Code of Conduct

St Matthew’s School is committed to providing a safe, caring and inclusive learning and working environment by promoting respect, responsible citizenship and academic excellence. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable and accepted.

The Standards of Behaviour outlined apply to all members of the school community, including students, parents and guardians, school staff, volunteers and visitors when:

                  • On school property.
                  • Traveling on a school bus that is under contract to the school and/or school board.
                  • Participating in extra-curricular activities.
                  • Participating in off-site school-sponsored activities.
                  • Engaging in an activity which will have an impact on the school climate.

St Matthew’s School is committed to providing a learning environment which enables each student to achieve individual success to the best of his or her ability. Our school motto says it all:

I am kind

I do my best

I respect others

I am safe.

A) Standards of Behaviour

All members of the school community are expected to:

                  • Respect and comply with federal, provincial and municipal laws.
                  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity.
                  • Respect the rights of others and treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, regardless of economic status, national or ethnic origin, religion, culture, body image, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or ability.
                  • Show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others.
                  • Take appropriate measures to help those in need.
                  • Demonstrate best effort during all school-based activities.

We would like to welcome all students and their families to St. Matthew’s School. We look forward to working with you all throughout the school year. Together we can provide the best educational opportunities for all students. All members of the school community are expected to respect the following standards:

                  • We value individuality and celebrate diversity. Respect the rights and contributions of others and treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, regardless of economic status, national or ethnic origin, religion, culture, body image, individual differences, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or ability.
                  • The parking lot is a busy place. In an attempt to keep all students safe, please proceed with caution on our school parking lot. Only special transportation vehicles are permitted in the bus lanes.
                    • The drop-off lane adjacent to the bus lane is for drop-off only, during the morning start times.
                    • Parents/guardians arriving to school early and waiting for the doors to open should use the parking stall.
                    • If a parent/guardian needs to exit their vehicle to help their child, please use one of the parking stalls or the parking lot.
                    • Please do not park in the drop-off lane and wait for the school doors to open as some parents/guardians drop off their children before the doors open.
                    • At dismissal time, parents are permitted to park and wait for their child in the drop-off lanes but are asked to remain in their cars as they wait.
                    • Parking is permitted below the crosswalks where the crossing guard is standing.
                    • The final area to park is the parking stalls on the parking lot.
                    • Please note the paved area next to the main entrance is off limits to all vehicles and remember to obey the DO NOT ENTER signs.
                  • St. Matthew’s School is a smoke free grounds and facility. Visitors, staff and students are reminded that all buildings, grounds and properties under the jurisdiction of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District are smoke-free. Please respect our smoke-free policy and support us in our efforts to create a safe and healthy environment for everyone.
                  • When the parent/guardian arrives to school with their child, please allow them to go to their lockers on their own whenever possible. This encourages independence and allows your child to learn important routines to start the day.
                  • Frequently, items such as lunch bags, clothing and equipment are mislaid. Parents/guardians may consider labeling these school items with their child’s name, as it greatly assists in their speedy return. A lost and found box is kept in the entrance for mislaid items and we encourage students and parents/guardians to check this box if something has been misplaced.
                  • When visiting the school during the instructional day, parents/guardians and visitors are asked to use the school main entrance. The main door leading inside the school is locked for safety purposes so the intercom system must be utilized to enter the school. Once inside, please proceed to the office for assistance. For safety reasons, we ask that you do not go to your child’s classroom.
                  • If a student must go home during school hours, the office will page the appropriate classroom and request that the student come to the office to meet the parent/guardian there. Cooperation in this area creates security, independence and good order for all.
