Student Agenda

School Motto

Archbishop Denis O'Connor strives to be a Catholic, Christian Learning community where each person is valued for their uniqueness and where together we are committed to social awareness and academic excellence in an atmosphere of cooperation, respect and affirmation.  Let us not forget that this can only be achieved through wholehearted faith and work.  As our motto suggests"

       "Nil sine fide ed labore"

       "Nothing is accomplished without faith and work".

Core Values 

Our Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School community includes our parents, guardians, students, teachers, school administration, educational assistants, adult volunteers, secretaries and custodians. We invite all visitors to join with us as we grow in Christ through His words and actions.


We are called to LoveWe are called to Serve

Every member of our community is valued.

We will turn our beliefs into actions.

We will constantly strive to respect and love each other as Christ taught us.

We will take pride in who we are and actively show that pride in the daily development of our talents, our deportment, and our contribution to our community.

We will strive to recognize Christ in ourselves.

We will affirm each other through active kindness, courtesy, compassion, respect, patience, forgiveness, and honesty.

We will strive to recognize Christ in each other.

We will each actively participate in the responsibility of maintaining the buildings, grounds and spaces that we share, created by God for all generations.

We will strive to recognize Christ in His creation.

Principal's Message 

Our ultimate goal at Archbishop Denis O’Connor is to support the growth and development of each student as they strive to attain their full potential spiritually, academically, socially and emotionally.

We value and acknowledge the value and partnership of our parent community as primary educators of their children.

We hope that this agenda will serve as an effective tool for communication and understanding for students and parents, and supports our students, as they become self-directed leaders.

May this year be filled with excellence in learning, much laughter and collegiality as we grow together as a Catholic Learn community at DO’C.

Our History 

Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School was founded by Father Leo J. Austin and officially opened on October 25, 1964 in Whitby, Ontario.

Named after a Basilian priest born in Pickering in 1841 who became the third Archbishop of Toronto in 1899. Originally staffed by the Grey Sisters (Pembroke) and dedicated lay teachers.

School Motto is "NIL SINE FIDE ET LABORE” which is Latin for “Nothing is accomplished without faith and work”.

Archbishop Denis O’Connor C.H.S. moved to its new home in AJAX, Ontario in 1984.

It officially opened and was blessed by Cardinal Emmett Carter on November 18th, 1984.

Today’s Archbishop Denis O’Connor C.H.S. (DO’C) students are inheritors of a great tradition of quality Catholic education.  Since our humble beginning as a small parish supported High School, DO’C has become a Catholic Education Institution surpassing all projections and expectations.

Our current enrolment is approximately 640 students.

School Code of Conduct 

School Code of Conduct, click here to read.

School Code of Conduct - Secondary Acceptable Use Agreement 

  • I will respect the dignity of others and contribute to the common good.
  • I will only use social media in a manner that respects the dignity of others.
  • I will use the internet, computers and personally owned electronic devices in a manner consistent with the
        Catholic Graduate Expectations.
  • I will respect the intellectual property rights of others and not pirate or plagiarize.
  • I will protect my digital identity, my passwords, and others’ right to privacy online.
  • I will only use personally owned electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, tablets, and iPods) during class time
        when my teacher allows it.
  • I will not take pictures, videos or audio recordings of people without their permission.
  • I will not use an electronic device in private areas (e.g., washrooms, change rooms and administrative
  • I understand that inappropriate use of personally owned electronic devices make me subject to discipline as
        noted in the Board’s Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technology Administrative Procedure,
        Code of Conduct Policy and Student Discipline Policy.
  • I will remember Jesus’ message do unto others as I would have done to me
School Code of Conduct for Remote Learning
Click here for the School Code of Conduct for Remote Learning.
Academic Honesty & Respond to Dishonesty 

Academic honesty, based on respect for others and oneself, is a fundamental value in Catholic schools.  Catholic educators are expected to teach students in developmentally appropriate ways about the definitions of plagiarism and cheating and about measures they must take as responsible and self-regulating learners to avoid academic dishonesty. 

In a Case of Academic Dishonesty a teacher may:

  • Speak with the student about the incident
  • Utilize the software application “”
  • Speak with a parent, guardian or Vice-Principal
  • Consult with the Curriculum Chair or Principal 


Consequences for Academic Dishonesty may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Conference with student
  • Parent/Guardian contact/conference
  • Request that student rewrite test or assignment
  • Remediation around research and citation strategies
  • Review of expectations regarding academic honesty
    • Counselling regarding impact of academic dishonesty on marks and reputation
    • Reflection or journal assignment
    • Restorative practice circle
    • Detention and/or referral to VP and/or Counsellor
    • Mark deduction or a mark of zero
    • Suspension 
Pledge of Academic Honesty 

Students are expected to: 

  • Submit work, including tests and exams, consisting of their own ideas, expressed in their own words;
  • Demonstrate respect for the ideas of others  by acknowledging the sources they use in appropriate ways;
  • Take responsibility for completing work on time and seek additional time or assistance when needed.

Failure to meet these expectations may result in a variety of consequences, one of which could include a mark of zero.


Student Pledge of Academic Honesty 

I understand the importance of academic honesty, and I know that plagiarism and cheating are dishonest.  If I cheat or plagiarize, I must accept the consequences of my actions, which may include a mark of zero. 

My signature below indicates my pledge to demonstrate respect for myself, my teachers and my fellow students by acting honestly at all time in my academic work.

Faith Development 

It is compulsory for students at Archbishop Denis O’Connor to participate actively in the religious life of the school: 

  • Students will be provided with and actively participate in school masses, retreats, renewal days and other opportunity activities of a Catholic nature.
  • Our retreat program at DO’C is carefully planned to support the spiritual growth of our students. The focus in Grade 9 is to support transition, build community and foster faith development.
  •  In Grade’s 10, 11 & 12, the retreat program supports the integration and infusion of Catholic values and Catholic Graduate Expectations into all areas of curriculum.
  • Students will respect and participate in religious studies.
  • Students must demonstrate a caring, respectful attitude towards all members of our DO’C community, staff, teachers, fellow students, and the community at large.
  • Students must be successful in four compulsory Religion credits in order to graduate from Archbishop Denis O’Connor C.H.S.

