Common Policies at École
Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu

Occupational Health and Safety Policies

The Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu School (the "School") adheres to Canadian health and safety regulations in accordance with the CSA Z1000-14 management standard and reviews it, if necessary, on an annual basis.

The Board of the Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu School commits to building a healthy and safe work environment and to integrating occupational health and safety (OHS) into all of the School's teaching and learning activities.

The Board commits to complying with the legal requirements of OHS and to consider them as a minimum standard and not a maximum.

The Board commits to maintaining a healthy and safe workplace for the School's staff and to the accountability of all management levels of the School through ongoing consultations and exemplary cooperation for the maximum effectiveness of teaching programs and curriculum updates.

The Board is committed to the continuous improvement of OHS policies in the analysis of objectives and targets sought.

The Board is committed to implementing the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1 and its updates where required.

The Board commits to promoting awareness of health and safety, as well as the prevention of personal injuries at work in implementing the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c. 16, Schedule A and its updates where required.

Finally, the Board commits to the public dissemination of OHS policies and to budget management.

Board approval date: November 2022.

Harassment Policies and Professional Standards in the Workplace

École Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu ("the School") is a private Roman Catholic school dedicated to creating a work and learning environment that promotes, among other things, mutual respect while honoring the dignity and worth of each member of the School - students, parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, management, benefactors, and counselors. As such, the Board recognizes that everyone has the right to an environment free from harassment and discrimination, including but not limited to sexual harassment in the workplace. All students, parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, and management share the responsibility for creating, encouraging, and maintaining an environment in which such practices simply do not exist.

For all students, parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, and management, the School guarantees:

  1. A safe and hazard-free environment;
  2. Protection against false allegations for students, parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, and management;
  3. And declares a "zero tolerance" for any form of abuse and negligence.

In this regard, the School conducts criminal background checks on all teachers, assistants, volunteers, counselors, and management on an annual basis through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), Enhanced Police Information Check (E-PIC), and, if applicable, Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC). The verification is validated by sharing the results with two of the aforementioned verification agencies.

Within the School, these checks cover the following daily realities:

  1. The prohibition of any physical punishment or inappropriate verbal or disciplinary measures;
  2. The presence of two adults in authority so that no adult is ever alone with a child;
  3. Explanation of health and safety measures to prevent child neglect;
  4. Supervision of age-appropriate restroom use;
  5. Refraining from activities that could easily lead to allegations of abuse or harassment, such as unsupervised internet access, unauthorized photographs of children, or transportation by a parent, teacher, assistant, volunteer, benefactor, counselor, and management alone with a child;
  6. Obtaining written parental consent for a child to participate in an organized outdoor activity;
  7. Implementing a social media policy for controlling appropriate content within communication and its confidentiality;
  8. Storage of confidential documents for all teachers, assistants, volunteers, including CPIC, E-PIC, and VSC;
  9. Annual internal review, including an annual report to the Board.


  1. All persons employed by École Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu, all parents, assistants and volunteers, as well as all members of the Board, are subject to this policy, as are all persons who visit the School.
  2. This policy applies to all activities within the School related to learning activities, including but not limited to extracurricular activities, outings, and any other activities.
  3. Everyone within École Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu is expected to assist in the implementation of this policy and to demonstrate behavior that honors the dignity of the Virgin Mary, from whom it derives its name, as well as the diversity of all persons associated with the School, and to display a professional attitude that promotes mutual respect in the workplace. Each member of the Board is also expected to participate, voluntarily and in good faith, in any informal conflict resolution or formal complaint and investigation processes in which provocative and malicious behavior has been identified.
  4. All persons employed by École Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu are expected to participate in the implementation of this policy through a proper understanding of it and proportionate actions. Under the Education Act, R.S.O. 1990, persons in positions of authority have an obligation to maintain a harassment-free work environment. In this regard:
    1. The Director will be a model of professional conduct and respect;
    2. Ensure that employees have full access to conflict resolution policies and any related informal process;
    3. Intervene when employees believe that unacceptable behavior has occurred, even in the absence of a concrete complaint;
    4. Respect the rights of all parties through confidential, fair, and equitable processes in responding to complaints.
  5. Workplace harassment is defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code as "engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome." Prohibited grounds of discrimination include, but are not limited to: race, ancestry, place of origin, skin color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, age, record of offenses, marital status, family status, and disability.
  6. Harassment based on prohibited grounds may occur when behavior 1) is reasonably perceived as offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, or degrading to another person or group of persons; 2) has the purpose of interfering with a person's work or creating a work environment that is intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive. Generally, harassment requires conduct in which behavioral sequences or more than one incident are normally required for a harassment case to be possible. However, depending on the severity and incidence of behavior, a single incident can constitute harassment if it is found to be sufficiently offensive, threatening, or intimidating. Regarding gender as a ground, the Ontario Human Rights Code, section 7.3, also states that everyone has the right to be free from sexual solicitation or advances.


