1. Absence from School
In the case of unforeseen absence, parents or guardians are to contact the College on the morning of the day of absence. If contact is not made then the student’s parents or guardians will receive a text message from the College. On returning to school a letter of explanation is to be handed-in to the student’s Tutor Group Teacher.
Requests for Leave:
Any requests for student leave outside normal school holiday periods must be applied for, and approved, by the College Principal. An ‘Application for Exemption from Attendance at School’ form is available from the College Office. Students can collect this form to take home for completion by a parent or guardian. The form must be returned to the College so that a formal certificate can be issued for the leave approval. These procedures are in accordance with government requirements.
Requests for leave are not to be made during examination periods. The dates of examination blocks are published well in advance. The College will not approve holiday leave during examination periods.
A person is bullied when one or more other people expose them regularly, and over time, to negative or harmful actions. Bullies are people who deliberately set out to intimidate, exclude, threaten and/or hurt others repeatedly. Bullying is a clear form of harassment.
The College aims to provide a positive culture where bullying is not accepted and all will have the right to be respected, the right to learn, the right to teach and a right to feel safe and secure in their school environment.
- To reinforce within the college community what bullying is, and the fact that it is unacceptable.
- Everyone within the college community to be alert to signs and evidence
of bullying and to have a responsibility to report it to staff whether as
observer or victim.
- To ensure that all reported incidents of bullying are followed up appropriately and that support is given to both victims and perpetrators.
- To seek parental and peer-group support and co-operation at all times.
- Parents, teachers, students and the community are made be aware of the school’s position on bullying.
- Professional development is provided for staff in relation to bullying, harassment and proven counter measures.
- The College community is provided with input relating to bullying, its characteristics and the College’s programs and response.
- Programs that promote resilience, life and social skills, assertiveness, conflict resolution and problem solving are provided.
- Students and staff are encouraged to report any incidents of bullying.
- Tutor Group Teachers, Student Coordinators and the Executive are regularly reminding students and staff to report incidents of bullying.
- Parents are encouraged to contact school if they become aware of a problem.
- Positive anti-bullying behaviour is recognised.
- The Principal and the Dean of Students to be made aware of all incidents of bullying.
- Once identified each bully, victim and witnesses will be spoken with, and all incidents or allegations of bullying will be fully investigated and documented.
- Students who have been identified by others as bullies will be informed of allegations.
- Both bullies and victims will be offered counselling and support.
- If student bullying persists parents will be contacted and consequences implemented consistent with the school’s Student Code of Conduct.
- If staff bullying persists the principal will commence formal disciplinary action.
The consequences for a student who has been the perpetrator of bullying may involve the following.
- Exclusion from classes.
- Exclusion from the yard (or other sections of the property).
- College suspension.
- Ongoing professional counselling.
The College endeavours to offer appropriate support mechanisms for both the victim of bullying and the perpetrator of bullying. These strategies may vary between incidents but may include the following.
- Counselling that is provided by the College.
- Counselling that is provided by an external agency.
- Monitoring by the Tutor Group teacher.
- Monitoring by the Student House coordinator.
- Monitoring by the Dean of Students.
3. Discipline Policy
The Discipline Policy at St Francis Xavier’s College evolves from the the College’s Pastoral Care Policy. Both policies seek to promote a respectful, secure and healthy learning environment in which students grow to be discerning, self disciplined and contributing members of society.
Society, in general, requires that there are consequences for anti-social or otherwise inappropriate actions and behaviour. Disciplinary measures such as detention and suspension allow the College:
- to remind the students that there are consequences for inappropriate actions;
- to provide the students with valuable time in which to consider their actions and make decisions about how best to alter their behaviour and repair the hurt they have caused; and,
- to provide the students with time to consider their goals and appropriate pathways by which these goals may be achieved.
These disciplinary measures assist students to develop an awareness of their rights and responsibilities and a level of self discipline commensurate with their age.
As members of the College community, students have a right to:
- Enjoy a safe and ordered environment.
- Be unhindered in their attempts to attain their educational goals.
As students they have responsibility to:
- Be respectful and be courteous to others.
- Be appreciative and be tolerant of differences.
- Use their talents, gifts and abilities to the full.
- Always strive to do their best.
- Know and follow all College rules and expectations.