In summary, students are expected to demonstrate in their daily school life that they are prepared to live in communion with one another as we are a Catholic Faith Community.  Upon graduation, it is our goal that students leave Archbishop Denis O’Connor with the ability to embody the Catholic Graduate Expectations in their daily lives, which include: 

  •  A  Discerning Believer
  •  An Effective Communicator
  •  A Reflective, Creative & Holistic Thinker
  •  A Self-Directed, Responsible, Life Learner
  •  A Collaborative Contributor
  •  A Caring Family Member
  •  A Responsible Citizen
Assessment and Evaluation 

In 2010, the Ministry of Education introduced a document entitled “Growing Success”.  In essence this document defines the process that teachers and students will engage in for assessment and evaluation.  The document was designed to support student learning and achievement and it avails students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, inquiry, application and communication skills.  This allows the student time for their teachers to provide descriptive feedback on how students can reach their full potential.  The components of this process are assessment FOR learning, which is a diagnostic, and highlights the areas of what students already know and what is required to move forward.  The assessment as learning, encompasses the greatest portion of the semester and allows for practice, feedback and student self-evaluation.  This supports students becoming active participants in their learning.  During the assessment “FOR” and “AS” learning while students may receive a mark, this will not be factored, into the students final course mark.  Final marks will be generated towards the end of the unit course and will be reflective of the students most recent and consistent efforts.  Specific policies are currently being developed and will be shared as they become available.  The following constitutes the 7 Essential Principles of quality assessment and evaluation, in terms of fairness, transparency and equity assessments:

  • Are fair, transparent and equitable for all students
  •  Support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
  • Are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goal and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
  •  Are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year of course;
  • Are ongoing , varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • Provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement
  • Develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps.
Student Activity Fee 

Each year during the course selection process, which generally takes place in February (for the following year) students must pay a student activity fee of $75.00.  The fee helps OFFSET and does not cover completely: 

  • Retreats
  • Yearbook
  • Student Identification Card
  • One time school issued Dudley Lock
  • Student Agenda
  • Guest Speakers / Honourariums
  • School Mailings

In the event of financial hardship, please contact the Principal, so a payment plan can be made.

Annual Athletic Fee 

The annual fee is $60.00 per Extra-Curricular Activity.  $10.00 goes towards the Athletic Awards Ceremony and $50.00 is used to offset the fees for the following items: 

  • referee fees for regular season and playoffs
  • league fees set by LOSSA
  • transportation fee to away games 

Every student who is participating in a sports team must pay the Annual Athletic Fee. In the event of financial hardship please contact our Athletic Director at 905-427-6667 x 53015.

School Code of Conduct 

The following information with respect to our school code of conduct and the related policies and procedures of the Board comply with the Education Act, which was amended to ensure safe school communities in February 1, 2008.  

Statement of Purpose

In striving to achieve a standard of excellence in the spiritual, social, intellectual, academic, emotional and physical dimension of our lives, the student shall use these guidelines as they relate to specific life at Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School.

All members of the school community are to be treated with respect and dignity, especially persons in positions of authority. Members of the school community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict as physically aggressive behaviour is not a responsible way to interact with others.  The School Code of Conduct is subject to the rights and authority of the Church.  All forms of abuse and/or discrimination are unacceptable.”

Expected Behaviour of Students 
  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition.
  • Treat one another with dignity and respect at all times.
  • Respect persons who are in a position of responsibility or authority and always identify yourself when asked.
  • Be responsible citizens, helping those in need and complying with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws.
  •  Use appropriate language at all times.
  •  Abstain from any inappropriate displays of affection.
  • Show proper care and regard for school property, the property of others and the environment.
  • Work diligently, complete all assignments, prepare for lessons, and attend all classes, assemblies, School Masses and other scheduled school activities.
  • Take care to exercise good personal hygiene and overall neatness.
  • Be in full uniform at all times and wear it respectfully at all times, in compliance with the Uniform Policy and Procedures as outlined in this agenda.

We are called to…

  • live and work cooperatively in community
  • solve conflicts peacefully
  • be responsible for the well-being of ourselves and other in school and the wider community
  • offer compassion and care to those who suffer and struggle in our school
  • be honest
  • include and value every member of our school community
  • be faithful to God’s love and plan for each of us as expressed in the life of Jesus
Attendance, Punctuality, Absent during Exams, Skipping Classes 

“Regular attendance at school is critical for the student’s learning and the achievement of course expectations” (OSS-Program & Diploma Requirements 1999 p. 35).  

Regular attendance is essential for academic success. Students must accept responsibility for work which has been missed due to absences.


Student Absences 
  • When a student is absent parents must call the school before 8:30 am to excuse the absence.  
        Please call 1-844-288-
     6728, Or Option 3 from the Schools Main #. 
  • An automated message will be sent home for every unexcused absence. 
  • In the event of a medical reason, student may have to provide a doctor’s note when requested. 
  • Prolonged absences such as competitions and vacations are discouraged during the school year.  Please note in these cases academic penalties may apply.  Parents/guardians must notify the Principal in writing regarding the absence before the event. Students are responsible for all work missed during such absences. 
  • A student who is absent for fifteen consecutive days from any given class, without medical documentation will be withdrawn from the course.  Parents will be contacted by the 10th day of absence. 
  • A student who is absent for fifteen FULL consecutive days from school, without medical documentation will be referred to an attendance counsellor and may be withdrawn and/or demitted from the school roster.   Parents will be contacted by the 10th day of absence.
Excused Absence during the School Day
  • If a student has to leave the school during the day, he or she must present a note to the Attendance Secretary prior to 8:30 a.m. that morning or a parent must call the school prior to 8:30 a.m. 
  • If a student becomes ill during the school day, they MUST report to the Main Office prior to leaving the school premises to receive a “SIGN-OUT” slip.
  • Parents will be contacted prior to permitting a student to leave the school. While students will not be penalized for excused absences, they will be responsible for any work missed. This work should be
    completed in consultation with the classroom teacher. 
  • Only the Parent or Guardian as listed in the school’s database may excuse a student. In Emergency situations, if the parent/guardian cannot be reached, only the official emergency contacts as provided by the parents will be contacted.
Absences During Exams 

Examinations take place in January and June. Examinations are considered regular school days, and students must be prepared to attend school on these dates.  For this reason, parents and students are reminded not to plan holidays or trips during the examination period.  Absences due to illness will only be accepted with a note from a physician.  A student with a note from a physician may still be required to write the exam at a later date depending on the circumstances.  Please refer to the Calendar of Events for the specific dates of exams for both Semester 1 and Semester 2. 

