Division Policies

ATTENDANCE POLICY

Rationale
Regular attendance in high school is an important component in developing academic success. At PCI, students are on a semester system where one year of material is covered in half the time. Missing one class is equivalent to missing two classes at a school that is non-semestered. Time thus becomes a critical factor in covering the curriculum and so there is an expectation of both regular attendance and punctuality.
The conduct code is intended to apply to concerns in the area of attendance, habitual lates and truancy as well. Teacher action, i.e. communication with students and parents as needed, followed by a referral to school administration if required, is part of the process.

The Process
The following steps will be followed in the management of classroom attendance:
Attendance will be taken every class and the names of the students absent will be reported to the office for recording.Students will be required to explain to their teacher the reason for any absence. Teachers will monitor attendance of their students in the following way:

a)     Teachers will contact parents to check on absenteeism.
b)    Obvious attendance or truancy concerns will be referred to the office (conduct code).
c)     Any absences not validated will be reported to the parents the same day through the school’s automated phone system (Synervoice).
 
All office referrals will be preceded by teacher guided interventions.

Note: It is the responsibility of the parent to phone the school when his/her child is away so that we can validate the absence. If attendance becomes a problem, then the student may be placed on an attendance contract. Our attendance policy records and recognizes the following absences:

  • School Approved Absences: Field trips, school or curriculum related activities (sports, music, drama)
  • Parent Approved Absences: Illnesses, medical appt, family vacations, other absences supported by a parent/guardian.

 
Early Leaving
All students requesting to leave early MUST provide the Administration with a note signed by the parent or guardian PRIOR to leaving. Students complaining of sudden illness may go home only after reporting to the office and signing out.
 
Family Holidays
Every effort should be made to take family vacations around school holidays as instruction time cannot be replaced.
 
Weapons

1.  A “weapon” is any instrument designed or used to injure or intimidate another person. This includes items generally understood to be weapons as well as replicas. Any other item, if used to injure, threaten or intimidate, is also a weapon.
2.  Weapons are not allowed:
·         in the school
·         on school grounds
·         on the way to and from school
·         at any school-related activity
3.  The Division will not readily accept excuses or explanations for being in possession of a weapon or potential weapon. Excuses are not acceptable.
4.  Knives with fixed blades or switchblades are weapons.
5.  All students are discouraged from carrying pocket knives. The division reserves the right to confiscate any knife or other item that could be used as a weapon.
6.  Violation will result in the following disciplinary action:

a) an immediate five day out-of-school suspension, and
b) referral to the superintendent’s department for review and possible extension of the suspension for up to 20 days, and
c) referral to the school board for review and possible extension of the suspension and/or expulsion from school.

Drug and Alcohol
All forms of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances and unauthorized drugs are prohibited in school buildings and on school property. Parents of students involved with these substances shall be contacted immediately by the school principal. The school authorities may contact police. Any student in violation of this policy may be suspended or expelled from school. Locker searches and seizure of contents as well as examination of contents of pockets, purses, knapsacks, etc. are within the jurisdiction of the school authorities.

Harassment / Bullying
Consistent with the Human Rights Act (Manitoba), harassment includes but is not limited to conduct which has the purpose or the effect of interfering with a person’s work or academic performance or which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or learning environment. Harassment can also include retaliation against an individual who invokes the Policy; or participates or cooperates in an investigation under the Policy; or associates with a person who invokes the Policy or participates in the complaint procedure under the Policy. This conduct may take a course of abusive and unwelcome actions or comments directly related to any of the following:

  • ancestry, including colour and perceived race:
  • nationality or national origin;
  • ethnic background or origin;
  • religion, creed, religious belief, association or activity;
  • cyberbullying;
  • sex, including pregnancy, possibility of pregnancy, or circumstances related to pregnancy;
  • gender-determined characteristics or age;sexual orientation;marital or family status;
  • source of income;political belief, political association or political activity;
  • physical or mental disability or related characteristics or circumstances, including reliance on a dog guide or other animal assistant, a wheelchair, or any other remedial appliance or device.

For the purpose of this Policy, harassment includes conduct or comments, which occur in the school environment or anywhere else as a result of employment or school-related responsibilities or relationships. It includes but is not limited to harassment which occurs:

  • at a school or the Division office;outside of a school of the Division office;
  • at a school or Division-related social function;
  • in the course of an employment or school assignment outside of a school or the Division office;
  • at an employment or school-related conference or training session;
  • during employment or school-related travel; or over the telephone 

Smoking Area Policy
Portage School Division is a smoke-free division. School division policy does not permit the students or staff to smoke anywhere on school property or areas that are designated as non-smoking areas.  Students who do not respect the policy will be disciplined.
 
Gang Related Insignia
1.  Gang related insignia includes any article or clothing, jewelry, or other similar item that is intended to communicating an association with a gang or gang-related activity. One example of gang-related insignia is a bandanna.
2.  Gang-related insignia are not to be displayed:
·         in the school
·         on the grounds
·         to and from school
·         at/during all school related activities.
3.  First offence are suspensions and are to be reported on the divisional Student Suspension form.
 
Cell Phones/Pagers/Etc.
At the High School, students will be allowed to use communication devices in the hallways and canteen areas on the High School Campus. All communication devices must be turned off when the students are in class, in the library, and in the gym. Classroom use will be allowed only with teacher permission.  Students who violate this policy may have their device confiscated and must be picked up by a parent or guardian.  Repeat offenders may be suspended.