Policies and Procedures
1 – Accessing the Administration Team
Students should only leave class with their teachers’ permission primarily for safety reasons. Unless urgent, students who present themselves at the office will be asked to leave their name and nature of request, then asked to return to class and an adult will follow up with them in their class as soon as they’re available. Depending on the nature of the request, the student may be referred to the counselor, an administrator, or other supporting staff member.
2 – Attendance Policy
When students are absent for legitimate reasons, parents/guardians must advise the school office (note, email, phone). Students who are late or have an absence must make arrangements with the teacher to complete missed assignments. Teachers, support staff, and administration will track unexcused absences and classroom teachers will communicate concerns to parents. Parents are informed, daily, of unexcused absences via our automated callout system. Students who are struggling with unexcused absences and/or lates may be referred to our school-based team and administration. Being consistently late or absent negatively impacts student learning and students may need to make up missed learning time as a result.
3 – Lates
If students are running late in the morning, a parent/guardian must advise the office (note, email, phone call). Students must sign in at the office and take a late slip to their teacher. For safety reasons it is so important to have both parents and school staff know that our students are safe wherever they might be.
4 – Students are not allowed to leave school property during lunch hour
Community businesses such as The Brackendale General Store and Crabapple Café are off limits to all Don Ross Middle School students from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. (school hours). Parents/guardians may not give students permission to leave school property without parental or guardian supervision. Parental Consent alone is insufficient as we cannot provide supervision off-site during school hours.
5 – Leaving Early
If students have an appointment and need to leave school early, they are required to sign out at the office with a parent/guardian. Parents or guardians may pick up and return students when necessary by signing them in and out in the office. Students can only leave with their own parent or guardian unless arrangements between legal guardians have been made and written notice to the Principal is provided in advance.
6 – Wheels: Bikes/Skateboards/Scooters etc.
Don Ross Middle asks ALL students engaging in biking, skateboarding, scootering, rollerblading and other similar activities to wear a helmet. Students that are being unsafe engaging in these activities may be asked to leave their bike, scooter etc… at home.
Students are asked to store and lock their bikes in the bike racks located in the front entrance courtyard. The school and the School Board do not assume responsibility for articles which go missing so please lock your bike.
Skateboarding, biking, scootering,rollerblading etc… is only permitted outdoors and not in the following areas: back parking lot, bus loop, front courtyard. Items that cannot be stored in student lockers need to be left at the office during school hours. The office is not responsible for unsecured items.
Any student not following the above guidelines may have the aforementioned items confiscated and turned into the office. Pick up of items is at 3:00pm.
7 – Bus Behaviour/Expectations
Our busses are at capacity. Therefore students are to travel on assigned buses only to and from their home(s). Trips to downtown are only allowed for those students who live in that area. Other students are expected to take the transit bus. Parents must contact the school principal to inquire about alternative bus routes for their child. A student may be denied the privilege of using school buses for any behaviour that contravenes the code of conduct. Any problems arising from school bus use may be referred to the administration.
8 – Local Transit Tickets
Students who remain at school after 3pm for the purposes of meeting with a teacher or participating in an extra-curricular club or sport, may obtain a bus ticket to ride local Squamish Transit in order to get home. Students may obtain bus tickets from the teacher-sponsor of the activity when needed. Emergency bus tickets are available for students directly from the office and the cost of all bus tickets described above are paid for by the school. We want to encourage both safety as well as involvement in extra-curriculars.
9 – Dress Code Policy
Rationale: This policy on dress code aims to create a positive middle school environment that asks students to dress in a manner that is comfortable to them, conducive to their learning and in accordance with their gender identity. This dress code also contributes to the safety and well-being of our students while they are in school or while participating in school activities and learning in our community.
The responsibility for the dress and grooming of a student rests primarily with the student and their parents or guardians.
Allowable Dress & Grooming
- Students must wear clothing including both a shirt with pants or skirt, or the equivalent and shoes.
- Shirts and dresses must have fabric in the front and on the sides.
- Fabric covering all private parts must not be see through.
