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Discipline Policy and Code of Conduct




As a staff, Sydney River Elementary School is committed to educating the whole child in a climate which fosters intellectual, academic, emotional and personal growth.


The staff and school community has met and considered the whole question of school discipline.  The general feeling was that school discipline could be improved to the benefit of our school community.


In our view, good discipline is part of the learning process and is developmental in nature.  As a child matures, the level of self discipline increases enabling the child to maintain intelligent self control. 


Our discipline policy and code of conduct is based on the principle of natural and logical consequences which encourages our children to make their own responsible decisions.  The students must be accountable for their decisions.  The students learn to accept responsibility for their decisions.  The focus of our discipline policy and code of conduct is based on the behavior rather than on the child.  We hope that our discipline policy and code of conduct will communicate that our school is a caring, child centered, orderly environment in which the best in each individual is expected and encouraged.


The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board fosters a caring, dynamic and creative environment that provides educational opportunities, promotes love of learning, respect for others and challenges all persons to develop their full potential to become confident, versatile lifelong learners.




The vision of Sydney River Elementary School is to produce students who are educated to their potential, are responsible, caring, self disciplined, motivated and view themselves as lifelong learners.


Beliefs in relation to Discipline Policy and Code of Conduct 


We, as part of the Sydney River Elementary School community, believe that:


1.                  Most children are inherently good and will demonstrate proper and acceptable behaviour if expectations are discussed and understood.

2.                  Every child has the right to be educated in a safe, orderly environment.

3.                 The goal of any discipline policy should be to develop in children the inner values and self discipline needed to behave in a responsible manner.

4.                  Students should learn to accept responsibility for their behaviour, having previous knowledge of the consequences of their actions.

5.                   The focus of discipline is based on the behaviour rather than on the child.

6.                  Discipline policies should be based on natural consequences not on arbitrary punishments.

7.                 Discipline should be instructive and based on problem prevention.

8.                  The discipline policy and code of conduct should be communicated to the students in a positive and constructive manner as part of the teaching-learning experience.

9.                  The development of policies concerning behaviour and discipline at our school should be collaborative in nature and should include all involved stakeholders.

10.              Because behaviour is learned, proper behaviour should be modelled by all school personnel.


Section 1


Proactive Measures to Encourage Positive Behavior



Research has shown that positive reinforcement is a more effective tool in producing responsible behavior in students than punishment.  Students feel good about themselves when their positive behaviour is recognized.  This increase in their level of self-esteem has a positive effect on their behavior and level of achievement.  The philosophy at our school is "catch children being good".  The proactive measures listed below, although not inclusive, are some of the ways intended to promote positive behavior in our students.


Proactive Measures for Positive Behavior At Home and in School


1.                  Be a good role model.  Display the types of behavior that you want children to exhibit.

2.                  Reward children.  Give praise and recognition freely for the good things they do.

3.                  Take children's emotions and feelings seriously.  Show them that what they say, think and do is important.

4.                  Use phrases that build self-esteem such as, "Thank you for helping" or "That is a great idea!"

5.                  Help children set reasonable goals so they can achieve success.

6.                  Give children responsibility.  They will feel useful and valued.

7.                  Define limits and rules clearly; then enforce them fairly.

8.                  Meet and greet children.  Make them feel wanted and important.

9.                  Celebrate children's successes and encourage them to achieve their best.

10.              Smile a lot and enjoy the personal, social and academic sides of children.

11.              Recognize milestones of children in school and at home.

12.              Create a climate by having special days-hat day, tie day, etc.

13.              Encourage children by focusing on their strengths.

14.              Focus on positive happenings in their lives.


Section 2


Academic Success


Expected Behavior 

To ensure success in your school year, on a day to day basis, you are expected to complete all class and homework assignments on time and to the best of your ability.


Reasons for Expected Behavior 

Positive attitudes and listening, effort and determination are keys to success.  If you put forth your best effort and take pride in your work, then you are more likely to achieve your potential. 


Consequences of Misbehavior 

If your effort on class and homework assignments is unacceptable you will complete them or redo them on your own time.


Section 3





Expected Behavior 

You are expected to be honest in all your relationships with all school members.  Lying, stealing and cheating are unacceptable behaviors.


Reasons for Expected Behavior

You will benefit from your relations with others only by being open and honest in your words or actions or written work.  Dishonesty has a negative effect on your reputation and that of your school.


