St. Andrew’s College has long been committed to ensuring our boys learn how to engage appropriately with others in the community so that they can develop healthy, meaningful, and sustained human relationships. Our programs are rooted in core external and internal policies that speak to the necessity for schools to be inclusive and to enact proactive approaches to interrelationships. The internal policies that drive these initiatives at St. Andrew’s include, but are not limited to, the SAC Mutual Respect Policy
, the Parent & Student Handbook
, and our Strategic Plan
; external policies include OS 2016
and PPM 119
, and 144
Programmatically, the School leverages a myriad of in-school opportunities, driven by the School Life Team
, including Chapel
, and special events
to promote programming specific to inclusivity. Complementary to these programs is our Health and Wellness Centre
,which seeks to provide boys with support as they encounter challenges in their daily life. The Middle School
program is unique in that its focus on Guyship ensures students learn these values early in their Andrean career.
St. Andrew’s College Mutual Respect Policy
St. Andrew’s College promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment.
All students, parents, employees, and directors have the right to be safe, and feel safe, in their school community.
All members of our community have the right to expect that St. Andrew’s College will take steps to create an environment of mutual respect. Any form of discrimination, harassment, violence, bullying, or abuse is prohibited. The College will take all complaints seriously. The College commits to timely investigations that are thorough, objective, and fair to all affected parties. Every person has the right to report an incident or suspected incident without fear of reprisal.
St. Andrew’s College Parent & Student Handbook
The Mutual Respect Policy falls under the umbrella of our Code of Honour and Code of Conduct, located on page 65.
The disciplinary consequences for mutual respect infractions can be found on pages 76-79 of the Parent & Student Handbook.
St. Andrew’s College Strategic Plan 2017
AI1: Teaching and learning at SAC should focus on:
- faculty and student understandings of gender, sexuality, race, and the relationship between these identity markers
- the integration of activities that promote resilience
AI5: Explicitly embed the themes of compassion and empathy into our programs such that they become motivators in our boys’ life choices.
AI6: Implement a curriculum both within and outside of the Academic program that helps boys understand constructions of masculinities for the purpose of providing awareness and opportunities to address the various healthy and honourable ways to be a man in contemporary society.
HW2: Increase our support for mental health and counselling services to ensure proactive education for students and also mental health case management.
HW3: Clearly identify the role Chapel and spirituality play in the life of students. With an eye on tradition, create a Chapel program relevant to boys and their needs. Chapel will focus on school values, an awareness of social justice, character, citizenship, improving the world, inspiration, resiliency, and perseverance through intentionality. Chapel will be a space to address religion, spirituality, and mindfulness and increase the connections within our community.
HW6: Develop a programmatic and systematic approach to educating our boys on appropriate, positive, and healthy relationships with young women. This should include both personal and electronic communications.
Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Program Requirements, 2016
Creating, fostering, and sustaining healthy, safe, and accepting learning environments is essential to the positive cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development of learners and contributes to their well-being and learning. Actively promoting and supporting positive student behaviour, relationships, and healthy living through a whole-school approach will foster positive school climates in which all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted (1.1).
Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum No. 128
A school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, included, and accepted, and actively promote positive behaviours and interactions. Building and sustaining a positive school climate is a complex challenge requiring evidence-informed solutions.
Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum No. 119
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide direction to school boards on the review, development, implementation, and monitoring of equity and inclusive education policies to support student achievement and well-being. Our schools need to help students develop into highly skilled, knowledgeable, and caring citizens who can contribute to both a strong economy and a cohesive society.
Definition of Bullying
The Ministry of Education Ontario has defined bullying in Policy/Program Memorandum 144 as follows:
Bullying is typically a form of repeated and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person's body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation.
Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance.
Bullying can take many forms. It can be:
- physical – hitting, shoving, stealing, or damaging property
- verbal – name calling, mocking, or making sexist, racist, or homophobic comments
- social – excluding others from a group or spreading gossip or rumours about them
- written – writing notes or signs that are hurtful or insulting
- electronic (commonly known as cyberbullying) – spreading rumours and hurtful comments through the use of email, cellphones (e.g., text messaging) and on social media sites.
What is electronic bullying or cyberbullying?
It is electronic communication that:
- is used to upset, threaten, or embarrass another person
- uses email, cellphones, text messages and social media sites to threaten, harass, embarrass, socially exclude, or damage reputations and friendships
- includes put downs, insults, and can also involve spreading rumours, sharing private information, photos or videos, or threatening to harm someone
- is always aggressive and hurtful
Programs and Practices
The School Life Team
Comprised of members of the senior administration at St. Andrew’s, the School Life Team works collaboratively to promote a safe, positive, inclusive, engaging, and thoughtful environment for its students. The team dedicates itself to all facets of school life, including student engagement, discipline, and pastoral care.
The School Life Team defines monthly themes that are reinforced on multiple levels around the School, including assemblies, Advisory, and Chapel. Some examples of the monthly themes:
The monthly themes are significant to the well-being, growth, and development of the students of St. Andrew’s.