- Make their own informed decisions and accept responsibility for their actions.
The Discipline Policy derived from the principles of procedural fairness. This means that in disciplinary situations at the College, students (and parents) have a right to be heard and have a right to a fair and impartial decision. Students (and parents) also have a right to appeal to a higher authority if they are not satisfied that justice has been done.
The Discipline System at the College consists of four levels; basic discipline, detentions, suspensions, exclusions from College events and exculsion from the College. There is no corporal punishment at the College. The discipline levels are designed to be aligned with the type of behaviour that is being addressed. These levels are explained as follows;
- Basic Discipline covers a range of actions where students are held accountable for their actions. These may include additional work being set, limitations to freedoms, reporting to teachers and meetings with College personnel.
- Detentions are issued by staff in leadership positions for more serious behavioural incidents. Detentions are held outside normal school hours and are supervised by members of staff.
- Suspensions are instigated when other methods of discipline have been ineffective and/or for significant behavioural incidents. They are issued under the direction of the Principal and Dean of Students and with parental consultation. When students breech major expectations of the College, they can expect to be faced with a period of suspension. The length of the suspension will vary in accordance with the seriousness of the incident and the history of the student. Parents will be consulted during the suspension process. Students will be required to have a ‘re-entry interview’ before returning to the College.
- Exclusions from College events are used for specific disciplinary matters. They generally relate to any behaviour that is connected to specific activities (such as sporting issues or misbehaviour while on excursions) and may include being prohibited from attending any of the College’s functions (including the Graduation Ceremony).
- Exclusions from the College are aligned to the most serious matters. In such circumstances the College consults with the Catholic Schools Office.
Suspensions and exclusions are serious matters. Students would expect that if they were involved in an incident that warranted such consequences, then their attitudes would be reflected in the College Reference.
Unfortunately, on occasions, students can become involved in illegal activities. The College will cooperate fully with any police investigation and refer any illegal actions to the police as part of its discipline procedures. Students can be prohibited from being on the College premises if they are under a police investigation.
Serious Matters Relating to College Discipline:
- Alcohol: The consumption and/or possession of alcohol in any form is strictly prohibited. Students are not to the College or who be involved in any College based activity while under the influence of alcohol or in possession of alcohol.
- Tobacco: The smoking and/or possession of any type of tobacco product is prohibited.
- Unlawful Drugs: Under no circumstances will the use or possession of unlawful drugs of any kind be permitted.
- Violence: The College has a “non-violence” policy and therefore no student should break this rule. This includes: fighting, hitting, pushing, wrestling, or any other physical contact. The College enforces this rule for the safety and well being of all its students.
- Endangerment: Any action that directly, or indirectly, endangers a member of staff or another student will be considered as very serious. This includes the carrying of weapons (or items that are to be used as weapons), abetting the presence of unauthorised persons and threats of violence.
- Cyber and Phone Activity: Using the internet and/or phone to bully, harass, send inappropriate images, access inappropriate images, threaten, organise unacceptable activities is not accepted.
- Respect for a person’s property: The property of other people is to be respected. Therefore behaviour such as stealing or wilful damage is not tolerated.
Students can expect that all the actions stated above will lead to significant consequences. Such consequences include suspension and exclusion. As most of these actions are illegal students can also expect that they will face police involvement. The College has a practice of working with the police in incidents that are illegal.
4. Permission to Leave the College
Students require permission to leave the premises. This expectation is part of the College’s “Duty of Care” obligations. Students are expected to be present at all times during the school day and any unauthorised absence will have serious consequences.
Parents and guardians are requested to avoid making appointments for their daughters or sons during school hours. If an appointment is unavoidable during school time, then the student is to provide a parental letter explaining the reasons and times of the request.
It is an expectation that students arrive at school by 9.00 am. School commences at 9.00 am. Any student who arrives at school after 9.00 am must report to the Student Office, give a reason for being late and xxx. xxx
6. Student Drivers
The College’s expectations regarding students driving have been compiled in the interests of the safety of our students and the community. There has been significant concern from the Australian public about the number of accidents involving inexperienced drivers over the past few years. Some of these accidents have led to serious injury and death. It is the expectation of the College that parents and guardians are supportive of these policies for the benefit of their own son or daughter and other students at the College.