  1. If you believe you are the subject of any form of inappropriate behavior, request that the behavior cease in any form. Sometimes, without realizing it, the behavior will change as they are asked to stop. Speak to the person involved calmly and professionally, describing the nature of the alleged behavior with factual statements. However, if you do not feel comfortable doing so, review the above-mentioned harassment policy scope and implement the most appropriate recommendations. Then:
    1. If the contentious nature of the behavior is not resolved, a formal complaint should be considered if such intervention is required;
    2. The Education Act requires École Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu to take appropriate measures where harassment appears, even if the complainant no longer wishes to proceed with the formal complaint;
    3. The complainant must document the undesirable behavior in writing a report, which includes the time and date of the incident, the names of the people involved, and the circumstances of the incident.
  2. It is the Board's view that employees have resource choices and opportunities to contact external parties if necessary to discuss the issue in complete confidentiality in order to resolve the incident in the best possible way. External sources may include, but are not limited to, the Director, the Academic Coordinator, a counselor, or a member of the Board.
  3. Any investigation and discussion at this stage will be treated confidentially, and the employee is under no obligation to file a formal complaint. Within the process for prohibited grounds of discrimination, opportunities arise to further discuss and clarify the details of the incident and the fears experienced, review the details of policies and procedures, and then find avenues for amicable mutual reconciliation.
  4. If informal attempts to resolve the conflict are unsuccessful, a formal investigation will take place. To initiate the formal investigation, the employee must provide a written official complaint with fully detailed harassment allegations and specific documentation including the people involved, dates, locations, times, and any other supporting examples of the written complaint. Once the document is completed, send it to the Director.
  5. An employee has the right to withdraw an official complaint. They must then notify the Director in writing. However, it should be understood that École Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu may be obliged to continue the investigation process with the official complaint where specific indicators of inappropriate behavior or harassment exist beyond doubt. To ensure the impartiality of the process, a fact-finding investigation will be conducted promptly. The investigation will then be conducted by an external professional appointed by the Director. The Director will forward a copy of the written complaint to the appointed person within five (5) working days of receiving the written complaint. The investigation or fact-finding investigation will begin fifteen (15) working days after the previous step, unless circumstances indicate a different timeline.
  6. The investigator will conduct individual interviews with the complainant and the respondent so that each person has the full opportunity to provide information related to the allegations. Any additional information related to the complaint may be provided to the investigator by both the complainant and the respondent to ensure full disclosure of all possible information related to the allegations.
  7. Any individual who witnessed the incident or who can provide directly relevant information to the investigation will also be interviewed.
  8. All parties and witnesses have the right to a third-party counsel, a counsel present during interviews and able to provide relevant advice.
  9. Once relevant information has been gathered, the investigator will submit it to the Director confidentially.
  10. During the process, the employee, the alleged harasser ("the respondent"), and any witnesses will be instructed not to discuss the official complaint or investigation unless necessary to obtain information about their rights under the Education Act.
  11. This confidential report will not be provided to any of the parties (complainant, respondent, witness, counsel) playing any role, direct or indirect, in the complaint proceedings, unless required by the Education Act. In the event of external investigations by parties, disclosures of evidence may be required for the investigation or for any corrective action.
  12. Based on the findings of the fact-finding and investigation, the Director will determine whether the Board's policies have been violated and what type of action will be taken.
  13. The complainant and the respondent will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation within ten (10) working days after the conclusion of the investigation.
  14. The investigation will be completed within ninety (90) working days from the date it started, unless mitigating circumstances.
  15. Once the investigation is concluded, corrective measures may include, but are not limited to, mediation, support measures, training, formal written apologies, warnings, changes to job assignments, disciplinary measures in accordance with the Board's policies found, among other things, in the employee's contract, dismissal. If disciplinary measures are taken, they will be noted in the employee's file. The consequences of disciplinary measures may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Restricted access to the School, while any employee witnessing a violation of such restriction by the respondent may also receive sanctions;
    2. Unpaid leave of indefinite duration;
    3. Dismissal.
  16. In the case of false accusations, due to the seriousness of the nature of an official written complaint, such action constitutes a grave sin and must therefore be proscribed. The complainant may then incur sanctions, except for mitigating circumstances.

