TRURO – A new provincial review hopes to improve student code of conduct in local schools.
The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board began a pilot program last spring on reducing the number of school-related suspensions. It resulted in positive results but has been put on hold in light of a provincial review, with special attention on the suspension review process.
“The (initiative) is sparked by review of conduct on a regular basis, not so much (because of) incidents,” Scott Milner, director of education services with school board, told the Truro Daily News this week.
The Department of Justice is involved with the discussions and the school board hopes to begin implementation of the updated code, based on provincial findings, during the next school year. Full implementation is expected to take place by September 2015.
“The timeline is aggressive but that’s OK. It’s needed,” Milner said.
While it’s too soon to say what those implementation measures will be, Milner told this paper he expects “restorative” approach will play a major part. This concept takes a relational approach between parties involved in the conflict, involving students, teachers and people in the community impacted by the issue.
The approach embraces behaviour modification, techniques and training to all involved parties as opposed to issuing consequences and punishments for inappropriate behaviour. Milner previously told this paper there “appears to be a drop in the number of suspense” hearings in CCRSB due to this approach. He will provide statistics for in-school and out-of-school suspensions at an upcoming education committee meeting.
An area of challenge, said Milner, is students receiving support from external agencies and “contributing factors that may indicate other issues” outside of school.
“We need to design more of a support structure,” for students, said Milner.