District Code of Conduct
The Abbotsford School District expects all students to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the respect of others:
- be honest and forthright
- treat others with respect and courtesy
- respect the property of others
- attend regularly and punctually
- work to the best of their abilities
And to promote and maintain a climate which is free of:
- Prejudicial Behaviour
- Illegal substances, or substances which can be abused.
Conduct by any student that adversely affects a school’s climate or operation, including disruption of the learning environment, shall be considered a breach of the District Code of Conduct, warranting appropriate forms of intervention that may include suspension from attendance.
School Code of Conduct
Students are expected to conform to high standards of behaviour when at school, on the way to and from school, and while attending any school function or field trip. Students are also expected to demonstrate high standards of work habits, arriving to school and class on time; with the necessary supplies and materials; as well as completing all in-school and homework assignments.
In summary, students are expected to be cooperative, responsible, and do the best they can at all times. To this end, the following school code of conduct has been developed to guide student behaviour:
- Be kind and helpful.
- Work well with one another.
- Leave the situation better than you found it.
- Become an expert at something.
The development of self-discipline is a very important goal at our school. The aim of consequences for misbehaviour is for students to learn something from their experience. Consequences for behaviour that does not meet expectations will be logical, realistic, and consistent, with each case of misbehaviour being dealt with on an individual basis. Students will always be given the benefit of the doubt in making good decisions for themselves.
Harassment & Bullying
Harassment or Bullying is against the District Code of Conduct and will be dealt with severely and quickly. Harassment or bullying is inappropriate remarks, jokes, taunting, comments, gestures, sexually suggestive comments or actions that create an uncomfortable environment.
A Bully is someone who:
- uses power to hurt others or harm their possessions.
- purposely scares or intimidates others.
- often hurts the same person repeatedly.
- is sometimes supported by other people who just watch and laugh, instead of helping the person being bullied.
If a student feels s/he is being harassed or bullied:
- Tell the person to stop.
- Tell a parent/guardian, teacher or another adult with whom you feel comfortable discussing the incident(s).
- Try to stay away from places or times you might be alone with the harasser or bully.
Student Rights & Responsibilities
- Every student has the RIGHT to an education. He/She also has the RESPONSIBILITY to be on time, be prepared, listen to instructions, do assigned work, and work in a way that does not infringe upon the learning of others.
- Every student has the RIGHT to be heard. He/She has the RESPONSIBILITY to listen and not interrupt those who are speaking.
- Every student has the RIGHT to be safe. He/She has the RESPONSIBILITY to treat others in a way that does not hurt them, or cause them to be afraid at school or on the way to and from school.
- Every student has the RIGHT to be respected and free from discrimination as set out in the BC Human Rights Code. He/She has the RESPONSIBILITY to treat others with respect, and not tease, harass, or discriminate against other people.
- Every student has the RIGHT to privacy and to his or her own personal space. He/She has the RESPONSIBILITY to respect the personal property of others, and to accept their right to privacy.
Although the responsibility for personal dress and grooming rests primarily with students and their parents, clothing which is comfortable, clean and modest is conducive to a good educational climate. The following points indicate our expectations of student attire at Abbotsford Middle School:
- Clothing should be appropriate to a learning / working environment, and should not be distracting to others (e.g. beachwear, spaghetti straps, and clothing which is too revealing, is not appropriate for school)
- Clothing should effectively cover the tops of the shoulders, chest area, back and abdomen (shoulder straps should be “3 fingers” wide, and shirts must overlap pants). Muscle shirts for boys or girls are not acceptable.
- The hem of skirts and dresses should be longer than your fingers, when your arms are hanging straight down at your sides with fingers extended.
- Undergarments must not be visible.
- Dress and grooming may not create health or safety problems for the student or others who attend / work at the school (e.g., long hair tied back in the shop).
- Hats and sunglasses should not be worn inside the school.
- Jackets should be taken off during school hours and stored in lockers.