Bullying Policies

Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu ("the School") is a private Roman Catholic school dedicated to classical education through academic rigor inherited from the Brothers of Christian Instruction and the Marist Brothers, who profess a discipline inspired by the moral guidance of the Practice of Christian Education by Father Monfat. The soul receives instruction through self-mastery, which is practiced empirically. At the School, the approach to discipline includes, among other things, a policy on bullying and the administrative procedures that stem from it, the Bullying Prevention Plan.


Bullying is a behavior that is both persuasive and abusive, considered aggressive, where coercion, constraint, and moral pressure cause harm, fear, or distress to others. Bullying is motivated by peripheral or intrinsic factors such as prejudice, physical appearance, athletic competitiveness, money and social status, disability, gender, race, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, academic performance, or family background.

The Education and Bullying Act, 2012 (Bill 13) describes the rights and responsibilities of the Board and all students, parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, and the administration with regard to bullying prevention and intervention. The Act applies to all forms of bullying that disrupt the school climate, including acts of bullying that occur both inside and outside the School or during in-person or virtual interactions.

However, as a non-subsidized private school, the School is not regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Education but nonetheless complies with the requirements and legal provisions of Bill 13 mentioned above where applicable.

It is PROHIBITED for the Board, students, parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, or the administration to post comments about the School, the Board, students, parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, or the administration on appreciative or critical websites of the School that publish opinions, remarks, congratulations, advice, or blame, whether these opinions, remarks, congratulations, advice, or blame are positive, neutral, or negative. Immediate disciplinary measures will be implemented upon the discovery or sharing of such opinions, remarks, congratulations, advice, or blame, ranging from warning to expulsion.

Justification: these opinions, remarks, congratulations, advice, or blame are an integral part of bullying (electronically), i.e., cyberbullying, whether these opinions, remarks, congratulations, advice, or blame are positive, neutral, or negative, and are thus subject to sanctions, ranging from warning to expulsion.


Disciplinary measures, in accordance with Regulation 472/07 of the Ontario Education Act: Any manifestation of bullying is subject to a warning or the full or partial expulsion of the offending student. However, the full or partial expulsion of the offending student is to be carefully considered based on the conclusions of various meetings with the administration regarding the student's recurrence, the level of mutual forgiveness, and the cooperation of the parents of the parties involved.

Mitigating factors and other circumstances in a full or partial expulsion decision:

  1. The student is unable to control their behavior;
  2. The student is unable to understand the foreseeable consequences of their behavior;
  3. The student's unique situation;
  4. The current situation of an ongoing progressive discipline procedure;
  5. How the expulsion would affect the student's education;
  6. How the expulsion would worsen or improve the student's behavior.


  1. The School will actively promote the code of conduct detailed in the annual registration documents for each student;
  2. The School, through its teaching, will a) differentiate between conflict, aggression, and teasing; b) explain the concepts of power, peer dynamics, and relationships; and c) identify signs and underlying factors of bullying;
  3. Parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, counselors, and the administration will receive training on safety and bullying detection factors during scheduled professional development days on the school calendar;
  4. Anonymous surveys on safety, the educational climate, and bullying will be offered to students every quarter for statistical purposes.


