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. Our code 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 is  a kind, caring and orderly environment where students and staff experience freedom from harm and discrimination. The rich expression of diversity includes but is not limited to differences in physical, cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural abilities, socioeconomic status, race, religion and cultural, sexual orientation and gender.  Our diversity is also richly enhanced by our students of Indigenous ancestry. Anti-bullying measures will ensure all students 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, outside of regular school hours and online 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, recycling and organic material are placed in the appropriate containers. 

2. Participate to the best of their 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

  • being courteous in word and action towards others.
  • not discriminating against others based on differences in physical, cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural abilities, socioeconomic status, ancestry, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation and gender. 

 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 or firecrackers.
  • not using foul, offensive, or discriminatory language.
  • not using tobacco or vapour products on or around school property.
  • not engaging in online behaviour that is not in line with the school code of conduct.

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 required to meet with the school administration and subject to escalating consequences depending on the severity, nature and history of the student's conduct.  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 required to meet with the school administration and subject to escalating consequences and may be referred to the RCMP.

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.

Smoking, Tobacco and Vapour Products

In accordance with Sec 2.2 of the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and Board Policy 804, the use of tobacco and vapour products is banned on all public and private K-12 Schools in BC. 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, vapourizers, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco etc.
Students using, possessing, or being involved with tobacco, vapour, or smoking products (listed above) will face school consequences and will have any tobacco/vapour products confiscated.

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 or Firecrackers

The use, possession, sale, or purchase of any type of fireworks or firecrackers is expressly forbidden at or around schools due to the potential safety 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.).

Academic Honesty - 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 academic dishonesty.   

Consequences for Academic Dishonesty

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.
  • being required to meet with the grade administrator.
  • ineligibility to receive awards and scholarships.
  • 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 illustrate a spectrum 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, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, suspension of extra-curricular activities including sports, arts or graduation activities. 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 RCMP.

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 breach 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. 

Attendance does matter, even a few days. Research has shown that students who attend less than 90% of the time have greater academic struggles, disengage from school, and are at risk for not graduating. It also removes them from their social circles and can make it challenging for them to reintegrate back with friends if they have missed important social bonding situations. 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 natural and disciplinary consequences.
  • 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/truancy will result in disciplinary consequences from the classroom teacher, and, if necessary, from the administration.  
Extended Absences for Vacation

Removing your child from school for a family vacation is not in the best interest of their academic or social needs, even if they are successful learners.  Students very quickly get behind, fall out of the pattern of attending and can feel stressed and anxious about getting caught up again. While it is understood that some families may choose to vacation while school is in session, the Handsworth staff does not condone such absences due to their impact on student learning. Missed class time and learning opportunities cannot be replicated and some activities, ongoing assessments, and assignments may be impossible to “make-up.”

Students are responsible for all course Learning Standards including those missed during their time away; the student’s mark may be impacted. If a student is absent for family holidays or for other non-medical reasons, the school and teaching staff are not expected to make special arrangements for missed work and tests.

The responsibility for the decision to take a student out of school for vacation, and the consequences that result, rest solely with the student and their parent/guardian. While the school does not give approval for such absences, it is still necessary to complete an extended absence form to inform teacher(s). Forms are available in the Main office and is linked here: Extended Absence Form HSS 2324

Have your child book an appointment to meet with their teacher(s) upon return. Please note, teachers will not be able to provide one on one lessons for students who have missed classes.​ ​


Illness is an inevitable consequence of being in close contact with other children on a daily basis.  If your child is ill, by all means keep them at home. Please call the main office in the morning to report your child absent. You should have a plan to help them catch up on the work they have missed. Check the teacher's website for information on due dates and homework, establish a class "buddy" who will collect homework and handouts for your child. Encourage your child to see the teacher directly for support on concepts they are unclear on and may have missed due to illness.
However, if your child is chronically ill and missing many days, this is the time to seek medical support. Your child may have an undiagnosed condition or may be struggling from anxiety or depression. Any medical or mental health issue can make it difficult for a child to feel well enough to attend school. Worse, if they miss several consecutive days, particularly at the high school level, it becomes even more challenging to make up the missed work. As soon as you see a pattern of non-attendance with your child, particularly if they don't "seem sick" please follow up immediately with a health care professional.

Course Changes

Course changes require permission of a counsellor or administrator and must be done within the designated Course Change window. As per Ministry requirements, we cannot accommodate course changes or drops outside of the window. 

​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.
  • ​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 Assessments, and Other Forms of Assessment

Students and parents should be aware there are very specific policies, procedures, rules, and requirements for the writing of school and provincial assessments: 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:  https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/provincial/assessment   

Vehicles, Bikes and Skateboards

For the 2021-22 school year there is no designated student parking area. Failure to drive or ride with due care and attention on or around school property may result in the involvement of the RCMP.  Cars parked in fire lanes, prohibited areas or on school property other than designated parking stalls may be towed at the owner’s expense.

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, earthquake and lockdown 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 Handsworth) 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 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 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.

For the 2023-2024 school year lockers will be assigned by request.

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 406

For information resolving concerns regarding personnel, programs or procedures, please visit the NVSD website www.sd44.ca​. Review information can be found under Administration/Policies and Procedures/400 Series.​​

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 Board of Education/Policies and Procedures/900 Series, Board Bylaws/Bylaw 906.​​

BC Ministry of Education School Act​