Code of Conduct
Meridian Heights Code of Conduct
"It is not the mistakes in life that are important, it’s what we learn from them."
- Donna Guthrie
Our Student Code of Conduct exists to ensure that each student and staff member has access to a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging. The Code of Conduct ensures that our school promotes a culture of wellness that:
- Establishes and maintains a welcoming, caring, respectful, and safe learning environment for all students, staff, families and the greater community;
- Establishes and maintains an appropriate balance between individual and collective rights, freedoms, and responsibilities in the school community;
- Establishes and publishes expectations for student behavior while at school, at a school-related activity, or while engaging in an activity at any time that may have an impact on others in the school; and
- Ensures that healthy environments exist in all schools that are free from fear, discrimination and harassment while promoting inclusive strategies to ensure that every student is treated with respect and dignity.
In keeping with a commitment to the Alberta Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in Parkland School Division everyone is accepted and experiences a sense of belonging. The Division supports the endeavors of staff, students, parents and the community to promote positive student behavior and conduct throughout our community of schools.
Parkland School Division has a responsibility to ensure that each student enrolled in a school operated by the Board and each staff member employed by the Board is provided with a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging.
All stakeholders in the success and well-being of students, and especially the students themselves, are expected to recognize their responsibilities in developing student self-discipline within a culture of wellness. Staff members and students will not be discriminated against as provided for in the Alberta Human Rights Act or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Managing Conflict and Misconduct
"Children do well if they can."
- Ross Greene
But sometimes children make mistakes, and that’s part of growing up. On that journey, they need our guidance as teachers, administrators, bus drivers and parents. Our teachers believe in being very clear about their expectations, and then following through with consequences. We have a proactive approach to student discipline by reinforcing active citizenship within our school.
When Conflict and Misconduct Happens
With over 750 students interacting every day, misconduct and conflicts can occur. When this happens, we believe that the first line of contact about student needs or misconduct are with the classroom teachers and bus drivers.
You could receive a phone call or email message from the teacher or bus driver for anything from teasing to homework to physical fighting. Please remember, teachers and drivers are very busy: they deal with many small concerns within the normal structure of the day, and they can’t communicate everything. If your child reports a concern to you, please reach out to your child's teacher to ask questions and seek clarification. We would be happy to work with you in this regard.
Our teachers and drivers do an exceptional job of managing most concerns at the classroom level or bus level, but occasionally they require support from our office team (principal, assistant principals, counsellor).
When might this happen? When a pattern occurs (e.g. frequent peer conflicts on the playground) or a more serious event occurs (e.g. student vaping or physical fight), a child will be asked to speak with office staff. In the case of buses, a bus infraction form is completed and given to the office.
What happens then? When a concern comes to the office, logical consequences are given in consultation with the teacher or driver. There is no “black and white” with consequences, and each child is considered individually. Office staff will then communicate with parents.
What is a logical consequence? Consequences are less about punishment and more about learning in order to move forward positively. The consequences can range from one lost recess (time spent in the office instead) to a full five-day suspension.
Other consequences may involve:
- Extra supervision (accompanying a supervisor or EA)
- Explaining the situation to parents
- Seating plan on the bus
- Reflective writing
- Signing a Behaviour contract
- Problem solving, monitoring or reviewing behaviour expectations with the student, and a reprimand
- Parental involvement, which may include a Disciplinary Hearing (as outlined in Administrative Procedure 360: Student Discipline)
- Assignment of designated tasks
- Temporary removal of privileges
- Student detention
- Implementation of an in-school short-term opportunity placement
- Suspension from riding the school bus
- Suspension from school
- Involvement of police
- Expulsion from school (by the Board upon recommendation of the Principal)
Behaviour Leading to Disciplinary Action
Discipline promotes safe and orderly learning environments within École Meridian Heights School. While it is not possible to reasonably foresee all grounds for disciplinary action, in addition to failing to adhere to the École Meridian Heights School Code of Conduct, clear examples of unacceptable behavior that could lead to disciplinary action include:
- Discrimination in any form as defined in the Alberta Human Rights Act
- Any action deemed non-compliant or in contravention with:
- Parkland School Division Administrative Procedure 360: Student Discipline
- Parkland School Division Administrative Procedure 380: Promoting Positive Behavior at School
- Section 31 of the Education Act of Alberta
- Conduct which threatens the safety of students and/or staff
- Conduct that is injurious to the physical or mental well-being of others in the school
- Conduct which inhibits the process of learning for others
- Mean behavior
- Bullying and cyber bullying
- Subjecting incoming students to forms of punishment or indignities (hazing/froshing)
- Harassment or sexual harassment (as defined by Division Administrative Procedure 170)
- Damage to property
- Abuse of the Division computer network, the internet, email or any electronic privileges
- Tampering with fire, fire alarm or safety equipment
- Possession of a weapon or weapon replica on a student's person, or in a student's locker or desk, that is dangerous to students and staff
- Displaying or brandishing a weapon or weapon-replica in a threatening or intimidating manner
- Assaulting another person
- Possession, being under the influence of, use of, or trafficking of any of the following substances in school and on school/Division property or at school/Division related events or activities:
- Tobacco products (including vapor or e-cigarettes)
- Illegal drugs
- Possession of drug paraphernalia, including any item used in connection with ingesting, selling and/or distributing prohibited substances
- Conduct that displays an attitude of willful, blatant or repeated refusal to comply with school rules.
Generally we want students to dress modestly with no excessive skin, underwear, or inappropriate messages showing.
- No strapless tops, no tops with excessive underwear showing (bra straps are okay, within reason).
- No shirts with low necklines.
- No offensive logos or writing.
- Crop tops are permitted as long as the midriff is not exposed.
- Skirts and dresses should come to approximately mid-thigh. If skirts are shorter, they should be worn with leggings/tights.
- Shorts may be shorter, but must cover the bottom.
- Pants should not hang too low (no underwear showing).
- No hats on inside, including toques.
- Please be prepared for Physical Education classes with an athletic t-shirt, supportive runners and shorts. As we cannot use our change rooms this year due to COVID protocols, we ask that students wear clothing that will allow them to participate in physical education.
If a student’s outfit is not in compliance with the school dress code, the student will be asked to address the matter. For example, students may be asked to remove their hat or toque, or to change into clothing that aligns with our dress code. If a student does not have appropriate clothing to change into, they will be encouraged to borrow from a friend if possible. If this is not possible, students will be offered a clean piece of Meridian Spirit wear. Should this not be an acceptable solution, the student will be asked to call a parent/guardian to bring clothes to school.
The dress code applies in and outside of the school building during school hours. Again, think of your school as your “workplace”: it is not a mall, not a soccer game, not a beach or even a home. Dressing respectfully is a life skill, and we appreciate your efforts.
The staff at École Meridian Heights recognize the potential for technology to support purposeful learning opportunities for our students. We also acknowledge the need to ensure an appropriate balance within the use of technology within our learning community throughout the school day. With that in mind, policies have been developed to outline the technology expectations within our school.
Parkland School Division Code of Conduct
In Parkland School Division, all members of our school community are expected to promote and demonstrate respect, civility and responsible citizenship.
With these goals in mind, everyone must:
- Demonstrate honesty and integrity.
- Respect differences in people, their ideas and their opinions.
- Acknowledge the right of everyone to be treated with dignity, at all times.
- Take appropriate measures to help those in need.
- Use non-violent means to resolve conflict.
- Honour the role(s) of persons in positions of authority.
- Show care and regard for school property and the property of others.
- Comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws.
We are all models for the kinds of citizens we desire to be. We teach and learn by example.