P R O M O T I N G A P O S I T I V E
S C H O O L C L I M A T E
Promoting and Supporting Positive Student Behaviour
A Resource for School Bus Drivers and Principals
A safe and accepting learning environment is essential for student achievement and
The school bus should be seen as an extension of the school environment. Actively promoting
and supporting appropriate student behaviour contributes to a safe, inclusive and accepting
learning and teaching environment. Principals and bus drivers play a key role in maintaining a
positive school environment during the students’ time on a school bus.
Expectations for Safe and Inclusive Transportation
The provincial Code of Conduct sets clear provincial standards of behaviour. These standards of
behaviour apply to students whether they are on school property, on school buses, at school-related
events or activities and in other circumstances that could have an impact on school climate.
Appropriate behaviour on the school bus is an important part of school bus safety. Students who
are deemed eligible by their school board to receive transportation on a school bus receive
this service as a privilege, not a right.
Addressing Student Incidents
Open lines of communication between the bus driver and school administrators are especially
crucial when responding to incidents that could have a negative impact on the school climate,
i.e., inappropriate and disrespectful behaviour.
Inappropriate behaviour that is not addressed becomes accepted behaviour. Inappropriate
behaviour can take many forms, such as struggling with self regulation, continued opposition
to authority, poor peer relationships, and could escalate in seriousness to include swearing, use
of homophobic or racial slurs, inappropriate comments or jokes, graffiti, vandalism, bullying and
What is required?
The Education Act requires that serious student incidents that happen on the bus be reported to
the principal. These are incidents that the principal must consider for suspension or expulsion. These include making threats, possessing alcohol or illegal drugs, swearing at a person in a position
of authority, vandalism and bullying. It also includes possessing a weapon, physical assault, sexual
assault, trafficking weapons or drugs, giving alcohol to a minor and robbery.
Who should report?
•school bus drivers
•principals and vice principals
•administrative and custodial staff
•teachers and educational assistants
•early childhood educators employed by the school board
•other school staff, such as those involved in social work, child and youth work, psychology
and other related disciplines
•staff in before- or after-school programs for full-day kindergarten operated by
How to report an Incident?
•Tell the principal about the incident, as soon as reasonably possible.
•Confirm all reports to the principal in writing using the Safe Schools Incident Reporting
Form – Part I, provided by school administrators.
What happens when an incident is reported to the principal?
The principal will provide a written acknowledgement that the report was received and
may communicate, where appropriate, whether they have taken any action regarding the
Creating a Positive School Climate
Programs and activities that focus on building healthy relationships, a safe, inclusive, and accepting learning environment, character development, and positive peer relations provide the foundation for a positive school climate.
Administrators and school bus drivers play an important role in supporting school bus safety, while contributing to a positive learning and teaching environment. In schools or on the school bus when everyone shows respect to one another, it creates an environment where bad behaviour is being discouraged and prevented at all times.
A positive school climate is when everyone in the school, parents and the broader community help to encourage appropriate student behaviour, which can have a positive impact on the success of all students in the school.