At Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB), we want to provide a safe and caring learning environment in each of our schools and buildings. There are many supports/resources available to our school communities to ensure all students can embrace learning as part of our commitment to high levels of student achievement. This handbook provides important information about the journey through the elementary and secondary school systems.
TLDSB is committed to supporting school environments where all individuals feel safe, accepted, and supported, and where students are provided with equitable access to healthy educational, physical, and social opportunities.
All members of our school community must:
TLDSB believes that a safe, caring, and inclusive, working and learning environment is essential for all members of the school community. We believe that an approach that respects the dignity and diversity of all peoples and groups, will help build and foster a school culture and climate that is safe, conducive to learning, and free from discrimination, physical and/or psychological abuse. This Code of Conduct procedure provides the guiding principles, standards of behaviour, mitigating factors, preventative measures, and consequences related to generating and maintaining a positive, safe, caring and inclusive environment.
Promoting positive student behaviour and the use of progressive discipline
The promotion of positive student behaviour is a primary goal of educators. It is the responsibility of all staff to build a supportive learning environment through appropriate interaction between all members of the school community. The emphasis on the development of positive student behaviour aligns with the learning outcome goals set out by the Ministry of Education, as well as Board initiatives for character development, restorative practices, and student success.
TLDSB is committed to promoting student safety by building a culture of caring and taking meaningful, culturally responsive and consistent action to prevent and respond to issues of student safety. We will work to protect students with specific attention and focus on vulnerable, at-risk and marginalized students by empowering school communities to play a key role in fighting sex trafficking and keeping children and youth safe from sexual exploitation. To learn more, see the Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocol Procedure.
TLDSB is committed to working with parents/guardians, students, and staff to develop and maintain a safe and welcoming environment for all students and to support students who require assistance with medical and/or mental health needs in order to attend school.
“Mental health is a desirable state of well-being or flourishing. Just like our physical health, our mental health changes – we all have times when we don’t feel mentally well.” – School Mental Health Ontario
When parents/caregivers have concerns about the mental health of their student, they can incorporate intervention strategies by working with their teacher or principal. If further intervention or linkages to community resources are needed, the principal and the parent/caregiver can discuss whether or not a referral to a mental health counsellor would be beneficial. At TLDSB, we work closely with School Mental Health Ontario and incorporate the WE CARE approach. You can learn more about how Ontario’s schools support mental health by visiting the School Mental Health Ontario website.
If your child has a medical condition or a prevalent medical condition (diabetes, anaphylaxis, asthma or epilepsy), we ask that you immediately contact the main office at your school to provide information about your child’s needs. With your collaboration, we will create an appropriate Plan of Care to support your child at school.
Should your child require medication stored and administered at the school during the school day, please contact the school principal to discuss next steps.
As a best practice and to support your child, please let the school know if your child is diagnosed with any type of medical condition or if their medical needs change throughout the school year so that the school is aware and can keep this information on file.
Please see TLDSB Policy OP 6602 Medical and Health Management in Schools Policy for further information about support in schools for student medical and health needs.
School attendance is critical to a student’s academic success. The best choice a student can make for their future is to show up to school every day. School absenteeism from a young age has significant negative consequences that can last a lifetime. Ontario elementary schools have 194 days of instruction for students. A student who misses 19 days of school is deemed persistently absent. School absenteeism rates in elementary years can predict secondary dropout rates.
Parents/guardians can improve school attendance rates by helping their children arrive at school on time every day, following school timetables, locating sources of school anxiety that may make their children want to skip school and planning ahead to minimize absences. If your child is having difficulty getting to school every day, please contact your school’s principal to work on a solution together. If further support is necessary, your school principal may involve the mental health counsellors.
Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) is committed to protecting privacy and developing technology that provides a safe online experience for students and staff.
TLDSB collects, uses, retains, and discloses personal information in the course of meeting its statutory duties and responsibilities. The Board recognizes and acknowledges its responsibility regarding access to records and information and the protection of privacy, and complies with all applicable regulations in the Education Act, and Regulations, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and any other applicable legislation.
Included in the MFIPPA are specific provisions of how personal information may be collected, used, retained, disclosed and disposed of. Personal information is to be used or disclosed only for the purpose for which it was collected, and for which the individual might reasonably expect it to be disclosed.
Under the MFIPPA, personal information may be used or disclosed by TLDSB:
Information about events taking place in our communities may be found on your school website, the Board website, or through the other ways found on the Stay Informed page.
