DEREKH ERETZ and PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE
The school has policies that guide our expectations and practices for how students, staff, parents/guardians and community members treat one another.
1. Derekh Eretz, Code of Conduct. The practice of Derekh Eretz, which means “The Conduct of the Land,” guides our approach to good conduct.
As members of The Toronto Heschel School community, we hold ourselves to the standards of The Derekh Eretz Code of Conduct when we are in school, off school property, on-line, during and out of school hours. Together, we foster a safe, nurturing and inclusive community. See Code here: https://torontoheschel.org/forms-docs/derekh-eretz
In addition to the Derekh Eretz Code of Conduct other policies guide specific areas of conduct in the school. These include:
Encouraging and Practicing Derekh Eretz in a Pro-Social Environment
The school advocates and uses positive methods for teaching and practicing the habits and specific behaviours required by the Derekh Eretz code of conduct. These include:
2. Progressive Discipline
When a student behaves in a way contrary to the Derekh Eretz Code of conduct or other policies, expectations and practices of the school, the school employs a Progressive Discipline approach.
Progressive discipline utilizes a continuum of interventions, supports, and consequences to address inappropriate student conduct and to build upon strategies that promote positive behaviours. When inappropriate conduct occurs, disciplinary measures are applied within a framework that is preventive, corrective, and supportive rather than solely punitive. In this respect, one of the key procedures used is a Tikkun Process based on principles of restorative justice. In all cases, the degree and type of discipline is in proportion to the severity of the behaviour, and takes into account the previous disciplinary history of the student and other relevant factors including age, special education needs, family circumstances, and the individual needs of the student.
Progressive Discipline may entail any the following interventions, at the discretion of the school:
3. School-Family Partnership
Consistency among expectations goes a long way in helping children experience school positively and successfully. Parents are asked to review the school’s Derekh Eretz Code of Conduct to ensure that they are able to discuss it and support it with their children.
From time to time families may be asked to dialogue with the school on matters concerning Derekh Eretz and Progressive Discipline. Outcomes are best when families engage with the school with respect, trust, and confidence in the observations of school professionals. School professionals may seek parental input and home-school coordination as part of the progressive discipline process. If the progressive discipline strategies of the school are unable to address a matter of student conduct, next steps are generated which may include requests to parents to provide assessments, consultations and/or external supports such as occupational therapists, behaviour therapists, and child-psychologists.
The Toronto Heschel School will promote positive conduct and utilize progressive discipline by:
5. Suspensions and Expulsions:
Prior to suspending a student or referring a student for expulsion, an administrator will conduct an investigation and consider mitigating and other factors and document the process used.
Before taking the step of permanent expulsion, the Principal/HOS will present the matter to the Board of Directors and request that an ad hoc sub- committee be especially constituted. The Principal/HOS will then seek ratification of the decision to expel by that sub-committee. If the decision to expel is ratified, the parent of the child involved may appeal to the Co-Chairs of the Board for reconsideration. The decision of the Co-Chairs of the Board will be final.