- Clothing items and accessories should not be distracting, offensive, or unsafe, nor promote the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex, inappropriate language, racism, or be in poor taste
- Proper gym strip (shorts, T-shirt, and clean non-marking gym shoes) are required for PE.
Students who do not meet dress code expectations will be required to replace or cover up inappropriate articles of clothing, and/or be sent home.
We encourage students to be physically active while at school. Students wishing to skateboard must wear a helmet. Other safety equipment e.g. knee, wrist and elbow pads, while not mandatory, is strongly encouraged, and left to the discretion of each child’s parent. the use of bicycles and rollerblades is not permitted during the school day.
Bikes must be walked upon arrival at school and parked in the bike racks. Bike locks are required. Students are not permitted to be around the bike rack area during the school day.
Students are expected to use common sense in terms of the safety of other students and themselves; stay out of the parking lots / driveways, and not to use skateboards, scooters or roller blades inside the school building.
Cell Phones, iPods, and Digital Cameras
Students are strongly discouraged from bringing valuables including iPods (mp3 players), expensive shoes and clothing articles to school. In particular, do not bring large sums of money to school and never leave money or valuables in the PE change rooms. If valuables (including iPods) are brought to school, they must be locked in lockers, thereby minimizing the temptation for theft. Valuable items are brought to school at the owner’s risk; the school is not responsible for any loss. Students are not permitted to have cell phones or digital cameras at school.
Abbotsford Middle School has a closed campus policy. This means that only students who attend Abbotsford Middle School are to be on the school grounds during the school day. It also means that once you arrive at school you remain on the school grounds for the remainder of the day.
ROUTINES AND POLICIES
Except for illness or unavoidable family concerns, all students should attend school every day. Absent students miss the lessons of the day and the learning that takes place in group discussions where students begin to appreciate the different views and abilities of others. Learning that is lost due to absence can never be adequately replaced! When students must be away, parents are requested to inform the school by phone (604-859-7125) before classes commence (voicemail is available 24 hours a day). Students will be requested to supply a doctor’s note to verify long-term illness. Always, students are responsible to find out what work was missed and to make it up. We strongly discourage students who miss part of the day’s instruction to attend social functions later on the same day. Please help us keep the priority on studies. When students need to leave early for an appointment, please provide a note for the the teacher requesting early dismissal. The student will then be required to take this note to the office where she/she will officially sign out. Upon returning to the school later in the day, the student is expected to sign back in at the office counter with the secretary.
Illness at School
When a student becomes ill at school, parents will be contacted to confirm that it is safe to send the child home. The medical room can be used with permission of a staff member until parental contact is made. In any case of illness or injury, no student is permitted to go home on his/her own initiative, but must seek help at the office. Accidents and emergencies are to be referred to the office immediately.
Students who are late to class disrupt and consume the time of fellow classmates, teachers and the office staff. Please ensure your child arrives at school on time. Please call the office before 8:00 am if your child will not be in attendance for that day. Students who arrive late at any time must sign in at the office.
The hallways are quiet areas in the building as is the Library to ensure that learning environments are not interrupted. Students and classes are to walk on the right hand side of the hallways for safety reasons. Hallway behaviour and language should be suitable to an institution of learning. No profanity or inappropriate touching of others should occur at any time. Play fighting or rough-housing is not permitted.
Textbooks and other educational resources are property of the school and school district. Students are issued textbooks at the start of the year. Students are responsible for returning the same textbook they were originally issued upon “textbook checks” and the end of the year. Students will be charged for lost or damaged textbooks.
Lockers and Locks
All students will be issued a combination lock and a locker. Locks must be rented from the school for security reasons. Lock combinations are to be memorized and NOT shared with anyone. A $8.00 fee is charged to any student who needs a lock replaced because they lost it or shared the combination with another student. There is a locker for every student in the school and are not to be shared. Graffiti, unacceptable pictures, and writing are not permitted and a student can be instructed to remove them at any time. Student lockers are the property of the school and are subject to search at anytime, with or without notice. Students may go to their lockers only before and after school and during lunch and nutrition breaks. Students will not be permitted to go to their lockers outside of the designated times unless permission is given by the classroom teacher. To minimize the loss of instructional time having to go to lockers to collect work we encourage students to maintain one binder organized by subject.