                  • The parent/guardian should complete a student emergency information sheet. Phone use in emergencies may not always be possible so this information should be as up-to-date as possible. It is important that the parent/guardian informs the school of any changes in their daytime contact numbers. Notification of any changes in this information must be given immediately to the school secretary or the classroom teacher.
                  • In the event of a school closure during the day (power failure, inclement weather, water problems or other emergency), St. Matthew’s School will use the Synervoice phone system to contact you. Otherwise, for school closures, please listen to our local radio stations for school information or check status central on the school district website at nlesd.ca
                  • Academic success begins with attendance. Students who miss class instruction often encounter difficulty in keeping up with their school work. Doors open and supervision is provided at 8:10 a.m. Students must be in their respective classrooms by 8:30 a.m. and 12:35 p.m. Research indicates that chronic tardiness is linked to underachievement, distraction to self and others and behavioural issues in classrooms. Please note that there is no student supervision before 8:10 a.m. Students should not arrive at school before this time.
                  • It is very important that students arrive to school on time. Students who are late must sign in at the office before proceeding to class. A student entering a classroom late can disrupt the learning environment for other students and causes stress on the child who is late.
                  • If your child is absent from school, please call the school or email your child’s teacher by 10 a.m. When your child returns to school, you are required to send a note to your child’s teacher explaining his/her absence. Teachers require a written note or email for the registers, otherwise the absence is recorded as unexcused.
                  • St Matthew’s School is an allergy aware school. There are students in this school with serious life-threatening allergies to peanuts, nuts, peanut butter and fish. We ask that parents/guardians refrain from sending snacks and food that contain traces of peanuts, nuts and/or tree nuts.
                  • If your child has any specific medical needs of which we should be aware, we ask that you notify your child’s teacher immediately.
                  • St Matthew’s School is a scent free school. Please refrain from wearing scented products in the school due to reactions which result in breathing difficulty in the presence of strong smelling fragrances. Pets are not permitted in school for this reason.
                  • Medication is administered at the school only when absolutely necessary. In order for any type of medication to be administered, parental and medical forms must be completed with a signed consent of the parent/guardian and all required forms must be completed by the child’s medical doctor. School board policy requires that all prescription medication be brought to the office. Should this be necessary, please contact the school for further details. This regulation is in keeping with district and provincial policies which can be found online at nlesd.ca.
                  • If any question arises during the school year, please contact your child’s teacher. Phone calls will be returned after 2:35 p.m. or as soon as possible. Teachers can be contacted via email and staff email addresses are available on the school webpage.
                  • St. Matthew’s School encourages the planning of family vacations to coincide with the school holiday periods. We understand that this is not always possible. If a family needs to remove their child from school, please notify the office regarding the number of days that your child will not be in school. Missed assignments are discussed with the classroom teacher after the child returns to school. The student is responsible to complete and turn in missed work.
                  • Parties are a special time for all children. To avoid hurting the feelings of those involved, party invitations may not be distributed at school unless the entire class, or all girls or all boys are invited. St. Matthew’s School appreciates your cooperation on this sensitive subject.
                  • St. Matthew’s School encourages its students to interact and socialize with one another during unstructured time (recess, lunch, etc.) and therefore do not permit toys in school. These items are often lost or misplaced and can cause unnecessary drama for the student. Items such as ipods, ipads, Nintendo DS, etc. should remain home. We really appreciate parent/guardian cooperation with this topic.
                  • The English School District allows individual schools to make decisions related to electronic devices. With teacher permission, smart phones may be used for educational purposes in class. Cell phones are not to be used for calls or texting at school from the time students enter the building until the time they leave.
                  • When students are dismissed, they either proceed to the parking lot for a ride home or they walk directly home. Students are not permitted to stay on school grounds or use the playground without parent/adult supervision.