In TLDSB, we recognize that every student is unique and that each student must have opportunities to achieve personal success according to interests, abilities, and goals. Our priority is to provide the best possible learning opportunities and support for all students. We are committed to ensuring that high-quality programs and services are in place for all students with special education needs.
For more information about the Special Education Program, visit the Special Education page to access the Board’s Special Education Plan and the TLDSB Parent Guide to Special Education.
Progressive discipline is a whole-school approach that utilizes a continuum of prevention programs, interventions, supports, and consequences to address inappropriate student behaviour and to build upon strategies that promote and foster positive behaviours. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, disciplinary measures should be applied within a framework that shifts the focus from one that is solely punitive to one that is both corrective and supportive.
Consequences will focus on helping students to develop appropriate social skills, self-discipline, and learn to accept responsibility for personal actions. School staff will provide a fair process in establishing the credibility of information. The age and grade level, the previous record of conduct, and where the student is in a progressive discipline process will be considered when assessing appropriate disciplinary consequences. The range of consequences may include but is not limited to:
TLDSB is committed to building safe and caring school communities through the use of restorative practices. Restorative practice seeks to foster healthy behaviours and strengthen relationships. This is best achieved when teachers, students, and parents/guardians learn to engage with one another in restorative ways. Restorative practice has two main goals:
1. To strengthen and build relationships
This can be achieved through regular classroom circles that teach students to share feelings and opinions and empower students to self-advocate and ensure their voice is heard.
2. Manage conflict and tensions by repairing harm as a way of building community
Restorative practice puts a premium on fair process through the use of the restorative questions to resolve conflicts:
Restorative questions that help to guide discussion include:
What is bullying?
Bullying is a relationship problem in which a person or group repeatedly uses power to cause distress to another. Bullying can be verbal, physical or electronic. Sometimes it focuses on racial, ethnic or religious differences, sexual issues or disabilities.
TLDSB is committed to the development of positive school climates in all schools to ensure environments where students and staff can feel happy, comfortable, welcome, and safe. Schools work to build capacity on an ongoing basis to help students deal with difficult situations.
One of the strategies to assist students in learning how to deal with difficult situations includes helping students to understand the difference between bullying, teasing, and aggression.
Whenever a student feels they are in any type of difficult situation, they should tell an adult in their school, their parent/guardian, a friend, or report the incident using the online reporting tool. It is important for the student to tell someone so that school personnel can take steps to assist all individuals involved to repair the harm and restore the relationship.
All schools have a formal Bullying Prevention, Intervention, and Response Plan in place. The school’s response to bullying will typically involve the TLDSB five-step framework for responding to reporting of bullying behaviour: reporting, investigation, communication, intervention, and monitoring.
Principals may consider suspension for the following:
Suspensions pending expulsion
Suspension pending expulsion must be considered in the following cases:
Suspension/expulsion process, appeals, hearings
Further detail about suspensions, the suspension pending expulsion process, expulsion hearings, and about appeals to suspension or expulsion decisions can be found in TLDSB OP-6021 TLDSB Code of Conduct Procedure.
Mitigating factors will be considered in reaching a decision regarding consequences for student behaviours. Mitigating factors include:
Education is a shared experience involving the home and the school and it can be strengthened by open communications between the two. Follow these steps if you have a concern about your child’s education:
First: Contact the classroom teacher and discuss the situation.
Then – if the situation has not been resolved:
Contact the principal or vice-principal and request help in dealing with the matter.
Then – if necessary:
Contact the superintendent of your child’s school. Call 1-888-526-5552 and ask for the name of the superintendent for your child’s school.
Then – if necessary:
Contact the director of education through the school board office at 1-888-526-5552.
Then – if necessary, and if the situation has not been resolved:
Contact your local trustee. Contact numbers can be found on our website.
Concerns pertaining to things other than your child’s education may be directed to [email protected] or 1-888-526-5552.
You may be concerned about the impact the legalization of recreational cannabis may have on our schools. The following information and resources will help you to understand how TLDSB is addressing the recreational cannabis legislation.
Recreational cannabis is not to be used, possessed, bought, or cultivated by individuals under 19.
All existing rules about recreational cannabis use by students remain in effect:
Recreational cannabis is not to be used by members of the public on or near school property
The Ontario government prohibits recreational cannabis consumption at schools and places where students gather.