- Hats and other headwear must allow the face to be visible and not interfere with the line of sight to any student or staff. Hoodies must allow the student face and ears to be visible to staff.
- Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities including physical education, science labs, wood shop, and other activities where unique hazards exist.
- Specialized courses may require specialized attire, such as sports uniforms or safety gear.
Non-Allowable Dress & Grooming
- Clothing may not depict, advertise or advocate the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, vapour products or other controlled and illegal substances.
- Clothing may not depict pornography, nudity or sexual acts.
- Clothing may not use or depict hate speech targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation or any other protected groups.
- Clothing must not threaten the health or safety of any other student or staff.
- If the student’s attire or grooming threatens the health or safety of any other person, then discipline for dress or grooming violations will be consistent with discipline policies for similar violations.
Students unable to comply will be required to change/cover-up and may call home for alternate clothing or use school provided items temporarily.
10 – Technology Use Policy
Technology Policy: All school provided electronic devices including but not limited to ipads, surfaces, e-readers, cell-phones and laptops etc. will ONLY be used during school hours for educational purposes and at the discretion of the teacher. School provided devices should not be used for games (unless educational) or social media.
If a student chooses to bring any personal devices to school they may be used during class time, for educational purposes, only at the direction of the teacher. Teacher’s may set classroom policies related to technology usage which may require students to leave their devices in their locker or another separate location (ex. a classroom cellphone holder). Personal devices may not be used outside of the classroom during instructional time unless for educational purposes and under the direction of a teacher. Headphones are permitted at the teacher’s discretion. External speakers are not permitted at Don Ross Middle School.
Students are permitted to use personal devices during breaks and lunch – however, students will be encouraged to engage in play and exploration during their breaks. Usage of devices is governed by the DRM code of conduct and students are not permitted to photograph, video or record other students or staff without individual consent. Students that are found to be using their device inappropriately may be asked to store their device in the office for the remainder of the day. Repeated, or serious, infractions may result in the student no longer being permitted personal devices at DRM and/or a personal device usage contract being created.
DRM will be focusing on helping students build a healthy relationship with technology including personal self-regulation of usage. Educational initiatives will be the focus of our technology policy and will include direct instruction on digital literacy. As part of this initiative, families will receive information, throughout the year, relating to digital literacy and will be encouraged to develop their own household technology policies.
11 – Student guests in the School
There are to be no student visitors in the school or attending classes unless it is an approved educational exchange or program approved by the Principal.
12 – Plagiarism/Cheating on tests
Students are not to engage or assist in cheating of any kind. Teachers may give a zero for any kind of cheating or plagiarism on schoolwork of any kind and require the student to complete an alternative assessment.
13 - Reading Period
Don Ross Middle School teacher teams hold daily reading with their students. Students should come to school with their choice of reading material and are encouraged to access our library.
14 – Reporting Student Learning
In accordance with the Ministry of Education, Student Reporting Policy and Practices, students will receive formal feedback on achievement for each of the three reporting periods during the year. Students also complete self-assessments on the SD#48 Competencies as part of the formal reporting process.
15 – Principal’s List
Students gaining this recognition will have an “A” in all courses. However, a student may have one ‘B’ in any course and be admitted to the Principal’s list at the discretion of the Principal. For curricular areas reported on using proficiency scale a conversion is made with extending and proficient. Please note that the Principal’s list is calculated based on a students achievement at the end of Quarter 3 and is indicated on the final report card in Quarter 4.
16 – Honour Roll
Students gaining this recognition will have a mix of “A” and “B” grades in all courses (extending/proficient). However, a student may have one “C+” (developing) in any course and be admitted to the Honour Roll at the discretion of the Principal. Please note that the honour roll is calculated based on a students achievement at the end of Quarter 3 and is indicated on the final report card in Quarter 4.
17 – Grade 9 Awards
Certificates of Achievement are awarded to the top grade 9 students in each course at the end of the year. In addition to academic achievement, students are recognized for Outstanding Athletics, Margaret Marchant Service Leadership Award, Jim Blackman Resiliency Memorial Award and the Great Trek Community Service Award. Criteria for each award are listed below.