Tigers Rule! Specific Standards for the Classroom Environment

I am kind, I do my best, I respect others, and I am safe

                  • My success begins with attendance. I arrive to school on time. Doors are unlocked at 8:10 a.m. and I enter the school at that time using the main entrance. If I arrive after 8:25 a.m. or 12:35 p.m. I must go to the office for a late slip and then go to my classroom.
                  • I am organized and prepared for my class subjects with school work and supplies on my desk. Pencils, exercise books and textbooks are items that I regularly need for classroom learning. I always ask before I borrow any items or materials as this is a respectful thing to do.
                  • I always do my best in school. I listen attentively in class, complete assigned tasks to the best of my ability, prepare for quizzes and tests and complete and submit my work on time. If I am absent from school, I catch up on any missed work.
                  • I am a good listener in school. I listen attentively to others when they speak. I use appropriate voice level and polite language to demonstrate my good manners and character.
                  • I work cooperatively. I respect others’ right to learn during group work, ask before taking, share the group workload and use best effort.
                  • I value the learning of others by respecting all opinions and abilities. I understand that everyone learns differently. I do my best to help those in need and ask for help any time you need it.
                  • I value the positive school environment of St. Matthew’s School. It is respectful, friendly, and supportive and encourages all individuals to work cooperatively. I play safe, walk at all times, use manners such as please, thank-you, excuse me, pardon me, keep hands and feet to myself, quietly work on activities, and allow others to learn.
                  • I dress appropriately. I am not allowed to wear halter tops, strapless tops, spaghetti straps, blouses/shirts which exposes any portion of my waist, hips or midriff; clothing with suggestive or other inappropriate writing, advertisement or artwork (violence, tobacco products and alcohol); shorts, skorts and skirts with hemlines above mid-thigh; sleepwear; hats or caps inside the building; shorts, pants and skirts with writing across the seat, etc.
                  • I show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others. I keep my desk and classroom clean, eat and drink in designated areas, put things back where they belong, etc.

Tigers Rule! Specific Standards during Physical Education

I am kind, I do my best, I respect others, and I am safe

                  • On physical education days, I may wear my gym clothes to school and will not be required to change into other clothes following gym.
                  • I wear appropriate footwear and clothing to class. Suitable clothing includes shorts or sweat pants, t-shirts and sneakers.
                  • I make sure that my laces are tied tightly to prevent my shoes from coming off during activities.
                  • I participate in all activities showing good sportsmanship and follow the rules of the activity. I play fair and keep my hands and feet to myself.
                  • I encourage and include others when I can.
                  • I take care of the equipment by using it appropriately. When the teacher is talking, I keep the equipment quiet (e.g. hold basketball, etc.).
                  • I return the school equipment when I am finished using it.

Tigers Rule! Specific Standards for the Library and Computer Lab

I am kind, I do my best, I respect others, and I am safe

                  • I respect the equipment and space. These areas have materials and equipment that can be enjoyed and shared with everyone. I know that it’s everyone’s responsibility to treat the equipment and area with great care and use it properly.
                  • I am patient and wait my turn.
                  • I use the Internet only with adult supervision. I use appropriate research sites. In the event that I find myself accidentally in an inappropriate site, I will inform the teacher.
                  • I am organized for learning and stay on task.
                  • I work quietly and use a whisper voice level when I need to speak. I use polite and respectful communication.
                  • I lend a helping hand to those in need.
                  • I keep the area tidy and clean. I replace or return the items I use.

Tigers Rule! Specific Standards for the Hallways and Stairwell

I am kind, I do my best, I respect others, and I am safe

                  • I respond to the school bells immediately.
                  • I am mindful of younger students in the hallway, especially during dismissal time.
                  • I walk in single file and to the right respecting the personal space of my peers.
                  • I go directly to my destination in a quiet manner.
                  • When I go through a doorway entrance, I hold the door for the next person.
                  • When I travel in the stairwell, I keep right, hold the rails and walk safely.
                  • I enjoy the hallway displays without touching them.
                  • When leaving the classroom during the instructional day, I return to class without delay.

Tigers Rule! Specific Standards for the Bathroom

I am kind, I do my best, I respect others, and I am safe

                  • I only ask when necessary and use the sign out sheet before leaving.
                  • I walk quietly to the bathroom.
                  • I keep the lights on and respect privacy while in the washroom.
                  • I lock the bathroom stalls when using and flush after each use.
                  • I leave the cubical doors unlocked when finished.
                  • I use appropriate voice levels.
                  • I wash and dry my hands remembering to turn off the taps.
                  • I keep the area clean and tidy by putting all paper towels in the garbage.
                  • I report any vandalism.
                  • I return to class promptly and quietly.

Tigers Rule! Specific Standards for the Cafeteria

Students are not permitted to walk to local establishments without a parent or adult accompanying them.

