École Handsworth Secondary
North Vancouver School District
Code of Conduct





Statement of Purpose

The Handsworth Code of Student Conduct and Social Responsibility is a product of collaboration among the staff, students, Parent Advisory Council and School Planning Council of Handsworth. We include this Code in the Student and Teacher Agenda as a reference guide, and as a public statement of the foundational principles of our safe, caring, and successful learning environment.  This Code also appears on our website, and is actively taught to students, both in classrooms and in grade assemblies.  It is reviewed annually, along with student conduct trends, to ensure its applicability to emerging situations, its relevance to ongoing research, its extension of Family of School elementary school codes, and its compatibility with other secondary school codes.  All members of the Handsworth school community are expected to read, understand, and abide by this code.  Handsworth Secondary School should be a kind, caring and orderly environment where students and staff experience freedom from harm and discrimination because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of the person or class of persons.  Anti-bullying measures will ensure all students, regardless of their sex, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, enjoy a safe, inclusive and welcoming learning environment.  Expectations for student behaviour and participation in active learning are based on requirements set out by the School Act of British Columbia, The B.C. Human Rights Code, the Board of School Trustees of North Vancouver School District, and the Handsworth School staff and administration. The Code reflects the school's intention to preserve for all students and staff a safe, non-discriminatory, and welcoming atmosphere for purposeful learning and social interaction. It is also designed to establish and maintain appropriate balances among individual and collective rights, freedoms, and responsibilities.

Additionally, the Handsworth Code of Conduct provides guidelines for student behaviour while under the jurisdiction of the school: during the school day, while travelling to and from school, and during any school-sponsored activity or event. It also extends to student behaviour – off school property and outside of regular school hours – that may have a negative impact on the learning environment of the school, on the safety or learning of one or more students, or on the reputation of the school. 




Develop positive attitudes and behaviour by

  • allowing others to work without distraction or undue noise.
  • moving around hallways and grounds without causing harm to others
  • caring for school property and equipment.
  • using language free from profanity.
  • dressing in clean, appropriate clothing.
  • ensuring that litter is placed in containers. 

2. Participate to the best of his/her ability in school programs by

  • working to achieve the objectives set forth for each class session.
  • being neat and thorough in completing assignments.
  • bringing appropriate equipment and materials to class.
  • asking for assistance with school life. There is a wide variety of resources available to help students when needed, including student services, teachers’ tutorial time, etc.
  • upon return from an absence, immediately conferencing with teachers outside of class time to address missed work. Missed work must be completed and submitted as requested by the teacher.

3. Attend school on a regular basis as demonstrated by

  •  attending each class regularly and punctually.
  •  being absent only for significant reason.
  •  bringing a note or having a parent telephone the school for each absence or late arrival.
  •  realizing that absence without sufficient reason and/or tardiness will have consequences.

 4. Respect the feelings of others by

  • be courteous in word and action to others.
  • not discriminating against others based on race, colour, age, ancestry,  place of origin, religion, family status, physical or mental disability, gender, or sexual orientation. 

 5. Respect the property of others by

  • not taking the property of others.
  • not damaging or hiding the property of others.
  • not defacing or damaging lockers, textbooks, or other school property.
  • being environmentally responsible by disposing of garbage and recyclables in the appropriate receptacles.

6. Avoid conduct that interferes with others’ health and safety by

  • not using physical violence, verbal threats, bullying, intimidation or harassment in or around the school.
  • not possessing weapons or imitation. weapons in or around the school.
  • not causing false fire alarms.
  • not possessing, using or selling fireworks.
  • not using foul, offensive, or discriminatory language.

7. Respect, and, if desirable, participate in appropriate decision-making processes by

  • understanding and contributing to the efforts of Students’ Council, Grad Council, and other duly established school groups and clubs.
  • communicating concerns to Students’ Council grade representatives
  • participating in surveys and other information-gathering measures enacted by the school system.

8. Use procedures of due process when necessary by

  • discussing problems with relevant people, be they fellow students, teachers, parents, counsellors, or administrators.
  • seeking adult support by reporting any form of intimidation, bullying, harassment, or discrimination to a staff member.



The following section outlines examples of misbehaviour that seriously undermines the safe and orderly functioning of the school. Students involved in these actions can expect serious consequences from the school (see Consequences for Misbehaviour).

