Christian Faith School Policy Effective Date:_______-2018 Approval Date: Oct 3, 2018 Review Date: __April 2019
CHRISTIAN FAITH SCHOOL POLICY
< >:Sections 1(c) and 1(g) of Alberta’s Bill of Rights also recognizes the freedom of religion and the right of parents to make informed decisions respecting the education of their children; • The School’s students and parents have voluntarily selected an education infused with Christian beliefs and values;
Faith Based Education at the School • The Rimbey Christian School has operated a Christian faith based school based on the authority of the Bible with an emphasis on Teaching for Transformation since 1986; • The School ensures the availability of a faith-based program of studies for families who desire an educational setting which operates in accordance with the School’s philosophy, beliefs, core values, vision, theological commitments, and ethical standards which are set out respectively in its mission statement, educational philosophy, educational creed, admissions policy, ethical statement and staff and student faith based covenants (collectively the “Faith-based Foundational Documents”);
• The Faith-based Foundational Documents reflect the Christian beliefs which are the basis upon which the School operates and offers its educational programming and which are the core of the School’s identify; • The School’s method of teaching Christian beliefs takes an inter-denominational approach, which aims to challenge and equip students to express the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life.
• The School’s belief in its religious obligation to teach the Christian faith is consistent with its organizational purpose and operation;
The School Commitment to providing a Safe, Caring, Welcoming and Safe Learning Environment • The School is committed to providing a welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and Christian learning environment in keeping with the vision, mission, and faith foundation of the School; • The School is committed to complying with the relevant legislation stated above in a manner that is consistent with its faith commitments;
B. Faith-based Documents are herein Incorporated by Reference The following faith-based documents are herein expressly incorporated into, and form an integral part of, this Faith-based Policy:
The Objectives and the Educational Creed, in the Constitution of the Rimbey Christian School Society The Teachers and Staff section of the Constitution of the Rimbey Christian School Society Admission Policy Code of Conduct and Lifestyle Policy Discipline Policy Hiring Policy
(The above referenced documents are collectively referred to as the “Foundational Documents.”)
1. Consistent with its mission and vision, the Board is committed to a safe, caring, respectful, welcoming and Christian learning and teaching environment for all students. This environment shall be one that recognizes and respects student diversity, equity of learning opportunity for all students, respect for human rights, and that fosters a sense of belonging of all students within a respectful school community.
2. The School recognizes that as a religious school, the application of legislation in the context of a private, voluntarily-chosen religious school is a complex matter requiring some flexibility.
3. This Policy does not define one set of human needs as greater than another. This Policy supports and respects the individuality of all students and aims create a positive and supportive environment focused on providing the best possible learning opportunity for each student.
4. The School believes that all students have the right to: be treated fairly, equitably, and with dignity and respect; have matters of confidentiality dealt with in a respectful and careful manner; be welcomed in a positive, and respectful manner by all school personnel; have access to appropriate supports, services, and protections; have avenues of recourse (without fear of reprisal) available to them when they are victims of harassment, intimidation, bullying, and/or violence. 5. The School reserves the right to argue that parents, students and school personnel, individually and communally, have freedom of religion and that none of these entities may be forced in law to adhere to or refrain from a particular set of reasonably held religious beliefs or the individual’s ability to act in accordance with his or her religious practice or belief.
6. Alberta’s Bill of Rights, RSA 2000, c. A-14: a) recognizes and declares that in Alberta there exist without discrimination the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association and the right of parents to make informed decisions respecting the education of their children; b) states that every law of Alberta shall, unless it is expressly declared by an Act of the Legislature that it operates notwithstanding the Alberta Bill of Rights, be so construed and applied as not to abrogate, abridge or infringe or to authorize the abrogation, abridgment or infringement of any of the rights or freedoms herein recognized and declared.
7. As noted in section 2 of the School Act, the exercise of any right or the receipt of any benefit under this Act is subject to those limitations that are reasonable in each circumstance under which the right is being exercised or the benefit is being received.
8. As noted in sections 3(1) and (2) of the School Act: a) All education programs offered and instructional materials used in schools must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the common values and beliefs of Albertans; b) For greater certainty, education programs and instructional materials referred to in subsection (1) must not promote or foster doctrines of racial or ethnic superiority or persecution, religious intolerance or persecution, social change through violent action or disobedience of laws.
9. Any limitation which is not reasonable and justifiable in the circumstances could have the effect of abrogating, abridging, or infringing upon the right of parents to make informed decisions respecting the education of their children.”
10. When addressing matters of human rights, whether in a classroom, club or activity setting, the Board, principal, teachers and other staff will act reasonably in the best interests of the student. In keeping with established jurisprudence, the school, the principal, teachers and other staff are free to act and communicate the school’s animating faith and/or values in a respectful manner, including (but not limited to) the following:
a) The School’s teachers and staff may describe and explain the school’s faith and/or value community beliefs, doctrines and ethical beliefs from the faith/perspective, and need not be required to adopt a neutral position; b) The School’s teachers and staff will maintain a respectful tone of debate — both by conveying their own contributions in a respectful way, and by ensuring dialogue proceeds in accordance with respect, tolerance and understanding for those who hold different beliefs and practices; c) Where the context of the classroom discussion requires it, the School’s teachers may identify the School community’s animating beliefs and/or values beliefs, why the School community follows those beliefs and/or values. d) The School’s teachers and staff need not teach ethical viewpoints or religious doctrines that are contrary to the school community’s faith and value commitments in a way that portrays them as being equally credible or worthy of belief.
D. Conclusion It is very important that all Rimbey Christian School policies are implemented in keeping with our Christian Faith School Policy. Where any two policies conflict, our Christian Faith School Policy must give direction as to how best to meet the intent of the other policies within the faith parameters laid out in the Christian Faith School Policy.
To the extent any legislative requirements conflict with our Christian Faith School Policy, the Board’s or School’s rights, powers and responsibilities pursuant to the Alberta Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, this Christian Faith School Policy, the Board’s and school’s rights, powers, beliefs and policies pursuant to the Alberta Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will govern.