A targeted student generally lives in fear and shame; they will ask their parents not to report their aggressor to the School's administration. To stop the bullying, teachers, assistants, volunteers, counselors, and the administration must be informed. It is also up to the student to identify a trusted person among the teachers, assistants, volunteers, counselors, or the administration and invite them to contact the parents. Such a student may enjoy an overly protective family environment, may be victimized by their relatives, or may be alone and isolated.

It is dangerous for the targeted student to risk depression, social phobia, forced loneliness, increased absenteeism, frequent headaches, or suicidal thoughts.


A bullying student targets either another student or a teacher, assistant, volunteer, or counselor. Such a student does not understand the social responsibility that comes with their duty as a student. They are either violent within the family, sympathetic to violence, frustrated, angry, authoritarian, manipulative, secretive about their possessions and activities, in denial of their behavior, or susceptible to influence.

It is dangerous for the bullying student to no longer recognize right from wrong, to engage in various forms of delinquency, to experience academic difficulties, and to have relationship problems.

Privacy Protection Policy


  1. The Board is committed to privacy protection and recognizes that all its employees are responsible for safeguarding personal, confidential, and sensitive information entrusted to it;
  2. The Board acknowledges its responsibilities in building public trust and respecting privacy;
  3. The Board acknowledges that a culture of privacy needs to be integrated into daily practices to support the needs and expectations of parents, students, and staff regarding information security and the protection of personal information;
  4. The Board acknowledges its responsibilities in developing privacy strategies for all staff;
  5. When there is a breach of privacy, the Board follows the detailed protocol as follows:
    1. A breach of privacy occurs when personal information is lost, stolen, or subject to unauthorized access, which is contrary to the Ontario Laws on Access to Information and Protection of Privacy. This personal information includes, but is not limited to, the loss of computers, personal devices, and/or communication equipment containing personal information. Under privacy laws, individuals must be informed when their personal information is involved in a privacy breach;
    2. If staff become aware of a privacy breach, they must immediately notify the Director so that immediate actions can be taken to mitigate the consequences.


  1. For awareness of privacy protection among all employees, these policies will be reviewed annually;
  2. The Board provides training on privacy strategies for all employees and on the importance of protecting personal information and individual privacy rights;
  3. The Board will follow its protocol (Policy §5) in the event of privacy breaches to address potential threats;
  4. The Board is committed to maintaining and protecting the integrity of personal information and confidential information under its custody or control;
  5. If an individual believes their privacy rights have been violated, they may file a written complaint with the Director, who will, in turn, conduct an investigation into the complaint;
  6. Members of Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu must report any privacy breaches, whether confirmed or suspected, to the Director.


A privacy breach refers to the loss, unauthorized access, or unauthorized disclosure of personal information under the custody or control of the Board. Situations that can lead to a privacy breach include the theft or loss of computer equipment, including mobile devices containing personal information, or unauthorized access to personal information that is not necessary for performing professional tasks.

Personal information refers to information recorded about an identifiable individual, including their address, gender, age, education, medical or professional history, and other information about the person under the custody or control of the Board.

Record refers to information created, received, and retained, regardless of the medium and format, for the purpose of evidence, transactions, or information by the Board in the context of legal obligations or business activities.

Policy on Generative Tools

Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu ("the School") is a private Roman Catholic school dedicated to classical education through academic rigor inherited from the Brothers of Christian Instruction and the Marist Brothers. The academic approach and ethics include, among other things, writing texts and dissertations by hand, where students, using dictionaries and encyclopedias, apply their acquired knowledge and research without the assistance of a computer, calculator (except for mathematics 9th-12th grade), or smartphone.

Policy — Subordination of a Case in a Discipline Decision

  1. All material submitted by a student for assignments (essays, dissertations), exercises, homework, or exams must be original, with the notable exception of using an electronic calculator for mathematics 9th-12th grade;
  2. The student must be the sole author of the assignment (essay, dissertation), exercise, homework, or exam;
  3. All text, diagrams, drawings, figures, or tables must be original;
  4. Any copying of material from the Internet (unless explicitly cited following the guidelines of the Chicago Manual of Style) or from a generative tool (ChatGPT) is strictly prohibited and considered plagiarism;
  5. All forms of plagiarism are prohibited and may lead to failure or expulsion in case of recurrence.