Homework shall be monitored by individual teachers as well as teams of teachers. Work done at home is an important part of all learning. It is an expectation for all students to have homework completed and all assignments handed in on time. Abby Middle School offers a homework club available at lunch and after school to assist students needing extra help and support.
It is our expectation that students in grades 6 and 7 spend 30 to 45 minutes per night, and grade 8 students between 45 to 60 minutes per night on homework. However, we need to keep in mind that although an evening school activity is important, students need time to be children too. There must be a balance between work and play. If parents believe their child is doing excessive amounts of homework, please contact your child’s teacher.
All visitors are required to report to the office upon arrival to receive authorization for their presence in the school. Visitors must sign a book stating their name, the time they arrived, the room they will be in and then must sign out when they leave. Visitors on official business are welcome at our school. Those who arrive with no purpose are not welcome on school property. Please do not invite friends to visit the school during the school day.
The Breakfast Program is located in our canteen and is open to students at 7:30 am. The Breakfast Program is an early morning breakfast program sponsored by local churches for any of our students to have breakfast. Stay tuned for announcements or check the website for days that the breakfast program is available.
Students will be dismissed for a 10 minute nutrition break at 10:11 am. Students are to go to their lockers, get their snacks, and return to class. . Students are encouraged to use this time to visit the washrooms.
Students are to place this agenda book in their binder so that it is taken to every class. Here homework assignments and due dates can be recorded as well as upcoming special events. We encourage parents to look over the agenda book regularly with their child to keep abreast of assignments due for class and upcoming events.
All students are to eat lunch in their classroom during the 15 minute eating period. Following the destination bell, student are to go outside. Students may remain in the school following the destination bell only if they are being supervised by a teacher.
At 2:20 pm students are to gather their belongings, homework, etc, and follow the routine set up between student and parent. Students are expected to be out of the school by 3:00 pm unless participating in a supervised extra-curricular activity.
Extra- curricular activities will be offered to students who wish to participate. These may involve after school clubs, trips, and sporting events. Extra-curricular activities are considered privileges and a student may be denied the opportunity to participate if behaviour, marks, or attendance are not good.
If you require help with your school work, or have a personal concern, there are a number of ways to get the support you need. Don’t be afraid to ask your classroom teachers, student services teachers including counselors, administration, Police Liaison Officer or any school staff member to lend a hand. At Abbotsford Middle we all work together to support one another.
Assemblies do not take place on a daily basis, however, they are an important component of our school culture. They may include multi-media productions, speakers, and presentations by students, staff, parents and professional performers from outside the school community. Expectations for students include:
- walking to and from assembly areas in a quiet, orderly manner and seated as quickly as possible.
- being a courteous audience.
- appreciation is shown by applause and active listening.
- being alert to the person in charge of the program.
- remaining seated throughout the program until the person in charge dismisses them from the assembly in an orderly fashion.
For safety reasons, the bus driver has authority over the students on the bus he/she operates. These drivers are to be given the same respect and courtesy given any staff member. Students who behave inappropriately on school busses will face consequences which may include removal from the bussing program.
Permission forms from all school authorized excursions must be signed by the parents/guardians prior to the departure date. Students are expected to behave themselves in a manner which reflects our school’s code of conduct.
The quality of education in our school is greatly enhanced by parent volunteers. If you could spare some time each week to work at the school, please let us know of your interest. All volunteers must go through the mandatory screening process required by School District #34. This may require a criminal record check if necessary.
There will be a number of fire drills, earthquake drills, and lockdown drills during the school year. Students should be familiar with the procedures for these emergencies. These drills should be considered serious and conducted without talking. Tampering with alarms or fire safety equipment is a serious offense and is punishable by law.
A phone is available for students to use and is located in the main lobby entrance of the school. It is only to be used after school or during the day if a teacher has given written permission via either a note on paper or in the student’s agenda. PLEASE NOTE STUDENTS CANNOT DIAL LONG DISTANCE FROM THE STUDENT PHONE.