Academic Achievement Awards
- excellent attendance throughout the year
- exemplary classroom participation and leadership
- passion for and curiosity about the subject under study
- pride in the professional presentation of their work
- consistent submission of all required assignments in a timely manner
- meeting and/or exceeding criteria set for all assignments
- overall achievement that is outstanding/exceeding expectations
Athlete of the Year Award
- participates on least 4 teams during the year
- demonstrates excellence in skill and execution of the athletes sports
- models fair play, sportsmanship and leadership
- strives to improve and shows determination to work towards both individual goals and team success
The Great Trek award is presented in honour of the first graduating class of students at Don Ross. It is presented to a student at Don Ross who is taking their first steps on their Great Trek through life in the service of others and community. This student excels in all areas of school life: Service, Citizenship, Leadership, Academics and Athletics.
The Jim Blackman Memorial – “Perseverance” Award
This award is given to a student who has overcome some obstacle/hardship in life. They also possesses the following attributes: service & citizenship, leadership, interest/participation in outdoor activities, and perseverance.
Margaret Marchant “Service Leadership Award”
This award is given to a student who truly embodies what Mrs. Marchant stood for: Service through Leadership. Margaret Marchant served our school and the community of Squamish for many years in many ways. Not only was she a school trustee, but she became known as a person who constantly went that extra mile to help out, when times were good, and when times were bad. The student must demonstrate successful: Leadership, Community Service and Academics.
18 – Counselling Services
The role of the school counselor is to support students’ educational, social, emotional, and career development in coordination with the student’s parents or guardians.
Educational: course planning, study skills, organizational skills, and coping strategies.
Social: peer interaction, interaction with adults, conflict resolution, and assertiveness skills.
Emotional: self-awareness, coping with anxiety, emotional balance, connecting students to community intervention services.
Career: Awareness of personality traits, values, aptitudes, and beliefs about work – job exploration – exploration of post Middle School training – work experience and workplace skills.
Individual and/or group interventions, as well as in-class instruction, may be used to encourage student growth in these areas.
Common concerns for students that may be helped with counselling:
- how to cope with academic expectations – homework, tests, task completion
- how to use teachers as a resource person
- how to problem solve to resolve conflicts and overcome personal problems
- how to be a self-advocate in the classroom
- how to cope with emotions
- how to manage relationships with peers and adults
Accessing the counselor
Students may be referred to the counselor by a staff member. Students may self-refer during nutrition break. Students may not leave class to “wait” for the counselor. Students who present themselves at the office requesting a counselling session will be added to a “referral list” and returned to class. The counselor will come to the classroom or call to have the student come to the counselling office. Parents/guardians who wish to refer their child to the counselor may contact the office.
Any student who is having difficulty resolving a conflict with another student may request mediation through the counselor.
Counselors can facilitate consultation and coordination between the school, family, and community services.
19 – Library
- Be considerate of others working in the library.
- Return library materials promptly so others can use them.
- Take care of materials and equipment.
- Do not bring food and/or drink into the library.
- Reference Section: encyclopedias, almanacs, and dictionaries, etc.
- Electronic catalogue: capable of printing out bibliographies
- Photocopier: 10 cents a copy
- Access to school network and internet
- Library store: students may purchase materials such as paper, poster board, calculators, ear buds, pencils, glue sticks
Overdue Materials – Borrowing privileges may be suspended until all overdue materials are returned or renewed.
Lost Materials – A replacement charge will be assessed on any lost materials. Refunds will be made if materials are returned.
Sign Out – All materials in the library must be signed out at the circulation desk using your student number. Taking materials out of the library without signing them out is theft.
Returns – Books can be returned at the circulation desk or through the return slot in the hallway near the library entrance.
20 – School Supplies
School supply lists are posted on the school website. Students are required to bring their own school supplies to class. Throughout the school year, students can purchase some additional school supplies from the Don Ross Library Store. The school understands that some students will not have their materials for class in the fall, due to a variety of reasons. There are some gently used binders, pens, pencils and erasers available to students. Teachers will help students find the necessary equipment for a good start to the year.
