School Policies

Curriculum Support Policy

Dominican Convent High School strives to ensure each girl understands her academic coursework, and invests in providing extra assistance to any school pupil who needs it. This is done so through group remedial lessons which are organized by the Head of the respective Subject Department. Remedial lessons taught in a group setting do not require an extra payment from any parent. Students are free to ask their teachers for individual assistance during school time. One-on-one lessons are another way of receiving extra assistance, and are available at a cost.

Drugs Policy

A. Introduction

  1. This policy relates to the misuse of drugs and other substances, and applies to all students at Dominican Convent High School Harare.
  2. This policy applies at all times on the school premises, school transport, school visits, trips, fieldwork, expeditions and camps etc. from the day a student joins Dominican Convent High School Harare to the day she leaves, including school holidays.
  3. This policy refers to the possession, use and supply of drugs and the paraphernalia of drugs or substances intended to resemble drugs, performance enhancing drugs, anabolic steroids, glue and other substances held or supplied in each case for purposes of misuse.
  4. This policy makes clear procedures for responding to and managing drug-related incidents including the sanction following any incident.

B. Procedures concerning the suspicion of drug or substance abuse

If any member of staff has suspicions of drug or substance abuse he/she should follow the procedure below.

    1.  Rumour/suspicion of drug or substance abuse
      If a member of staff hears or suspects that a student or students are involved in drug or substance abuse he/she must immediately inform the Headmistress; unless the situation demands instant action by the member of staff, no investigation should be conducted. The Headmistress will initiate an investigation into the matter in consultation with the relevant teacher and/or other senior staff members.
    2.  Drugs testing
      When there are reasonable grounds to suggest that a student has taken drugs (which could be based on possession, behaviour, the finding of materials linked with the taking of drugs or other information) Dominican Convent High School Harare reserves the right, having first explained the procedure and gained the parent’s consent (for students under the age of 18), to conduct a drugs’ test.

      1. If consent is not given by the parent (or student aged over 18), this fact will be taken into account with the other evidence.
      2. A drugs’ test will be administered by a member of staff from the Sanatorium in the presence of the relevant Housemistress or other senior member of staff if the Housemistress is not available. Such a test will be carried out as soon as possible after consent has been given.
      3. In the event that the drugs’ test is positive the cost of the testing will be borne by the parents.
      4. Dominican Convent High School Harare will treat a positive test as evidence that the student has been using drugs.
      5. In the event that the result is negative the cost will be borne by Dominican Convent High School Harare.
      6. Any circumstance which might result in a false positive test (such as legitimate medications, which will be checked by the Sanatorium staff) will render the positive test unreliable and therefore unsafe.

      3. Searches for drugs, substances and related paraphernalia
      When there are reasonable grounds to suppose that a student possesses or has stored drugs, substances or related paraphernalia, Dominican Convent High School Harare reserves the right to carry out a personal search including the searching of outer clothing and inside pockets and/or a search of school property, e.g. a student’s locker or desk and/or a search of personal property (e.g. bag)

      1. Searches will be conducted in such a manner as to minimise embarrassment or distress.
      2. A second adult witness will be present.

      4. Subsequent Action and Sanctions

      1. Supplying, selling, dealing and using drugs/substances are all offences which will, unless under exceptional circumstances, result in exclusion. An exceptional circumstance does not include a first time offence.
      1. Life Skills lessons

      Drugs’ education will be taught as part of the Life Skills programme:

                1. To enable students to make healthy, informed and proper decisions concerning the misuse of drugs and substances;
                2. To provide accurate and appropriate information about drugs and substances, and their effects;
                3. To prepare students to expect to be presented with the temptations of drug and substance abuse at any time and develop in them a readiness to resist these temptations themselves and persuade others to do likewise.

      Car Policy

      This policy is in place to ensure that the use of cars by pupils at Dominican Convent High School Harare is restricted and that the risk of serious accidents is kept to a minimum.

      6th form pupils are allowed cars in school strictly on the conditions laid out below:

                1. Prior to a car being driven to school the parents of the pupil concerned are required to write to the Headmistress to seek permission for their daughter to use a car for transport to/from school;
                2. The car must be registered with the relevant Car Parking Committee before it is driven to Dominican Convent High School Harare (a form is provided for this exercise). A copy of the pupil’s driving license and vehicle insurance document must also be submitted to the Car parking committee;
                3. The Headmistress will usually grant permission for a 6th form pupil to bring a car to school but the school reserves the right to refuse permission. The pupil may not bring a car to school until permission to use it has been granted;
                4. All students’ cars must be parked in the appropriate car park i.e. outside the Selous Gate. After parking, students should lock their cars and go to class. They cannot sit, chat with friends or play music in the parked car or take photos.
                5. Students cannot drive their cars to sporting or cultural activities but should go into the school bus with everyone.
                6. Students may not leave the campus in a car without a valid vehicle pass which has been signed by the Parking Committee. This pass must detail the destination of the journey and any passengers (including siblings) in the car.
                7. Students may only be accompanied in their car by direct family members i.e. siblings. No other pupil may travel with the driver of the car unless permission has been specifically granted by the parents of both the driver and passenger. Such permission will only be sanctioned under exceptional circumstances and will require written consent from both sets of parents.
                8. A breach of these guidelines will be treated as a serious disciplinary matter, and may lead to permission withdrawal of parking rights.

