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Code of Conduct

“We, the community of Crofton House School, believe that everyone should behave in a manner that demonstrates mutual respect and an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of others. We promote a school environment that is free from all forms of discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age, as mandated by sections 7 and 8 of the BC Human Rights Code.”

Purpose

The purpose of the Crofton House School Code of Conduct is to create a safe, caring and orderly learning environment in which each individual of the school community feels safe, accepted and respected.

A safe school – Crofton House School communicates clearly, effectively and regularly the Code of Conduct expectations required of all members, makes it easy and safe for an individual to report a concern and is attentive and responsive to behaviour that, in any way, negatively impacts an individual or school climate.

A caring school – All members of the Crofton House School community look out for each other, are open-minded and inclusive and strive to establish and maintain positive and healthy relationships. 

An orderly school – Crofton House School is characterized by a climate of mutual respect and responsibility where there is an appropriate balance between individual and collective rights, freedoms and responsibilities.

The Crofton House School Code of Conduct establishes behaviours that are unacceptable and provides examples of disciplinary actions to address unacceptable behaviours. 

All Crofton House School members, including students, parents/guardians and staff are expected to uphold the Code of Conduct at all times - on campus, at school-related activities off-campus, or in other circumstances where engaging in an activity will have an impact on the school environment. 

Membership in the Crofton House School community is contingent on abiding by these guidelines and those who do not will have their membership reviewed through a disciplinary investigation, and may be required to withdraw before the end of the school year.

Acceptable Behaviour

Behaviours that support a safe, caring and orderly school are described below and apply to all Crofton House Community Members including students, parents/guardians & staff. These descriptions are meant to provide guidance and are not intended to be exhaustive. 

All members of the Crofton House community must:

  • Act in a manner that brings credit to yourself and the School
  • Respect differences in people, their ideas and their opinions
  • Respect and treat others fairly, regardless of (for example) race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age
  • Treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement
  • Develop positive, supportive and empathetic relationships with others
  • Engage in learning and school-related activities in a purposeful and timely manner
  • Demonstrate care of self, others, school property and the environment
  • Take responsibility for personal behaviour and actions
  • Show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others
  • Take appropriate measures to help those in need
  • Connect directly with the most appropriate individual as required by the circumstances
  • Seek assistance from a member of the school staff, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully
  • Speak up to a person in authority when you witness or believe that a member of the community is demonstrating unacceptable behaviour and thereby negatively impacting a safe, caring and/or orderly school. 

Unacceptable Behaviour

Behaviours that do not support a safe, caring and orderly school are described below and apply to all Crofton House Community Members including students, parents/guardians & staff. These descriptions are meant to provide guidance and are not intended to be exhaustive. 

These descriptions are meant to provide guidance and are not intended to be exhaustive.

All members of the Crofton House Community must not:

  • Act in a way that negatively impacts the moral tone or the reputation of the School 
  • Act in a way to negatively impacts the physical or mental well-being of others
  • Engage in acts of bullying, harassment, intimidation or physical violence 
  • Be dishonest (Middle School and Senior School students are encouraged to review the Academic Honesty and Integrity Agreement)
  • Commit an act of vandalism that causes damage to school property, or to property located on the premise of the School
  • Engage in illegal acts such as possession, use or distribution of illegal or restricted substances including, amongst others, alcohol, tobacco, vapourizing products (e-cigarettes, vaping devices), possession of weapons, theft or damage to property
  • Remain silent when the Code of Conduct is not being upheld by any member of the community, student, staff, parent, volunteer. 

Consequences for Unacceptable Conduct

All members of the Crofton House community are responsible for observing both the letter and the spirit of the Code of Conduct. Crofton House School reserves its right to apply a full range of sanctions (listed below) to any offence. 

In addition, it is not necessary that an individual succeed in actually committing an offence for the full range of sanctions to be applied. For example, a student’s attempt to cheat on a test may be just as serious as actually cheating on a test. Crofton House School takes seriously any breach of the Code of Conduct and its effect on the School’s learning climate, whether on or off school property, face-to-face or electronic.