Drugs and Alcohol

Students found using, possessing, or being with others involved with drugs or alcohol at school or at school-sponsored events, will be suspended and referred to the C.A.T.S. (Constructive Alternatives to Teen Suspension) Program.  Subsequent involvement in drugs or alcohol will require a Re-Entry Plan (explained in the Consequences section) to return to school.  Any student found supplying drugs or alcohol to others will be suspended, and/or referred to an outside agency or the police. Please note that if residual evidence or other indicators lead staff to suspect drug or alcohol use, students may still face disciplinary action. The Handsworth administration will rarely discriminate between direct and indirect exposure to prohibited substances. It is for this reason that students should not remain in the company of those using drugs or alcohol.

Violence, Swearing, Bullying, Intimidation, Harassment, and Discrimination

Incidents such as fighting, bullying, intimidation, verbal abuse, swearing, hazing, taunting, inappropriate physical touching, harassment, or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated.  Students involved directly or indirectly in any of these behaviours can expect strong disciplinary action from the school, including police involvement. Students who incite others to engage in inappropriate behaviours, or who seek retribution against those who have reported incidents, will also face discipline. When any of these actions are carried out through electronic communication (e.g. by phone or Internet), even outside of school hours and off school property, the school may still take action when the welfare and learning environment of Handsworth students are potentially compromised.


Weapons of all kinds including any object used to simulate a weapon are expressly forbidden at school. Students involved with weapons will be suspended and may be referred to the police.

Defiance of Staff

Students are expected to adhere to the authority and direction of staff members.  In serious cases, consequences for defiance to staff may include suspension or withdrawal from Handsworth.

Truancy and Chronic Absenteeism

Teachers will inform parents of unexcused absences. Students absent from classes without a valid reason will be subject to progressive disciplinary steps ranging from detention to suspension.

Smoking and Tobacco Products

In accordance with Bill 10 (The Tobacco Control Act) and Board Policy 804, all schools are to be totally tobacco-free. These regulations apply to

  • Students, parents, and school employees.  
  • School visitors, on-site workers, and  guests.
  • Anyone attending non-school activities in schools or on school grounds.
  • Anyone in school vehicles
  • Anyone in private vehicles parked on school property
  • All tobacco products such as cigarettes, chewing tobacco etc.

Theft, Damage to Property, and Vandalism

Students who damage or steal school property or the property of others, regardless of intent (e.g. prank), may be suspended and expected to pay for replacement or repairs.  Deliberate vandalism of school property, including graffiti, may result in suspension.  Anyone who accidentally damages something or witnesses damage around the school should inform the office or a staff member immediately.

Possession, Use, Sale, or Purchase of Any Type of Fireworks

The use, possession, sale, or purchase of any type of fireworks is expressly forbidden at or around schools due to the potential hazards they pose, and to the disruption they cause to the learning environment.

Causing a False Emergency Alarm

Emergency bells and procedures exist for student and staff safety.

Students found causing false emergencies of any kind can expect strong action from the school, including suspension and police involvement.

Disrespect for the Community

Be respectful of our neighbours in the community. Do not intrude onto private property, leave garbage, gather in large groups, or use offensive language.

Unauthorized Gatherings and Unsafe Activity on School Property

Students who gather on school property without permission may face disciplinary consequences ranging from a warning to suspension and police involvement. Additionally, anyone on school property at any time should refrain from unsafe activities in and on school structures (e.g. the school roof, fences, storage containers, stairwells, railings etc.).

Cheating and Plagiarism

Cheating is the use of unauthorized materials, items, or devices to gain an unfair advantage in schoolwork (especially tests), and includes copying another’s work, and allowing one’s work to be copied by another.

Plagiarism is a form of cheating that involves claiming another’s ideas or writing as one’s own without proper acknowledgement. The term applies equally to an entire assignment, or any part of it. Submitting assignments done by others, including assignments downloaded from the web without references will be seen as a form of dishonesty.   

Consequences for Cheating and Plagiarism

Confirmed incidences of cheating and plagiarism will be recorded in the student’s discipline file. Additional information on plagiarism is included under “Responsible Use of the Internet”.

