Code of Conduct

Viola Desmond P.S. is committed to maintaining a positive school environment. All students are expected to uphold the values and expectations of our school’s code of conduct.

Viola Desmond Code of Conduct

Respect for Self

Responsibility for Self

You show respect for yourself when you:

  • Take pride in who you are
  • Dress appropriately for school
  • Understand the value of and advocate for a healthy lifestyle (mind, body, self)
  • Are mindful of personal safety and space

You are responsible for:

  • Your own actions and the consequences of your actions
  • Knowing and setting your own boundaries
  • Maintaining a positive attitude
  • Dressing appropriately for yourself

Respect for Others

Responsibility for Others

You show respect for others when you:

  • Respect individual differences
  • Honour personal space and privacy
  • Value others’ opinions and beliefs
  • Play and engage safely and with fairness
  • Contribute to a positive and supportive environment, recognizing that anti-oppressive language, swearing, physical aggression, and verbal harassment are unacceptable

You are responsible for:

  • Knowing the school expectations
  • Regulating and managing your own emotions
  • Being respectful and considerate towards all members of our community
  • Respect the needs of all members of our community (eg. dietary, academic, emotional, developmental)

Respect for Learning

Responsibility for Learning

You show respect for learning when you:

  • Show accountability for learning and strive to always do your best (growth mindset)
  • Honour the learning space
  • Make positive choices in learning

You are responsible for:

  • Attending and being on time for class
  • Being prepared with tools for learning
  • Respecting the timelines of all assigned work
  • Being present and engaged in your own learning
  • Striving to self-advocate


Respect for Property

Responsibility for Property

You show respect for property when you:

  • Take pride in and ownership of our school building, as well as resources and equipment
  • Communicate any concerns or issues with property/material, equipment to staff

You are responsible for:

  • Manage your personal items and property
  • Being an active and positive digital citizen (eg. Cell phone use, chromebooks)
 Creating a Positive School Climate for Learning

The staff, students, parents and community of Viola Desmond Public School work collaboratively to create a positive school climate that fosters student achievement and well-being.  Our Code of Conduct involves elements that contribute to a positive school climate including: clear behaviour expectations, character development, leadership opportunities, engaging lessons and resources, high expectations and a bullying prevention and intervention program.

Viola Desmond is community that promotes responsibility, respect, leadership, innovation, civility and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment.


Roles and Responsibilities

Principals, under the direction of the school board, take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school.  They provide this leadership by:

  • Demonstrating care and commitment to academic excellence and a safe teaching and learning environment
  • Holding everyone, under their authority, accountable for their behavior and actions
  • Empowering students to be positive leaders in their school community
  • Communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community


Teachers and School Staff, under the leadership of their principal, maintain order in the school and are expected to hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour.  As role models, staff uphold these high standards when they:

  • Help students work to their full potential and develop their self-worth
  • Empower students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school and community
  • Communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents
  • Maintain consistent standards of behavior for all students
  • Demonstrate respect for all students, staff and parents
  • Prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship


Parents play an important role in the education of their children and have a responsibility to support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all students.

Parents fulfill this responsibility when they:

  • show an active interest in their child’s school work and progress
  • communicate regularly with the school
  • ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time
  • promptly report to the school their child’s absence or late arrival
  • encourage and assist their child in following the routines and expectations



 Bias-Aware Progressive Discipline

At Viola Desmond Public School, we use Bias-Aware Progressive Discipline Approaches to maintain an environment in which conflict and differences can be addressed and resolved in a respectful manner.

Bias-Aware Progressive Discipline utilizes a continuum of prevention strategies to foster and reinforce positive behaviour, and to help students make good choices.  It includes the use of age-appropriate interventions, supports and consequences to address inappropriate behaviour. The Bias-Aware Progressive Discipline measures used in response are both corrective and supportive.