Resources for parents/guardians:
Ministry of Education – information and helpful links related to the legalization of recreational cannabis
Government of Ontario – Information and rules around legalization of cannabis
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit – information on the health impacts of cannabis use
Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit – information about cannabis
Trillium Lakelands District School Board respects the parent/guardian role in their child’s learning and understands that families may choose to approach or teach topics related to Human Development and Sexual Health in a manner or at an age that differs from what is outlined in the Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Parents/guardians are therefore provided with the choice to exempt their child from participation in all instruction related to the Human Development and Sexual Health expectations for their grade.
Families will receive notice from their child’s school at least 20 days in advance of the instruction start date advising when the Human Development and Sexual Health expectations will be taught in their child’s class and next steps should a parent/guardian wish to exempt their child. Please note that this exemption option applies only to the entire Human Development and Sexual Health expectations of the Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum Grades 1-8, Strand D: Healthy Living-Human Development and Sexual Health and not for instruction related to a group of expectations, a single expectation or a specific topic. The key topics for each grade related to Human Development and Sexual Health include:
|Grade||Understanding health concepts||Making healthy choices||Making connections for healthy living|
TLDSB is committed to providing a safe environment for all members of our school community and the possibility of a major threatening incident in our school must be considered. The level of preparedness to deal with such an incident by the school staff, students, police, and parents/guardians will have a major impact on the outcome of the incident. Our goal is to ensure the safety of all of our community members in a coordinated, effective, and expedient way.
What is a lockdown?
A lockdown will be initiated when a major threatening incident or threat of school violence within the school, or in relation to the school has occurred. During a lockdown, all classrooms will be locked so that staff and students are safe in their location.
What is a hold and secure?
A hold and secure is initiated when it is desirable to secure the school due to an ongoing situation outside and not necessarily related to the school (example, a bank robbery occurs near a school but not on school property). During a hold and secure, the school continues to function normally, with the exterior doors being locked until such time as the administrator/manager of the site becomes aware that the situation has been resolved.
What is a shelter in place?
A shelter in place is initiated when an environmental or weather-related situation occurs and has required all occupants within the school to shelter in place in the building to protect them from an external situation (example: chemical spill or explosion in the community, tornado, flood, blackouts, hurricane, ice storm, etc.). During a shelter in place, staff and students remain in the school and classes proceed as normal.
How does my child’s school handle emergency situations?
Every school in TLDSB has an Emergency Response Plan, which is based on the OP 6520 Emergency Response Plan–Schools and Worksite Procedure and the OP 6540 Emergency Response Plan–Lockdown Procedure. Each school has a set of unique circumstances which necessitates specific items to be included. A copy of each school’s Emergency Response Plan is located in the school office and accessible by Board staff at the central office.
How does my child know what to do in an emergency situation?
Much the same way that schools practice fire drills, lockdown drills are also practiced in an age appropriate manner. As part of the TLDSB Emergency Response Plan–Lockdown Procedure, lockdown drills are required to be held a minimum of three times per school year.
How do I get information in emergency situations?
During a lockdown, hold and secure, or shelter in place situation, students are discouraged from using electronic devices, such as cellular phones, as their use may impede the ability of the police and school staff to respond to the situation at hand. It may also result in the dissemination of inaccurate information. In the event of an emergency at a TLDSB school, the Board will inform parents/guardians by using a number of communication formats including, but not limited to:
Am I allowed to pick up my child if there is an emergency situation in or around the school?
In the case of an emergency, the school’s intent is to ensure that students remain in a safe location until there is no longer a threat to their safety. Although some parents/guardians may wish to pick up their child during an emergency, allowing anyone to enter or exit the building during an emergency situation could expose the students, staff, and visitors inside the school to further danger. The school board and emergency services personnel will determine when it is safe to pick up students, and parents/guardians will be informed of this information.
What is the plan to reunite parents/guardians and children?
In the case that the students are still in our building following the conclusion of an emergency response, students will be reunited with parents/guardians in alignment with a Reunification Plan. If public safety officials require a school to be evacuated as part of an emergency situation, students, staff, and visitors will be safely directed to the designated evacuation site. Parents/guardians will be informed of the evacuation/reunification location(s) using a number of communication formats, including, but not limited to:
Who (else) can pick up my child(ren)?
Child(ren) will only be released to individuals who are authorized to pick the student up which is listed in the student’s emergency contact information. Parents/guardians are asked to ensure that all contact information, including emergency contact information, on file at the school is accurate and up to date at all times.
What if my child is on a field trip at the time of an emergency situation?
