Code of Conduct

Vaughan Willard 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.



Our behavioural expectations include all students and target all forms of behaviour. They are known by all students and adults.  These expectations have been put in place to allow for a positive, safe learning environment and are based on a progressive discipline model.

Example: Our Behaviour Expectations Chart and Progressive Discipline Chart.

We actively attempt to PREVENT and REDUCE BEHAVIOURS from happening

We want our students to meet with success every day.   For some of our students success is only possible when the day is structured and choice is limited. They need an environment that recognizes that not all students are maturing at the same rate and not all of our children are equipped to meet with the many frustrations that are found in the classroom and the playground every day.   Our plan to address this is simple.  We match the level of supervision to the child’s level of functioning in order to prevent and/or reduce academic, social and behavioural failures.  Our prevention plans are also designed to prevent and/or reduce childhood frustrations from erupting into attacking behaviours.

Example: Drop In (a structured recess time with adult support, as opposed to the unstructured outdoor recess time)

We emphasize the need to RESTORE  RELATIONSHIPS that are damaged by misbehaviour

One of the important features of our positive discipline model is the need for students to repair the relationships that are damaged after an incident occurs.  We work directly with the student and come alongside them as they prepare to make it right with anyone effected by what has happened. A major focus of discussions is for students to take responsibility for their actions and the impact on others.

Example: Use of restorative questions and practices.

We use SUSPENSION to keep the school safe

There are times when it is necessary to remove a student from the school for safety reasons. Suspensions are a last resort.  They occur when we cannot guarantee a safe environment after a number of interventions have been attempted or when a student refuses to comply with adult requests.

Example: See the Durham Boards Progressive Discipline chart.

We seek out the SUPPORT of BOARD SERVICES and OUTSIDE AGENCIES when in-school strategies fail

There are some students who require a larger group of caring adults to assist them with their struggles to be successful at school.  We look for these supports when our in-school strategies, interventions and programs fail to meet a student’s needs.  Parent approval is always required to access these services and agencies.

We embed CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT into our everyday school life

The classroom is the best place for these topics to be addressed, both formally and informally. Recess is another place where incidental training can take place and where recognition for good choices can be celebrated.  Monthly assemblies to celebrate character Opportunities for student leadership are varied and include the following: office help, special event helpers, learning buddies, peer helpers.

Our BULLYING PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION PLANS are also embedded into our everyday school life – HOW?

Our discipline strategies (see above) are designed to prevent the development of bullying behaviours. Our daily “talk” that reminds our students to Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible reinforces our intentions to keep the school free from bullying. But no school is completely free of bullying. When bullying behaviours are detected we intervene with an individualized plan of action that involves a team approach, regularly including teachers, parents and, if needed, Board support staff, such as our school psychologist, special education facilitator, or social worker. Time is also spent working with students who are the recipient of bullying behaviours.  We intervene with a plan for them as well. Teaching about bullying in the classroom (incidental and planned instruction) is ongoing throughout the year.