Consequence of Misbehavior

You must realize that proof of dishonesty carries very serious consequences.  In the case of lying, cheating, or stealing, a meeting will be arranged with you, your parents and your teacher to discuss the situation and possible consequences.


Section 4


Attendance, Absenteeism and Tardiness


Expected Behavior

You shall report to class promptly each day, ready, willing and able to work.  Absenteeism requires a written excuse.  Habitual lateness and absenteeism will be reported to the office.


Reasons for Expected Behavior

Punctuality is a form of courtesy towards school members.  Punctuality is a learned skill in making good use of your time at home and at school.  If you are late, you disrupt your school community when you enter.  Students who miss a great deal of time are certain to encounter difficulty in keeping up their school work.  In order for you to achieve to your maximum potential, REGULAR ATTENDANCE IS ESSENTIAL.


Consequences of Misbehavior

On some occasions lateness and absences are unavoidable.  However, if habitual lateness and absenteeism appear to be a problem they will be investigated.  Your parents will be consulted and you will be required to make up work that you missed.


Section 5


Respect for Self and Others


Expected Behavior

Students at Sydney River Elementary School and school members are expected to behave in a manner which exhibits respect and consideration for themselves and other school members.  Your school is not the appropriate place for exaggerated displays of disagreement or affection.  Such activities as pushing, tripping, kicking, fighting, playfighting, rough play, rock throwing, snowball throwing, snow jobbing, etc. are not acceptable student behaviors. 


Reason for Expected Behaviour

All school members attending Sydney River School have the right to be treated with respect and courtesy.  Learning how to interact in a positive way with our fellow human beings is a valuable skill essential in today's society.  In addition, rough behaviour and inappropriate language or physical injury to others.  Remember the Golden Rule "Treat others as you would like to be treated".


Consequences of Behavior

Disrespect or unacceptable behavior or language will result in action being taken by school authorities.  The frequency and severity of the infraction will dictate the type and appropriateness of the consequences.  This action may include one or more of the following:


-A warning by a teacher or ground supervisor and administrators  

-contact made with the home                                                   

-being sent to the office                                               

-in school suspension

-suspension from school



Section 6


Appropriate Language


Expected Behavior

The language used by all school members in and around Sydney River Elementary School will be of a nature that shows respect for staff and other students.  Name calling, swearing, crude, rude and obscene language, spoken, written, implied, gestured or displayed are unacceptable.


Reasons for Expected Behavior

Being able to use appropriate and tasteful language is a valuable life skill.  When language is offensive to others the hurt feelings it may cause can lead to further conflict.


Consequences of Misbehavior

The use of inappropriate or unacceptable language may result in such consequences as a warning, an apology, detention, time-out, contact with the home or in the case of serious and repeated infractions, suspension.  Offensive material must not be displayed in the school environment.


Section 7


Designated Areas


Expected Behavior 

Students will be in the following areas only if you have the permission of a teacher: gymnasium, equipment room, library, music room, computer room, art room, kitchen, bathroom, staff room and classrooms other than your own.


Play areas are designated for P-2 and 3-6.  Children are expected to respect these boundaries.  Boundaries should be shown to the students at the beginning of the school year.  Students "should" not cross the boundaries.


Reasons for Expected Behavior

These guidelines are necessary for your own protection and for proper security of specialty equipment which assists in your instruction.


Consequences of Misbehavior

You will be reminded of the rule and may have supervised or restricted privileges for a time in designated areas.

Detention may also be a consequence.


Section 8


Student Movement


Expected Behavior

In the morning students in Grades Primary, One and Two will enter the building at the front entrance.  These children will put their book bags and lunches in their classes and then proceed outside until the first bell rings.  In cases of inclement weather, these children may remain quietly in their classrooms.  Students in Grades 2-6 will remain outside unless the weather is inclement.  At the first bell, they will enter through the south entrance.  In periods of inclement weather students in Grades 3-6 may enter the building and remain quietly in their own classrooms.  Students should not arrive at school before 8:00 am.  Students in Grades 2-6 should not enter before the bell without permission.  While inside the building and going to buses, students should walk single file in a quiet, orderly manner under teacher supervision.   When walking in hallways and on stairways students should keep to the right.


At lunch time all students will eat in the lunchroom.  After completing their lunch, students will proceed to their designated play areas.  In cases of inclement weather students will return to their classrooms.