Observations — Reasoning behind a Discipline Decision

Artificial intelligence incorporates a mistaken understanding of language and knowledge, undermining the ethics of academic approach, learning, and knowledge sharing advocated by the School (entities like "Open AI," "ChatGPT," Google's "Bard," or Microsoft's "Sydney" are included here). This is because artificial intelligence claims that mechanical thinking surpasses human thinking, which is incorrect (it is a false anthropological dichotomy): generative tools are statistical machines designed for pattern recognition, while the human mind can infinitely combine finite meanings and discover ideas with universal implications, which characterizes and differentiates it from a machine.

The comparison between a descriptor and a comparator is like the difference between "an apple falls" and "an apple will fall if I open my hand." However, the human mind thinks and says, "the apple wouldn't have fallen if not for the force of gravity." This involves a causal mechanism that balances creativity and constraint, something a generative tool, by definition, is ontologically incapable of doing.

Freedom of Information Act

In Ontario, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act), R.S.O. 1990 c. M.56, grants all citizens the right to access information held by certain provincial institutions, subject to exceptions contained within it. The Act also contains provisions related to the protection of privacy, as outlined in the Privacy Protection Policy within the Common Policies of Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu.

Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu adopts a policy of openness and public access to documents it holds, subject to the provisions of the Act and the Education Act. The school delegates its responsibilities for the management and security of such documents to the Director. The Director, in the interest of enhancing transparency, provides access to the concerned public for documents that are publicly accessible, with due consideration to the privacy protection of requesters, by regulating the collection, use, disclosure, and retention of their personal information and the personal information of the public members targeted by these documents.

Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu is required to make certain documents accessible to the concerned public upon request, unless such documents or a portion thereof fall within an exception provided in the Act or the Education Act, or if the access request is deemed frivolous or vexatious. A completed and signed access request is processed within thirty (30) business days of its receipt by the Director, unless it is necessary to extend the processing time. The Director's response will inform the requester whether access is granted or denied to the requested document, in whole or in part, along with the reasons for such decision. If access is granted, the requester may, by appointment only, review the requested documents on-site.

Access to information requests must be made in writing and accompanied by the prescribed fees.

Please complete the form and submit it to the Director's office.

Social Media Policies

Sainte-Marie Mère de Dieu ("the School") prohibits the use of mobile phones in classrooms, during lunch, recess, and outings. The use of social media is strictly prohibited except for a platform of anonymous communication among teachers, assistants, volunteers, the Director, and the Council. Such a platform remains solely a work tool and is used exclusively for that purpose.

However, public speech can cause serious issues on a social medium and requires regulation.

Objectives — the policy aims to:

  1. Promote exclusively professional use of social media;
  2. Create awareness among students, parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, and the School's administration of their civil and potentially criminal responsibility, as well as the consequences of their behavior on social media;
  3. Guide parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, and the administration in respectful use of communication and collaboration tools.


  1. Everything posted online leaves a permanent, visible trace and can become public without the author's mandatory consent;
  2. It is expected that parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, and the administration exercise professional discernment and keen judgment in the use of social media;
  3. The privacy of students, parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, and the administration of the School must be protected.

Written permission signed by the Director must govern the use of social media by parents, teachers, assistants, and volunteers.


The ethical standards of this policy require parents, teachers, assistants, volunteers, benefactors, counselors, and the administration of the School to:

  1. Identify themselves and express themselves in a relevant, respectful, and constructive manner towards any legal entity in published content, as such content may be interpreted by someone else as the School's position;
  2. Not speak on behalf of the School;
  3. Avoid familiarity with a student, parent, teacher, assistant, volunteer, benefactor, counselor, or with the Director;
  4. Refrain from disclosing personal content or information about a student, parent, teacher, assistant, volunteer, benefactor, counselor, or the Director;
  5. Obtain written consent signed by the individual concerned and the Director before publishing a photograph of a student, parent, teacher, assistant, volunteer, benefactor, counselor, or the Director, and strictly adhere to the decision of said person in case of refusal;
  6. Obtain written consent from the Director and approval from the Council for any use of the School's logo.

Failure to comply with the standards described above may result in dismissal, civil or criminal litigation, or arbitration before the Ontario Labour Relations Board.