Roscommon Community College’s discipline system derives from the key principles of our School Mission Statement. An effective discipline system helps to improve and support the quality of teaching and learning in the school. As parents and teachers, we both want the very best learning environment for all our students. A firm but fair discipline system, operating in a happy, caring environment, will guarantee that students will be able to achieve their full potential.
Student discipline is recorded on their VS Ware account, which allows parents/ guardians full access to their child’s behavioural report and comments from teachers on an ongoing basis.
Our discipline system enables teachers to reward students for excellent performance and positive behaviours. We actively recognises and promotes positive behaviour throughout the student population. The Discipline system is managed by the Discipline Coordinator, Ms Georgina Martin and parents/guardians are invited to contact Ms Martin should they seek information or clarification regarding their child’s behavioural record.
A student who is deemed to be a positive example to others will receive a recognition for the behaviour on the VS Ware system and these recognitions contribute to the determining of our student awards at the end of the school year.
Positive behaviour will be recognised in the following categories
· Excellent Class Contribution
· Good Citizenship
· Academic Excellence
· Excellent Leadership
· Exceptional Manners
· Exceptional Work
· Helping another Student/Staff
· An Exceptional Act of kindness
If a member of staff feels that a student is in breach of our Code of Behaviour/School Rules then they will assign the appropriate discipline consequence.
Behaviours are divided into different categories and the consequences range from 1 point to six points. Discipline points are assigned to the individual student account through the VS Ware system and can be viewed using the parent log in details only.
Each student is made aware of the school rules, the details of which are printed in student homework journals.
When a student accumulates six points they will be assigned a detention.
Detention is taken as a serious punishment. Students placed on detention are reminded that detention takes precedence over all other school and/or out-of-school activities. Other than in exceptional circumstances, no student will be excused detention or any part of it. Failure to attend detention may lead to suspension without further warning.
Being placed on multiple detentions for poor behaviour is unacceptable and where such a case arises, the following procedure will be followed,
- 3rd detention = 1 Day suspension and down town privilege removed for 1 week (2nd to 6th year),
- 4th detention = 1 Day suspension, down town privilege removed for 2 weeks and a meeting with the parents, in the event that a parent/guardian fails to attends upon request to the school, the student may be suspended from school until such time as a meeting can be scheduled.
- 5th detention = 2 Day suspension with student file being brought to the School Discipline Board for review and possible further sanctioning.
Failure to attend detention will lead to a 1 day suspension and down town privilege removed for 2 weeks
Suspension & Exclusion Appeal to Board of Managers
Any decision to exclude a student shall only follow extensive discussion and investigation with the BOM. Where the college decides that a student should be suspended, for a period of more than 20 days, or excluded, the parents/guardians of that student have a right of appeal to the BOM, and this appeal may be made in person or in writing.
An appeal against a prolonged suspension, i.e. (of more than 20 days), or an exclusion, shall be lodged with the principal within seven (7) days from the date upon which the parent/guardian is notified, in writing, of the decision of the college. The BOM shall convene a meeting, within a further period of 10 days, to hear any such appeal.
In the event of an appeal to the BOM against a student's exclusion being rejected, the parent/guardian of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years of age, the student, may, appeal the board's decision to the secretary general of the department of education and science.
The Board of Managers of the College reserve the right to amend this code of conduct at short notice, to take account of unforeseen developments with the potential to impinge on health, safety and good order within the College.
Courtesy and respect is to be shown at all times towards staff and other students - also to the general public, both inside and outside the college. This forms part of this code of conduct.
Bullying: every young person is entitled to a life and an education free from fear, humiliation and intimidation. It is the responsibility of each of us to ensure that this is so. If someone is being bullied, take action - watching and doing nothing can suggest support for the bully.
Do not tolerate bullying in your social group. This, more than anything else, will get them to realise that their behaviour is unacceptable and, hopefully, it will cause them to stop.
Students must wear the required uniform during all school activities - this includes evening study. The uniform should be worn properly and only items of uniform should be visible.
Girls – Standard v neck sweater with crest, standard tartan skirt, white blouse, tights/socks, black/navy-blue leather shoes.
Boys – Standard round neck sweater with crest, blue trousers, white shirt, black leather shoes.
A neat and tidy hairstyle (natural colour only) and a high standard of personal hygiene are also essential. Boys should be clean-shaven: beards are not allowed. Neither extremely tight haircuts, nor outrageous hairstyles are acceptable - the college authorities’ decision about what constitutes unacceptable haircuts/styles shall be binding.
No excessive jewellery, large rings, bracelets or necklaces shall be worn and no earrings for boys and only studs for girls may be worn. Tipp-ex in bottles, solvents and chewing gum are forbidden within the college. 'Tipp-ex' pens are allowed.
All litter should be placed in the waste bins - located throughout the college and its grounds.
Students are expected to keep classrooms, locker areas and study hall clean and tidy, and to show respect for school property, their own property, and that of others.
In general students are expected to show care for college property, both in the classroom and outside, and to make good any damage to such property caused by deliberate neglect. Accidental damage must be reported immediately either to the principal or the deputy-principal. It will be assumed that unreported damage has not been caused accidentally. Vandalism of any kind (including the writing of graffiti) is unacceptable.
Students proven to have engaged in anti-social activity will be liable to suspension without notice. Where the vandalism is of a serious or repeated nature, the perpetrators may face exclusion.
