At Westcot, students, staff and parents believe that learning takes place best in a safe, orderly and positive environment. Respect and responsibility are the foundational values that foster a climate which emphasizes safety, kindness, inclusivity, tolerance and fairness.
The learning community is committed to communicating behaviour expectations through common language and processes. Students act respectfully and responsibly when they clearly understand the expectations and when their feelings and opinions are respected. Socially responsible behaviour is an expectation at Westcot Elementary. Students are educated toward exceeding expectations in the areas of social responsibility by:
- Contributing to the community,
- Solving problems in a peaceful way,
- Valuing diversity and defending human rights, and
- Exercising democratic rights and responsibilities.
Westcot School promotes the values expressed in the BC Human Rights Code respecting the rights of all individuals in accordance with the law – prohibiting discrimination based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family composition, physical or mental disability, age, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation – in respect of discriminatory publication and discrimination in accommodation, service and facility in the school environment.
At all times, students will:
- Respect themselves, others and the environment
- Be kind and caring towards others
- Engage in a safe and responsible manner
- Be responsible for our own actions
- Take responsibility as positive bystanders
- Do our personal best in all endeavours
- Resolve conflicts peacefully
- Interfere with the learning of others
- Are disrespectful or offensive to self, others and the environment
- Create unsafe conditions
- Demonstrate bystander behaviour that contributes to an unsafe situation
- Threatening or intimidating
- Physical violence
- Bullying (physical, emotional, technological etc.)
- Offensive language
Illegal acts, such as:
- Possession or use of weapons
- Theft or damage of property
- Possession, use, or distribution of illegal or restricted substances
As students become older and more mature, there is a progression in the expectations related to personal responsibility, self-control and appropriate behaviour.
Response Plan/Intervention Strategies
Westcot operates within the context of a restorative action philosophy. Restorative action builds peaceful communities and focuses on how we interact with each other in all of our daily relationships. It is about learning and growing as individuals and as a community. Restorative action can also require healing processes when harm occurs. How problems are resolved at school and how decisions are made fall within a belief that we all learn from our mistakes and restoring one’s relationships and one’s dignity in a problem situation can be a powerful opportunity to learn about being a citizen and a caring human being. The school believes in a restorative approach that brings students together to talk about the situation and find a resolution. The process includes:
- Identifying who has been hurt
- Inviting and involving those who have been part of the problem to help in resolution
- Taking responsibility for your own actions
- Finding out the effect of others
- Thinking about the next time
The procedures for intervention are incremental and are intended to move students along a continuum of taking responsibility for their own actions, repairing the harm, and consequences that are part of the learning process. The age of the child and the circumstances related to the behaviour will be taken into consideration when implementing a plan of intervention that may include consequences. Special considerations may apply to students with special needs, if they are unable to comply with parts of the Code due to having a disability of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional or behavioural nature.
At this level a student whose behaviour interferes with learning, an orderly environment, or that creates an unsafe situation will be given feedback using the restorative action principles. The students will be given the opportunity to reflect, repair and self-correct. At this time or if the behaviour continues, then one of the following interventions may also be implemented. For example, a problem report may be filled out, a loss of privileges may occur, and/or communication with the parents may be made.
If the intervention at Level I is unsuccessful, then further intervention will be implemented to give a student an opportunity to debrief the situation and reflect with a teacher, Principal, Vice Principal or district personnel. This intervention will continue to use the restorative action principles and will further focus on the impact of the behaviour on others, encourage collaboration, and to provide collaboration and accountability. At this time a problem report will be filled out, a loss of privileges may occur, and/or communication with the parents may be made.
At this level a student may not be responding to the interventions outlined in Level I and Level II which may require increasing action. This intervention will involve parents and use a restorative approach.
A school suspension may be given to a student for a dangerous or repetitive misconduct. This action will occur at the discretion of the principal or designate, and will follow the procedures outlined in the School Act.
Our practice at Westcot is to inform parents and students about our philosophy regarding student problems, our expectations of behaviour and the process of intervention we follow.
In the event of major breach of the Code of Conduct, the following parties will be informed:
- Parents of student offenders and victims
- School district officials – as required by school district policy
- Police and/or other agencies – as required by law
By using the restorative justice process and respecting the individuality of each student, it is hoped that interventions will become a learning process and will not be incremental.