Should a student be absent from a final examination/culminating activity in a course, a medical certificate must be presented to the Principal.  All such absences must be referred to the Principal.  Please note vacations and family functions do not constitute a reasonable excuse. 

Please check the Board's website and school calendar to ensure you avoid designated exams during your planning. You can expect to receive a mark of zero if you miss an exam for these reasons.


Truancy "Skipping Class" 

Truancy is a non-excused absence (skipping) from class or from school and is a major factor in academic failure. Teachers provide administration with a record of action taken and make referrals to administration. The consequences for truancy includes the following 

A student who misses fifteen consecutive days from any given class without medical documentation will be demitted from the course and/or school if full days are missed.

  • Teacher interview
  • Parent and Vice Principal notified
  • Missed work assigned for completion
    • Detention
    • Suspension
    • Guidance, Social Worker and/or Child and Youth Worker intervention
      • Referral to School Team

Students are expected to arrive on time to ALL OF THEIR CLASSES.  The day starts at 8:35 with a warning bell, and again at 8:40, which starts the day.  You are expected to be in your seats by 8:40.  IF YOU ARRIVE AFTER 8:40 YOU ARE LATE FOR SCHOOL!  PLEASE REPORT DIRECTLY TO CLASS.  The office does not issue late slips prior to 9:00.  Students who are late in between classes, report directly to the classroom, not the office. The teacher will decide whether the student needs to be referred to a Vice-Principal. The following consequences are in place for persistent lateness:

  • Teacher interview /detention
  • Referral to Vice Principal
  • Detention
  • Letter to parents
  • Suspension


2022-2023 Bell Times

Our bell schedule is: 


9:25                 Warning Bell

9:30 - 9:35       Homeroom & Morning Announcements

9:35 - 10:50     Period 1 - Block 1

10:50 - 12:05   Period 1 - Block 2

12:05 - 12:10   Travel Time

12:10 -   12:55   LUNCH

 12:55 -   1:00   Travel Time

  1:00 -   2:15   Period 2 - Block 1

  2:15 -   3:30   Period 2 - Block 2

  3:30               END OF DAY DISMISSAL

Late and Missed Assignments 

“Students must understand that there will be consequences for not completing assignments for evaluation and for submitting those assignments late.” (Growing Success, Ministry of Education 2010)

Late and missed assignments may occur for a number of legitimate reasons including extenuating circumstances, such as illness, accident, family issues, and/or parental intervention.  In these cases teachers are to apply their professional judgment reflecting on the Board’s Catholic context in addressing this issue with students.  Late penalties will be waived when legitimate extenuating circumstances occur. 

The Ministry of Education indicates that the teacher will use professional judgment to help prevent or address late and missed assignments. According to the Growing Success documents, strategies used may include: 

  • Setting up a student contract
  •  Holding a teacher-student conference
  •  Referring to the Student Success Teacher
  •  Deducting marks for late assignments, up to and including the full value of the assignment.
  •  Students with an I.E.P. that have extra time included as an accommodation, must inform their teacher IN ADVANCE if they require extra time.
Student Accident or Injury 

Students are encouraged and directed to report any accidents or injury to a teacher or vice principal immediately.

The school board does not carry any accident insurance. In light of this, parents are reminded that insurance forms are supplied in September.  We recommend that parents subscribe to this insurance for student coverage. 


Please keep these facilities neat and tidy. They may be used before classes begin, during lunch, and after school.  The only exceptions to these times will be made at the discretion of the classroom teacher.  

Agendas must be signed by the teacher before students leave the class, and carry with them while they are excused from class. This indicates the student has permission to be out of class during class time, in the event they are asked while in the hallway during class time.


Smoking/Vaping  is not permitted on school property.  Students who choose to smoke/vape on school property will be suspended.  Further infractions will result in a fine from the Health Department. Durham Region Health Department policy indicates the first offence for smoking/holding lighted tobacco on school property carries a maximum fine of $1000.  The Smoke free Ontario Act of Ontario is intended to reduce the number of children and teens who start smoking/vaping and to protect Ontarians from second-hand smoke.  This law is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Extra and Co-Curricular Activities 

Students are encouraged to participate in the variety of extra and co-curricular activities offered as part of the program at Archbishop Denis O’Connor.  Participation in these activities may be curtailed if: 

  • a student is not meeting the requirements of the student code of behaviour;
  •  a student’s academic progress is in jeopardy;
  •  any worked missed due to co-curricular activities.
  •  a student has been suspended for any reason. 

If a student is absent during the day of a scheduled event, they will not be able to participate unless approved to do so by the Principal or Vice-Principal.

Personal Property and Lockers 

Books and other personal property should not be left in classrooms or change rooms. Personal property should be stored in lockers. Your lockers are to be kept clean and tidy at all times. Only school issued Dudley locks with a registered serial number, are to be used by the student – all other locks are unacceptable and will be removed. These locks are available from the main office.

Good Neighbour Policy 

Students are reminded that we are only a small segment of a larger community.  It is important for all members of the Archbishop Denis O’Connor Community to act in accordance with our mission statement and to be positive role models in the community.


Due COVID-19, the cafeteria will not be open for the 2020-2021 School year.

Student ID Cards 
Every student is provided with a Student I.D. Card for the year. The initial cost of the card is covered in the Student Activity Fee.  If the card is LOST or STOLEN there is a $10.00 replacement fee. Students are required to have their picture taken on Picture Day or Re-Take day.  There is no charge to have your picture taken for the yearbook.  Photo Packages can be purchased independently thru our School Photographer Life Touch.  Payment for these pictures are due at “Camera Time” cash or cheque made payable to Lifetouch. 

The Durham Catholic District School Board supplies bus transportation for students living outside the non-transporting zone as set out by the School Board.  All School Buses are contracted by the School Board. Students travel to and from school on contracted school buses.  Students who qualify for School busing may be required to produce their school Issued Student I.D. Card with the Photo as requested by the bus driver prior to boarding.  

All students eligible will be placed on the School Bus Manifest.  Students are not permitted to switch bus routes and must board & disembark at the designated stop as designated by DSTS. 