I am kind, I do my best, I respect others, and I am safe

                  • I respect the allergy free policy.
                  • I remain seated and eat my own lunch.
                  • I am respectful of personal space.
                  • I use good manners, appropriate voice and listening skills.
                  • I am respectful when I communicate with the cafeteria staff.
                  • I keep my eating area clean and tidy and the cafeteria clean. I use the garbage and recycle when I can.
                  • I line up when directed by a teacher.

Tigers Rule! Specific Standards for the Field and Playground

I am kind, I do my best, I respect others, and I am safe

                  • I walk and stay in my designated area.
                  • I listen to the teacher on duty.
                  • I follow the routines and expectations of St. Matthew’s School.
                  • I play safely and fairly including others when possible.
                  • I share and take turns with equipment.
                  • I respect personal space and am a good sport.
                  • I use proper language.
                  • I help keep the school grounds clean from litter.
                  • I respond to the bell to go inside.

Specific Standards for Assemblies

                  • I follow the seating plan by staying in my own space.
                  • I remain quiet and respect the speaker/performance by listening and looking at the speaker or group.
                  • I keep hands and feet to myself and understand there is no food or drink permitted in this area.
                  • I attend and respond appropriately. I take part as needed.
                  • I show appreciation by applauding appropriately.
                  • Remain seated until dismissed by your teacher.

Specific Standards for the Bus

                  • I walk to the bus.
                  • I wait in the designated areas.
                  • I board the bus when parked.
                  • I remain appropriately seated at all times while on route.
                  • I keep hands, feet and book bags to myself.
                  • I keep food and drinks in my book bag.
                  • I use my inside voice, manners and appropriate language.
                  • I care for the bus appropriately. I follow driver instructions and practice good behaviour.

Standards of Behaviour for Digital Citizenship

                  • All members of the school community are expected to:
                  • Keep personal devices in a secure place.
                  • Keep personal photos and information, including passwords, private.
                  • Be respectful in the online environment and report any online activities that are not in keeping with this respect.
                  • Tell a trusted adult about activities which cause you to be uncomfortable.
                  • Follow teacher directives to place electronic devices in designated areas.
                  • Use technology for learning as directed by the teacher.

In abiding by St Matthew’s School Standards of Behaviour, all members of the school community are expected to refrain from:

                  • Any behaviour that discriminates based on economic status, national or ethnic origin, religion, culture, body image, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or ability.
                  • Any violent or bullying behaviour (physical, verbal, social, electronic) that intentionally causes harm (physically, socially, or emotionally) to another person.
                  • Making derogatory or hateful comments toward an individual, group of people, idea, opinion or belief.
                  • Threatening an individual, group of people or property. This applies to the real and digital world.
                  • Injuring an individual, group of people or property.
                  • Using language that is violent, profane or discriminatory.
                  • Wearing clothes that depict violence, profanity or discrimination.
                  • Breaking federal, provincial or municipal laws.
                  • Etc.
                  • Use of technology that intentionally abuses or bullies another person or interferes with the positive climate of the school. Examples of violating this code include: Instant Messaging Harassment – sending hateful threatening messages, warning wars, creating a screen name similar to another person’s name (adding an “e” or one less “I”) and then saying embarrassing or inappropriate things on it, taking passwords – impersonating a person online, changing a person’s profile and/or locking a person out of their account, profiles or blogs – using these to damage another person’s reputation or invade their privacy (writing about a person’s private home life), websites – creating a page specifically designed to insult someone, posting someone’s private information online, sending pictures through IM’s, TM’s or Emails – these include degrading pictures, sending pictures of students in compromising situations (doing something illegal, private pictures, etc.), Internet polling – who’s popular? Who’s not? Sharing secrets, spamming, etc.

B) Inappropriate behaviours also include the following represented through the PBIS three tier approach:

Minor Behaviour/Action (Singular action)

Staff members intervene and monitor minor behaviours. Multiple minor behaviours (over a short duration) should be directed to Administration.

