Student Handbook



Assessment Policies: The school division has a student assessment policy (AP 240) and each department maintains, revisits, reflects, and adapts departmental assessment policy plans.  All teachers must be familiar with the departmental policies associated with any course being taught and must adhere to those policies.  Administration will not be able to support decisions by teachers that lay outside the scope and spirit of departmental and division policies.  Teachers must ensure student behaviours and student achievement are reported separately; teachers will ensure students are not negatively affected academically by any consequence resulting from poor behaviour choices (skipping, defiance, tardiness, etc).  Teach students responsibility while taking steps to prevent students’ poor choices from negatively impacting student learning.   Teachers will support student demonstration of learning and act in good faith to give every student a chance to learn and demonstrate learning, in spite of poor behaviour choices.  Teachers will report student achievement numerically throughout the year by keeping PowerSchool up to date and will provide midterm comments at each parent teacher interview dates;  In October, December, March and  May.  Teachers must use the consistent format of: Areas of Strength, Areas of Growth, and Next Steps.  While teachers may comment on academic achievement and behaviours of students in comments, they will use professional, productive, constructive language that does not shame the character of a student. At the end of the course the teacher will also write a closing transition comment to each student.  

In the spirit of NLPS administrative procedure 240 on assessment, teachers will provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning in a variety of ways.


Formative assessments will provide students with feedback for growth, while summative assessments will measure the most recent, consistent performance of student knowledge. Summative assessments will be reported with a numerical mark, and teachers will provide an overall grade representing current achievement in the form of a percentage determined by a varied body of assessment evidence and teacher professional judgment.


Teachers will use their reasoned, professional judgement to decide on appropriate outcomes to demonstrate new learning or missed assignments:

1. Based on teacher discretion, summative marks are typically granted for assessments completed under the direct, approved, supervision of the teacher or approved designate. This means that students may not rewrite assessments for academic courses in the Library/Learning Commons or other areas throughout the semester; they must write at an approved time under direct supervision.


Any work completed at other times may be used for formative feedback or to provide a body of evidence to suggest new learning or readiness for reassessment. For example: practice essays can be scored for feedback and growth purposes on a rubric, but scores may not necessarily be used for summative marks.


Any out of school projects themselves will not be assessed summatively; rather, the teacher may choose to assess the student on a rubric based on their presentation, discussion, or explanation of the purpose, meaning, or any learnings resulting from the project completion.

2. Students missing summative assessment marks (whether from absenteeism, incompletion, illness, bereavement, religious observance, academic dishonesty or otherwise) will be given multiple opportunities to demonstrate; each academic department Will offer at least three reassessment opportunities throughout each semester where students can arrange to write an alternate assessment to replace missing assignments. Teacher discretion will be used to determine which items students need to complete in order to demonstrate the required outcomes.

3. With administration approval, teachers may choose to administer an alternate assessment for students missing because of school based events only (educational field trips, JAWS Athletics, Skills Canada, Students’ Union or Interact Club activities etc.). Students missing for other reasons, including family vacations, community sports, or other non-school related functions will have to abide by the three scheduled days each quarter.  

4. Students may not write identical assessments when they missed the original assessment time, and may need to wait for an appropriate time when the teacher provided re-assessment tool and supervision is available. Assessments will cover the same outcomes but may not necessarily emulate the original assessment in format.

5. When teachers determine a student needs to re-demonstrate because of a previously unsuccessful attempt the teacher may allow these students to do so; the teacher may also request evidence of further learning (attending tutorials, completing study guides, completing more practice examples, etc.) prior to allowing a student to re-demonstrate. Best interests of student learning must always guide teacher discussion.

6. Teachers will collaborate inter-departmentally to reduce any assessment conflicts and communicate any reassessment plans to their classes.

7. Formative assessment in high school refers to the ongoing process where teachers use various tools to provide feedback to students and guide their instruction. These assessments may or may not be  included in a student's grade at the teacher's discretion. The purpose of formative assessment is to enhance student learning, improve understanding, and build "learning to learn" skills by involving students in the teaching and learning process.  Some examples of formative assessment include entry and exit slips, minor projects and assignments, quizzes, interview assessments, and other engaging techniques that help teachers gauge student progress and adjust their instruction accordingly.  These assessments will be returned to students for the purpose of study.

