Safe & Accepting Schools

Progressive Discipline & Restorative Practices

The DSBN is committed to building and sustaining a positive school climate that is safe, inclusive, and accepting for all students in order to support their education so that all students reach their full potential. A positive school climate means everyone – students, parents, staff, and community members – feels safe, welcome, and respected. Everyone has a role to play in promoting healthy relationships and a school climate which encourages appropriate student behaviour. Policy G-28 Student Discipline 

Progressive Discipline

Progressive discipline is a school-wide practice that utilizes a continuum of prevention programs, interventions, supports, and consequences to address inappropriate student behaviour, with a focus on promoting and fostering positive behaviours. The progressive discipline approach is intended to be bias-free, in that practices are applied in a fair and timely manner for all students, while considering students’ individual circumstances and differences, including mitigating factors for the inappropriate behaviour.  

PPM 145 outlines what schools are required to do to support students, including the development of specific plans to protect students who have been harmed, and a process for parents/families to follow if they are not satisfied with the supports their children receive. Progressive Discipline: Part of Ontario’s Approach to Making Schools Safe Places to Learn provides further information and resources on the use of progressive discipline in schools.  

Restorative Justice Practices

Restorative justice is an approach used to resolve disputes and conflicts in the school setting. This approach communicates the message that all students are accepted and belong at school. Restorative practices and support recognize and repair how the offender, victim, witnesses, and guiding adults are all impacted by the harm that occurred, and all benefit from the support to feel safe again in the school environment.

When a school uses restorative justice practices, work is done to recognize the purpose or function of harmful or negative behaviour. There is a focus on repairing the harm done, while giving voice to the student who has been harmed. Collaborative problem-solving methods are utilized, while emphasizing that the student, who has engaged in harmful behaviour, takes responsibility for their behaviour. Staff act as mediators to encourage conflict resolution among students; all students are given the opportunity to describe what has happened, how they feel about it, how it has affected them, and potential solutions. Restorative justice practices may also be used to facilitate the reintegration of suspended students back to school.