The expectations for student drivers at the College are as follows:
- Students are only permitted to drive to and from the College once a completed Permission Form has been personally given to the Student Coordinator.
- Students are only permitted to drive to and from school. They are not permitted to drive to other College events or activities, including; sport, retreats, excursions, etc. without the permission of the principal.
- Drivers are only permitted to carry one passenger, unless permission has been given by the Principal to carry more than one passenger. The passenger’s name must be included on the Permission Form.
- The nominated passenger must have written permission from their parents/guardian. The written permission is to be personally given to the House Co-ordinator.
- Any student driver who is involved in illegal, dangerous or irresponsible behaviour while driving will have their permission revoked.
If any of the above expectations are breached, then the student will face significant disciplinary consequences (including suspension from the College). If any student (other than the nominated passenger) is a passenger in the car then he/she will also face significant disciplinary consequences (including suspension from the College).
Teachers and schools are often asked by parents to administer medication for their children while at school. It is important that that such requests are managed in a manner that is appropriate, ensures the safety of students, and fulfils the duty of care of staff.
The Medication Policy follows the policy and guidelines of the Catholic Schools Office policy Administering Medicines in Schools (June 1999) and aims to ensure that medications are administered appropriately to students in our care.
Non-prescribed oral medications (eg: head-ache tablets) will not be administered by school staff.
All parent requests for the administering of prescribed medications to their child must be in writing on the form provided and must be supported by specific written instructions from the medical practitioner or pharmacist’s including the name of the student, dosage and time to be administered (original medications bottle or container should provide this information).
All student medications must be in the original containers, must be labelled, must have the quantity of tablets confirmed and documented, and must be stored in either the locked office first aid cabinet or office refrigerator, whichever is most appropriate. Consistent with our Asthma policy, asthmatic students may carry an asthma inhaler with them.
Classroom teachers will be informed by the Dean of Students or House Coordinator of prescribed medications for students in their charge, and classroom teachers will release students at prescribed times so that they may visit the school office and receive their medications .
All completed Medication Request Forms and details relating to students, their prescribed medication, dosage quantities and times of administering will be kept and recorded in a confidential official loose-leaf medications register located in the school office by the Assistant Principal in the presence of, and confirmed by, a second staff member.
Students involved in school camps or excursions will be discreetly administered prescribed medications by the ‘Teacher in Charge’ in a manner consistent with the above procedures, with all details recorded on loose-leaf pages from the official medications register. Completed pages will be returned to the official medications register on return of the excursion to school.
Parents and carers of students who may need injections are required to meet with the Dean of Students to discuss the matter.
Staff are provided with information on students who suffer from severe allergic reactions (Anaphylaxis). Information re these students will be published on the staff noticeboard. An ‘EpiPen’ is kept at the College for emergency use.
8. Technology Policy (Acceptable Usage)
Saint Francis Xavier’s College undertakes to ensure that the Catholic Schools Office’s networks and internet connections function effectively and appropriately. The College will follow the Catholic Schools Office policy statement Workplace Internet, Email & Network Usage (November 2008). The policy aims to assist in the development an appropriate working environment that articulates expectations in the use of the College’s technology.
- Students are reminded regularly of their responsibilities in their use of the CSO networks and Internet functions.
- Regular monitoring is made to ensure inappropriate actions are not occurring. Suitable software is used for this purpose.
- All students sign the yearly ‘Cyber Safety at St Francis Xavier’s College Student Use Agreement’ for email, Internet and network access.
- Education on Cyber Safety & Cyber Bullying will be offered as appropriate.
- Parents and guardians sign the use agreement form to declare that they are aware of the College’s initiatives to maintain a cyber-safe learning environment.
- Any student who does not sign the appropriate documentation will be denied access to the College’s network. The student’s agreement form must also be signed by parent/carer before access to the network is made available.
- If students use the College’s technology to threaten or transmit sexual material then the police will be notified and significant discipline sanctions will be imposed.
- If students use the College’s technology to harass or bully others then significant discipline sanctions will be imposed.
- If students misuse any technology that is not provided by the College, then it will be addressed within the College’s Discipline Policy.
