Board Policy 19

WELCOMING, SAFE, CARING & RESPECTFUL SCHOOLS

The Board of Trustees for Westwind School Division No. 74 Is committed to providing welcoming, safe, caring and respectful environments for all students, staff, parents and community members. The Board affirms the rights, as provided for in the Alberta Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, of each staff member employed by the board and each student enrolled in a school operated by the Board. Staff and students will not be discriminated against as provided for in the Alberta Human Rights Act or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It is the belief of the Board that all members of the school community have the right and responsibility to treat and be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness and, as such, each school has the responsibility to ensure that students and their families will feel safe in bringing forth issues and concerns that are important to them.

Definition

For “ALL” refers specifically to the Alberta Human Rights Act range of protected rights for individuals, specifically prohibiting discrimination, harassment or bullying based on “race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation.” – see Appendix 1

Specifically

  1. A safe school learning environment for all is one that is physically, emotionally and psychologically safe, characterized by:
    1. Respect for law and order;
    2. Respect for democratic values, rights and responsibilities;
    3. Respect for diversity;
    4. Community, family, student and staff involvement;
    5. Appropriate modelling by Board, administration, parents, staff and students; and
    6. Clear, consistent expectations for behaviour that is communicated to students, staff and parents.

  2. A caring school learning environment for all is one that is characterized by:
    1. Ongoing respect for the dignity of the individual; and
    2. A presence of demonstrated concern for the physical, social, emotional and psychological well-being of all students and staff.

  3. A welcoming, safe, caring and respectful learning environment promotes understanding, respect and tolerance for others and honours the common values and beliefs of Albertans. It must not promote or foster doctrines of racial or ethnic superiority or persecution, religious intolerance or persecution, social change through violent action or disobedience of laws.

  4. School personnel and parents are viewed as partners in providing education for students. It is expected they will collaborate, communicate and cooperate on all matters that serve the best interests of all students.
    1. Parents have the right to choose the kind of education to be provided to the parent’s child, and as a partner in education, have the responsibility to act as the primary guide and decision-maker with respect to the child’s education and take an active role in the child’s educational success, including assisting the child to comply with all legislated responsibilities for Alberta students.

Procedures

  1. School administration will work with students, staff and parents to create and maintain a welcoming, safe, caring, respectful and inclusive environment for all, including:
    1. Providing inclusive and respectful services and supports.
    2. Provide support to establish voluntary student organizations, where interest by one or more students has been expressed, or to lead an activity intended to promote a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and supports a sense of belonging for all. (Alberta School Act, Section 16.1 & 45.1) (See AP 192)
    3. Ensuring that discriminatory behaviours and complaints are taken seriously, documented and dealt with in a timely manner. (Alberta School Act, Section 45.1)
    4. Ensuring that all staff recognize the need for confidentiality and will then keep confidences so that all students are protected from unwanted disclosure of sensitive and private information.
    5. Ensuring that students are provided with adequate supervision at all approved activities, and making those involved in school-related activities aware of expectations for conduct.
    6. Preparing for and implementing the division’s Crisis Response Manual when a critical incident occurs.

  2. In developing welcoming, safe, caring and respectful school environments for all, programs should be put in place which:
    1. Provide students with a nurturing environment, opportunities for and recognition of success, and enhancement of self-esteem, self-discipline and a sense of responsibility;
    2. Assist students to develop appropriate approaches to solving problems and resolving conflict.

  3. At the school level, the principal shall be responsible for resolving disputes that may arise regarding issues for all students and their participation in educational programs and co-curricular/extra-curricular activities.
    1. The principal shall ensure that the resolution of conflict ensures reasonable accommodations and the spirit of equity and inclusiveness.

Legal Reference:

Section 8, 31, 33, 35, 35.1, 36, 37, 41, 51, 52, 53, 222 Education Act
Alberta Human Rights Act
Teaching Profession Act
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Criminal Code

 

Approved: April 5, 2016

Amended: August 21, 2018