In determining whether an offence has been committed and what sanction(s) should be applied, Crofton House School will employ procedures that:

  • Ensure that any allegation of an unacceptable behaviour which is a breach of the Code of Conduct is brought to the attention of the individual or individuals involved, and when that individual is a student, parents/guardians may be involved;
  • Ensure that the individual being investigated for a breach of the Code of Conduct has the opportunity to present fully and fairly their version of events, to provide an explanation, and to have these taken into account by the decision-maker, and where that individual is a student, parents/guardians may be involved; 
  • Ensure that the decisions will be made in a fair and impartial way; and
  • Reflect the severity of the alleged offence, the impact on the individual student(s), and the community as a whole; 
  • Document completely and accurately all aspects of the process and decision.

Consequences for Unacceptable Conduct

Reporting, Investigation and Documentation 

The general procedure that Crofton House School will observe to investigate and address any reports of student breaches of the Code of Conduct is as follows:

  • The teacher who observes or learns of the incident/behaviour will report it as soon as possible to the Director or Assistant Director of the Junior or Senior Schools 
  • The Director or Assistant Director will collaborate with other school administrators in investigating the alleged breach of the Code of Conduct
  • As part of the investigation, a student will be provided with an opportunity to explain her conduct, respond to the allegation and be heard with respect to the incident/behaviour in question 
  • The investigation will include a conversation with all those who are alleged to be involved in order to determine the degree of involvement, facts and related issues
  • The School will document all discussions and interviews
  • After initial interviews, the students, and parents/guardians as required, will be informed of the facts as determined during the investigation
  • Initial interviews may conclude the process or indicate that further investigation is required
  • Based upon a complete investigation, the Director or Assistant Director will consider all factors in determining a decision on whether or not the behaviour was in violation of the Code of Conduct and the most appropriate form of discipline, if required. 
  • The School maintains a record of Code of Conduct infractions. The record is shared with students and, when required, with parents/guardians. 
  • Depending on the age of the student, the significance of the infraction, and the sanction, the school will, if required by a post-secondary institution, will disclose the following discipline incidents:
    • Breaches of the Academic Honesty and Integrity Agreement which meet one or more of the following criteria:
      • A Pattern of Concern: More than three documented incidents occurring anytime between Grade 9 and 12, of which, a minimum of TWO incidents, required parent involvement. 
      • An Intentional Act by a Mature Learner: A single significant event in either Grade 11 or 12 which resulted in a suspension of any duration.
    • Unacceptable behaviour resulting in suspensions of greater than 4 instructional days.

Communication

  1. Communication with the student and parents, as required, will clearly indicate the breach in Crofton House School’s Code of Conduct and the consequences for infractions
  2. Where a number of students are involved in a breach of the Code of Conduct, any written communication from CHS will ensure confidentiality of individual students by sharing only those circumstances relevant to the student who is receiving the written communication
  3. When required by law, Crofton House has a responsibility to advise police and/or other agencies of serious breaches of the Code of Conduct

Actions following Investigation

Clear communication of the Code of Conduct will aid in preventing infractions. When it is necessary to take action(s), the desired outcome is restorative and, in this light, will as much as possible include those involved in determining the most appropriate sanction. 

When exercising its discretion to determine the appropriate disciplinary action to apply to an offence, Crofton House School will take into account:

  • The age of the student and her ability to fully understand the breach of the Code of Conduct
  • The intention of the student
  • The particular circumstances
  • The nature and severity of the behaviour
  • Whether it is a behaviour that has been previously cautioned or disciplined
  • The impact on the school climate, including the impact on students or other individuals in the Crofton House community