If  the student moves, they must notify the Schools Guidance Department Immediately.  Proof of residency must be submitted with your change of address forms.  A change in address may result in a change to your  busing eligibility.  If with the new address you are entitled to busing it may take 2-3 days before you are placed on the Bus Roster.  

Students are responsible to the Principal for their behaviour on a school bus in the same way that they are in each class.  Bus transportation is a privilege and students who act against school rules will lose the privilege.

Student Parking 

The Majority of the Parking Spots are reserved for staff. Grade 12 students will have the first opportunity to apply for a parking spot.  Application forms are available in the Main Office. STUDENT parking is very limited. Specifically limited to  the row facing the field ONLY from the “curb” to the Sports Shed, Spots 68-87 only.

ALL Vehicles must be registered in the Main Office.  Cars that are not registered may be towed and/or tagged. Students are not permitted to park in the designated VISITOR spots located near the bike racks.  Administration reserves the right to revoke parking privileges as warranted.

Uniform Policy

The official dress code of Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School is a result of discussion with faculty, students, parent council and administration.  Our school uniform is compulsory.  All students are to wear the uniform during the school day.  The school colours are green, yellow, black and grey.  All Dress Code infractions will be addressed with discretion and respect.

 Students shall wear the uniform properly. The uniform shall be kept clean and in good repair and be worn neatly.  Uniform clothing needs to be sized appropriately:  neither too large or immodestly tight. 

Hats, bandanas, large headbands, scarves and all other headwear are not permitted and will be confiscated.  

EXCEPTION:  Scarves WORN DAILY  for religious purposes, which must  be ONE SOLID in colour.


Standard Uniform Dress Code 

All uniforms must be purchased from RHB McCarthy’s, and worn without any substitutions or additions.  The ONLY SWEATER permitted is the DO’C Green sweater with the school crest as purchased from McCarthy. 


  • White or  Black Golf Shirt – With DO’C School Crest
  • Plain White Undershirt
  • Green Sweater or Vest  with School Crest worn with a DO’C Golf Shirt underneath – No EXCEPTION
  • Grey McCarthy Dress Pants – worn at the waist 

SCHOOL KILTS (girls) worn modestly  - mid thigh or longer 

SHOES  -  SOLID  BLACK ONLY  (no white/coloured logos or soles) SHOE LACES -  BLACK ONLY

NOT PERMITTED:   Boots, “Birks, Moccasins, Sandals, Slippers,

Open back shoes of ANY kind, white soles or white rimmed runners

PANTS - Grey McCarthy Dress Pants only (no substitutions)

SOCKS  WITH PANTS – must be white, grey or black  


  • must be KNEE Socks or Solid OPAQUE Tights
  • black, green, navy or white - only
  • no Nylons of any colour
  • no ankle socks of any kind / no patterned tights.
  • no footless tights of any kind


             - may be worn effective  May 1st  to Thanksgiving

             - must be worn with SOCKS

             - solid black or solid white running shoes

Summer Uniform 

Summer uniform begins on May 1st and ends on the Friday before the Thanksgiving Weekend

Standard Uniform Policy remains in place, however BLACK McCarthy Shorts may be worn from May 1st up to and including the Friday before the Thanksgiving long weekend.  Shorts must be worn with socks; white grey or black and black or white running shoes.  Absolutely no sandals, flip flops, open back shoes or open toe shoes of any kind.

Winter Uniform 

Winter uniform begins the Tuesday following Thanksgiving Weekend.

  • No Shorts, No White Shoes
  • See Standard Uniform rules listed above
Non-Uniform Days 

All Non Uniform Days are voluntary.  Students choosing to participate must pay the requested amount.  Usually $2.00.

On Non-Uniform Days students must be dressed appropriately as directed by the school administration for the particular occasion. 

No sleeveless or bare midriff shirts, sandals, or inappropriate shorts are allowed. 

No immodest clothing will be tolerated.  

As non-uniform days are not mandatory, all students CHOOSING TO PARTICIPATE are required to pay the indicated participation fee for the designated day.   If you choose not to participate, you are expected to be in full uniform.

Students who do not follow these procedures will be disciplined and possibly sent home. 

  • No revealing shorts, dresses, skirts or dresses
  • Pants must be worn around the waist line
  • No tank tops – shoulders must be covered
  • No crop tops
  • No tube tops
  • No inappropriate messages, images, or profanity. 

If you are out of uniform on non-uniform days, the expectation is students contribute the requested $2.00

Uniform Dress Code 

All uniforms must be purchased from RHB McCarthy’s, and worn without any substitutions or additions.  The ONLY sweater permitted is the DO’C Green sweater with the school crest as purchased from McCarthy. 


  • White or  Black Golf Shirt – With DO’C School Crest
  • Plain White Undershirt
  • Green Sweater or Vest  with School Crest worn with a DO’C Golf Shirt underneath – No EXCEPTION
  • Grey McCarthy Dress Pants – worn at the waist 

SCHOOL KILTS (girls) worn modestly  - mid thigh or longer 

SHOES  -  SOLID  BLACK ONLY  (no white/coloured logos or soles) SHOE LACES -  BLACK ONLY

NOT PERMITTED:   Boots, “Birks, Moccasins, Sandals, Slippers,

Open back shoes of ANY kind, white soles or white rimmed runners

PANTS - Grey McCarthy Dress Pants only (no substitutions)

SOCKS  WITH PANTS – must be white, grey or black  


  • must be KNEE Socks or Solid OPAQUE Tights
  • black, green, navy or white - only
  • no Nylons of any colour
  • no ankle socks of any kind / no patterned tights.
  • no footless tights of any kind



             - may be worn effective  May 1st  to Thanksgiving

             - must be worn with SOCKS

             - solid black or solid white running shoes


Student Services 

Chaplaincy Team

A Chaplaincy Team made up of representatives of staff, administration, students and our school chaplain will meet regularly to discuss and implement programs, activities, etc.  Involvement in and/or support of these programs through prayer and action will help to deepen and strengthen the faith of all at Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School.

Program Support Services

Program Support Services are available for students, parents, and teachers at Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School. Archbishop Denis O’Connor is an integrated school where students, regardless of ability, learn together. All Teachers and Educational Assistants provide the supports necessary to provide academic, social, and emotional assistance. 

