Fair Notice to Parents/Guardians

Fair Notice to Parents/Guardians September 2021


Dear Parents/Guardians:


The Halton District School Board is committed to a whole school approach to creating safe, caring, equitable, and inclusive school environments for all students, staff, and members of the school community. The Board supports all students in developing healthy relationships, making good choices, continuing their learning, and achieving success. In order to support the development of safe and accepting school environments, the Board has a boardwide Code of Conduct.

To help uphold these commitments the Halton District School Board is a signatory and active partner in the region wide Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) Protocol along with many community partners. This Protocol enables us to more effectively respond to those exceptional situations where students may pose a threat to themselves or others.

The VTRA Protocol outlines how a school responds immediately to threatening incidents including but not limited to: possession of a weapon or replica weapon; bomb threat or plan; verbal or written (including electronic) threats to harm oneself or others, and fire setting. The initial VTRA team includes the Principal and/or Vice Principal(s), the Halton Regional Police Service, and our certified Safe School Social worker staff; other community partners and additional Board staff may be included as necessary. Rest assured, there is a very high level of internal consultation before any VTRA proceeds. VTRAs are not a disciplinary process rather they focus on information gathering, risk assessment and safety recommendations. In virtually all cases, parents and guardians will be notified if their child will be discussed at a VTRA. If parents/guardians cannot be reached within the emergency timeframe that is necessary to effect the VTRA, or if they choose not to provide consent but a concern for safety still exists due to threatening behaviour, the threat assessment will still proceed. Personal information shared throughout this process will respect and balance each individual’s right to privacy with the need to ensure the safety of all. As always, student safety is our first priority.

We must highlight that VTRAs are very rare occurrences in our schools, but do serve as an important safety measure in keeping our students and staff working and learning in safe environments.

The Halton District School Board is proud to be able to provide this level of support to our students and is most fortunate to have our community partners working with us.

Sincerely,


Scott Podrebarac

Superintendent of Education Safe & Accepting Schools Halton District School Board