Sanctions / Disciplinary Actions

  • The range of disciplinary actions that the School will apply to offences includes one or more of the following actions.
  • Meeting with appropriate person/s such as peers, faculty, counsellor, administrator, police liaison.
  • Attendance at one or more infraction meetings with a failure to attend leading to a more significant sanction.
  • Meeting with the parent(s)/guardians and student(s) involved to review the infraction and establish steps to improve in future
  • Requiring a written explanation of the circumstances leading to the infraction, steps the student is taking to address the negative impacts of the infraction, intended and unintended, and an understanding of how the student could have avoided the infraction. 
  • Where academic dishonesty is at issue, assign a penalty, pro-rate the value of the assignment, have the student revise the assignment in whole or in part, have the student complete another assignment, or when no other option is available, the student will forgo the opportunity to receive feedback on the relevant assessment. 
  • Removal from a school activity or special program which may be negatively impacted by her participation. 
  • If responsible use of technology is at issue, be restricted from access to technology (device and/or network)
  • Conference involving student, teacher, parents/guardians and administration
  • A requirement to participate in personal counselling, duration to be determined
  • A period of time spent in “service” to the school. 
  • Probation - arrangement of a behaviour or performance contract with the involvement of the student, teachers and parents/guardians (conditions may include withholding re-enrolment)
  • ‘Step-Out’ - is a short-term sanction in response to breach of the Code of Conduct which involves a period of up to 2 instructional days. The rationale for a short-term removal from school will be discussed with parents/guardians and students prior to the sanction.
  • Formal suspension from school - is a temporary sanction in response to a significant breach of the Code of Conduct which involves a period of longer than 2 instructional days. The rationale for a suspension, duration of the suspension, restrictions in place during a suspension, and the conditions to return to school will be discussed with parents/guardians and students prior to the suspension.
  • Expulsion from school - is permanent and a sanction of last resort. A girl may be expelled for a single act which constitutes a major violation of the Code of Conduct, such as a criminal offence. An expulsion decision is only made by the Head of School in consultation with school administration and, as required, teachers. The Chair of the Board of Governors will be informed of expulsions. An appeal of a decision to expel a student is made to the Independent Schools’ Association of British Columbia (ISABC) Ombudsman. The student will be required to remain away from school pending the outcome of the review.

Appealing a Disciplinary Decision

The Crofton House School Code of Conduct gives parents and/or students the right to appeal certain disciplinary decisions. The right of appeal applies to decisions which significantly affect the health, education, or welfare of a student. While the determination of whether a decision or failure to make a decision ‘significantly’ affects a student’s education, health or safety is made on a case-by-case basis, the following decisions are always appealable under the formal appeal process: 

  • Disciplinary suspension of more than four (4) consecutive instructional days;
  • Decisions that restrict a student from participating in a school-based curricular or co-curricular program; and
  • Decisions that impact future opportunities in a considerable, measurable or objective manner. 

Appeal Requirements

An appeal is made to the Head of School or ISABC Ombudsman (expulsion only) must be put in writing and received within 7 calendar days from the date the parents and students were informed of the Code of Conduct sanction. 

The appeal must include:

  • Student’s full name and current Grade;
  • Parent’s full name;
  • The name of the school administrator’s whose decision is being appealed;
  • The decision being appealed and how it affects the education, health or safety of the student in question;
  • The student’s version of events with a focus on her role/actions/impact;
  • Supporting documentation, if relevant;
  • The date you were informed of the decision under appeal; and
  • An explanation of the remedy/solution being sought.
  • If there is supporting documentation for the appeal, it must be submitted at the same time of the appeal. Information that comes forward after this date may not be considered. 

Appeal Review 

The Head of School will determine the nature of the review required. 

If the appeal meets one of the three conditions listed above as “always appealable”, a Review Panel consisting of the Head of School and two school administrators who were not part of the original decision. Other individuals may be included in the Review Panel at the discretion of the Head of School and as required by the situation (for example a counsellor or police liaison). The panel will convene a Review Hearing scheduled within 10 working days of the receipt of the appeal. 

If the appeal does not meet one of the three conditions listed above as “always appealable”, the Head of School will complete an ‘Independent Review’ rather than holding a Review Hearing.

Independent Review

The Head of school will review all the evidence available and consider whether the disciplinary sanction and the process are in line with the Code of Conduct and the procedural fairness principles include in it. The Head of School may, at her discretion, convene all parties involved before rendering a final decision within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal. 

Review Hearing

When a Review Hearing is warranted, parents and students will be provided with a minimum of 5 calendar days notice of the date and time of the hearing in order to be present for the review. At that time, they will be provided with the nature and expectations of the hearing and who will be in attendance. Where two or more students have been acting in concert and some or all of them are appealing the same decision, the Review Panel may deal with all reviews at the same time.The committee will evaluate key aspects of the investigation and decision including: 

  • Was the evidence of the alleged infraction reasonably well established?
  • Was the alleged infraction adequately and fairly investigated (a timely response, all students were given the right to explain their actions and to respond to allegations, evidence was considered, etc.)?
  • Was the student (age, maturity, her record at the school, degree of cooperation in the investigation, willingness to accept responsibility, efforts to repair negative impact, etc.) taken into consideration?
  • Were there mitigating circumstances and how were they taken into account in the decision?
  • Did the nature, gravity and impacts (realized or potential) of the alleged infraction warrant the sanction?
  • Did the administrator who made the decision to provide to the student and her parents/guardians clear, timely and sufficient information related to the decision and was there an opportunity for both parents and students to seek clarification and support?

