Code of Conduct

In partnership with our Family of Schools* we are committed to working together with our communites to develop socially responsible students.

 (*Victoria High, Central, James Bay, S.J.D., South Park, Oaklands, George Jay, Lansdowne)

The parents and staff of École Sir James Douglas Elementary School are committed to providing the opportunity for students to develop the life skills needed to deal with adversity, overcome challenges, and feel empathy for their peers as well as the confidence to stand up for what is right for themselves and others. The role of a Code of Conduct is to identify and clarify behaviour expectations that promote a school culture allowing all students to develop physically, socially, emotionally, creatively, and intellectually. The Code of Conduct was developed by students, parents, staff, and administration to be inclusive, understandable, and achievable for all members of the SJD community, with consideration of Provincial ministerial order 276/07 and the BC Human Rights Code.

Why do we have a Code of Conduct?
A clear, consistent, and fair set of behaviour expectations allows for a positive and nurturing environment where the rights and responsibilities of every individual are recognized and supported. Every member of the school community is expected to demonstrate and support the values expressed in the Code of Conduct and to commit to initiating improvements as needed.

What is the purpose of the Code of Conduct?
The Code of Conduct will help guide behaviour – encouraging and empowering students to make positive choices. The community is working to make SJD a ‘restitution school’, where children are given the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour, work towards a resolution, and return to the group strengthened.

Through discussion and implementation, the Code of Conduct guides students to make choices that meet their needs and the needs of others. By taking responsibility for their own behaviour, children are given the opportunity to strengthen their self esteem, confidence and ability to recognize the inherent dignity and rights of each individual.

How is the Code of Conduct implemented?
Behaviour expectations outlined in the Code of Conduct are consistently taught and actively promoted. Teachers introduce/review the Code of Conduct with their students at the beginning of the school year and refer to it throughout the year, using a variety of strategies and programs, including:

  • Modeling the behaviours expected from studentsWITS
  • Listening actively and openly
  • Celebrating individuality and accepting differences
  • Using a common language (e.g. WITS, restitution) for problem-solving
  • Collaborating to produce solution-oriented problem-solving
  • Acting with compassion

How is the Code of Conduct communicated?
Parents play a pivotal role in students learning and exhibiting appropriate behaviour. The core Code of Conduct is sent home at the start of each school year, with a cover letter and signature line, for families to review, discuss with their children and sign their acceptance of the code. The core Code of Conduct is prominently displayed in the school entrance and can be posted in classrooms by teachers in age appropriate language. The expanded Code of Conduct is available on the school and PAC websites and in the school office. Each year, all students in grades 1 through 5 receive instruction from their classroom teacher and meet with the administration to review the Code of Conduct and behaviour expectations. Kindergarten teachers work with their students directly on learning and understanding our school Code of Conduct.

When a teacher, staff member or student joins our school during the school year, they receive an information package which contains the core Code of Conduct. This package is reviewed with each employee and student. Students, parents, coaches and involved members of the greater community are expected to exhibit appropriate behaviour when acting as ambassadors of the school.

Rights and Responsibilities

Our RightsOur Responsibilities
Safety - We have the right to feel and be safe.It is our responsibility to:

  • solve problems and conflicts peacefully, using strategies such as WITS

  • play safely and avoid threatening, teasing, excluding or hurting others with our body or words

  • follow school and safety rules, and follow directions of school staff

  • inform an adult of incidents of bullying behaviour, harassment or intimidation or other safety concerns

Respect - We have the right to be heard and treated with respect.It is our responsibility to:

  • treat others in a kind and caring way

  • listen to others with respect and speak politely

  • respect the feelings and opinions of others and accept differences

  • encourage others in a positive way

  • be inclusive

Learning - We have the right to learn at school and at home.It is our responsibility to:

  • attend school regularly and be on time

  • participate in classroom learning activities
  • give our best effort in everything we do

  • be organized, listen and work cooperatively

Privacy - We have the right to privacy and to our own personal property and space.It is our responsibility to:

  • respect our property and ourselves

  • respect the personal space and property of others and accept their right to privacy

Clean School - We have the right to a comfortable and clean environment.It is our responsibility to:

  • clean up after ourselves

  • reduce, reuse, recycle and compost

  • treat École Sir James Douglas Elementary School and grounds with care

Conduct ExpectationsSupervisor
At École Sir James Douglas School, students, staff, parents and visitors are to conduct themselves appropriately at school, on their way to and from school, and at any school-sponsored activity at any location. Expectations also apply regarding electronic devices including, but not limited to, website postings, blogs, text messages and other electronic media that negatively affect members of the school community.