Possible consequences for first occurrence of cheating  or plagiarism include

  • receiving a zero for the assignment or test.
  • being required to explain one's actions to a parent, and the parent contacting the teacher before the student returns to class.
  • having all of one's teachers informed of the incident.
  • being required to meet with the grade administrator.

Possible consequences for a second occurrence of cheating or plagiarism include

  • a letter in the student's permanent file.
  • a failing grade in the course.
  • removal from the course.
  • ineligibility for the honour roll.
  • ineligibility for the Passport to Education.
  • ineligibility to receive awards and scholarships
  • ineligibility to participate in grad events.
  • ineligibility to enroll or re-enroll in a course.
  • ineligibility to have a reference letter written by the administration.


The Handsworth staff and administration consider misbehaviour to fall on a continuum of seriousness: the less serious end is exemplified by occasional lateness to class; the more serious end by violence with a weapon. These two extremes imply a graduated range of behaviour that necessitates a corresponding range of responses. The school’s responses to misbehaviour will be rational, consistent, and fair. Disciplinary action, whenever possible, will be preventative and restorative, rather than merely punitive. The administration will take into account factors such as the severity and frequency of the offence(s), as well as the age, maturity, and ability of the student in question. In most cases, as students mature, there is the expectation of increased responsibility and self-discipline; therefore, progressively increasing consequences for misbehaviour may apply. Considering these background factors, consequences may include, but may not be limited to, verbal warning, parental contact, written and/or in-person apology to victims, written learning packages, detention, in-school suspension, community service, out-of-school suspension, or referral to an alternate educational program as determined by the board. Contraventions of the Criminal Code (such as involvement with drugs and alcohol, violence, threats of violence, possession of a weapon or replica, vandalism, theft, causing a false emergency alarm etc.) will involve suspension, and, if applicable, a Re-Entry Plan (explained below). In addition, these cases usually require the involvement of the police.


Suspension and the Re-Entry Plan

In the case of a suspension from school, a student’s continuance at Handsworth is contingent upon the successful completion and commitment to the school Re-Entry Plan . The purpose of the Re-Entry Plan is to provide meaningful consequences in an educationally purposeful way that will impress upon the student the importance of taking responsibility, and being accountable for his or her actions.  It is hoped that an outcome of the successful completion and commitment to the Re-Entry Plan will be personal growth as a function of learning from one’s mistakes. Details of Re-Entry Plans are determined on a case-by-case-basis and will be communicated clearly to the students and parents involved.



Depending on the seriousness of a particular breech of the Code of Conduct and Social Responsibility, school administrators may have the responsibility of informing other parties. For example:

  • Parents of the offender.
  • Parents of the victim(s).
  • School staff.
  • School district officials, as required by district policy.
  • Police and/or other agencies, as required, or allowed, by law.
  • All parents.



All visitors are required to report to the Main Office upon arrival.

Students are not to invite visitors to Handsworth, and should make arrangements to meet them away from the school grounds outside of school hours. By the same token, Handsworth students should not visit other schools when they are in session.

School-Sponsored Activities

Students participating in school-sponsored activities such as athletic competitions, field trips, work experience, etc., will be considered as having an excused absence for any class missed due to the activity. However, they are still responsible for any missed work in these classes. Students will not have to bring a note from their parent/guardian to be allowed to make up the missed work as long as the teacher permission form has been signed by all the student's teachers.  


Students registered at Handsworth are expected to attend school and be on time for all scheduled classes. Parents are expected to support the school in these matters by seeing that their son/daughter is in attendance and on time. We believe at Handsworth that regular attendance is a prerequisite to enable learners to develop their individual potential and to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to contribute to a healthy society and a prosperous economy. Absenteeism interferes with teachers’ assessment of student learning . Students are responsible for completing the course requirements when they are absent.

Attendance Expectations

  • Parents are expected to contact the school by telephone to excuse their child’s legitimate absence from school, be it for one class, or the entire day. Students living on their own are expected to call the school.
  • Students who demonstrate ongoing poor attendance may face disciplinary consequences ranging from detention to withdrawal from Handsworth.
  • Teachers will report poor attendance and punctuality to parents / guardians through a variety of reporting methods.
  • Parents electing to take students out of school for extended periods for reasons other than illness, such as vacations, do so at the risk of affecting the student's achievement. In such cases, students and parents are encouraged to make prior contact with teachers. Please note that teachers are not required to provide additional tutoring services, materials, or tests for such absences.
  • Students who arrive late to class may be required to provide documentation from a parent, staff member, or administrator.
  • Unexcused lateness will result in disciplinary consequences from the classroom teacher, and, if necessary, from the administration.  