Bias-Aware Progressive Discipline works when

  • Staff, parents and supports work together to create and sustain a positive climate that supports student success and well-being
  • There is a shared vision that ensures the use of common practices that encourage positive behavior and promote healthy relationships, growth and positive development in students
  • Staff take proactive, individualized and progressive measures when dealing with discipline
  • A caring, safe, inclusive and accepting learning environment is fostered for everyone
  • All students, parents and other community members are welcomed, respected and valued
  • Prevention and early intervention strategies are used to support positive student behavior
  • Parents and community partners are involved and professional supports for students are accessed when appropriate
 Electronic Devices

"The taking of photos, filming or recording, or the broadcasting of live audio and/or video, while at school or at a school related activity, is prohibited unless approved by the DDSB (or school) and/or where proper consents have been obtained, as may be appropriate"


Technology at the Point of Instruction and Learning

Viola Desmond PS and DDSB recognize that technology continues to evolve, providing students with personal wireless technologies.  As a school team, we encourage students to embed technology in their learning and to develop their digital citizenship skills.  Teachers will clearly identify for students time when personal technologies are appropriate for use during learning activities.  Any personal electronic devices that are used inappropriately inside school during the normal school day are disruptive to the teaching and learning environment.  All students will be required to sign a computer use of contract prior to access to school computers and chrome books.


The privacy and dignity of other could be violated by the inappropriate use of personal electronic devices to text message, social media, and/or share digital media.  Outside of educational purposes, it is the practice of the DDSB that the use of personal electronic devices are prohibited during the school day on school property (e.g., calls/texts home or to friends).  It is an expectation that communication during the school day (e.g. call home) be made using a school phone when it is a safety issue.  Social plans should be made ahead of time and are not an appropriate use of phones during the school day.


Co-curricular Activities, Field Trips and Images

Co-curricular activities, field trips and after school events are an extension of the classroom, and the expectations of the use of personal electronic devices apply.  Staff may approve the use of this technology for purposes of education and communication, such as calling parents for pick up or taking photos for trip highlights.  "The taking of photos, filming or recording, or the broadcasting of live audio and/or video, while at school or at a school related activity, is prohibited unless approved by the DDSB (or school) and/or where proper consents have been obtained, as may be appropriate." These expectations also apply to co-curricular programs.


 Attendance and Safe Arrival

Regular attendance is necessary for a child to benefit from the school’s educational programs.  It is the legal responsibility of the parents to ensure that the child attends school on a regular basis.  We ask that you make school attendance and punctuality a priority.  By develop the attitude that school and education are important, you will help your child become a life-long learner who takes responsibility for their own punctuality.  Further students will show a measure of consideration for others.  Lateness is an inconvenience, not only for the teacher who spends long hours preparing lessons, but also for the students who have accepted the responsibility for preparing for class and arriving at school on time.  Attending school on time will allow for maximum learning opportunities.  The school will notify parents of students whose attendance or punctuality becomes a concern.  Students with numerous absences/lates will referred to the Board’s Attendance Counselor for support.


Safe Arrival

If your child is going to be absent or late, please call the school If your child is going to be late, away from school due to illness or leaving school early due to an appointment, please:

a)  Call 1-844-350-2646, or

b) Log onto the Parent Portal, or

c) Log onto the new attendance app before 8:40 a.m. to access the SchoolMessenger Safe Arrival. (If you call after 8:40 the system will default to the next day and you will still be contacted for the current school day.)

Parents may report future absences at any time throughout the school year.  As part of the safe arrival policy, parents will be contacted at home or at work if your child is absent.  By calling in to the school, you help us streamline the process of determining who is absent from the school and may aid in helping us find a missing child more quickly.  Students must sign in at the office when they arrive late, as well as have a parent call ahead to notify the late arrival.  Students will receive an admit slip to class.


Arrival and Departure

Please note that supervision on the yard begins at 8:25 a.m. for grades 1 to 8 and 8:30 a.m. for kindergarten.  In the interest of safety, it is essential that students do not arrive before this time.  Students should enter and leave by their designated class entry/exit doors. Thanks for your help!

All students are expected to leave school property after dismissal unless other arrangements have been made.  Any student who feels threatened or unsafe on the way home, is welcome to return to the school and report their concerns to the office.

 Lunchroom Expectations

For those students who go home for lunch, they are required to return to school at the end of the lunch hour.  Lunchroom supervisors will help supervise students from 11:25 a.m. to 12:25 p.m.


Lunchtime Expectations:


  • Students who bring their lunches are expected to remain on school property for the entire lunch hour
  • students must stay seated while they eat; NO food is to be eaten in the halls or outside
  • students must ask permission to leave the room
  • Students stay inside only if supervised by a teacher
  • Students respond to supervisors in a respectful, courteous manner
  • Students refrain from contact sports, physical aggression or "play fighting"
  • Students are strongly encouraged to bring a healthy "litterless lunch."


