Student Agenda

Exterior of the school

Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School
80 Mandrake Street
Ajax, Ontario, L1S 54
Phone: 905-427-6667
Fax: 905-427-7234

This agenda belongs to:

NAME: _____________________________________________

ADDRESS: __________________________________________

CITY/TOWN: ________________________________________

POSTAL CODE: _____________________________________

STUDENT NO: _________________HOME ROOM: ________

Join us in celebrating our

Christian commitment to learn, to love and to serve.

Mission statement

We are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ.

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 Love

We 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.

 

Safe school environment

At Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School, all students, parents/guardians, teachers, staff, trustees, volunteers, visitors, parish and community members have the right to be safe, and to feel safe, in their school community. With this right comes the responsibility to contribute to a positive school climate.

Catechism of the Catholic Church in section 1807

Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbour. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbour. "You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbour."

We promote the foundation of our faith through the Catholic Social Teachings and Catholic Graduate Expectations. The Durham Catholic District School Board and our schools focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the key to maintaining a positive school environment in which students can learn and teachers can teach. We offer various strategies and initiatives such as:

  • Student Success and character development;
  • prevention and intervention strategies to address inappropriate behaviour; and
  • positive school climate that supports academic achievement for all students.

When inappropriate behaviour occurs, schools are required to utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate and include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, while focusing on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short term suspension may be a necessary tool. In the case of a serious incident, long-term suspension or expulsion, which is further along the continuum of progressive discipline, may be required.

Expected behaviour of students

Our students display the following behaviours:

  • 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 tolerated or 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 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.
  • Physical displays of affection are inappropriate at school.
  • "Rough housing" or "Play fighting" is not permitted.

Students at Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School are expected to participate actively in the religious life of the school:

  • through attendance at school Masses, retreats and other exercises of the Catholic nature;
  • through a positive attitude toward religious studies which make up a part of each student's curriculum;
  • through the development of a caring, respectful attitude toward fellow students and teachers.

Safe, caring and healthy Secondary Schools

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. With this right, comes the responsibility of all members of the community to work together to create a positive learning environment where all members feel supported.

Access to premises

Parents and guardians are welcome to 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 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

Student achievement and success is dependent on a child's attendance at school. Did you know?

  • Students should not miss more than nine 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 school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
  • Research shows that by Grade 9, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than Grade 8 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.
  • 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

School attendance needs to be a priority at home.

  • 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.
  • Don't 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, 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

Keep the lines of communication open with the school and your child's teachers.

  • Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behaviour. 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're having trouble getting your child to school.

"Regular attendance at school is critical for the student's learning and achievement of course expectation" (OSS-Program & Diplomas Requirements 1999 p. 35). Students must accept responsibility for work which has been missed due to absences.

Absence reporting

Parents must call the safe arrival parent portal to report all absences at 1-844-288-7628 or by simply downloading the phone app. Absences may be reported until 1:30 p.m. daily and may be made in advance of an absence.

  • When a student returns from an absence of two days, he/she must bring a note explaining the reason for the absence to the attendance office before the student returns to class.
  • For prolonged absences (competitions, vacations) parents/guardians must notify the principal in writing regarding the absence before the event.
  • In the event of short or longer term absences, a designated guardian must be appointed in writing for school contact.

Excused absence during the school day

Parents are encouraged to use the Safe Arrival Parent Portal to record an excused absence, i.e. early or late arrival, including signing out for appointments etc. Students may also present a note to the attendance secretary prior to 9:30 a.m. that morning. Should a student become ill during the school day he or she MUST report to the attendance 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.

Absences during exams

Should a student be absent from a final examination/culminating activity in a course, a doctor's note must be presented to the vice-principal upon the student's return. Only students with such medical certificates will be given accommodation regarding the missed exam. In absences of a medical certificate a mark of zero may be recorded for the exam.  Family Vacations are not a reason for missing an exam.  Requests must be submitted in writing to the attention of the Principal.

Truancy

Truancy is a non-excused absence from class or from school. Students who are truant will be assigned a detention or community service and parents will be notified. Subsequent truancies will involve parent contact and interviews, suspensions, referrals to the guidance counselor, the social worker or Child and Youth worker. Any work missed due to truancy must be completed on the student's time and to the teacher's satisfaction. If a student signs out, they must leave school premises.

Lateness

Students are expected to arrive on time to all of their classes. Students who arrive at school after 8:35 must sign in at the attendance office. Persistent lateness will result in suspension.