The Memorial Chapel
Chapel is a vibrant place where music is played, conversation is had, laughter is present, and thoughtfulness is abound. In short, Chapel aims to replicate life, a place where mindfulness is paramount, but also a place to spend time with friends in a unique, shared experience. Chapel not only fosters pastoral care but, through its curriculum, addresses the relevant and important issues of the St. Andrew’s community. Chapel is a memorial to those who fought and died in the Great Wars of the 20th century and the Chapel of the 21st century respects the traditions of the past while moving forward and addressing the needs of the St. Andrew’s student of today. And, perhaps most importantly, Chapel attempts to emulate life in a most significant way. Some recent Chapel topics include:
- Moral courage
- Anti-Semitism around the world
- The Macho Paradox
- The Humboldt tragedy
- Remembering Gord Downie
- Rowan’s Law
- Staying grounded
- This Is Why We Play
- The power of diversity
Chapel curriculum follows monthly themes that are decided upon by the Student Life Team and supported by the Chapel Council, a group of senior students who support the mandate of the Chapel and are instrumental in its relevance.
The service includes the singing of a hymn, an interactive conversation, and a moment of reflection. Faculty and staff are invited to participate in the “Stories of Us” program, while the Music Department invites musicians to add accompaniment to our time of reflection.
The Advisory program has a dual purpose. Its first role is to support the cognitive growth of an advisee and support him through the rigours of the Academic program and to lend assistance in any way he/she can in supporting the advisee through coursework obstacles and dealings with teachers. The second role involves guiding the student’s growth through an educational and thematic program that focuses on the effective growth of the student in areas outside the academic stream. The Advisory program aims to foster pastoral care within each group and helps students to not just attain their academic goals but become more well-rounded through the character education discussed at the weekly meetings. The Friday advisory meetings discuss the Chapel topics from earlier in the week.
The Advisory program at St. Andrew’s functions to strengthen and support young Andreans and allow them to more fully realize their potential to become ‘the complete man, the well-rounded citizen,’ where success is measured equally by personal growth in the areas of a healthy mind, heart, spirit, and body.
Once a week, the Upper School comes together for special announcements, an overview of the week’s activities, and a chance for clubs to showcase their work. The School Prefects run the assembly and they are an important part of the weekly student life events. Clubs at the School like Social Justice, Jack.org, SAC TV, and the Chapel Council use this time to promote their club’s activities and help to reinforce the theme of the month. At the beginning of the month, the theme is introduced to the students by citing real-world examples.
Throughout the school year, the School Life Team organizes and promotes events that help in the development of the well-rounded individual. Some of the major school events include:
- Thanksgiving Prayer Circle
- Remembrance Day Ceremony
- The White Ribbon Campaign
- An Andrean Christmas
- Holocaust Remembrance
- Black History Month
The team also helps to organize events with their sister schools to promote healthy, positive relationships and create lasting friendships. Some of these events include:
- Arts Night
- Open Microphone Night
- Movember Bowling Event
- Winter Activity Day Events
- Sexual Literacy Symposium
- Saints Day: Marathon of Sport in support of motionball.
Health and Wellness Centre
The staff in the Health and Wellness Centre take care of the needs of all the students of St. Andrew’s. There is a full-time nursing staff on during regular school hours and a nurse on call 24/7. Three days a week, a local doctor and counsellor will see students.
The Andrean Wellness Program
This program is designed to provide students, faculty, and staff with available outlets to maintain a sound mind, body, and spirit through physical exercise and mindfulness. The Wellness team has created a robust program of activities for members of the Andrean community to choose from. Examples of the Wellness program are:
- Spin classes
- Weight training (recovery, flexibility and mobility, kettlebell)
- Nutrition course (part of the ACPlus program)
- Daily mindfulness activities
- Women’s-only classes for faculty/staff
The Middle School
Building boys of high character is a top priority, and one that begins during the middle years at St. Andrew’s College. While we recognize that a ‘bully-free’ environment is nearly impossible to achieve at any school, we understand the importance of establishing a proactive atmosphere that reinforces messages of strong character development. The Middle School provides many educational opportunities for its students to be aware of the type of behaviours that are considered bullying or harassment – neither of which is tolerated at SAC. Messages of this nature are often brought forward through the Middle School Advisory program. Positive character development can be seen through a number of anti-bullying and other character building initiatives.
- Toronto Argonauts Huddle Up program
- Freeze-Out Bullying in association with Canadian Safe Schools Network
- VIP program, York Regional Police
- Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week
- Monthly celebration assembly and weekly gathering
- Clan spirit days
- Leadership in Training program (LIT)
When working with adolescents, we expect that challenges will arise. It is for this reason that we have a Mutual Respect Policy. We recognize that to achieve our vision, the environment we provide must be one which demonstrates respect, dignity, equity, and safety for all members of the Andrean community. In order to excel in all areas of school life, all members of our community need to feel safe in the School and have the right to expect the School to take steps that create an environment of mutual respect.
The Mutual Respect Policy allows students to discuss issues that may be troubling them with a faculty facilitator. Currently, we have one faculty facilitator for the Middle School. The facilitator acts as a coach to the student and recommends a direction the student should take. Typically, issues that are brought forth tend to be minor in nature and are guided to resolution with the aid of the facilitator and student(s).
We are proud to offer members of our community an opportunity to disclose feelings of hurt, frustration, or discomfort while striving for an understanding of mutual respect and supporting the School's mission, “Dedicated to the development of the complete man, the well-rounded citizen.