ALCOHOL POLICY

At the Dominican Convent High School we have not had any cases of alcohol consumption in the past. However, in the even that it happens it is absolutely necessary to have a policy in place. Hence one is presented before:-

  1. Introduction
    1. This policy relates to the misuse of alcohol and applies to all pupils at Dominican Convent High School Harare.
    2. This policy applies at all times on the school premises, school transport, school visits, trips, fieldwork, expeditions and camps etc. from the day a pupil joins Dominican Convent High School Harare to the day she leaves, including school holidays.
    3. This policy makes clear procedures for responding to and managing alcohol related incidents including the sanction following any incident.
  2.  Subsequent Action and Sanctions
    1. The misuse/abuse of alcohol is regarded as a serious disciplinary offence. In considering sanctions for offences relating to the misuse of alcohol the school may take into account any instances of other major contraventions of school rules by the pupil and reserves the right, depending on the set of circumstances, to deal with the matter under any of the stages listed below.First offence/Stage 1
    2. A pupil caught drinking or in possession of alcohol for the first time will be given a written 1st warning and Friday manual punishment. The pupil’s parents will be informed of the incident by the Headmistress and the pupil will be expected to be professionally counselled on the matter.Second offence/Stage 2
    3. A pupil caught drinking or in possession of alcohol for the second time will be given a 2nd and final Saturday manual punishment. The parents and the pupil concerned will be asked to attend a meeting with the Headmistress. The pupil will be expected to be professionally counselled on the matter.Third offence/Stage 3
    4. A pupil caught drinking or in possession of alcohol for the third time should expect to be excluded from Dominican Convent High School Harare.Supplying alcohol
      Pupils who supply alcohol to other pupils are likely to be disciplined according to a higher stage of the process.
  3.  Life Skills lessons
    Alcohol education will be taught as part of the Life Skills programme:

    1. To enable pupils to make healthy, informed and proper decisions concerning the misuse of alcohol;
    2. To provide accurate and appropriate information about alcohol and its effects;
    3. To prepare pupils to expect to be presented with the temptations of alcohol at any time and develop in them a readiness to resist these temptations themselves and persuade others to do likewise.

PUNISHMENT

DETENTION   AND MANUAL LABOUR:

DETENTION

This is given as a punishment to an academic offence. It’s given to students who commit one the following offences.

  • Not handing home-work on time repeatedly.
  • Not doing home-work.
  • Having incomplete notes.
  • Not handing in a project.
  • Handing a project that is incomplete.

 

Break or Lunch detention

This is given by the subject teacher as an immediate corrective measure. It’s up to the teacher’s discretion to make it break or lunch detention.

Friday detention

This is done every Friday from 2.00- 3.00 p.m

The subject teacher writes on a detention or manual slip the academic offence. This slip is signed by the teacher in charge of the Form, and then it is given to the student to take home, so that the parents or guardians sign to acknowledge that their daughter is on punishment.

The student must return the signed slip to the teacher in charge on or before the Friday.

NB:  Break or lunch detention is monitored by the subject teacher.

Friday detention is monitored by the teacher on duty, to ensure the girls catch up on missing work in their respective subject.

 

MANUAL LABOUR

Is done every Friday from 2.00- 4.00 p.m

This is given as a non-academic offence. It is given to students who commit one the following offences.

  • Making noise
  • Being rude, arrogant or disrespectful to a member of staff or prefect.
  • Breaking one of the school rules.
  • Owing unpaid fines for three successive finable offences.

 

The teacher concerned writes the offence on a detention or manual slip, which is given to the teacher in charge of form to sign, and then it is given to the students to take home for signing by the parent or guardian. This is to ensure that the parent is aware that their daughter is on punishment.

 

Manual involves doing the following.

  • Sweeping the quad.
  • Cleaning classes and corridors
  • Washing school buses.
  • Cleaning the hall or exam room.
  • Uprooting weeds from the lawn
  • Setting up the hall if there’s a function on Saturday.

 

SATURDAY MANUAL LABOUR

This is done by girls who:

  • have been on manual labour three times
  • have committed serious offences, like bunking lessons.

A manual slip is written by the teacher in charge of the level, The Deputy or Headmistress if it’s a serious offence, indicating the offence. The slip is signed by the teacher in charge of manual and given to students to take home, so that the parent or guardian signs, acknowledging the punishment.

The students involved come on Saturday from 8.00 am – 12pm to clean the school.

For every punishment a register is taken to check on attendance. A follow up is done on students who do not do their punishment.

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