When students are outside at recess or lunch time they must get permission from a duty teacher or a ground supervisor before entering the building.


With the exception of lunch time walkers, all students shall remain on school property during the school day.


Reasons for Expected Behavior

The safety and security of the students in Sydney River School is dependent, to a large extent, on the orderly movement and conduct of its students.  Children have a right to a quality education in a safe environment undisturbed by unnecessary noise.


Consequences of Misbehavior

Students will be reminded of the required behavior and will be expected to follow it.  If the offense is serious or repeated, action will be taken.


Section 9


Personal Appearance


Expected Behavior

You are expected to dress in a clean, neat, appropriate manner.  Clothing with offensive words, slogans, or pictures is considered inappropriate.  As well, any clothing that promotes alcohol, drugs, or tobacco products is inappropriate in the school.

Hats are to be be removed while you are in the building. 

Coats and outside footwear are to be removed and neatly

arranged upon entering you classroom.  Inside footwear is to be worn at school.


Reason for Expected Behavior 

Your appearance reflects your good judgement and your

respect for yourself and others.


Consequences of Misbehavior 

If you wear inappropriate clothing, suitable action will be

taken to solve the problem.


Section 10


Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs


Expected Behavior 

You will not partake of any tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs while on school property.


Reasons for Expected Behavior

In your formative years we want to help you develop a good self-esteem and a healthy lifestyle.  The use of tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs is dangerous both to you and those around you.


Consequences of Misbehavior

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.  Parents will be notified.


Section 11


Extra-Curricular Activities


Expected Behavior 

On school buses and at extra-curricular activities all releveant school rules apply.


Reasons for Expected Behavior

You should remember that on these activities you represent your school.  Don't let your misbehavior ruin the opportunity for others.  Always let others know that you are proud to be a student at Sydney River Elementary School.


Consequences of Misbehavior

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.  A serious offense could result in your removal from the activity or event, and exclusion from further activities is possible.


Section 12


Alternative After-School Arrangements


Expected Behavior

The school must be notified in writing of any requested change in student's regular after-school travel arrangements.  Unless an emergency arises, the school should be notified in writing before noon on the day of the requested change.  Students will

not be allowed to make changes in transportation without written permission from their parents/guardians.


Reason for Expected Behavior

For your own safety and protection parents/guardians and teachers should be informed of your whereabouts.


Consequences of Misbehavior

Permission will be denied and parents/guardians may be informed of the appropriate policy.


Section 13


Care of School Property and Property of Others


Expected Behavior

You will respect all school property (classrooms, halls, stairways, bathrooms, kitchen, playground, gym, library: all equipment, textbooks and supplies as well as the property of



Your desk and the floor area around it are to be kept neat and tidy.  School furniture is to be used for the purpose intended for it.


You are expected to treat the school and equipment with the same care and respect as you would your own valuable personal possessions.


Reasons for Expected Behavior

In taking care of school property you display pride in your school; you also help to maintain attractive surroundings and useful facilities which are necessary to successful learning for you and your fellow students.


Consequences of Misbehavior

If you damage school property, you are expected to pay for repair or replacement costs.  If a text book is destroyed, lost or stolen you or your parents will be requested to pay the replacement cost.





The Role of Teacher Intervention and Classroom Management


Most inappropriate behaviors are dealt with at the classroom level and, as a result, it is seldom necessary for them to involve the school administration.  This is the result of teachers using a variety of appropriate classroom management techniques and strategies to create an orderly and organized atmosphere in which students are encouraged to display appropriate behavior.  Most minor misbehaviors are handled immediately by the teacher but when problems become more severe or chronic, contact with the parents/guardians is recommended.  If the problem persists or if it is of a very serious nature, the administration of the school will become involved.  Careful documentation of misbehaviors and subsequent parental contact will be kept by teachers and administration.


Parental Responsibility


The purpose of this Discipline Policy and Code of Conduct is to help develop in children the ability to make age-appropriate, responsible decisions about their behavior based on the knowledge of what is expected of them in certain situations.  The responsibility to do this does not rest entirely with the school--it should be shared among all school members.  Parents are an integral part in helping to form responsible decision-makers capable of appropriate behavior based on understood expectations.  For this reason, it is hoped that every parent or guardian discuss this Discipline Policy with their children.  It is also expected that parents/guardians will not only form a strong partnership with the school in communication this policy to their children, but will also join with the school in implementing and maintaining our Discipline Policy and Code of Conduct.