Lost and Found
Lost clothing, bags, etc. can be claimed from the Lost and Found box under the foyer stairs. Jewelry, purses, and other smaller items should be turned into the office and can be claimed from the office staff. Unclaimed items are donated to charity at various times during the year after being displayed for students to search.
Students with Medical Conditions
We prefer arrangements to be made for students to take any medications at home. Where this is not possible, you and your doctor will have to fill out “Request to Administer Medication” form available at the school. Additionally, it is imperative that parents keep the school informed on any health and or safety issues affecting a student attending Abbotsford Middle.
The purpose of the school district network is to facilitate research and education amongst users by providing access to unique resources and the opportunity for collaborative work. Students at Abbotsford Middle School require parent’s consent to participate in the use of Internet. Violations of the policy set out by the Abbotsford School District regarding Internet service can include temporary or permanent revocation of access rights to the System, suspension, expulsion or termination, or legal action.
Facebook & Other Social Networks
Many of the students at AMS have personal computers at home or have access to them elsewhere. More often than we would like, teachers, counsellors and administration at AMS are asked to intervene in conflicts between students that began, or took on a life of their own “via” internet email or Facebook accounts. We encourage students to make choices to use the social network sites and email services appropriately and to resist the urge to become “cyber-bullies” by speaking unkindly or spreading rumours. We also encourage parents to be vigilant in monitoring and supervising the length and kind of computer use of their children. Visit www.bced.gov.bc.ca/pubs.htm for more information.
Parent Advisory Council
The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is your parent community at Abbotsford Middle. It is hoped that our parent community will work closely with administration and staff to support, encourage, and provide assistance to enhance the quality of education and the well being for all students at Abbotsford Middle.
For more information, please contact the school’s PAC President.
Principles of Learning
- learning requires the active participation of the student.
- people learn in a variety of ways and at different rates.
- learning is both an individual and a group process.
Keys for Success
There are many things that students can do to achieve success, and to have a rewarding and happy school year. Students are encouraged to:
- get involved in special activities - there is something for everyone
- ask for help when you need it
- complete homework assignments carefully and on time
- be committed to making this the best year you have had at school.
At Abbotsford Middle, we encourage students to be physically active while at school. Research has indicated that:
- Participation in regular physical activity has a positive impact on behaviour and healthy lifestyles in youth.
- Regular physical activity enhances academic performance
- Physical activity has a positive affect upon children’s academic achievement, academic readiness, and perceptual skills.
- Regular physical activity improves children's mental health and contributes to their growth and development.
- Physical activity is consistently related to improved self-esteem and body image.
- Adolescents who engage regularly in physical activity demonstrate lower anxiety and depression.
- The prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing which is directly linked to a lack of physical activity.
- Overweight and obesity in childhood are linked to many health risks and even mortality in adulthood.
- Participation in physical activity is positively linked to aerobic fitness, body composition, and muscular strength among schoolchildren.
- Daily physical activity improves children's skeletal health, which in turn reduces their risk of developing osteoporosis in the future.
- High school students, who are physically active, are less likely to smoke, use marijuana, or engage in sexual risk behaviours when compared to inactive peers.
- Adolescents who are more physically active are less likely to consume alcohol.
WHAT ARE EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS?
According to the most recent research, effective schools are places where...
- All students learn as a result of focused teacher actions
- All students learn regardless of their socioeconomic status or family background
- Student attendance, behaviour and attitudes improve as a result of improved achievement
- Staff accept that “improving schools” share common characteristics
STUDENT & SCHOOL SUCCESS
Student achievement, attendance, attitudes, and behaviours can be influenced by actions taken by schools. When schools are improving on these measures, they tend to focus on seven indicators.
- An inviting and safe school with positive student behaviour
- High expectations with encouragement and recognition for all students
- Effective leadership and shared decision-making
- Focus on teaching and learning
- Shared purpose and mission
- Effective planning & monitoring of student progress
- Parent and community support