Early Dismissal

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. the moring of, or alternatively the parent may call the safe arrival number.  If a student becomes ill during the school day, they are required to report to the Main Office prior to leaving the school premises to recieve a sign-out note. 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of passing off someone else's work as your own. A student who plagiarizes may receive up to a failing grade on his/her school work that was plagiarized. The expectation is that teachers introduce and review proper citation procedures with their students. Students are advised of resources to help with proper documenting.

Lockers

Each student is issued his/her own locker. Lockers are not to be shared. Only Dudley locks, provided by the school on the first day of school are acceptable. Any other lock will be removed. Students are expected to leave their coats in their lockers. While the contents of a locker are a student's property, the locker is the property of the school and the administrators have the right to inspect a student's locker at any time. Students should not bring large sums on money or any valuable property to school. The school is not responsible for valuables left in a locker.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Participation in any extra-curricular activity is at the discretion of the administration. Students who participate in extra-curricular activities must represent the values of Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School. At all times they have to show exemplary behaviour and respect for all persons or property at this school or any other location where they represent the school.

School Bells

Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School has the following bell times.

Time

Notification

 08:35

Warning Bell - all students to Period 1

 08:40

Announcements - missed announcements are located in the Main Office.

 08:45-10:00

Period 1

 10:05 - 11:20

Period 2

 11:25 - 12:00

Period 3A   (First lunch is 11:20 - 12:00  40 minutes)

 12:00 - 12:40

Period 3B   all students are in class at this time

 12:40 -   1:15

Period 3C   (Second Lunch 12:40 - 1:20)

  1:20 -    2:35

Period 4

School calendar

For the latest information on PA Days, holidays, exam schedule and upcoming events visit our school calendar available on the homepage of our web site.

Retreats and masses

Retreats are part of the religion program for every student at Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School. Students in Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 will participate in the retreat program. Besides individual class Masses, we celebrate school wide Masses with the entire student body and staff. There will be a reconciliation service during Lent followed by the opportunity for individual confessions. The sacrament of reconciliation is also available on a weekly basis by consulting the Chaplain.

Community involvement hours

As part of a student's religion education, he/she will be given in-class assignment/ reflections that focus on the concept of Christian community service. This work will be evaluated and weighted at five percent for the final grade for religion education. Students require 40 hours of community service to graduate.  Tracking Cards are available in the Guidance Office.

Ineligible a activities

The following activities do not count towards community service hours:

  • requirement for a course in which student is enrolled;
  • activities takes place during instructional time;
  • duties or obligations performed at home;
  • personal recreational activities;
  • work for a workplace or commercial business;
  • activities for a court-ordered program (e.g. probation);
  • work for a political party or individual candidate;
  • babysitting, except in cases of exceptional need which has been pre-approved by Religious Education Teacher work for payment, work normally done for wages by another person;
  • activities involving the operation of a vehicle power tools or scaffolding;
  • activities involving the handling of substances classed as "designated substances" by the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • activities requiring the knowledge of a trades person whose trade is Provincially regulated; and
  • activities involving banking or handling of securities, jewellery, works of Art, antiques, or other valuables.

Eligible Activities

Any service work for community agencies, churches, service organizations, or any activity pre-approved by the principal or designate, according to pastoral need.

School 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.

Students shall wear the uniform properly. The uniform shall be kept clean and in good repair and be warn neatly. Uniform clothing needs to be sized appropriately: neither too large nor immodestly tight.

For more information about the school uniform visit McCarthy School Uniforms.

Academic standard policy

Research showed that academic success is linked to the amount of time a student is in the classroom.

  • Students must inform teachers of absence due to school sports games, trips, etc.;
  • Students are responsible for all work missed due to participation in extra-curricular activities; and
  • If a student, while participating in a school activity, breaches the school code of conduct, the student may be removed from participation in the activity by the administration.

Transportation

The Durham Catholic District School Board provides bus transportation for all students living outside the non-walking zone as set by the Board. Students are responsible for their behaviour on all school buses in the same way that they are in class. The use of bus transportation is a privilege and students who abuse it may lose that privilege.

Visitors to school

All visitors to the school must report to the main office. Visitors on school business must sign the visitor book in the main office and wear a visitor pass. Students must not invite friends to the school. Any person on school property without permission is trespassing. Staff and students should report any strangers not wearing a visitor pass inside the school. Please report this person to the main office immediately.

Parking

Parking is available at our school. Students may not loiter in their cars in the parking area and must drive with due care. All students with cars must obtain a parking pass through the main office. An annual cost for parking may apply. Parking privileges may be revoked at any time for unsafe driving.

