We must create healthy, vibrant and resilient schools that accommodate and respect the needs of all members of the community, where we promote responsibility, civility and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment.
Violent Threat Risk Assessment
Having the opportunity to conduct the Violent Threat Risk Assessments for secondary has allowed me an invaluable learning experience. Dealing with discipline in your own school with your own students is one thing, walking into someone else's school, managing a situation and collaboratively working at pulling together a favourable outcome for a student that still honours the gravity of an incident, is a totally different thing. What I have found is:
students make poor decisions
we are an educational institution
students come to us to learn
discipline can be an opportunity for a student to learn
creating a program pathway for a student results in a positive outcome for all concerned.
Safe, Caring and Inclusive Schools
All students and staff must know that they are in a place where their safety and their ability to succeed is the central focus of every member of the community. Students should expect that they will not be bullied, treated disrespectfully or neglected. They should feel the warm arms of the community's embrace and know that at school, if nowhere else they will be supported, be it academically, spiritually or psychologically.
Creating a Catholic Faith Community
Students are faced with constructing an identity for themselves in an age where pop culture and rabid consumerism are competing for the very soul of our youngest most vulnerable members. This is a time when the word "family" can have many meanings, where words like integrity, truth and hard work mean different things to different people, where issues of mental health among the young are on the rise. Using Christ as our role model, it is important that our communities are actively engaged in a variety of pro-active measures, be it Empowered Student Partnerships, Crimestoppers and various other safe schools initiatives, to create a Catholic faith community.
Respect, Dignity and Inclusion
We live in a world of fluid values and moral relativism and as a school and board community, it is important to create an environment as free from "distraction" so that students are able to learn, to grow and to work towards achieving their goals. We can achieve this by making sure that expectations regarding conduct are clear and understood by all. We need to speak the language of respect and dignity and inclusion in all that we do, every day.
When Discipline becomes Learning
Discipline is not only progressive, but it is a learning opportunity, it is an opportunity for restorative justice. The process of growing up is about learning how to develop healthy, caring relationships, learning how to deal with new situations. In this way, poor desicion making becomes an opportunity to learn, to build better people and set students back on a productive and successful pathway.
"I think leadership comes from integrity - that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a friend, a neighbour makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do things."
- Scott Berkun