Academic testing is available to determine strategies for assisting students who may be experiencing difficulties in their courses. These strategies are reflected in the I.E.P. as accommodations, modifications or alternative programming. The responsibility of the Program Support staff is to assist the teacher in the delivery of curriculum mandated by the Ministry of Education.

It is important to note that an Individual Education Plan (I.E.P.) is a working document collaboratively developed with parents as partners to support student learning and achievement. Team meetings are scheduled at the request of teachers, students or parents. The purpose of a team meeting is to collaboratively develop strategies which address students’ strengths and needs which may assist in obtaining additional supports where required to ensure student success.

Guidance/Careers Department 

It is the responsibility of the Guidance Department to implement a guidance program, which involves all members of the school community.  The guidance program is designed to help students grow in their Catholic values and view themselves positively as they move from adolescence to adulthood.  Guidance counsellors are teachers who assist students in acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes to:

  • design a personalized education plan;
  • demonstrate effective personal and social skills;
  • develop a framework for realistic life and career planning in a constantly changing world based on the Catholic Graduate Expectations.


The following supports are available for all students:

  • a reference library with college and university calendars and additional resources from post-secondary institutions;
  • career resource materials;
  • access to the Internet as well as other support software;
  • interest inventories;
  • labour trends;
  • job search resources;
  • peer tutoring;
  • personal counselling.
Learning Commons 

Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School maintains an updated resource collection for students and staff. A professional Teacher-Librarian is available throughout the day to assist students in locating appropriate virtual and physical materials and to work with individual students, small groups, or classes. Among the technological facilities available for inquiry-based learning are network-linked computers and printer; hackerspace with 3D printer and green screen; and instruction/meeting areas with A/V services. The jewel of DO’C, the Learning Commons is the place for school-related research, analysis, collaboration, and synthesis

DCDSB - Safe, Caring and Health Secondary School
The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes that a school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to work together to create a positive learning environment where all members feel supported. 
Access to Premises 

We are always pleased to have parents/guardians visit the school to discuss an issue with teachers or administrators.  In keeping with the Board’s Access to School Premises Policy, please remember that anyone coming into the school must first sign in at the office and obtain a Visitor’s badge.  All staff members will be wearing photo ID and will question anyone whose presence is not expected. 

If a parent/guardian needs to pick up his/her son/daughter during the school day, this must be facilitated at the office. Members of the office staff will call the student down to the office to be signed out.  If parents need to send a friend/relative/designate to pick up their child, please advise the school in advance and ask the designate to provide photo identification at the office. If the student returns to school before dismissal, he/she must sign back in at the office so his/her attendance can be monitored. 

Attendance Matters

Did you know?

  • Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to
        graduation. That means no more than 4 ½ days per semester.
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with schoolwork, dealing with a
        bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
  • Research shows that by grade nine, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than
        grade eight test scores.
  • Missing 10 percent of a school year (or about 19 days), can drastically affect a student’s academic success. 
  • Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
  • Good attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college or university and
        keep a job.

Make School Attendance a Priority

  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day; make that the expectation in your family.
  • Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.
  • Do not let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs of anxiety. Talk to your physician or ask someone at the school (guidance counsellor, principal or vice principal, school social worker or child and youth counsellor) where to go for help. 

Help your Teen Stay Engaged

  • Find out if your child feels engaged by his/her classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats. Report any concerns to the teacher or principal or vice principal.
  • Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you.
  • Stay on top of your youth’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated
  • Encourage meaningful after school activities, including sports and clubs.

Communicate with the School

  • Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.
  • Check on your child’s attendance to be sure absences are not piling up.
  • Ask for help from school officials, after school programs, other parents or community agencies if you are having trouble getting your child to school.
Safe Arrival - Automated Attendance System

In June 2018, The Durham Catholic District School Board adopted a new automated attendance system, called Safe Arrival, for reporting student absences. Safe Arrival reduces the time it takes to verify student attendance making it easier for you to report your child’s absence and easier for staff to respond to unexplained student absences. Parents are able to report their child’s absence quickly and conveniently using three different methods: 

  • Parents can log into a website: to report student absences. 
  • Parents can call into the automated interactive telephone system using the toll free number 1-844-288-7628 through which absences can be reported.
  • Parents can download the Safe Arrival app for iOS and Android smartphones.  Search for the keyword school messenger in the Google Play store or the Apple App store. Select Canada, select sign up, enter your email address that is on file with the school, enter a password

All three methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences, like doctor’s appointments can be reported ahead of time. For more information, please visit the school website.

Restorative Schools

We believe that safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents. To foster these relationships, staff in the Durham Catholic District School Board use restorative practices, including classroom circles and small group conferences to build community within the classroom and the school. Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada’s Native Aboriginal communities. It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them. When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behavior in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship.  It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature. The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed.

Catholic Restorative Schools will:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make reparations
  • Provide a voice for the victim
  • Use a common set of restorative questions both in and out of our classrooms to give the victim a voice and  enable the perpetrator to determine the effect of his/her actions. “How do you think your actions had an impact on others?”  “What do you think you need to do to make things right?”
  • Use circles, or small group conferences to build community, develop empathy and understanding, and when needed, to repair relationships
  • Celebrate our Catholic community through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations
  • Use think papers and reflective discussion papers aligned with the restorative questions
School Code of Conduct 

All schools base their individual school Code of Conduct on the Ministry of Education Code of Conduct.  As per Board Policy and the Ontario Safe Schools Act, a school’s Code of Conduct will be developed in consultation with parents, teachers and the Catholic School Advisory Council.  All members of the school community will be responsible for adhering to the expectations as outlined in this Code of Conduct. 

Schools within the Durham Catholic District School Board will focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the key to maintaining a positive school environment in which students can learn and educators can teach. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, all staff members will utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, that include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and that focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short term suspension may be the method of progressive discipline utilized. In the case of a serious incident, long-term suspension or expulsion, which is further along the continuum of progressive discipline, may be the response that is required.


 Statement of Purpose

The provincial Code of Conduct sets clear provincial standards of behaviour. These standards of behaviour apply not only to students, but also to all individuals involved in the publicly funded school system whether they are on school property, on school buses, at school-related events or activities, or in other circumstances that could have an impact on the school climate. 

