer. The police investigate incidents following the protocol developed with the PVNC Catholic District School Board and police services within the jurisdiction. The school creates liaisons with community members and agencies to deliver prevention and intervention programs. These partnerships respect applicable collective agreements.
The Right to Search
Administrators may search students and their personal belongings, such as school/gym bags, to protect student safety and health. This also includes school lockers as they are the property of the school. Please see the student agenda for locker information.
All visitors must report to the main office, and students are encouraged to meet their non-St. Mary friends outside school time and off school property. School visitors who do not obey school rules will be asked to leave, and may be subject to the Trespass to Property Act.
Respect for Property
All students are to treat the school grounds, all adjacent private property, the school building, all equipment and materials, and everything in the school, including the personal property of others, with respect.
Lockers are the property of the school, on loan to the students. Lockers must be free of any attached materials that may damage the exterior and interior surfaces.
All posters, notices and advertisements require a Principal's approval.
Students should keep all school property free from graffiti (i.e. books, furniture, etc.).
Students are expected to use the refuse containers provided.
All school materials (i.e. textbooks, materials from the Resource Centre, musical instruments) must be signed out and returned properly.
Every individual has a right to dignity and respect. Any form of harassment or intimidation, whether verbal, online, written or physical is unacceptable. Incidents and allegations will be reported to a Principal. Following an investigation of the allegation, parents/guardians may be contacted and the student may be referred for counselling, suspended, or police may become involved depending on the severity of the incident. Visit Social Media and Computer Usage Etiquette for additional information on cyber-bullying.
St. Mary follows a zero tolerance policy regarding violent behaviour. i.e. fighting, harassing, threats, etc. This includes behaviours on or off school property, including riding school buses to and from school, school trips, dances, during lunch hour, etc. A Principal will interview students who behave in a violent manner, and appropriate disciplinary action will be given. All combatants in a fight will be suspended, and other students involved in inciting violence (i.e. causing a fight to start or continue) will also be disciplined.
A weapon is any object deemed by a Principal to be dangerous to the welfare and safety of students and staff. Students shall not have weapons in their possession or among their belongings when on school property or when participating in any school related activity.
The consequences of possessing any weapon are determined by a Principal, and based on the implied intent of the threat. Consequences may include immediate suspension from school (1-5 days) followed by a meeting with parents/guardians, the student and the Principal before re-admission or criminal charges in applicable cases.
Possession of any type of gun, including realistic replica type guns, will result in immediate suspension from school, a recommendation to the Board for expulsion, and criminal charges in applicable cases.
Safety on Buses
Video surveillance is in effect on some school buses and school properties to support student safety. Video tape surveillance may be used at Appeal of Suspension or Recommendation for Expulsion hearings.
In the event of a fire or a fire drill, both teachers and students have specific responsibilities.
Ensure students evacuate safely and proceed to a safe area away from the scene.
Close all doors and windows.
Keep a copy of the current class list, and take attendance.
Report unaccounted absences to the school administration.
Return to class when it is safe and take attendance again.
Move quickly and quietly to the safe area.
Remain there with their teacher until directed.
Return promptly to class when directed.
Fire drills are held over the course of the year to ensure familiarity with the procedures.
In the event of an external or internal emergency, a lockdown will be called for the safety and security of all members of the school. Students are to remain in their classrooms and comply with their teacher's directions. Failure to do so may jeopardize their personal security and that of other students. On the advice of local policing authorities, cell phone use is prohibited during a lockdown as it interferes with police communications. Lockdown drills are held over the course of the year to ensure familiarity with the procedures. Please refer to the student agenda for additional details.