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Safe Schools

Safe Schools policy focuses on safe and nurturing schools

Building great places to learn and work

As a parent, nothing is more important than your teen’s safety and well-being. At our school, we share that priority. We’re committed to providing a healthy, supportive learning and working environment for our students and staff.

We understand that equity and excellence go hand-in-hand. One of the Peel District School Board’s core goals in its strategic plan, the Report Card for Student Success, is the following:

"Achieve equity for students and staff—we provide equity of access and opportunity for students and staff to learn, work and develop in an environment that is safe, nurturing, engaging, respectful and inclusive."

We want our staff and students to be:
  • Caring – showing compassion and kindness towards others
  • Cooperative – working collaboratively with others for a common purpose
  • Honest – being truthful, trustworthy and sincere in your speech and actions
  • Inclusive – treating everyone fairly and equitably
  • Respectful – treating others, yourself and the environment with high regard and value
  • Responsible – being accountable and reliable in your actions and commitments

We believe that parents, the school and community must work together to help students learn to become responsible members of society by being sensitive to the diversity, cultural and special needs of individual students.

A focus on safety

The Peel board’s Safe Schools policy is based on the Education Act and the Ontario Code of Conduct. The policy is available from the school or on the Peel board website. Each school also develops its own Code of Conduct, based on provincial and Peel board policies.

Safe Schools brochure

Keeping our schools safe is a shared responsibility

Peel schools are among the safest places in our communities—and, together, we share responsibility for keeping our schools safe.

The school's responsibility:
  • provide a safe, nurturing, engaging, welcoming, respectful and inclusive school climate
  • teach positive behaviour and good citizenship
  • teach respect for self and others
  • provide tools to resolve problems constructively and respectfully
  • encourage healthy, inclusive relationships
  • apply consequences for inappropriate behaviour
  • support victims of inappropriate behaviour
  • communicate openly and honestly
The student’s responsibility:
  • treat others with respect and dignity
  • attend classes punctually and regularly
  • exercise self-control and self-discipline
  • tell an adult if you or someone is being bullied
  • take responsibility for your own actions
  • practice honesty and integrity
  • resolve conflict in a constructive and respectful way
  • respect school and community property
  • use technology and electronic resources in a respectful and non-harassing manner
The parent’s responsibility:
  • understand and support the school, Peel board and provincial codes of conduct
  • communicate regularly with the school
  • help your teen follow school rules
  • be actively involved in your teen’s learning and progress
  • model and reinforce positive behaviour at home
  • monitor your teen’s Internet use
  • report any serious incidents to the school and to the police

For a copy of the board’s Safe Schools brochure, visit your teen’s school.

Procedures help keep students safe at school

Lockdown

Peel schools provide a safe environment for staff and students to work and learn. The board has many procedures to ensure safety — including regular fire drills, evacuation plans and criminal records checks for new staff and volunteers. Together with Peel Regional Police and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, the Peel board developed a lockdown procedure to help keep schools safe during any potentially serious violent incident.

During lockdowns and lockdown rehearsals, the principal will announce on the PA, "Initiate lockdown procedure." The school bell will ring continuously for a period of time.

Students and staff inside the school will:
  • go to the closest room and close the door, and lock it if possible
  • lie down on the floor away from doors and windows
  • remain on the floor until further directions are given
Note: Police have cautioned against parents calling their child's cell phone as this hinders the safety measures put in place. Students and staff outside the school will:
  • move as far away from the building as possible
  • remain outside until the bell is rung once to signal re-entry or until further directions are given

As part of the school's overall safety plan, rehearsals will take place a minimum of two times during the school year. For more information or for a copy of the complete lockdown procedure, speak to your school principal.

During a lockdown, information will be posted on our school’s website. It is your best source of information. Schools cannot answer the phone during a lockdown.

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Hold and Secure or Shelter in Place

If it is necessary to secure a school due to an ongoing situation in the community and not related to the school, a hold and secure or shelter in place procedure will be activated. The school will continue to function in a near normal state with the exception that all exterior doors and windows are locked and no one enters or exits the building without police approval.

A shelter in place is used in the event of an environmental or weather-related situation.

Bomb Threats

In accordance with the Ministry of Education, the Peel board worked with Peel Regional Police, Ontario Provincial Police and school boards in the Peel region to develop protocols for critical situations including bomb threats to help keep schools and worksites safe in the event of a bomb threat or suspicious device/substance.

During bomb threat or suspicious device/substance and rehearsals, the principal will announce on the PA, "Initiate emergency school inspection, students remain with or return to your supervising teacher or staff member immediately. Staff please await further instructions."

Staff inside the school will:
  • conduct a visual scan of their immediate work area for an unusual package/item
Students inside the school will:
  • remain with or return to their supervising teacher or staff member immediately
  • be advised to turn off their phones or to put them on vibrate
  • continue school routines in the classroom
Students and staff outside the school will:
  • move as far away from the building as possible
  • remain outside until further directions are given

In a real situation, depending on the circumstances, students and staff inside and outside the building may be directed to conduct a school or site evacuation. It is important that students follow the instructions of their supervising teacher or staff member carefully and do not stop at lockers or other in-school locations.

When the rehearsal drill is completed and in a real event, the situation has been cleared, I will make another announcement, “inspection complete, please resume regular activities.”

Students are requested to turn off their cell phones during these emergency procedures. Safety is our number one priority and police have advised that cell phone usage can cause more safety risks and danger than benefits. Parents are also requested NOT to call the school or your child’s cell phone during emergency procedures. Please monitor your child’s school website for updates. In some cases, police will designate a Parent Information Site for you to attend and get up-to-date, accurate information.

In the unlikely circumstance of an actual event, police ask that parents do not go to the school unless requested to do so. For safety reasons, you will not be allowed to enter the school premises.

If you have any questions about our bomb threat, suspicious device/substance protocol, or any of the procedures we have in place to keep students and staff safe, please speak to your school principal.

Keeping students safe on the web

In Peel schools, students learn how to use the Internet as a research and communication tool. Learning how to access information through the Internet helps students become aware of available resources that exist outside the classroom and school library. Students also benefit from learning how to competently analyze and evaluate information. In addition, students may use the Internet for communication where it is appropriate for their learning.

Student responsibilities

Use of the Internet is viewed as a privilege, not a right. The Internet must not be used for any purpose that violates the school's Code of Conduct. This applies to school, work and home Internet use.

Students will:
  • demonstrate appropriate online conduct and manners
  • refrain from improper use of technology, including computer hacking, cyber-bullying and all other forms of violence, threats and harassment directed at staff, students or the school
  • focus Internet time on assigned research topics
  • credit sourced information — plagiarism and transferring of copyright material is not permitted
Students will not:
  • damage computers, computers systems, networks, peripherals or software
  • use someone else's password, or trespass in their files, folders or work
  • use the network to access or distribute any illegal or illicit material

Rules for personal online safety

To ensure that all students keep safe on the Internet, students must never:
  • give out personal information such as their address, telephone number, age or school address
  • agree to meet with someone they meet online
  • send pictures of themselves or anything else without permission
  • respond in any form to messages which make them uncomfortable or are deemed inappropriate according to the school's Code of Conduct
  • send or receive offensive pictures or materials

Network administrators may review files and communications to maintain system integrity and ensure that users are using the system network responsibly. Users should not expect that files stored on district servers are private.

Police officers work with high schools to ensure safety

Neighbourhood Policing Officers work with the area high schools to maintain a presence with our youth population. They work directly with teachers and parents to ensure youth are on the right path to a great future.

Learn more about the program on the Peel Regional Police website.