Horseplay, rowdy behaviour and coarse language will not be tolerated. Students must avoid activities likely to cause injury or accident. They must also avoid activities which might damage fire extinguishers, heaters, electrical fittings etc. Eating in class and chewing gum is also strictly forbidden. Suspension or detention will be used to counter any or all of the above behaviours. The school operates a healthy eating policy, students in possession of fizzy drinks or junk foods are in breach of this policy and may have these foods confiscated. Smoking is expressly forbidden while a student is at school or involved in school-related activities. A student who reeks of smoke will be deemed to have been smoking. A student found smoking will be suspended immediately from school for a period of one day.
Any person contravening the law prohibiting smoking in the college is now liable to prosecution and a maximum penalty of €3,000.00.
Irrespective of a student’s age all forms of gambling, the use of alcoholic drink and/or drugs is absolutely forbidden, while students are under the care of the college. Students who breach this regulation are liable to suspension, or exclusion, as the college may deem fit.
Furthermore, if a student brings illegal drugs into the college, either for his/her own use or for the use of others, irrespective of whether or not such acts are for financial gain, the college reserves the right to suspend or exclude that student forthwith. Any student suspected of purchasing or consuming drugs during the school day will be suspended forthwith and will be required to take a drugs test and furnish these test results to the school authorities as soon as possible.
Unless otherwise advised, the class of a teacher who has not arrived at class within 5 minutes of the relevant commencement time should proceed directly to the GP room and some member of the class should go to the Principal or Deputy Principal to advise of the their teacher’s absence; it is the responsibility of all class members to ensure that the Principal/Deputy Principal is contacted.
Students may not leave their belongings lying around the college. All belongings (books, sports’ gear, coats etc.) should be secured (locked) in students' lockers - other than when they are in a student's possession. Student lockers remain at all times the property of college. They are lent to students for their convenience and for the temporary convenience of the college. In order to maintain good order and discipline, the college reserves the right to open and search lockers, whenever it is deemed to be necessary for the maintenance of safety, welfare, good order and discipline within the school.
The college does not accept responsibility for loss of students’ property, though all reasonable care is taken to ensure that loss does not occur. Students are advised to mark all their property clearly and indelibly.
Each item of student property, including school/gear bag should be clearly marked with the name and address of its owner. Emblems or slogans of any kind, with the exception of the college crest, are not to be worn in the college. Each student must use the desk assigned to him/her in the classroom as directed by a member of staff.
Classroom Absences & Attendance/ Leaving School Grounds
Students must be in class by 9:00am each morning, and attend all classes for the day.
Students coming late to school MUST be signed in by a parent/guardian. If a student wishes to leave the school early for whatever reason, they MUST be signed out by a parent/guardian.
Students shall not absent themselves from class without the express permission of the Principal or the Deputy Principal or, in the event of their unavailability, the teacher of the class from which they will be absent.
A ‘sick’ student should ensure that his/her class teachers are advised of the reason for his/her absence.
A student may not leave the college grounds between 9:00am-1:10pm and 1:50pm – 3:50pm, for whatever reason, without the express permission of the college authorities.
The college does not and cannot accept responsibility for students who absent themselves from the school for any purpose without prior permission from the college authorities. A note from a parent does not constitute permission to leave the school grounds; rather it constitutes a request from a parent/guardian for the college authorities to grant such permission.
If a student is absent from school his/her parents must contact the school before 10:00am on the day the absence occurs. A written explanation of the absence must accompany the student on their return to school. If no contact is made with the school on the day of the absence, the school will contact the parents by 11:00am.
Students are expected to change classes promptly - otherwise, valuable learning time is lost.
The whole atmosphere in the classroom is very important. Teaching and learning can only take place effectively in an environment where:
All homework (written and reading) is completed fully and promptly
There is silence while the teacher is teaching or another student is speaking;
Students concentrate on their work throughout the whole of the class;
There is an atmosphere of co-operation and courtesy;
Students have all required books and materials with them in class;
Students take notes or mark relevant sections of text as instructed by the teacher
Neither the teaching nor the learning is disrupted by the misbehaviour of some students.
The student journal is to be brought to each and every class, and should be available for inspection at all times. While the student journal provides a mechanism for daily communication between parents/guardians and the college, in the case of urgent matters, the college will contact the parents/guardians directly by ‘phone and, to this end, it is important that the college have all relevant parent/guardian ‘phone numbers at all times.
Where a parent/guardian has a concern about a matter relating to his/her sons’/daughters’ education or general development, he/she should feel free to request written records of student behaviour are maintained throughout a student's years at the college.
Where student behaviour is in breach of the Code of Conduct the following strategies may be utilised:
Minor breaches – reasoning with the student, reprimand including advice on how to improve, separation from peers or friends.
More serious or persistent breaches –negative discipline points added to their VS Ware account.
Serious and/or very persistent breaches – detention, parents/guardians invited to meet with principal and/or other member/s of staff.
Very serious and/or very persistent breaches – suspension or exclusion.
In the event of a student’s behaviour constituting a real threat to the safety of other students or staff, his/her parents/guardians will be required to withdraw the student from the college pending a full investigation of the matter by the college authorities.
Student Co-Operation and the College
Where a student persistently fails to co-operate with the college authorities or to show application in study commensurate with his/her abilities, the college may take disciplinary measures, including any or all of the following steps.
The Principal may write to the parents/guardians to apprise them of the situation and to advise them that, if there is no improvement, disciplinary action may follow.
The Principal may call in the parent/guardians and the student to meet with the Principal and Deputy Principal to agree a programme of improvement and to commit them to it.
If there is still no improvement the college authorities may require the parents/guardians of the student to re-apply for admission in the following year; and if they grant such application the authorities may attach such conditions as they consider necessary.
In addition to the steps outlined above, it is open to the college authorities to suspend or exclude a student for serious or persistent misbehaviour.