Safe and Caring School Policies

Foundation of the Safe & Caring Schools Initiative

A safe school has:

                  • an environment free from bullying, harassment, intimidation and discrimination • an orderly environment
                  • a Code of Conduct with consistent expectations and consequences
                  • procedures and guidelines implemented as intended
                  • active adult supervision
                  • security procedures which are resistant to intrusion
                  • response protocols for adverse and crisis situations.

A caring and inclusive school promotes:

                  • positive and supportive relationships
                  • inclusive educational practices
                  • recognition and acknowledgement of efforts and accomplishments
                  • celebration of diversity
                  • advocacy for student well-being
                  • courtesy and respect
                  • belonging and connectedness
                  • equity and equality
                  • a constant focus on student achievement.

Creating safe and caring schools is a process which requires ongoing support, direction and attention from all stakeholders. To date, the Safe & Caring Schools Policy has provided an important foundation for creating welcoming, inclusive and safe learning environments.

Building on this foundation requires stronger and broader collaborative efforts among all stakeholders, a belief reflected in the previous Safe & Caring Schools Policy:

A safe, caring and inclusive school is a necessary condition for student success. Students cannot be expected to reach their potential in an environment where they feel insecure, intimidated or excluded. “Leadership is demanded from the Department, districts and schools to ensure that this vision becomes a reality and that school environments truly become safe for teaching and learning and contribute to building caring and empathetic communities.” - Report on the Evaluation of The Department of Education’s Safe & Caring Schools Policy and its Implementation (2012) “All children deserve to learn and grow in peaceful schools and communities. Ensuring our young people have the opportunity to be successful in school - and ultimately, in life - requires safe and caring schools where teachers, students, parents and the broader community work together to respect and support each other.” - Department of Education, Safe & Caring Schools Policy (2006) 4 Government of Newfoundland and Labrador - Education I Safe & Caring Schools Policy - Revised • 2013

All members of the school community are responsible for the positive culture of the school. Student, teacher, parent and community engagement must be encouraged, nurtured and expected.

The school community consists of students, parents/guardians, volunteers, teachers, and other adults who are in contact with students and school staff, in any school setting or school related activity.

The positive nature of relationships within the school community, and the consistent, inclusive and nurturing nature of the school permit students to build healthy relationships, to create a strong and supportive social network, to develop emotional well-being and to achieve academically to the best of their ability.

Guiding Principles Safe, caring and inclusive learning environments are built on the following principles:

Everyone has a role and responsibilities in building a safe, caring and inclusive school climate. Success depends on the active involvement of all stakeholders who are committed to a shared vision, common goals and the on-going work required in achieving them.

Building a safe, caring and inclusive school environment requires a focus on developing respectful and caring relationships throughout the school community – among students, among adults and between students and adults.

Inclusive educational practices must be embedded in all aspects of the learning environment to support the well-being and achievement of all students.

Fair and consistently implemented school policies and Codes of Conduct contribute to positive learning environments and reduce bullying, harassment, intimidation and discrimination.

Positive social behaviours must be taught, modelled and reinforced throughout the curriculum and imbedded in all aspects of school life.

Inter-agency collaboration and community partnerships are essential components of building and maintaining a safe, caring and inclusive school environment. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador - Education I Safe & Caring Schools Policy - Revised • 2013 5

The creation and maintenance of a safe, caring and inclusive school requires creativity, on-going collaboration and recognition of the complexities involved. For example, the size, population and location of a school will affect school climate and community partnerships.

For further information please refer to the 'Safe and Caring Schools Policy', found on the Newfoundland Labrador Easter School District website. The Link can be found by clicking here.