                  • Unprepared for class
                  • Off task/assigned work not completed (colouring instead of current activity, tidying inside of desk, etc.)
                  • Interrupting
                  • Littering/not cleaning up (lockers, work space, etc.)
                  • Throwing items in the classroom (food, etc.)
                  • Taking items without permission (personal items, recess snack, etc.)
                  • Inappropriate behavior on bus
                  • Damaging property
                  • Classroom disruption
                  • Tardiness
                  • unsuitable personal attire (hats/hoods, inappropriate words on clothing etc.)
                  • Chewing gum
                  • Extended period of time out of class (hallway or washroom, etc.)
                  • Leaving class without permission
                  • Disruptive transitions (jumping, running, skipping line)
                  • Teasing
                    • Tattling (to get a person in trouble instead of out of trouble)
                    • Gestures (loser sign, eye rolling, etc.)
                    • Violation of personal space
                    • Physical contact (pushing, poking, rough play etc.)
                    • Dishonesty
                    • Inappropriate language/voice level/tone
                    • Violation of school electronics policy
                    • Other

Middle Behaviours/Actions

Chronic minor offenses are categorized as middle behaviour

                  • Cheating
                  • Damaging property (school, peers, equipment, etc.)
                  • Leaving class/ supervised area without permission
                  • Theft
                  • Discrimination
                  • Disrespecting self and others (e.g. talking back)
                  • Deliberate spitting
                  • Dangerous physical interactions
                  • Bullying (Threats, malicious name calling, Cyber bullying, etc.)
                  • Forgery
                  • False accusations
                  • Other

Major Behaviours/Actions

Major actions require immediate intervention by the Administration

                  • Chronic or severe middle actions/behaviours
                  • Directed profanity
                  • Skipping school/ Leaving school without permission
                  • Intentionally pulling the fire alarm/fire extinguisher
                  • Vandalism
                  • Physical aggression/injury
                  • Serious threats/Intimidation of others
                  • Sexual behaviour
                  • Weapons
                  • Other

C) Proactive Strategies

Expected behaviours as identified in St Matthew’s School Standards of Behaviour will be encouraged and supported through the following school-wide practices:

                  • Behavioural expectations are communicated with all members of the school community through a variety of methods which may include hard copy handouts, school newsletters, parent/guardian –teacher night, school web-site postings, and/or emails.
                  • Standards of Behaviour for students are reviewed, practiced and discussed as needed.
                  • Standards of Behaviour are applied consistently by all staff.
                  • Students may be offered choices, so that they can make an informed decision before acting.
                  • The resulting consequence of each choice is up to the professional judgment of the attending staff member.
                  • On-going modelling of appropriate behaviours by school staff.
                  • Maintaining the acknowledgement of appropriate student behaviours through a variety of methods which may include positive verbal feedback, positive non-verbal gestures, and/or contact with parent/guardian, etc.
                  • Parents/guardians may be contacted by teachers for feedback on student behaviour and accomplishments.
                  • Curricular and extra-curricular programs that promote social skill development are available. For example: Roots of Empathy, Student Leadership Group, Band, Intramurals, Matt’s Morning Munch Breakfast Program, Cross Country Running Program Grades 3 – 7, Terry Fox Walk Fundraiser, Grade 6 Drama Club, Jamarama Day Janeway Fundraiser, Shave for the Brave, Pink Shirt Day, VOCM Coats for Kids, Assemblies, Concerts, NLESD Primary Student Character Presentation, NLESD Elementary School Character Presentation, an alternate program, peer mentoring, arts, etc.
                  • Environmental and/or programming changes are considered.
                  • Teacher uses the pre-referral process to determine and/or meet a student’s needs.
                  • Referral for assessment may be considered by the service delivery team.
                  • Referral for counselling.
                  • Referral to district staff or outside agencies.
                  • Consistent teacher documentation of inappropriate student behaviour.
                  • Focused support for small groups and individual students.
                  • Etc.

D) Reactive Strategies

In response to inappropriate student behaviour, teachers and administrators of St Matthew’s School shall utilize a Reactive Strategy, depending on:

                  • The level of the behaviour.
                  • Circumstances of the behaviour:
                  • The other people involved (students/staff/etc.)
                  • the environment
                  • precipitating factors
                  • special circumstances
                  • etc.
                  • Past reactive strategies utilized for this student and the students resulting behaviour.
                  • The frequency of the behaviour.
                  • The student’s exceptionality and/or Individual Education Plan (IEP).
                  • Etc.

