Wentworth Code of Conduct
We must always strive to be:
HONEST with ourselves and others
CONSCIENTIOUS in taking advantage of all educational opportunities
COURTEOUS and well-mannered
ORDERLY in appearance and in the use of personal and public property
CONSIDERATE of individuals, their possessions, and their privacy
KIND in thought, word and deed
LOYAL in upholding the reputation of the school
The Honour Code
Every successful community involves a high degree of adherence to commonly shared beliefs and practices. At Collingwood we believe personal integrity and community responsibility form the bedrock of our community and, therefore, these two ideals make up our Honour Code.
It is Collingwood’s belief that personal integrity is the foundation upon which students can thrive and develop into responsible adults. It is the cornerstone of one’s character. It is manifested daily in doing one’s best, not for external rewards or recognition but, rather for the fulfillment of a job well done. On top of being true to one’s self, personal integrity implies a certain soundness of character whereby lying, cheating or any act of dishonesty is unpalatable, even if there is no chance of being caught. We tell our students that it feels great to be truthful and we want them to feel that way every day.
Membership in any community brings with it the responsibility of living in harmony and agreeing to support certain rules that benefit everyone. Accordingly, we feel that well-being in the Collingwood community can only be achieved with an open mind, a hospitable heart, a generous view of one’s neighbour, and a clear respect for the school and the rights of others. This respect extends to a myriad of little rules, particularly around uniform and deportment. Only through extending ongoing and unconditional respect to the people with whom we share this school experience can a community like Collingwood really work.
Essential Student Agreements
Much can be said about a school by the way it handles serious disciplinary issues, and Collingwood is committed to carrying out this important responsibility keeping the following principles in mind:
1. We assess each situation individually. Precedents can be helpful, and they usually determine the range of consequences. Still, each circumstance has its unique set of facts, which require different responses. Two incidents might seem identical on the surface, but if the consequence is different it is because the facts, under the surface, were different. A corollary to this is that the school does not normally treat first-time offenders the same way as chronic offenders, and that different consequences might apply to different age groups. The school realizes that “push-button” discipline (i.e., you do x, you get y) is clearer and sometimes perceived as fairer, but it often short circuits the flexibility to tailor consequences to make it a relevant learning opportunity for the individual involved, and to make it a just resolution considering the facts and the situation of the individuals involved.
2. Collingwood should be a caring and forgiving community, but the school neither has the resources nor the mandate to be an agent of social reform. In deciding on the courses of action with disciplinary breaches, what is best for the individual involved (e.g., a second chance), cannot supplant what is the best statement to make to the whole community.
3. Every student is assumed to be telling the truth unless future disclosures prove that the assumption is wrong. Distrust must be earned over time.
4. The school appreciates that mistakes arise from lack of judgment due to immaturity.When the dust settles from a mistake, the school tries to ensure that students’ fundamental self-esteem remains intact.
5. The ultimate decision regarding whom to involve in the decision making, and how many details of the incident should be communicated to whom lies with the Headmaster. The involvement of an ad hoc Discipline Committee and/or the faculty and disclosure to the whole student body makes a great deal of sense in some circumstances. However, in some matters of delicacy often dictated by family situations, open disclosures are harmful to the individual. In those cases, the Headmaster makes public only those facts that are constructive or instructive to the individual or the community. Therefore, students may not hear the whole story. If that happens, there is a good reason for it.
6. The Headmaster is pleased to speak with any student or parent who is having trouble with the way a discipline case is being handled.
First and foremost our procedures are designed to judiciously remind our students of our Honour Code and to teach them in a very real way the life-long lesson of accountability.
There is no way that the following paragraphs outlining our rules can cover every conceivable situation, and so we ask both our parents and students to enter into the spirit of a salutary discipline system that respects both the difficulty and humanity of disciplining young people in fast paced, often confusing times. Please note, these major rules are written in parallel to Morven. As Wentworth is JK to Grade 7, we acknowledge that these guidelines will be adhered to in an age appropriate manner.
1. Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination
The diversity of the Collingwood community offers a special opportunity to learn and practice understanding, tolerance, and compassion. Impinging on the well-being of others or violating their rights is totally unacceptable.
Collingwood School defines bullying as any repeated negative, aggressive action that is intended to (or should be known to) hurt, humiliate, demean, frighten or exclude someone. This pattern of behaviour can create an imbalance of power between the people involved.
Students must not engage or persist in conduct that is unwelcoming or harassing to others. This may include, but is not limited to, bullying or cyberbullying, fighting, unwanted physical contact, verbal abuse and threats, unwelcome remarks including jokes, innuendo, or taunting (in verbal, written, or digital form) about a person’s body, race, sex, gender, attire, (perceived) sexual orientation, or religion. Any incidents involving, sexual, physical, or emotional harassment, or racial, religious or ethnic intolerance or physical abuse or threats will be dealt with as serious disciplinary matters. Equally unacceptable is any hazing or “initiation” harassment.
Collingwood School is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, inclusive, equitable, and welcoming learning and working environment for all members of the school community. Our community includes people who identify as (or are perceived as) lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* (e.g., trans, transgender, transsexual), Two Spirit, asexual, intersex, queer and those who are exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (“LGBTQ+”).
All other forms of harassment, including the possession of offensive weapons (such as pellet guns, sling shots, switchblades, or any other weapons that may be used in a violent or aggressive manner) are strictly prohibited. Any such harassment, possession, or use is considered a serious disciplinary infraction.
Students who believe that they are being bullied or harassed are asked where appropriate, to bring the matter to the attention of the person responsible for the conduct. Tell that person that his/her behaviour is unwelcome, and ask him/her to stop. If you do not wish to bring the matter directly to the attention of the person responsible or where such an approach is attempted and does not produce a satisfactory result, find someone else that you trust to help you deal with the situation. For a student, that may be an AF, Faculty member, director, counselor or coach.
The school will then choose from a range of options to address the behaviour and help the student(s) learn from his or her choices.
Consequences vary from case to case:
o Initially, the issue would be dealt with through mediation with the students involved; parents will be informed and possibly involved, depending on severity
o Incidents of bullying may result in a suspension
o Refusal to cease bullying will result in expulsion
o In some cases, the Head of School, Headmaster, School Psychologist and the school’s Police Liaison Officer may be involved
2. Duty to Intervene and Report
Every Collingwood student has a duty to take reasonable steps to stop any incident of bullying, fighting, or harassment, including reporting such incidents to a teacher or administrator immediately. However, a student should not try to stop any such incident if doing so would pose any risk to his or her own personal safety, and should instead only report the incident to a teacher or administrator immediately. Failure by a student, without reasonable excuse (such as a risk to the student’s own personal safety) to take reasonable steps to stop any incident of bullying, fighting, or harassment may result in disciplinary consequences to him or her.
3. Dishonesty and Theft
For a community to be effective, an atmosphere of trust and honesty must prevail. At Collingwood we cherish personal integrity above everything else, and we will not tolerate lying or stealing. Stealing also includes using others’ possessions without their permission. Students must be clear on this principle: the unauthorized use of someone else’s computer, password, files or personal belongings is considered to be theft and could result in expulsion.
4. Alcohol and Other Drugs (Grades 6-12)
It is important that Collingwood not only upholds the laws of Canada but also makes an unequivocal statement about the harmful effects of substance abuse. No student may possess, buy, sell, or consume an alcoholic beverage on the school property or while in the school’s charge. This includes off campus events sanctioned by Collingwood. No student may possess, buy, sell, or use drugs, or possess the apparatus for drug use on School property or while in the school’s charge. Any student arriving at a school event under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be treated as having violated the school’s policy on alcohol and drugs. A 3-day external suspension will be automatic for students Grades 6-12. Severe disciplinary action, which may include expulsion, will be taken if the student is found to have broken these regulations.
