POLICIES & PROCEDURES
1 – Accessing the Administration Team
Students should only leave class with their teachers’ permission primarily for safety reasons. Unless urgent, students who present themselves at the office will be asked to leave their name and nature of request, then asked to return to class and an adult will follow up with them in their class as soon as they’re available. Depending on the nature of the request, the student may be referred to the counselor, an administrator, or other supporting staff member.
2 – Attendance/Late Policy
When students are absent for legitimate reasons, parents/guardians must advise the school office (note, email, phone). Students who are late or have an absence must make arrangements with the teacher to complete missed assignments. Teachers, support staff, and administration will track unexcused absences. Repeated truancy or lates will be referred to an administrator. Students who are consistently late or absent without being excused will be expected to make up the missed learning time.
3 – Lates & Absences
If students are running late in the morning, a parent/guardian must advise the office (note, email, phone call). Students must sign in at the office and take a late slip to their teacher. For safety reasons it is so important to have both parents and school staff know that our students are safe wherever they might be.
Repeated lates or absences without reasonable explanation may result in Consequences & Restoration as outlined in section E of our Code of Conduct following this document
4 – Students are not allowed to leave school property during lunch hour
Community businesses such as The Brackendale General Store and Crabapple Café are off limits to all Don Ross Middle School students from 8:30 a.m. until 2:58 p.m. (school hours). Parents/guardians may not give students permission to leave school property without parental or guardian supervision. Parental Consent alone is insufficient as we cannot provide supervision off-site during school hours.
5 – Leaving Early
If students have an appointment and need to leave school early, they are required to sign out at the office with a parent/guardian. Parents or guardians may pick up and return students when necessary by signing them in and out in the office. Students can only leave with their own parent or guardian unless arrangements between legal guardians have been made and written notice to the Principal is provided in advance.
6 – Wheels: Bikes/Skateboards/Scooters etc.
Don Ross Middle requires ALL students engaging in biking, skateboarding, scootering, rollerblading an other similar activities to wear a helmet.
“If you have wheels under your heels, you need a helmet on your head”
Students are asked to store and lock their bikes in the bike racks located in the front entrance courtyard. The school and the School Board do not assume responsibility for articles which go missing so please lock your bike.
Skateboarding, biking, scootering, and rollerblading etc., are only allowed in designated areas (the bus loop or the lower parking lot). Skateboards, scooters, rollerblades, bicycles, and wheelie shoes are not allowed to be used inside the school. Items that cannot be stored in student lockers need to be left at the office during school hours. Any student not following the above guidelines will have the aforementioned items confiscated and turned into the office. Pick of items is at 3:00pm.
7 – Bus Behaviour/Expectations
Our busses are at capacity. Therefore students are to travel on assigned buses only to and from their home(s). Trips to downtown are only allowed for those students who live in that area. Other students are expected to take the transit bus. Parents must contact the school principal to arrange any alternative bus routes for their son or daughter. A student may be denied the privilege of using school buses for any unsafe behaviour on the bus, for refusing to cooperate with the driver, or for failing to give his/her name on request. Any problems arising from school bus use will be referred to the administration.
8 – Local Transit Tickets
Students who remain at school after 3pm for the purposes of meeting with a teacher or participating in an extra curricular club or sport, may obtain a bus ticket to ride local Squamish Transit in order to get home. Students may obtain bus tickets from the teacher-sponsor of the activity when needed. Emergency bus tickets are available for students directly from the office and the cost of all bus tickets described above are paid for by the school. We want to encourage both safety as well as involvement in extra-curriculars.
9 – Dress Code Policy: DRAFT (Up for Review with Students, Staff & Parents 2017-2018)
NOTE: This policy is currently under review and is in draft form until consultation with students, parents and staff are completed by the end of June 2018 under the direction of the Principal.
Rationale: This draft policy on dress code aims to create a positive middle school environment that asks students to dress in a manner that is comfortable to them, conducive to their learning and in accordance with their gender identity. This draft dress code also contributes to the safety and well-being of our students while they are in school or while participating in school activities and learning in our community.
The responsibility for the dress and grooming of a student rests primarily with the student and their parents or guardians.
Allowable Dress & Grooming
- Students must wear clothing including both a shirt with pants or skirt, or the equivalent and shoes.