Course Changes

Course changes require permission of a counsellor or administrator.   


Dress Code

Part of the school’s role is to prepare youth for life beyond school years, and students should dress in a manner appropriate for a work or business setting.

Apparel at school should

  • allow for individual difference, style, and expression.
  • demonstrate respect for a school / business environment.
  • be appropriate for the intended activity.
  • demonstrate respect for the rights and perspectives of others.

Apparel at school should not

  • be offensive or distracting,
  • be sexually provocative and/or revealing.
  • promote use of illegal drugs or alcohol, violence, weapons, or display offensive language / images.
  • promote values in conflict with school / community values. (e.g. racism, sexism, discrimination of any kind, etc.).

Electronic Devices

The use of any electronic devices during class time is subject to the teacher’s instructions, and must not otherwise interfere with educational processes.  The unauthorized use of any electronic device in relation to any form of assessment (e.g. assignment, quiz, test, or exam) will be treated as cheating according to school, district, and Ministry of Education policy.


School Exams, Provincial Exams, and Other Forms of Assessment

Students and parents should be aware that there are very specific policies, procedures, rules, and requirements for the writing of school and provincial exams: punctuality, allowable materials, electronic devices, consequences for cheating, etc. Handsworth applies provincial exam policies to the administration of school exams and other forms of assessment. This information is made publicly available on our website. Students and parents are also encouraged to review provincial exam policies and procedures on the Ministry of Education website : http://www.gov.bc.ca/bced/ .


Vehicles and Skateboards

Student vehicles must be parked in the designated student parking area in the north portion of the parking lot. There is no fee for this service. Failure to drive with due care and attention on or around school property will result in the denial of further parking privileges, and may also involve the police. Cars parked in fire lanes or other prohibited areas may be towed at the owner’s expense. Skateboards are not to be used on school property for obvious safety reasons.


Emergency Alarms and Drills

Students must be prepared to vacate the building whenever an alarm is sounded. It is always important to stay calm and follow the instructions of any staff member. The emergency procedures for fire and earthquake will be explained in your homeroom and posted in each classroom.


Snowfall Procedures

During heavy snowfall, schools will remain open unless declared otherwise. Please refer to the NVSD website by 7:00 am, or listen to local radio broadcasts for school closure messages. When school remains in session and traffic is compromised by snow, students are encouraged to walk to school. If driven to school, students should be dropped off at the nearest major intersection (e.g. Capilano and Edgewood) to reduce traffic congestion near the school.


Medical Concerns

A student who feels ill while at school is asked to report to the reception desk in the main office. Accidents and emergencies should be reported to the office as soon as possible. The office staff will attempt to contact parents as soon as possible if a student should be sent home or should seek medical attention. In serious cases, the school will call an ambulance. All medical alert information must be reported to the office annually at time of registration. Please be aware that the school staff and administration do not administer medications.  



Lockers are the property of North Vancouver School District #44. The school administration reserves the right to administer a damage-to-locker fine ($15) and/or to revoke locker privileges for neglect or abuse of the locker. As well, the administration reserves the right to gain access to the locker at any time. Students are assigned lockers through their homerooms at the beginning of the school year, and must retain their assigned locker unless they receive permission to change lockers. Students are responsible for the cleanliness and orderliness of their lockers - inside and outside. P.E. lockers are available for day use only, and students must purchase their own locks for this purpose. All lockers must be secured at all times. The school administration and staff are not responsible or liable for lost or stolen articles. 


Students are assigned textbooks by their subject teacher, who will keep a record of serial numbers. Students must return their book in good condition upon the request of the teacher or at the conclusion of the course. There is no rental charge; however, a student who loses or damages a textbook will be assessed a replacement or damage fee. Refunds will be issued if lost textbooks are found and returned to the Administrative Assistant. 

Policy 906

For information regarding possible review of a particular action taken by the school or district, please visit the NVSD website ( www.sd44.ca ). Review information can be found under Administration/Policies and Procedures/900 Series, Board Bylaws/Bylaw 906.​​

​BC Ministry of Education School Act​