The purpose of the Provincial Code of Conduct and the School Code of Conduct is:

  • To ensure that all members of the school community, especially people in positions of authority, are treated with respect and dignity.
  • To promote responsible citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community.
  • To maintain an environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility.
  • To encourage the use of non-violent means to resolve conflict.
  • To promote the safety of people in the schools.
  • To discourage the use of alcohol, cannabis and illegal drugs.
 Guiding Principles
  • Responsible citizenship involves appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community.
  • Active and engaged citizens are aware of their rights, but more importantly, they accept responsibility for protecting their rights and the rights of others.
  • Members of the school community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict.
  • Physically aggressive behaviour is not a responsible way to interact with others.
  • The possession, use or threatened use of any object to injure another person endangers the safety of oneself and others.
  • Alcohol, cannabis and illegal drugs are addictive and present a health hazard.
  • The school will work cooperatively with police, drug and alcohol agencies to promote prevention strategies and, where necessary, respond to school members who are in possession of, or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Insults, disrespect, and other hurtful acts disrupt learning and teaching in a school community.
  • Members of the school community have a responsibility to maintain an environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility.
Standards of Behaviour 

I) Respect, Civility, and Responsible Citizenship

All members of the school community must:

  • Respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws;
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity;
  • Respect differences in people, their ideas, and their opinions;
  • Treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement;
  • Respect and treat others fairly, regardless of, for example, race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic
        origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;
  • Respect the rights of others;
  • Show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others;
  • Take appropriate measures to help those in need;
  • Seek assistance from a member of the school staff, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully;
  • Respect all members of the school community, especially persons in positions of authority;
  • Respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching;
  • Not swear at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority.

II) Safety

 All members of the school community must not:

  • Engage in bullying behaviours;
  • Commit sexual assault;
  • Traffic weapons, illegal or illicit drugs;
  • Give alcohol, cannabis or illegal drugs to a minor;
  • Commit robbery;
  • Be in possession of any weapon, including firearms;
  • Use any object to threaten or intimidate another person;
  • Cause injury to any person with an object;
  • Be in possession of, or under the influence of, or provide others with alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • Inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm on another person;
  • Engage in hate propaganda and other forms of behaviour motivated by hate or bias;
  • Commit an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property or to property located on the premises of the school.
Consequences for Student Behaviour 

Commensurate with the Durham Catholic District School Board’s Progressive Discipline Policy, when inappropriate behaviour occurs, schools are required to utilize a range of interventions, supports, and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, provide opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short-term suspension may be the appropriate consequence while in more serious incidents, long-term suspension or expulsion may be the response that is required.


The infractions for which a suspension may be considered by the principal include:

  • Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
  • Possessing alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user);
  • Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user);
  • Swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority;
  • Committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil’s school or to property located on the premises of the pupil’s school;
  • Bullying
  • Uttering a racial slur or comment;
  • Sexual slurs or harassment;
  • Possession and/or use of tobacco products;
  • Disrespect towards or desecration of the religious dimension of the school;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable: e.g.,
  • Fighting/Violence
  • Use of profane or improper language
  • Persistent opposition to authority
  • Persistent tardiness and/or truancy including “skipping” classes
  • Theft
  • Inappropriate use of Social Media
  • Any other behaviours deemed to be contrary to the school Code of Conduct.

A student may be suspended for a minimum of one (1) school day and a maximum of twenty (20) school days.


The infractions for which a principal shall suspend and may consider recommending to the Board that a pupil be expelled from the pupil’s school or from all schools of the Board include:

  • Possessing a weapon, including possessing a knife or a firearm;
  • sing a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person;
  • Bullying, if the pupil has previously been suspended for engaging in bullying, and the pupil’s continuing presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of another person;
  • Committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner;
  • Committing sexual assault;
  • Trafficking in weapons or restricted or illegal drugs;
  • Committing robbery;
  • Giving cannabis or alcohol to a minor;
  • Any activity listed in the Code of Conduct for which a suspension must be considered that is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other similar factor;
  • Engaging in activities or patterns of behaviour on or off school property that cause the pupil’s presence in the school to create an unacceptable risk to the physical or mental well-being of other person(s) in the school or Board;
  • Engaging in activities on or off school property that have caused extensive damage to the property of the Board or to goods that are/were on Board property;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable:
  • Any act considered by the Principal and Family of Schools Superintendent to be a serious violation of the Board or school Code of Conduct.
Mitigating Factors 

Before the principal or vice principal makes a decision to suspend or recommend an expulsion he/she must consider all mitigating circumstances.

  • Whether the student has the ability to control his or her behaviour;
  • Whether the student has the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behavior and;
  • Whether the student is continuing presence in the school does or does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety of any person in the school.
Other Factors to be Considered
  • The student’s academic, discipline and personal history
  • Whether a progressive discipline approach has been used with the student;
  • Whether the activity for which the student may be or is being suspended or expelled was related to any harassment of the student because of race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation or to any other harassment;
  • The impact of the discipline on the student’s  ongoing education;
  • The age of the student;
  • In the case where the student has an Individual Education Plan(IEP) or disability-related needs:
  • Whether the behaviour was a manifestation of a disability identified in the student’s Individual Education Plan;
  • Whether appropriate individualized accommodation has been provided, and;
  • Whether the suspension is likely to result in aggravating or worsening of the student’s behaviour or conduct.


Roles and Responsibilities


  • School Boards provide direction to their schools to ensure opportunity, academic excellence, and accountability in the education system. It is the responsibility of the School Board to:
  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Develop policies that set out how their schools will implement and enforce the provincial Code of Conduct and all other rules that they develop that are related to the provincial standards that promote and support respect, civility, responsible citizenship, and safety;
  • Review these policies regularly with students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the community;
  • Seek input from school councils, their Parent Involvement Committee, their Special Education Advisory Committeeparents, students, staff members, and the school community;
  • Establish a process that clearly communicates the provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes of Conduct to all parents, students, staff members, and members of the school community in order to obtain their commitment and support;
  • Develop effective intervention strategies and respond to all infractions related to the standards for respect, civility, responsible citizenship, and safety; and
  • Provide opportunities for all of the staff to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to develop and maintain academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment; and wherever possible, Boards should collaborate to provide coordinated prevention and intervention programs and services, and should endeavor to share effective practices.