- Shirts and dresses must have fabric in the front and on the sides.
- Clothing must cover undergarments, however waistbands and bra straps are excluded.
- Fabric covering all private parts must not be see through.
- Hats and other headwear must allow the face to be visible and not interfere with the line of sight to any student or staff. Hoodies must allow the student face and ears to be visible to staff.
- Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities including physical education, science labs, wood shop, and other activities where unique hazards exist.
- Specialized courses may require specialized attire, such as sports uniforms or safety gear.
Non-Allowable Dress & Grooming
- Clothing may not depict, advertise or advocate the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, vapour products or other controlled and illegal substances.
- Clothing may not depict pornography, nudity or sexual acts.
- Clothing may not use or depict hate speech targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation or any other protected groups.
- Clothing must not threaten the health or safety of any other student or staff.
- If the student’s attire or grooming threatens the health or safety of any other person, then discipline for dress or grooming violations will be consistent with discipline policies for similar violations.
Students unable to comply will be required to change/cover-up and may call home for alternate clothing or use school provided items temporarily. (Adapted from PPSD)
10 – Technology Use Policy DRAFT (Up for Review with Students, Staff & Parents 2017-2018)
Unplug and Connect to People, Nature, Physical activity and Learning!
Rationale: Our students health and safety are our primary concern while at school thus (1) Don Ross wants to promote the use of technology for educational purposes ONLY during the school day; (2) Don Ross wants to promote a healthy balance of technology use and aims to promote a new Unplug & Connect plan to improve the health and well-being of our students; (3) Don Ross wants to provide education for students, staff and family regarding technology and personal safety while reducing stress and harm.
Technology Policy: All personal and school provided electronic devices including but not limited to ipads, surfaces, e-readers, cell-phones and laptops etc. will ONLY be used during school hours for Educational Purposes and at the discretion of the teacher. If a student chooses to bring any personal devices to school they must remain in a students’ locker at all times unless occasionally requested by their teacher and again, for Educational Purposes ONLY. Personal electronic devices therefore are not required school supplies necessary for the education of our students and we will continue to provide additional technology annually.
Ear buds or Head-sets may be permitted at the teacher’s discretion. Failure to abide by this policy may result in electronic devices being held in the office with the Principal until the end of the day. Lost or stolen items are not the responsibility of the school.
11 – Digital Photos/Videos
For the safety and well-being of all students and adults in our school community, it is prohibited to use digital cameras and other electronic devices to photograph, video or record other students or staff without first obtaining the individuals’ consent.
12 – Student guests in the School
There are to be no student visitors in the school or attending classes unless it is an approved educational exchange or program approved by the Principal.
13 – Plagiarism/Cheating on tests
Students are not to engage or assist in cheating of any kind. Teachers may give a zero for any kind of cheating or plagiarism on schoolwork of any kind.
14 – Smoking/Vapour Products
All persons are prohibited from using, possessing or transferring tobacco/vapour products in or on school property (Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act). Only adults over the age of 19 can purchase a vapour product. Furthermore, it is illegal to give or provide any vapour products to someone under the age of 19. All Don Ross students are therefore not of age to vape.
What is a vapour product?
A vapour product or electronic cigarette is defined as a device that contains an electronic or battery powered heating element that can vapourize an e-substance. An e-substance is a solid, liquid or gas that when heated by the element in and e-cigarette, produces a vapour for use in an e-cigarette. All e-substances are covered by the new legislation and it does not matter if the e-substance contains nicotine or is nicotine-free.
15 – Course Load and School Day
The school operates on 4 blocks per day of approximately 77 minutes each. Gr. 8 and 9 students take a minimum of 8 courses per year. Gr. 7 students are assigned to one classroom teacher and also work with other teachers on our teaching staff.
Reading is still the number one skill for success in schooling and students are encouraged to read on a regular basis! Don Ross Middle School holds a Reading Block every morning during block 2. Students are expected to come to their second block class with their choice of a novel, non-fiction book, or e-reader and read for a minimum of twenty minutes.
16 – Reporting Student Learning
In accordance with the Ministry of Education, Student Reporting Policy and Practices, students will receive feedback on achievement and work habits for each of the three reporting periods during the year. Students also complete self-assessments on the SD#48 Competencies (see Medicine Wheel image) as part of the formal reporting process.
