Updated Safe Schools Policies

Updated Safe Schools Policies
Posted on 06/08/2022
Updated Safe Schools Policies

A positive school climate exists when we all can feel safe, valued, and know that we belong. It is the starting point for learning, achievement and well-being as well as the foundation.

Ensuring everyone can feel safe is the responsibility of all members of the OCDSB community.

Creating a positive school climate requires:

  • Building and sustaining authentic relationships based on trust, respect, and value of all community members
  • Promoting positive activities that engage, include, and empower school stakeholders
  • Prevention and Intervention strategies to avoid or address harmful situations 
  • Preparing and implementing protocols and responses to emergency safety risks  
  • Supporting students, staff and community members in the event of bullying, violence or tragedy 
  • Addressing inappropriate student behaviour with bias-aware approaches, repairing harm, and teaching skills that promote positive actions and building relationships. 

In April 2022, the OCDSB Board of Trustees approved updated policies focused on Safe Schools. The process to update these policies began in 2019 and included consultations with students, families, staff and community members on a variety of issues. These consultations and the resulting policies were also informed by consultations into police involvement in schools and human rights, as well as the Indigenous, Equity and Human Rights Roadmap.

Through this process, the previous Safe Schools policy was split into separate policies and there were also major revisions to the OCDSB School District Code of Conduct (including an updated Student Dress Code). The new updated policies are as follows:

  • Safe Schools Policy (Emergency Preparedness and Response)
    • Objective: To protect the physical safety of students, staff, and volunteers in schools in response to emergencies and tragic events while fulfilling both the education and law enforcement systems requirements.
  • Safe Schools Policy (Managing Student Behaviour)
    • Objective: To create a caring and safe learning environment while promoting positive behaviour that empowers all students to reach their full potential through bias-aware prevention and intervention strategies.
  • School District Code of Conduct
    • Objective: To set out the expected standards of behaviour for all people in the OCDSB Community in support of positive and respectful learning and working environments.

As part of the updates to the Safe Schools policies, the OCDSB is also in the process of creating a new policy on student exclusions, referred to as a "Pause for Safety" going forward. This policy was reviewed through the Safe Schools consultations and received additional focused opportunities for input in April and May 2022.

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