Tobacco

Smoking and smokeless tobacco are not permitted on school property at any time by anyone. Any use or possession by a student will result in a student being suspended by Administration. Students may be fined for violations by the Ministry of Health.

Gambling

Students are not permitted to participate in gambling activities on school property - for example: dice/poker. Consequences for such behaviours will be dealt with according to the code of conduct.

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.

What is restorative practice?

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 behaviour in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship. It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature.

Goal of restorative practice

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; and
  • Use think papers and reflective discussion papers aligned with the restorative questions.

School Code of Conduct

Our 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 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 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 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 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 and illegal drugs.

Guiding Principles

The guiding principles are:

  • 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 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, 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 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.

Safety

All members of the school community must not:

  • Engage in bullying behaviours;
  • Commit sexual assault;
  • Traffic weapons or illegal drugs;
  • Give alcohol 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

In accordance 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, that include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short-term suspension may be a useful tool. In the case of a serious incident, long-term suspension or expulsion, which is further along the continuum of progressive discipline may be required.

Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School] will use progressive discipline strategies as listed below wherever possible:

  • Contact with parents;
  • Verbal reminders;
  • Review of expectations;
  • Written work assignment with a learning component;
  • Volunteer service to the school community;
  • Peer mentoring;
  • Conflict mediation and resolution;
  • Meeting with parent, pupil and principal;
  • Referral to community agency for anger management or substance abuse counselling;
  • Consultation;
    • Guidance;
    • Social Work;
    • Child Youth Worker; and/or
    • Program Support.
  • Withdrawal of privileges;
  • Withdrawal from class;
  • Detention;
  • Restitution for damages;
  • Restorative practice;
  • Transfer;
  • Suspension; or
  • Expulsions.

Suspension

The following violations may result in a student suspension by the Principal:

  • Threatening to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
  • Possessing alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • Being under the influence of alcohol;
  • 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;
  • Possession and/or use of tobacco products;
  • Being in possession of or under the influence of drugs;
  • Uttering a racial slur or comment;
  • Sexual slurs or harassment;
  • Disrespect towards or desecration of the religious dimension of the school;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable such as:
  • Fighting;
  • Persistent tardiness and/or truancy including "skipping" classes;
  • Use of profane or improper language;
  • Persistent opposition to authority; or
  • Any other behaviours deemed to be unacceptable behaviours.

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

Expulsion

The following violations for which a principal can suspend and may consider recommending to the Board that a pupil be expelled from school or from all schools of the Board include:

  • Possessing a weapon, including possessing a firearm;
  • Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to 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 alcohol to a minor;
  • Engaging in activities or patterns of behaviour on or off school property that cause the pupil's continuing 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; or
  • 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 behaviour; and
  • Whether the student's 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

The following outlines the roles and responsibilities of our stakeholders in our schools.

School Boards

The Durham Catholic District School Board provides direction to our schools to ensure opportunity, academic excellence, and accountability in the education system. It is the responsibility of the 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 Catholic Parent Involvement Committee, their Special Education Advisory Committee, parents, 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 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 endeavour to share effective practices.

Principals

Under the direction of our Board, 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.

Teachers and other school staff members

Under the leadership of the school's principal, 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

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 and guardians

Parents and 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.

Support services available in school

Chaplaincy

Our Chaplaincy Team Leader is available full-time to staff and students as a resource. He or she provides different ministries of Christ as the need arises. In particular, Chaplaincy will provide:

  • pastoral care and spiritual directions;
  • encouragement of sacramental life of school community;
  • crisis intervention and bereavement follow up;
  • support and act as a resource for parents and the surrounding community;
  • a link between the school and the surrounding parishes;
  • encouragement to the school community to be involved in activities of social action and Christian witness; and
  • support and act as a resource to the religious education program of the school.

Program Support

Program Support or Student Services are available to all students who require a quiet place to work or to receive assistance with assignments and tests. Peer tutors are available to assist as well as teachers. During class time, students must have permission from their teacher to go to Program Support.

Guidance

Guidance provides programs and services for the entire school community that respond to the needs of students, parents, teachers and administrators.

The Guidance Resource Centre is available to students wishing to explore career and post-secondary educational options. Students are invited to visit the Guidance Resource Centre before or after school, during lunch or during their spares. The following types of information and/or services are available in the Guidance Resource Centre:

  1. educational (post-secondary);
  2. exploring apprenticeships and the world of work;
  3. getting experience;
  4. job searches;
  5. volunteer opportunities; and
  6. co-operative education.