School administration will communicate with any staff supervising classes that may be off-site at the time of an emergency situation. Staff and students will not return to the school until it has been determined by administration and emergency services personnel as safe to do so.
What about my child’s medication?
In the event of an emergency situation, staff and students have an obligation to follow emergency procedures. Schools will plan for continuity of care in emergency situations and emergency services personnel will be notified of any individuals with specific medical needs as outlined under a Plan of Care or on an Authorization for Storage and Administration of Medication form. Student medical or health needs will be responded to as soon as it is safe to do so.
Reunification is an organized process that ensures students are safely reunited with parents/ guardians following an event.
An emergency incident that may require a reunification process may include:
In a Reunification Plan, the objective is that:
Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) recognizes all members of the school community have the right to be safe and feel safe in the school community.
Under certain conditions, students may undergo a “Threat Risk Assessment.” This assessment determines the level of risk to others and themselves.
*All Trillium Lakelands District School Board policies and procedures align with the Safe Schools Act.
*The model presented in this document reflects the work of Kevin Cameron, Director for the Canadian Centre for Threat and Risk Assessment.
A student threat risk assessment will be initiated when behaviours include, but are not limited to:
To keep our school communities safe, all stakeholders must report all threat related behaviours. In Trillium Lakelands District School Board, we have an expectation that staff will report any acts of violence or threats that they are privy to, to their school administrator.
Each school has a multi-disciplinary team. The team consists of an administrator, a police officer, a school support person (psychologist, student services/attendance counsellor, guidance counsellor) and additional people that may include community resources.
Users of technology, content, and technology services will follow the Appropriate Use of Digital Technology, Content, and Services Policy and procedure.
Users will access school board digital technology, content, and services for educational purposes by:
Whenever a student feels they are in any type of difficult situation online (e.g. cyberbullying), they should tell an adult in their school, their parent/guardian, a friend, or report the incident using the online reporting tool. It is important for the student to tell someone so that school personnel can take steps to assist all individuals involved to repair the harm and restore the relationship.
No user may disrupt other users or compromise the functionality of the school board network by:
TLDSB technology including, but not limited to, desktops, laptops, chromebooks and iPads, may only be used by those with a TLDSB account. To maintain security and safety, personal accounts may not be used. Content filters are in place to protect students from unacceptable material, and security filters are running in the background of applications to ensure protection from known internet threats.
Student guidelines for the use of 1:1 devices (where issued):
While TLDSB endeavours to maintain the efficient operation of the district digital network and resources, outages, and equipment, failures may occur.
Cooperation and consideration are the keys that make travel on the school bus safe and comfortable. The following conduct is required:
The school bus is considered to be an extension of the classroom and students are responsible to their school principal for conduct on the bus. The first time any rules are broken, the bus driver warns the student and contacts the principal. For a second infraction, the principal is notified, discipline is undertaken, and the student’s parents will be notified. For a third infraction, the principal will be notified, the student’s bus riding service may be suspended and the student’s parents will be notified. Parents/guardians are fully responsible for getting students safely to and from bus pick-up and drop-off locations.
In case of unsafe road conditions, cancellations are reported on the Board website, or www.mybustoschool.ca, social media, and repeated on local radio stations. The decision to cancel buses is made in conjunction with bus operators as soon as road conditions are known in the morning. Decisions are made for each area of the school board independently, as weather conditions vary. If buses are cancelled in the morning, they will not run in the afternoon. Therefore, if you drive your child to school on a bus cancellation day, you must also pick up your child. You may view transportation arrangements and subscribe to receive email notifications for delays more than 15 minutes and cancellations due to inclement weather by using the parent login on www.mybustoschool.ca.
Video surveillance systems are sometimes placed on buses and are used to complement other means to promote and foster a safe and secure environment. These systems are used to provide for the safety of students and protect property against vandalism and theft.
A video surveillance system may be a video, physical or other mechanical, electronic, wireless or digital surveillance system or device that enables continuous or periodic video recording or monitoring on school buses transporting TLDSB students.
October is internationally recognized as Cyber Security Awareness Month to help the public learn more about the importance of cyber security. This Cyber Awareness Month (CAM) campaign is tailored for K-12 needs, with a focus on cyber security, online safety, and online privacy.
The campaign focuses on four weekly themes, based on the foundation that technology and the internet are part of our lives, and information and tips will be shared to help protect privacy and stay safer and more secure online.
To learn more about Cyber Awareness Month and to view past resources, visit the October is Cyber Awareness Month in Canada page on the Government of Canada’s website.