Collingwood is the workplace and pseudo home to many people. Any willful act of damage to school or personal property is viewed as a gross disregard for our community. Purposeful destruction of this nature is considered a serious disciplinary matter.
6. Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism and Cheating (Grades 6-12)
Downloading information from the internet or purposefully copying from textbooks, classmates or other print media without citing the author/source is intellectual theft: plagiarism. You are claiming ideas and words to be your own when they are clearly not.
To be caught plagiarizing at school may result in redoing the assignment and receiving a zero on the assignment, a detention and an academic warning.
7. Fire and Security
Any tampering with our fire protection system including alarms, PA systems, and extinguishers places the entire community in a vulnerable position. It is strictly forbidden. Likewise, any misuse of our door security or interference with the security people on staff is a serious matter that will lead to sanctions.
Dealing with Major Rule Infringements
Much can be said about a school by the way it handles serious disciplinary issues, and Collingwood is committed to carrying out this important responsibility keeping the following principles in mind. Please note, these major rules are written in parallel to Morven. As Wentworth is JK – Grade 7, we acknowledge that these guidelines will be adhered to in an age appropriate manner.
Consequences of Major Rule Infringement
The school reserves the right to sanction students for infringements of major rules along a continuum from a 1-day in-school suspension to expulsion. The school may also place a student on academic or behaviour warning, or on both. In this case certain clearly articulated improvements would need to be seen otherwise students may be asked to leave or denied re-enrolment. Parents/Guardians will be informed of their child’s actions in these cases.
When a student’s effort marks and/or grades are not deemed satisfactory, meetings will be held with the student and clear expectations and goals set. Students will be closely monitored, and the parents/guardians informed. Failure to improve and meet expectations could result in a student being asked to leave the school immediately or re-enrolment not being offered for the following school year.
When a student has broken rules, they are therefore considered to be on “thin ice” for the next 12 months. Students will be closely monitored and parents/guardians informed. Further misbehaviours could result in the student being asked to leave the school immediately, or re-enrolment not being offered for the following school year.
We have many other rules which collectively continue to define the nature of our community. Parents often perceive a lack of consistency in the enforcement of some of these rules, particularly around uniform and manners. High standard of dress and deportment are important features of the school, and we do our best to hold our students accountable. In fact, during school hours, when not distracted, we do a good job of stopping and correcting students on uniform. Certainly any rudeness or bad manners, when encountered, are addressed.
1. Uniform Violations
We would like our students to take pride in their outward appearance and ask them to comply with our simple stipulations surrounding uniform. Students who are sloppily dressed or out of uniform will be confronted and reported to their homeroom teacher. The homeroom teacher will notify the student’s parents.
2. Electronic Devices: Music, Cell Phones and Games
Technology is an important aspect of society and as such, proper etiquette for use of computers, cell phones, iPod’s and Blackberries is expected at CW. We believe teaching these skills is essential.
• Phones and games should NOT be used or visible during the school day 8:30 – 3:20
• Students will not place calls, answer calls, or text during class time between 8:30 and 3:20
• Please try to avoid sending your children to school with a cell phone (students may access school phones during the day if needed)
• Any misuse of a technological device will result in it being confiscated by a faculty member.
3. Skipping Classes (Grade 6-12)
Since we really treasure our academic time, purposefully avoiding class due to a test, assignment, or other reason is a big deal. It is your job as a student to act responsibly and maturely, and to fulfill your obligations. Students who skip class will make-up the missed time after school as well as serve an in-school suspension.
4. Tobacco Use (Grades 6-12)
We have a responsibility to take strong positions against activities that are deleterious to our students. It is well known that tobacco use falls into this category and as result the use of tobacco is forbidden on campus, while a student is in uniform, or when representing the school on a trip/tour.