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Safe, Caring and Respectful Learning Environments

  • Code: HF.AR
    Topic: Safe, Caring and Respectful Learning Environments
    Issue Date: 15/10/2012
    Effective Date: 27/09/2012
    Review Year: 2017

Objective

This regulation requires the proactive creation and maintenance of welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environments that respect diversity, equity and human rights and fosters a sense of belonging among all members of the school community. This regulation supports acknowledging, addressing and eradicating behaviours that constitute discrimination, intimidation and/or bullying between or among students.

For information regarding staff, refer to FBCA.AR - Respectful Working Environments.

Definitions

Bullying: repeated and hostile or demeaning behaviour by a student where the behaviour is intended by the student to cause harm, fear or distress to another individual in the school community, including psychological harm or harm to the individual's reputation. 

Discrimination: negative differential treatment of a person or group on the basis of race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation. 

Inclusive: a way of thinking and acting that demonstrates universal acceptance of, and belonging for, all students. 

Intimidation: intentional behaviour which knowingly or should be reasonably known to cause fear of injury or harm. 

School Community: means students enrolled in the school and their parents/guardians; children enrolled in an Early Childhood Services program at the school and their parents/guardians; the school staff; and other persons who have an interest in the school.

Regulation

  1. Schools
    1. Principals shall:
      1. ensure all staff members share responsibility for proactively creating and maintaining welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environments that acknowledge and promote understanding, respect, and the recognition of the diversity, equity and human rights of all students and families within the school community;
      2. ensure all members of the school community are aware of the expectation to model respectful conduct, inclusive behaviour, and an understanding and appreciation for diversity, equity and human rights;
      3. provide equity of opportunity, and equity of access to programs, services, and resources to support all students in realizing their full potential;
      4. receive, investigate, report on and respond to inappropriate behaviour and actions, such as discrimination, intimidation or bullying;
      5. create a clear reporting and investigative process and a safe environment for students and parents/guardians to bring concerns forward in a timely manner;
      6. provide information about these processes, including, if appropriate, supports and strategies to resolve complaints;
      7. hold everyone under his/her authority accountable for his/her behaviour and actions such as discrimination, intimidation or bullying; and
      8. work alongside staff, students and families to provide supports and resolve issues and concerns in a timely fashion.
    2. Teachers shall:
      1. help all students work to their full potential and develop their sense of self-worth;
      2. assist students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school and community by building social, interpersonal, assertiveness, empathy, conflict resolution and leadership skills;
      3. maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students to contribute to a positive school climate;
      4. communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents/guardians; and
      5. report all incidents of discrimination, intimidation, and bullying, and assist administration when conducting an investigation into such incidents.
  2. Students and Families
    1. Students and families play an important role in creating welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environments.
    2. Students have the responsibility to meet the expectations as outlined in HG.BP - Student Behaviour and Conduct and HG.AR - Student Behaviour and Conduct.
  3. Professional Learning
    Human Resources and Inclusive Learning will provide professional learning opportunities and recommend resources which support a comprehensive, systematic approach, and include evidence based strategies and processes for creating and maintaining a welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and inclusive learning environment.

  4. Teaching and Learning Resources
    In keeping with GI.AR - Teaching and Learning Resources, resources should be chosen and/or updated to promote critical thinking and should include age-appropriate materials that reflect inclusive environments which acknowledge and promote understanding, respect and the recognition of the diversity of students and families within the school and greater community. 

References

FA.BP Human Resources Framework
FBCA.AR Respectful Working Environments
GGAB.AR Multicultural Education
GGAB.BP Multicultural Education
GI.AR Teaching and Learning Resources
HA.BP Inclusive Education
HAA.AR Aboriginal Education
HAA.BP Aboriginal Education
HF.BP Safe, Caring and Respectful Learning Environments
HFA.BP Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
HG.AR Student Behaviour and Conduct
HG.BP Student Behaviour and Conduct
HGD.AR Student Suspension and Expulsion
HGD.BP Student Suspension and Expulsion
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Alberta Bill of Rights
Alberta Human Rights Act
School Act