Under the direction of their School Boards, principals take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school. They provide this leadership by:

  • Modeling Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Demonstrating care for the school community and a commitment to academic excellence in a safe teaching and learning environment;
  • Holding everyone under their authority accountable for his or her behaviour and actions;
  • Empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community; and
  • Communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community.


Under the leadership of their principals, teachers and other school staff members maintain order in the school and are expected to hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour. As role models, teachers and school staff uphold these high standards when they:

  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Help students work to their full potential and develop their sense of self-worth;
  • Empower students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school, and community;
  • Communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents;
  • Maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students;
  • Demonstrate respect for all students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the members of the school community; and
  • Prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship.


Students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for others, and for the responsibilities of citizenship through acceptable behaviour.

  • Respect and responsibility are demonstrated when a student:
  • Models Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Comes to school prepared, on time., and ready to learn;
  • Shows respect for himself or herself, for others, and for those in authority;
  • Refrains from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others; and
  • Follows the established rules and takes responsibility for his or her own actions.


Parents/Guardians play an important role in the education of their children, and can support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all students. Parents fulfill their role when they:

  • Support the values of our Catholic school system;
  • Conduct themselves in an appropriate manner;
  • Take responsibility and support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning
        environment for all students;
  • Show an active interest in their child’s school work and progress;
  • Communicate regularly with the school;
  • Help their child be neat, appropriately dressed, and prepared for school;
  • Ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time;
  • Promptly report to the school their child’s absence or late arrival;
  • Show that they are familiar with the provincial Code of Conduct, the Board’s Code of Conduct and school rules;
  • Encourage and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour; and
  • Assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child.
School Code of Conduct on School Bus Vehicles 

All school bus vehicles are considered an extension of the classroom and all school policies such as Safe Schools and School Code of Conduct apply to the school bus. All transported students whether on a field trip or home to school transportation are expected to behave in a manner on the bus that ensures that everyone remains safe.  Since the bus is an extension of the school, students are accountable to the school principal who has the authority to ensure that student conduct on the school bus is appropriate.

Due to the nature of the activity of riding a bus, the following are expectations for all methods of school transportation as per the School Code of Conduct.

All students must:

  • Respect other people’s property and belongings while waiting for the school bus;
  • Treat the driver with respect and follow his/her instructions;
  • Be courteous and respectful to others on the bus at all times;
  • Act appropriately in a manner that does not endanger the safety of oneself or others including, but not
        limited to:
    • Not engaging in any activity that interferes with the safe operation of the bus
    • Remaining seated at all times, facing forward while the bus is in motion
    • Keeping hands, arms, feet, head and belongings inside the vehicle until the student has exited at his/her stop
    • Not distracting or speaking to the bus driver except in the case of emergency
    • Refraining from inappropriate behavior on the bus, e.g., throwing items, swearing, fighting, or bullying
    • Not bringing alcohol, drugs or weapons onto the school bus
    • Not touching safety equipment or emergency exits except in the case of an emergency
    • Not eating or drinking on the bus
Safe and Caring Schools - Report It 


Parents and students are encouraged to report incidents of bullying or other school safety concerns as soon as they happen by contacting their teacher and/or school administration. We recognize that bullying affects a student’s sense of safety and security, and some people may not feel comfortable reporting bullying or other school safety incidents. To help ease this worry, students and parents are welcome to use the Report It page available on the school website to report incidents of bullying or other safety concerns that have not already been reported. School safety concerns can be reported anonymously or contact information can be given so that appropriate follow-up can occur. The information provided will be forwarded to the school principal for action and a follow-up response if requested.

Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol - Fair Notice 

The Durham Catholic District School Board is committed to providing safe learning environments for all students, staff, school visitors and community members. When student behaviours pose a potential threat to safety or serious harm to self or others, all schools in the Durham Catholic District School Board follow the Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol.

(C-TAIP), which outlines how a school responds immediately to threatening behaviour. This protocol involves supports from various partners, including community agencies, hospitals and police services. Personal information shared throughout this process will always respect and balance each individual’s right to privacy while ensuring the safety of all. For more information, please refer to the school website or ask the principal for more information.

Search and Seizure 

According to the Police/School Board Protocol for Durham Catholic District School Board, it is the right and authority of the Principal or designate to search school and personal property, such as lockers, desks, backpacks, purses, etc., without notice or permission of any person as long as the Principal or designate has reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a breach of school regulations and that the search would reveal evidence of that breach.  Police may from time to time be invited onto school premises to conduct their own searches, also without prior notice to or permission of any member of the school community.

Community Partners 

Through outreach, school and community partnerships already in place may be enhanced and new partnerships developed with community agencies and other groups within the community (e.g., Kinark Family and Child Services, Aboriginal Elders). Community agencies are important resources that schools can use to deliver prevention or intervention programs. Protocols are effective ways of establishing connections between boards and community agencies and formalizing the partnership. These partnership agreements must respect all applicable collective agreements and Board policies.


Durham Regional Police Service Partnerships

The Durham Regional Police Service plays an essential role in making our schools and communities safer. The police investigate incidents in accordance with our Police/School Board protocol. This protocol is based on the provincial model developed by the Ministry of Education. The Durham Regional Police Service are instrumental in supporting our schools with all emergency preparedness procedures and Safe Schools initiatives. Each of our schools has regular access to a School Liaison Officer.

Emergency Response Plans 

Each September, as part of our Police/Board protocol we practice our emergency response procedures so all staff and students are well prepared in the event of a real emergency. Using newsletters and the school website, we will provide all families with details of our practices and the role that parents play in supporting a school’s emergency response.

Emergency response practices include:

Fire Drills: Students practice the appropriate way to exit the building when they hear a fire alarm. Practices are held when students are in class, at recess and where an exit might be blocked.

Lock down: Students practice the appropriate way to respond to a threat of danger inside the school using the R-SAFE acronym. Students are taught to get to the nearest and safest location as quickly as possible, what to do when they get there and the importance of remaining quiet. 

Hold and Secure: Students practice how to respond to a threat of danger outside the school. In the case of a Hold and Secure, all exterior doors remain locked and students remain inside, away from exterior doors and windows until the Hold and Secure has been lifted. In most cases, the need for a Hold and Secure is at the request of the police, based on a situation in the neighbourhood. In these cases, the school must wait for the police to lift the request for a Hold and Secure

Shelter in Place: Students practice how to respond to an environmental danger, like a hurricane. In most cases, the response will be a Hold and Secure with specific directions based on the environmental concern.