A student who regularly eats lunch at school, must have a signed note by a parent/guardian in order to leave school property.  A signed and dated note is require each time the student leaves school premises.


 General Information - Traffic Loop, Halls and Lockers

Crossing Guard

All students and pedestrians are expected to obey the rules of the crossing guard.  It is important to stand back from the curb.  Students should only cross the road after the whistle has sounded twice and the crossing guard has signaled you to cross.


Kiss ‘N Ride – Traffic Loops

“Choose Safety Over Convenience”


Viola Desmond Public School has two designated areas to drop students off and pick up.  The route is carefully organized to enhance the safety of our students.  The front traffic loop is for our kindergarten students and back traffic loop (entrance on Turnerbury Avenue) is for grades 1 to 8.  Please observe all directional signs which keep traffic from causing risk to our children or block our bus loading zones and emergency fire routes.  We also ask that you observe safe driving speeds in the traffic loop zones.



Dogs on School Property

Dogs are to remain off school property as many of our students become easily frightened by dogs.  Even a friendly puppy can cause undue anxiety for some of our students, staff and visitors.  We thank hyou for your cooperation in this regard.


Hallways and Lockers

Students in the halls or at lockers during recess or lunch must have the permission of a supervisor.  Lockers can only be used to store school related materials.  Administrators have the right to open and search lockers in order to provide a safe and secure learning environment.




 Appropriate Dress


The school dress code responds to several needs: the need to uphold a healthy self-image, a sense of modesty, respect for self and others, and rules of etiquette.  The school dress code assists in the creation of a positive learning.


Administration will make final decisions regarding appropriate dress.  Students may be given school clothing to wear if their dress is inappropriate.  Students must not wear any type of clothing that serves to harass or intimidate others.

  • Clothing is free of inappropriate logos, slogans, phrases and pictures
  • Clothing does not depict ethnic, cultural, or racial slurs or violent scenes or slogans
  • All undergarments are hidden from view, cleavage is concealed
  • Hats are to be removed when entering the school building
  • Tank top should straps follow the "2 finger rule"
  • Shirts must have adequate coverage over shoulders and around armhole, covering shoulder blades
  • Bottom garments (including slits) are in the "finger range" area, including gym shorts
  • Midriff area and back are covered completely, ie. no belly-baring shirts
  • Pajamas/nightwear (unless a spirit day) and transparent clothing are not permitted
 Administration of Medication

From time to time a parent/guardian will request for staff to administer medication to students.  DDSB policy states that office staff cannot administer medication unless a “Request for Administration of Medication” form is completed and signed by the parent/guardian AND the family physician.  It is required that all forms of the medication including inhalers and epipens.  If a student has a medical concern or a severe allergy, an Individual Emergency Response Plan form may be completed by the parent/guardian.  These forms must be updated and completed annually.


These forms are available in the office and on the website.  All medicine must be stored in a locked cabinet in the office area.



 Visitors and Volunteers

Anyone who is not a registered student or a staff member is asked to report to the office upon arrival at the school.  If you are bringing lunch or a forgotten item to your child, please report to the office and we will call your child down or take it to your child.

For the safety of students and to avoid disruption to instructional time, we ask that visitors to the school do not wait in the hallways, visit classrooms or use the students’ bathrooms.

While it may be convenient to drop in for a few minutes at the start of the day or at dismissal to chat with a teacher, the teacher has responsibilities to supervise all the students in the classroom and has been discouraged by the office to meet with parents during arrival and dismissal time for students’ safety.

All volunteers must submit a current criminal reference clearance to the office or have an update offence declaration on file.

During recess, all visitors are not permitted on the yard or field.

 Accommodation of Religious Practices and Observances

Viola Desmond P.S. and the D.D.S.B. follow the Guidelines and Procedures for the Accommodation of Religious Requirements, Practices and Observances, which is in compliance with requirements of Ontario's Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy within the contexts of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code.


The document is available for viewing at:


If you anticipate that you or your family might require religious accommodation during the school year, we ask that you inform the administrators as early as possible, preferably at the start of the school year.  Areas that you might consider include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Observation of major religious hold days and celebrations
  • Accommodation in, or exemption from, specific areas of the curriculum or other school activities
  • Religious attire
  • Modesty requirements in physical education
  • School opening and closing exercises
  • Prayer
  • Dietary requirements