17 – Principal’s List
Students gaining this recognition will have an “A” in all courses. However, a student may have one ‘B’ in any course and be admitted to the Principal’s list at the discretion of the Principal. A certificate will be awarded to Principal’s List students at the end of the school year.
18 – Honour Roll
Students gaining this recognition will have a mix of “A” and “B” grades in all courses. However, a student may have one “C+” in any course and be admitted to the Honour Roll at the discretion of the Principal. A certificate will be awarded to Honour Roll students at the end of the school year.
20 – Grade 9 Awards
Certificates of Achievement are awarded to the top grade 9 students in each course at the end of the year. In addition to academic achievement, students are recognized for Outstanding Athletics, Margaret Marchant Service Leadership Award, Jim Blackman Resiliency Memorial Award and the Great Trek Community Service Award. Criteria for each award are listed below.
Academic Achievement Awards
- excellent attendance throughout the year
- exemplary classroom participation and leadership
- passion for and curiosity about the subject under study
- pride in the professional presentation of their work
- consistent submission of all required assignments in a timely manner
- meeting and/or exceeding criteria set for all assignments
- overall achievement that is outstanding/exceeding expectations
Athlete of the Year Award
- participates on least 4 teams during the year
- demonstrates excellence in skill and execution of the athletes sports
- models fair play, sportsmanship and leadership
- strives to improve and shows determination to work towards both individual goals and team success
The Great Trek award is presented in honour of the first graduating class of students at Don Ross. It is presented to a student at Don Ross who is taking their first steps on their Great Trek through life in the service of others and community. This student excels in all areas of school life: Service, Citizenship, Leadership, Academics and Athletics.
The Jim Blackman Memorial – “Perseverance” Award
This award is given to a student who has overcome some obstacle/hardship in life. She/he also possesses the following attributes: service & citizenship, leadership, interest/participation in outdoor activities, and perseverance.
Margaret Marchant “Service Leadership Award”
This award is given, to a student who truly embodies what Mrs. Marchant stood for: Service through Leadership. Margaret Marchant served our school and the community of Squamish for many years in many ways. Not only was she a school trustee, but she became known as a person who constantly went that extra mile to help out, when times were good, and when times were bad. The student must demonstrate successful: Leadership, Community Service and Academics.
21 – Counselling Services
The role of the school counselor is to support students’ educational, social, emotional, and career development in coordination with the student’s parents or guardians.
Educational: course planning, study skills, organizational skills, and coping strategies.
Social: peer interaction, interaction with adults, conflict resolution, and assertiveness skills.
Emotional: self-awareness, coping with anxiety, emotional balance, connecting students to community intervention services.
Career: Awareness of personality traits, values, aptitudes, and beliefs about work – job exploration – exploration of post Middle School training – work experience and work place skills.
Individual and/or group interventions, as well as in-class instruction, may be used to encourage student growth in these areas.
Common concerns for students that may be helped with counselling:
- how to cope with academic expectations – homework, tests, task completion
- how to use teachers as a resource person
- how to problem solve to resolve conflicts and overcome personal problems
- how to be a self-advocate in the classroom
- how to cope with emotions
- how to manage relationships with peers and adults
Accessing the counselor
Students may be referred to the counselor by a staff member. Students may self-refer during nutrition break. Students may not leave class to “wait” for the counselor. Students who present themselves at the office requesting a counselling session will be added to a “referral list” and returned to class. The counselor will come to the classroom or call to have the student come to the counselling office. Parents/guardians who wish to refer their child to the counselor may contact the office.
Students may seek assistance from the counselors when selecting courses each year and how they relate to high school pre-requisites and post-middle school education.
Any student who is having difficulty resolving a conflict with another student may request mediation through the counselor.
Counselors can facilitate consultation and coordination between the school, family, and community services.
22 – Library
- Be considerate of others working in the library.
- Return library materials promptly so others can use them.
- Take care of materials and equipment.
- Do not bring food and/or drink into the library.
- Reference Section: encyclopedias, almanacs, and dictionaries, etc.