As well, students have access to the computers in the Guidance Resource Centre for educational purposes only.

Youth Services

The Durham Catholic District School Board provides a support team for its family of schools. The team consisting of the following professions:

  1. Psychologist;
  2. Speech/Language Pathologist;
  3. Social Worker/Attendance Counsellor;
  4. Resource Teacher for Visually Impaired;
  5. Resource Teacher for Hearing Impaired; and
  6. Youth Counsellor.

The above resource staff are available to assist students at Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School through a referral procedure.

Student Identification Cards

Student Identification (ID) cards are required to borrow books and materials from the library, use computers in the library, complete an Accelerated Reader test, go to school dances or purchase prom tickets.

If a student ID card is lost or missing, students can purchase a replacement ID card at the main office. A replacement fee will be charged.

Community Threat Assessment and Protocol

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. Visit our Board's Safe Schools webpage for more information or speak to the principal.

Information on photo and video sharing

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 or your own 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.

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.

What is a concussion?

Aconcussion is 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 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.

Our concussion protocol and tool 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 the 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.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

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. Our Board's Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) procedures, School Codes of Conduct and Catholic Graduate Expectations will guide teachers in the process of teaching students what it means to be good digital citizens.

Secondary acceptable use agreement

Secondary school students must complete the acceptable use agreement in order to use their electronic devices for educational purposes while at school.

  • 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 it is allowed by my teacher.
  • 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.

(Student) Signature:

Date:

"Do not be afraid of new technologies! These rank among the marvellous things - Inter mirifica - which God has placed at our disposal to discover, to use and to make known the truth, also the truth about our dignity and about our destiny as his children, heirs of his eternal Kingdom" - St. John Paul II, 2005

Science safety contract

Students enrolled in any science class must follow the safety rules as outlined in the Science Safety Contract below.

The following are general safety rules and guidelines associated with any and all science courses. Additional specific safety instruction will be delivered on an as needed basis. To participate in any science class, you and your parent or guardian must read, understand, and sign the agreement below. Failure to do so may restrict your ability to participate in experimental activities, and possibly result in disciplinary action.

  1. All students must wear the designated personal protective equipment (PPE) when requested by the teacher. No exceptions.
  2. Students must conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all times in the classroom and laboratory.
  3. Students must follow all written and verbal instructions carefully. If you do not understand a direction or part of a procedure, always ask the teacher for assistance.
  4. When entering a science classroom and/or laboratory, do not touch any equipment, chemicals, or other materials until you have been instructed by the teacher to do so.
  5. Absolutely no food or drink in the laboratory.
  6. Always keep hands away from face, eyes, mouth and body while using chemicals or preserved specimens. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after performing all experiments.
  7. If any chemical gets on your hands, or any other part of your body, alert the teacher and follow instructions (e.g. wash it off immediately).
  8. Clean with supplied materials (detergent), rinse and wipe dry all apparatus at the end of each experiment and return all equipment clean and in working order to the proper storage area.
  9. When transferring reagents from one container to another, hold the containers away from your body.
  10. Never return unused chemicals to their original containers. When in doubt, ask the teacher.
  11. Never remove chemicals or any materials from the laboratory area.
  12. Examine glassware before each use. Never use chipped, cracked, or dirty glassware.
  13. Carry glass tubing (especially long pieces), in a vertical position to minimize breakage and injury.
  14. Never attempt to handle broken glass. Alert the teacher immediately and follow their instructions.
  15. Never immerse hot glassware in cold water as it may shatter.
  16. Report all damage and accidents immediately to the teacher.
  17. If you do not understand how to use a piece of equipment, always ask your teacher before proceeding.
  18. Never place any hot apparatus directly on a laboratory desk. Always use an insulating pad. Allow time for the apparatus to cool before touching it.

Parent or Guardian signatures are required on the contract.

I, _______________________________ (please print), have read and agree to follow the above listed rules and guidelines. These rules and guidelines have been developed to ensure the safety of myself, fellow students, teacher, and the environment. I understand that failure to comply may result in disciplinary action. By signing this contract, I agree to cooperate to the fullest extent possible, including but not limited to, any oral or written instructions.

______________________________________
Student signature

______________________________________

Parent signature

Date: _________________________________

Agenda review sign off

By signing below you are indicating that you have reviewed the information contained in the student agenda, and the related Board policies and you agree to abide by them. The following Board policies are available online and in the school office.

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

_______________________________     _________________
Student's signature                                    Date

____________________________________________________________
Parent or Guardian's Full Name (Please print)

 

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