9. Road Safety policy
9.1 Belief Statement:
At St Francis Xavier’s College we believe that a road safety policy provides a framework of common understanding for students, staff, parents/carers and the community who interact with the school to provide a safe environment.
St Francis Xavier’s College is founded on the person of Jesus Christ and is committed to educate in Gospel values, especially in hope, love, justice and care for others in the community.
The main intention of this policy is to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our students who use the services and facilities of this College. We do this by assessing the risks in the road environment around our College, developing practical school management procedures and ensuring that curriculum pertaining to all road safety issues is taught to our students.
9.2 Environmental Statement:
St Francis Xavier’s College is a senior College of over 1000 students and therefore has a large number of student drivers. The College is in a residential area which requires students to park in neighbouring streets. The supervision is commensurate with the age of the students and the flexible nature of the timetable.
9.3 Aims / Goals:
At St Francis Xavier’s College we aim to:
• provide a quality road safety education program (Years 11 / 12 that develops responsible road use, attitudes and behaviours.
• have procedures in place that maximise the safety of students when they arrive and depart the College.
• encourage the education of road safety issu3es in the wider school community eg parents / carers, staff and visitors.
9.4 Curriculum Statement:
At St Francis Xavier’s College our staff will develop and implement effective, sequential road safety education programs within the Year 11 PDHPE key learning area and the pastoral care program through Long Tutor Group Program.
Our programs will make use of current NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) resources and will address the following road safety issues for our students:
• passenger safety
• pedestrian safety
• safety on whells (bicycles, scooters, roller-blades and skateboards) and
• driver education
When it is appropriate we will make use of other suitable resources and incorporate them as part of an ongoing program. The use of additional resources will enhance the teaching and learning of road safety education to our students.
9.5 School Management Procedures:
At St Francis Xavier’s College the staff will maximise the safety of students by:
• providing supervision of students in both playgrounds before school and during lunch and recess breaks.
• seek permission from a parent/carer of nominated adult before allowing a student to leave the College during school hours.
• seek permission from the aforementioned for students to attend excursions or out of school activities; information will be provided regarding modes of transport.
• constantly remind students about their responsibility as drivers or road users.
• provide supervision each afternoon at the King Street lights to ensure students cross the road at the lights in a safe and legal manner.
• Request that any staff member of volunteer who will be transporting students provide evidence of a current driver’s license and insurance cover.
9.6 Discretionary Basis:
The Principal has the right of discretion to make provision for departure from the policy or the application of the policy in the event of unforseen and exceptional circumstances.
This policy was prepared by the College staff and the Diocesan Road Safety Education Consultant.
Adoption Date: 16 July 2012
10. Road Safety
Instructions for student/parent/caregiver/legal guardian
1. Please read this document carefully.
2. Discuss the Road Safety rules with your child.
10.1 Arriving and Departing:
Parents/carers and family members are encouraged to inform students about and reinforce correct and responsible road use behaviours.
There are four designated points of entry to St Francis Xavier’s College.
• Everton Street
• Parkway Avenue
• Hebburn Street
• Ada Street
10.2 Arrival and Departure on Foot:
Given the large number of students who drive to school, students need to exercise caution when approaching and leaving the College grounds and the environs. Students are not to walk along the median strip along King Street but must use the pedestrian crossing and lights appropriately.
Staff will be on duty after school to supervise the students using the crossing on King Street in front of the TAFE.
10.3 Arrival and Departure by Car:
Parents/carers, family members and students are expected to use the legal street parking spaces for pick up and delivery of students. It is illegal to park on the median strip in Parkway Avenue.
The College has a large student population. Drivers should ensure that they exercise caution and arrive and depart the College and its environs in a safe, responsible and legal manner. Similarly pedestrians must exercise due caution given the large number of relatively inexperienced drivers who arrive and depart around the same time.
The car park is for staff and visitors only. Students are NOT to use the car park unless given permission by the Principal for exceptional circumstances. There is a disabled parking spot for appropriate use.
Students who utilise the Assisted Travel Scheme are accompanied to and from the vehicle by a staff member.
The school is located in a 40km school zone where a 40km speed limit applies for the hours of 8:00 am – 9:30 am and 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm on school days. The speed limit is lowered to 40km during these hours to increase the safety of the students arriving and departing the school. Drivers must abide by these speed regulations.