Bomb Threat: Students are taught the appropriate response to a bomb threat, which includes never touching a suspicious package, and listening carefully to the directions of the teacher or the administration if an evacuation is warranted.

How can Parents Help?

Parents can help by following the procedures associated with each of plans should they be present during a drill or should a real situation occur. School administration must follow the direction of the police as soon as they become involved in an emergency response. As such, Parents must understand that schools are unable to release students during an emergency response without the expressed permission of the police.

Parents can also assist the school by emphasizing with their children the importance of closely following the direction of the staff during a drill or a real emergency. Parents should encourage their children to share any information they may have about a threat of violence toward a school or information they may have after a violent incident. It is everyone’s responsibility to help keep our school safe.

Permission for Photo and Video Sharing at School 

As we try to keep pace with social media that is so much a part of our students’ lives, it is important to be reminded of people’s right to privacy. While taking photos or videos at various school events, please be mindful that it is illegal to post/upload/share photos or videos of anyone other than yourself your child on the internet or anywhere without the expressed consent of the person or their guardian. Sharing photos or videos of others without their consent is a privacy violation.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD allows students to bring electronic devices to school for educational purposes.  Students are expected to use devices responsibly, and only with the permission and direction of teachers or other staff members.  Research indicates that the use of technology increases engagement, which leads to improved student success.  The following are reasons why BYOD works well:

  • Students are usually experts in their own device and can customize it to suit their learning needs
  • Students can use it to learn anytime, anywhere;
  • Students can collaborate and work anytime; before school, after school, and at lunchtime; and
  • Student-owned devices are often more up-to-date than those provided by the school due to the cost of replacing hardware for the entire system.

Our students are going to live and work in a world where people use electronic devices regularly.  They need to learn how to use devices in a respectful, responsible and ethical manner.  The Durham Catholic District School Board’s BYOD procedures, School Codes of Conduct and Ontario Graduate Expectations will guide teachers in the process of teaching students what it means to be good digital citizens. 

Not every parent can, or wants to send their child to school with an electronic device. Teachers will continue to plan lessons that do not require the use of a personally owned device. Teachers are encouraged to give advanced notice when they plan to incorporate electronic devices into a lesson. Students without devices will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other students or borrow a school device. 

Students are required to use the Board’s wireless network, which they can access at no cost while at school. They will not be permitted to access their paid data plans while in school. The Durham Catholic District School Board’s network filter will help prevent students from accessing inappropriate web content while they are logged in at school. 

Schools will have plans in place to help students keep their devices secures. Ultimately, students are responsible for lost, stolen, and/or damaged personal electronic devices, just as they are for other personal items brought to school.

Secondary School - Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement 


  • I will respect the dignity of others and contribute to the common good.
  • I will only use social media in a manner that respects the dignity of others.
  • I will use the internet, computers and personally owned electronic devices in a manner consistent with the Catholic Graduate Expectations.
  • I will respect the intellectual property rights of others and not pirate or plagiarize.
  • I will protect my digital identity, my passwords, and others’ right to privacy online.
  • I will only use personally owned electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, tablets, iPods) during class time when my teacher allows it.
  • I will not take pictures, videos or audio recordings of people without their permission.
  • I will not use an electronic device in private areas (e.g., washrooms, change rooms, and administrative offices).
  • I understand that inappropriate use of personally owned electronic devices make me subject to discipline as noted in the Board’s Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technology Administrative Procedure, Code of Conduct Policy and Student Discipline Policy.
  • I will remember Jesus’ message do unto others as I would have done to me.
DCDSB's Concussion Policy 

All school boards in the Province of Ontario are required by law to have a Concussion policy and school board administrative procedures in place so that students, school staff and parents/guardians understand their role in preventing, managing and reporting suspected or diagnosed concussions.

A concussion is the term for a clinical diagnosis that is made by a medical doctor or a nurse practitioner. The definition of concussion below is adapted from the definition provided in the concussion protocol in the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines.

A Concussion:

  • is a brain injury that causes changes in the way in which the brain functions and that can lead to symptoms that can be physical (e.g., headache, dizziness), cognitive (e.g., difficulty in concentrating or remembering), emotional/behavioural (e.g., depression, irritability), and/or related to sleep (e.g., drowsiness, difficulty in falling asleep);
  • may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, or neck or by a blow to the body that transmits a force to the head that causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull;
  • can occur even if there has been no loss of consciousness (in fact most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness);
  • cannot normally be seen by means of medical imaging tests, such as X-rays, standard computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

A specific concussion protocol and tool now exists in all Durham Catholic District School Board schools that includes responsibilities for Board and school staff, students and parents/guardians. Additionally, health units and sports and fitness organizations in Durham are using this protocol to raise awareness to help prevent and manage concussions.

It is important to note that all suspected concussions must be reported and a medical doctor or nurse practitioner make a diagnosis and participate in the Return To Learn and/or Physical Activity documentation process.  The concussion tool noted in this student agenda is a resource for school staff, parents/guardians and students. Parents/guardians and students are encouraged to contact your school principal for more details about the new concussion management and prevention safety protocols that exist to promote student safety and success.


Archbishop Denis O’Connor C.H.S.


“Charge to Change” 

  • I’ve Got Your Back

  • I will always stand up and speak out:

  • Never be a bystander

  • I will make peace a priority.

  • I will think first, and fully.

  • I will recognize your value – and my own.

  • I will understand that silence is participation.

  • I will refuse to participate in hatred, violence and bullying.

  • I will get involved, because I believe in change, progress, and love.

 Let’s re-take Mandrake

 Nothing without Faith and Work

 Report Bullying


Agenda Review Sign Off

By signing below you are indicating that you have reviewed the information contained in the student agenda and that you agree to abide by them.  For further information, the related Board policies are available on the Board’s website:, and in the school office 

  • Code of Conduct (Policy 431)

  • Fair Notice of Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol

  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technology (Policy 431)

  • Concussion Policy (614)

Student Signature: _________________________  Date: _________________

If student is younger than 18 years of age: I have discussed the information contained in this agenda with my child.

 Parent / Guardian's Full Name: ____________________

Parent / Guardians Signature: ___________________ Date: _________________________