Parents/guardians and the student will be notified of the Review Panel’s decision by the Head of School by email within 3 working days of the hearing. Any further appeal must be made to the Independent Schools’ Association of British Columbia (ISABC) Ombudsman. 

Students and/or parents/guardians wishing to appeal the decision of the Head of School must take their request to the Independent Schools’ Association of British Columbia (ISABC) Ombudsman. 

Parent/Guardian-Related Concern 

Reporting, Investigation and Documentation

The general procedure that Crofton House School will observe to investigate and address any reports of parent/guardian breaches of the Code of Conduct is as follows:

  1. Concerns about the conduct of a parent/guardian as it pertains to the acceptable and unacceptable behaviours in this Code of Conduct should be reported to the Head of School, as soon as possible. 
  2. The Head of School may collaborate with other school administrators in investigating the alleged breach of the Code of Conduct
  3. As part of the investigation, the parent/guardian will be provided with an opportunity to explain his/her conduct, respond to the allegation and be heard with respect to the incident/behaviour in question 
  4. Where other members of the community are involved, the investigation will include a conversation with all those who are alleged to be involved in order to determine the degree of involvement, facts and related issues
  5. The School will document all discussions and interviews
  6. Based upon a complete investigation, the Head of School will consider all factors in determining a decision on whether or not the behaviour was in violation of the Code of Conduct and any sanctions that will result from the violation

Communication

  1. Communication with the parent/guardian will clearly indicate the breach in Crofton House School’s Code of Conduct and the consequences for infractions
  2. Where a number of parents/guardians are involved in a breach of the Code of Conduct, any written communication from CHS will ensure confidentiality of individual by sharing only those circumstances relevant to the individual who is receiving the written communication
  3. When required by law, Crofton House has a responsibility to advise police and/or other agencies of serious breaches of the Code of Conduct 

Actions following Investigation 

Clear communication of the Code of Conduct will aid in preventing infractions. When it is necessary to take action(s), the desired outcome is restorative and, in this light, will as much as possible include those involved in determining the most appropriate sanction. 

When exercising its discretion to determine the appropriate disciplinary action to apply to an offence, Crofton House School will take into account:

  • The intention of the parent/guardian
  • The particular circumstances
  • The nature and severity of the behaviour
  • Whether it is a behaviour that has been previously cautioned or disciplined
  • The impact on the school climate, including the impact on other individuals in the Crofton House community
  • The impact on the School’s reputation


The range of actions that the School will apply to breaches of the Code includes:

  • Signed re-commitment to Crofton House School Code of Conduct
  • Request an individual to receive outside support to address conduct
  • Participation in mediation with other individual(s) 
  • Restricted access to campus and/or online resources such as the school directory
  • Restricted access to school-related activities or events
  • Suspension of re-enrollment of daughter(s)
  • Legal action initiated by the school

Appeal

Parents/guardians wishing to appeal the decision of the Head of School must take this request to the Independent Schools’ Association of British Columbia (ISABC) Ombudsman 

Staff-Related Concern

Any issue arising from a staff member’s conduct will be addressed according to the Human Resources Policies as articulated in the Crofton House School Employee Handbook. 

Crofton House School Reserves the Right

The School reserves the right to expel a student or end the membership of a family when the continued membership of that student and/or family would not be in the best interests of that student or the School. When the behaviour of the student or any member of that family is in breach of the Code of Conduct to a degree that jeopardizes the School’s ability to guarantee the dignity and safety of its students and interferes with learning, or involves conduct that has, or will have, a negative impact on the school climate and/or reputation, the School also reserves the right to expel a student or terminate the membership of a family in the community. In these circumstances, the School will make reasonable efforts to assist the student’s family in securing suitable alternative education arrangements.