21 – Athletic Fees
Each team member may be required to pay an athletic fee to cover the cost of league fees, travel and referees. Additional fees may be required for longer trips and/or tournaments. A uniform deposit may also be required for each athlete. If this fee results in your child being unable to participate in the activity, then please contact a school administrator or counselor as financial assistance is available.
22 – Climbing Wall/Cave
The climbing wall and climbing cave may only be used with direct supervision of a qualified climbing wall/cave instructor. Gym use will be restricted to any individual not following this safety directive.
23 – Lockers
Students are expected to use their issued locker only, maintain their locker in a neat and tidy condition, and keep it locked at all times with a school-authorized lock. In the event a lock goes missing it is the student’s responsibility to pay for a new one. Students must take care to keep their combination a secret and double check that their lock is closed before they walk away from their locker. Lockers are part of school property and thus subject to search with cause. The school and the School Board do not assume responsibility for the articles which go missing from lockers.
Please note that in the 2021/22 teacher teams will be allocated a block of lockers that they can utilize with their classrooms (there may need to be sharing of lockers given numbers). Some teacher teams, depending on need, may not opt to use lockers all year - instead they may be used strictly for intentional purposes (ex. temporarily storing projects). We observed that the reduced usage of lockers during the 2020/21 school year had a noticeably positive impact on student truancy, hallway congestion and the overall cleanliness of our school. Consequently, we will be taking a thoughtful approach to locker usage going forward recognizing that they can be used with intention.
24 – Parent-Teacher Communication
Parents/guardians are encouraged to make regular contact with teachers regarding their child’s progress. All teachers can be reached by their email address which is their first initial followed by their last name followed by @sd48.bc.ca
25 – Extra-Curricular Travel
Students must have a signed permission form whenever they travel outside the school area by bus or private car. A travel fee will be assessed each time in order to cover the travel costs. If this fee results in your child being unable to participate in the activity, then please contact a school administrator or counselor as financial assistance is available.
26 – Gymnasium
- Students are not allowed to bring/eat food or drink into the gym.
- Gym shoes must have non-marking soles, and laces should be tied tightly.
- Backpacks must be left in your locker or off the gym floor playing areas.
27 – Student Activities
At Don Ross, we hope that our students will wish to be involved in activities and enjoy all aspects of our school. To make the most of your school years, you are encouraged to get involved. There are various activities available at Don Ross (subject to change) some of the potential activities can be viewed below:
Fall: Cross-Country Running, Track Meet, Volleyball, Grade 9 Overnight Hike
Winter: Indoor Basketball, Climbing Club
Spring: Mountain Biking, Bard on the Beach, Track and Field, Outdoor Activity Day, China Town
All Year: District Student Council, Weight Room, Intramurals
28 – Student Fees
There are no general student fees at DRM for the 2021/22 school year. Additional fees, for trips and special events, may occur throughout the year. No student will be denied educational opportunities at the school due to financial hardship. Student families facing hardship should feel free to contact the principal directly.
29 – Student Planners
Students are responsible for choosing a time management organization tool that helps them stay organized. Physical planners/calendars or digital planners/calendars are both acceptable. Students who plan to use an electronic device must still follow the technology policy above.
30 – Telephone
Parents/guardians and students are asked to make daily arrangements before coming to school each day. Students will be allowed to use the office telephone in emergency situations only (for example illness). Parents are always welcome to call the office in case of emergency. To minimize disruption (ex. text messages) to your child’s learning we prefer parents & guardians connect with their child/children before and after school. In cases of emergency, during class time, please call the office, we’re happy to help out.
31 – Textbooks
There is no rental fee charged for use of textbooks. If a textbook is lost, a replacement can be obtained from the teacher after a student has paid the cost of the textbook. Students are responsible for the reasonable care of all textbooks. Students will be charged a fee for textbooks or library books that are damaged or lost.