Misbehaviour that occurs during field trips and extracurricular activities can damage the reputation of the school and may pose additional hazards to students due to occurring in less controlled environments. Participation in such activities is based on an expectation of appropriate conduct. These activities are privileges, and teachers and/or activity leaders will use their discretion in determining whether or not a student may continue to participate in such activities based upon their conduct.

Rising Expectations
As students become older and progress through the grades, expectations of appropriate behaviour, self regulation and personal responsibility increase. Age, cognitive development and special needs will be factors when providing consequences/learning opportunities for students to understand their mistakes, make more appropriate decisions and demonstrate appropriate behaviours. Where students are unable to appreciate the nature or consequences of their behaviour, in consultation with their parents, they may be referred to administration, school based teams, case managers or outside agencies.

Unacceptable Conduct
At École Sir James Douglas School, we expect students to display behaviours that bring credit to themselves, others and the school. Unacceptable conduct that disrupts the learning opportunities of others, causes mental, physical and/or emotional harm to others, or demonstrates disrespect is not acceptable.

Consequences for Misbehaviour
The goal of imposing consequences for misbehaviour is to educate individuals when their conduct is unacceptable within a safe, caring and orderly school. When misbehaviour has resulted in mental, physical or emotional harm, the first priority of any response must be the well-being of the victim. In determining severity of behaviour, administration will use their discretion and have final say as they will have the broadest knowledge base of the incident.

École Sir James Douglas School is working towards becoming a restitution school. Restitution is a process that focuses on creating conditions for students to learn self-discipline, fix mistakes and return to the group strengthened. Restitution helps children reclaim their self-esteem through self-evaluation, personal effort and fixing their own mistakes. The school community works with students to help them understand making responsible choices, learning appropriate behaviour and working towards restitution with involved parties.
Minor Misbehaviours
Typically limited in scope and effect, these misbehaviours are often due to lack of forethought on the student’s part as   to how his/her actions would be perceived by others or being caught up in the   moment. These misbehaviours will be managed by the classroom teacher, supervisors and/or administration.

Minor misbehaviours may include, but are not limited to:Restorative Processes may include, but are not limited to:

  • disruptive classroom behaviour

  • not showing proper hallway/assembly/playground behaviour

  • leaving designated play areas

  • hurtful name calling

  • excluding others

  • roughhousing

  • inappropriate use of internet (e.g. personal social site, adult sites etc)

  • discussion with student

  • loss of privilege

  • lesson or activity to help the student learn the appropriate behaviour

Major or Repeated Minor Misbehaviours
These misbehaviours are serious and deliberate and can compromise safety, emotional well-being and/or disrupt the learning of others.  They will be managed by the staff members and administrator.  Minor offences that over time accumulate and take on a more serious tone are also included in this category. On all major behaviour infractions parents will be contacted and an Incident Report will be kept on file in the office.  Copies of Letters of Suspension (in school and out of school) will be placed in the student’s file in the office.

Major Misbehaviours may include, but are not limited to:In addition to those processes listed for minor misbehaviours, further restorative processes may include, but are not limited to:

  • discriminating behavior or speech based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age, or gender identity and expression

  • bullying, cyber bullying, harassment or intimidation including friendship/social bullying (i.e. talking behind someone’s back, excluding others)

  • being a bystander to bullying (i.e. not reporting an incident, cheering or laughing at incident)

  • actions that compromise safety

  • physical aggression/verbal threats

  • overt defiance of staff

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  • meetings with people affected by the behaviour

  • parent meetings

  • team meetings

  • may be sent home or suspended

Critical Misbehaviours
Critical misbehaviours will be dealt with by administration.  These misbehaviours are serious, deliberate actions resulting in emotional, mental or physical harm and/or serious disruptions to the learning environment. Parents will be contacted and a copy of the Incident Report will be kept on file in the office.  Copies of Letters of Suspension (in school and out of school) will be placed in the student’s file in the office.

Critical Misbehaviours may include, but are not limited to:In addition to those processes listed above, further restorative processes may include, but are not limited to:

  • repeated major misbehaviours

  • physical violence (including fighting)

  • serious threatening behaviour

  • sexual misconduct (language or behaviour)

  • retaliation against a person who has made a complaint of a breach of the Code of Conduct

  • immediate parent contact

  • immediate formal suspension (in or out of school)

  • police involvement if necessary

Illegal Acts
Illegal acts not be tolerated at École Sir James Douglas School.  Incidents will be referred to school administration for action; district administration and/or police will be advised immediately.  Parents will be contacted and a copy of the Incident Report will be kept on file in the office.  Copies of Letters of Suspension (in school and out of school) will be placed in the student’s file in the office.