- Electronic catalogue: capable of printing out bibliographies
- Photocopier: 10 cents a copy
- Access to school network and internet
- Library store: students may purchase materials such as paper, poster board, calculators, ear buds, pencils, glue sticks
Overdue Materials – Borrowing privileges may be suspended until all overdue materials are returned or renewed.
Lost Materials – A replacement charge will be assessed on any lost materials. Refunds will be made if materials are returned.
Sign Out – All materials in the library must be signed out at the circulation desk using your student number. Taking materials out of the library without signing them out is theft.
Returns – Books can be returned at the circulation desk or through the return slot in the hallway near the library entrance.
23 – School Supplies
School supply lists are posting on the school website. Students are required to bring their own school supplies to class. Throughout the school year, students can purchase some additional school supplies from the Don Ross Library Store. The school understands that some students will not have their materials for class in the fall, due to a variety of reasons. There are some gently used binders, pens, pencils and erasers available to students. Teachers will help students find the necessary equipment for a good start to the year.
24 – Athletic Fees
Each team member may be required to pay an athletic fee to cover the cost of league fees, travel and referees. Additional fees may be required for longer trips and/or tournaments. A uniform deposit may also be required for each athlete.
25 – Climbing Wall/Cave
The climbing wall and climbing cave may only be used with direct supervision of a qualified climbing wall/cave instructor. Gym use will be restricted to any individual not following this safety directive. Our PE teachers are trained to use the Climbing Cave in classes.
26 – Lockers
Students are expected to use their issued locker only (and not share), maintain their locker in a neat and tidy condition, and keep it locked at all times with a school-authorized lock. The price of the lock/locker rental is included in the student fees. In the event a lock goes missing it is the student’s responsibility to pay for a new one. Students must take care to keep their combination a secret and double check that their lock is closed before they walk away from their locker. Lockers are part of school property and thus subject to search with cause. The school and the School Board do not assume responsibility for the articles which go missing from lockers.
27 – Parent-Teacher Communication
Parents/guardians are encouraged to make regular contact with teachers regarding their child’s progress. Conferences may be arranged through the office, teacher or counselor. All teachers can be reached by their email address which is their first initial followed by their last name followed by @sd48.bc.ca
28 – Extra-Curricular Travel
Students must have a signed permission form whenever they travel outside the school area by bus or private car. A travel fee will be assessed each time in order to cover the travel costs. If this fee results in your child being unable to participate in the activity, then please contact a school administrator or counselor as financial assistance is available.
29 – Gymnasium
- Students are not allowed to bring/eat food or drink into the gym.
- Gym shoes must have non-marking soles, and laces should be tied tightly.
- Backpacks must be left in your locker or off the gym floor playing areas.
30 – Student Activities
At Don Ross, we hope that our students will wish to be involved in activities and enjoy all aspects of our school. To make the most of your school years, you are encouraged to get involved. Below are some possibilities:
Fall Cross-Country Running Winter Indoor Track Meet
Grade 9 Overnight Hike Climbing Club
Spring Mountain Biking All Year
Bard on the Beach District Student Council
Track and Field Weight Room
Outdoor Activity Day Intramurals
31 – Student Fees
Student Fees for all students are $20.00, which includes the rental of your lock and locker, and your student activity fee. Students are encouraged to pay their fees as soon as possible. No student will be denied educational opportunities at the school due to financial hardship. Student families facing hardship should feel free to contact the principal directly. (Students are responsible for their locks and if they are lost or stolen the cost of replacement will be on the student.)
32 – Student Planners
Students are responsible for choosing a time management organization tool that helps them stay organized. Physical planners/calendars or digital planners/calendars are both acceptable. Students who plan to use an electronic device must still follow the technology policy above.
33 – Telephone
Parents/guardians and students are asked to make daily arrangements before coming to school each day. Students will be allowed to use the office telephone in emergency situations only (for example illness). Parents are always welcome to call the office in case of emergency. To minimize disruption to your child’s learning we prefer parents & guardians connect with their child/children before and after school. In cases of emergency, during class time, please call the office, we’re happy to help out.
34 – Textbooks
There is no rental fee charged for use of textbooks. If a textbook is lost, a replacement can be obtained from the teacher after a student has paid the cost of the textbook. Students are responsible for the reasonable care of all textbooks. Students will be charged a fee for textbooks or library books that are damaged or lost.