Staff members intervene and monitor minor behaviours. Multiple minor behaviours (over a short duration) should be directed to Administration. The intervention/consequence used will be determined by the professional judgment of the attending staff member.

Minor Interventions/Consequences

        • Non-verbal reminders
            • close proximity
            • “the look”
            • number gesture with fingers (5,4,3,2,1)
            • number gesture with fingers (Dave’s system)
            • charting number (stop sign, tally mark on the board, etc.) to let child know which number s/he is on
            • visual reminders (signs, class rules chart, traffic light, voice scale, Fabulous Four)
            • finger to the lips
            • “high five/Clapping”
            • If you’re listening then hand up
            • “Lights out” to get attention
            • Stand/sit and wait (with possible consequence)
            • Pylon on desk
        • verbal reminders
            • shhhhh!
            • 1-2-3 Magic – verbal
            • Talk s-l-o-w-l-y
            • Singing direction to the students.
            • Lower voice to get attention (whisper and then raise voice to normal level)
        • model expected behaviour / re-teach Matrix
        • Student Nominations – acknowledging positive behaviour
        • Gotcha’s
        • The Music Box System (patent pending by Cathy) – wind up music box and if music is left at the end of the week then a class reward is given
        • Humour – Staff generated ideas
        • Ignore the behavior (could be an isolated event)
        • Monitor behavior
        • Redirect the positive behaviours in the class (I like the way “Sue” is listening or placing sticker on a desk, pylon on desk for good behaviour, etc…).
        • Redirect by pulling them into a conversation/activity.
        • consult with other teachers working with the student
        • praise the positive behaviours the child makes
        • Use the student’s name in a positive manner instead of a negative (don’t use the child’s name in negative examples)
        • peer mentor (student buddy to help model behavior/seating plan)
        • Buddy system
        • Provide breaks to do task
        • Break card
        • apology / correct misbehaviour /natural consequences
        • student driven consequences
        • offer choices and consequences
        • Removal from group (Island)
        • time out
        • Self-reflection – verbal (What did you do? How would you change it?)
        • Advise the homeroom teacher of behaviour and intervention that was taken
        • Detention
        • Loss of privileges
        • Teacher shadowing (child walks with teacher during lunchtime)
        • Contact parent/guardian (note in agenda or phone call, etc..)
        • Grandma’s Law – “When – Then”, “First- Then”
        • Use of Class Dojo

Middle Interventions/Consequences

        • All Minor interventions/consequences
        • Possible removal of child from situation (written documentation). Is this an intervention or consequence?
        • Self-reflection – written (What did you do? How would you change it?)
        • Child communicates their ‘behaviour’ to their parent/guardian (written or verbal) Example – child writes letter to parent/guardian and teacher signs this (teacher involvement).
        • Common Behaviour Reflection Sheet (Primary/Elementary versions)
        • Sit out from play time (possible restitution)
        • Restitution
        • Lose privileges such as computer, etc.
        • When outside, sent inside for office detention
        • Teacher directed detention
        • meeting with parent/guardian and/or child
        • Team problem solving
        • Conflict resolution
        • consult guidance, SSS and other outside professional services (i.e. Janeway)
        • consult the administration (complete incident report)
        • Office Discipline Referral

Major Interventions/Consequences

        • All middle interventions/consequences
        • remove child from the situation
        • Evacuate the class
        • student / parent / school conferences / guidance
        • educational program change if academic and grounded in exceptionality (P2,3,4,5) – team consultation
        • Consult District personnel
        • Contact with child protection (medical professionals)
        • CPI
        • behaviour management plan (BMP) / contract
        • in-school suspension
        • suspension
        • reduced day(s)
        • Contain classes on floor (secure school or lockdown)
        • Consult with medical or emergency personnel
        • police involvement
        • other

PDF Version of St. Matthew’s Code of Conduct