Illegal acts include, but are not limited to:

  • possession, use or distribution of illegal or restricted substances

  • possession or use of weapons

  • theft or damage to property

Support for Victims
We recognize that students who have experienced mental, physical or emotional hurt as a result of the actions of others may require support to rejoin the school community as secure and complete individuals. Whenever a student has been negatively affected by a major or critical behaviour, his/her parents will be contacted and informed of the incident. The individual(s) involved will be updated throughout the restorative process. The school counsellor will connect with the family and offer to facilitate access to the appropriate community agency for follow-up support. Victims have the choice of participating in the restorative process and will be given the opportunity to express their feelings regarding the impact of the actions upon them. Where victims experience prolonged difficulties as a result of another’s misbehaviour, additional support strategies may be developed in concert with parents, staff and impacted individuals.

Parent Involvement If Incident Occur
The school will make every effort to contact the parents if a student has been disciplined or impacted by the behaviour of others. In cases where patterns of minor misbehaviour develop or incidents of major misconduct occur, parents will be invited to participate in developing strategies to support their child’s restitution measures. In the case of suspensions, parents will be notified and made aware of the protocols as described in the Greater Victoria School Board (District 61) Student Suspension Regulation 5131.7 and the Suspension Appeal Process Bylaw 9330.1 both of which are available on the website of the Greater Victoria School District website:

District Complaints Process

From time to time a concern may arise in our educational community. To help resolve these issues, the Greater Victoria School District uses a complaint process to ensure that an individual’s concern will be given respectful attention while upholding the integrity if the educational system. This process uses clear procedures for the communication and resolution of any concern held by a member of our education community.

If you would like to review the Complaint Process for a Resolution of Concerns you will find it here.

The following definitions may be useful in understanding the Code of Conduct so that everyone in the school community shares a common understanding of the terms used. These are not legal definitions, but have been commonly used in the school system.


Bullying behaviour: the severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, electronic or other form of expression, a physical act or gesture or any combination, directed at another student and if it has the effect of or is reasonably intended to have the effect of,

  • causing physical or emotional harm or damage to another student’s property,
  • placing the other student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or damage to his or her property,
  • creating a hostile environment at school for the other student,
  • infringing on the legal rights of another student at school, or
  • materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of a school; (“intimidation”)

Cyber bullying: bullying behaviour which is carried out through an Internet service such as email, chat room, blog, discussion group or instant messaging. It can also include bullying through mobile phone technologies and new internet technologies in the future.

Harassment: any unwelcome or unwanted act or comment that is hurtful, degrading, humiliating, or offensive to another person is an act of harassment. Of particular concern is behaviour that persists after the aggressor has been asked to stop.

Any of the following behaviours could be considered harassment:

  • condescending treatment that undermines another’s self-respect, name-calling, teasing, disrespectful comments
  • gossiping, spreading malicious rumours, “dirty” looks, social ridicule, public embarrassment
  • social isolation (“freezing out” or rejecting others), exclusion from a group, threatening to withdraw friendship
  • repeated unwanted communication
  • unwelcome jokes, innuendoes, insults, or put downs; taunts about a person’s body, disability, religion, attire, age, economic status, ethnic or national origin
  • insulting graffiti directed at an individual or group
  • unwanted and uninvited sexual attention, particularly when it is intimidating, hostile, or offensive to the recipient.

Discrimination: when a person – on the basis of his or her race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, gender or gender expression, sexual orientation, or age – suffers disadvantages or is denied opportunities available to other members of society.

Safe and Caring School: is one that creates a respectful environment, free of bullying and discrimination, where all feel welcome and accepted, and where all feel free to learn and to speak openly. The term “safe and caring school” does not refer to the structural safety of the school building and grounds.

Orderly School: free from chaos and confusion and alive with the sights and sounds of purposeful learning activities. Routinesare well established, so students are free to focus on the learning at hand. A business-like atmosphere exists, yet there is creativity and fun in abundance. All members of the school community are informed about and exercise their rights and responsibilities as school citizens.

Appendix D: Review Process
Each February, the Code of Conduct will be reviewed by the Safe and Caring Committee (SCC) to keep codes up-to-date and to address current school circumstances and emerging issues. Any changes will be finalized by April 30th.

The core Code of Conduct will be communicated to families, students and staff at the beginning of each school year. The expanded Code of Conduct will be available on the school and PAC websites and through the school’s front office.

When reviewing the Code of Conduct, the school will involve students, parents and staff in the process. In addition, the SCC will review the Code of Conducts from our pathway schools (Central and Vic High) to ensure compatibility.

Updated: May 2017