8. Summative assessment in high school is used to evaluate and grade students' overall understanding of the material taught over a specific period, such as a unit, course, or program. It is often high-stakes and can include exams, final projects, standardized tests, and other assessments with a high point value. The results of summative assessments are used to measure student achievement of course learning objectives and are not typically used for providing ongoing feedback or guiding instruction.  

9. Our J. A.Williams High School assessment policy, in accordance with subsection 197 of the Education Act, grants teachers the authority to designate certain summative final examinations, such as unit final exams, mid-term exams, and course final exams, as secured exams. These secured exams will be returned to students for review under the supervision of teachers and then stored in a secure location for one year, after which they will be shredded. The decision to implement this policy is within the responsibility of the Principal and the school team, as outlined in subsection 197 of the Education Act, which empowers the Principal to establish policies aimed at enhancing student learning and ensuring effective instruction and evaluation methods.

10. The reasons for designating exams as secured include ensuring fairness and academic integrity, preserving the future use of the questions that have been created by department teams, protecting exam security, encouraging study and learning, and facilitating continuous improvement. This policy is in line with the assessment and reporting practices in Alberta, which emphasize the ongoing cycle of gathering, interpreting, and responding to student work to inform the next steps in learning and evaluate student knowledge.

11. The implementation of this policy will involve strict adherence to the process for maintaining the validity and security of exams at the high school, including the administration of secured exams in a supervised location and the proper storage of the exams for the designated period. This policy aligns with the broader framework of assessment and evaluation in Alberta, which aims to uphold the standards of student achievement and the integrity of the assessment process. 


Attendance: JA Williams High School believes that regular and punctual attendance at school

is an important aspect of the educational life of a student. It increases the chance of success in the student’s educational program while teaching the student responsibility in preparation for the world of work.


Student attendance is a shared responsibility between the student (who is required to attend closes), the parents (to ensure their child is attending), and the school (to monitor and report on the student’s attendance).


With a quarterly schedule, each course lasts a half day (3 hours).  Even one or two days away will result in a great deal of missed content.  Unless, previously previously contacted by the parent to inform us about the absence. Teachers will be calling home after 2 consecutive unexcused absences or if a noticeable pattern of individual absences appears to develop.


Habitually absent students can expect to lose lunch breaks equivalent to the lost instructional time; the teacher will ensure the time must be academically productive.  Defiance in complying with consequences can lead to increases in owed time.  Parents/guardians cannot excuse students from lunchtime consequences; under certain circumstances (such as a medical appointment), parents may request to defer consequences to a different day.


If a student does not maintain regular attendance in a course, they will be subject to our attendance interventions protocol.  This may include parental meetings, attendance contracts, and making up of lost time. If refusal to comply with school expectations continues after discussions with parents, the student may receive in and out of school suspensions, be placed in an alternate program, withdraw from a class, or face an expulsion hearing.  Grade 9 students under the age of 16 may be referred to the Provincial Attendance Board which may involve compensatory or restorative justice measures to students and their parents/guardians. Progressive discipline may result.


If a student is required to self-isolate at any point this year they are able to get work from the teacher(s) where necessary.  Unfortunately, they will be missing instructional time.  There are websites with fantastic lessons to help students to keep up with material. (YouTube, Khan Academy, etc). 




Bold Center: The Bold Center is not school property.  Students are permitted to be in the Bold Center when they are not required to be in class (lunch, breaks). They need to be respectful and  responsible and ensure they return to class on time. They are expected to follow the rules of the facility while in the building.  There will be some designated areas for eating but they must remember Alberta’s rules for Covid-19.  Masks are required in all common areas of the bold during school hours.




Cafeteria: We do not have a fulltime cook in the cafeteria this year so we will have a modified selection. At  a later time our selection may increase and we will inform students if this happens.


There are vending machines available in the school.


Kids are Worth it will continue to provide sandwiches and fruit for students who may be without lunch in a day.


Career Planning:


  • Alberta Green Certificate: in cooperation with the farming industry, Alberta agriculture, food and world development has managed an apprentice style skill training program in the area of cow– calf production, dairy farming, feedlot operation, irrigated crop framing, sheep and swine skills. The program begins at the technician level and progresses to the supervisory level and ultimately to the business manager level. 


The green certificate program requires a teacher supervisor as well as evaluations done by Alberta agriculture staff in one of the following two situations:

  • The students work and train on a home farm business with an appropriate family member designated as the trainer; or
  • The students work and train with a local cooperating farm business who has been approved by school system staff. The jobsite trainer is then selected from the cooperating farm business.


  • Registered Apprenticeship Training (RAP): The Registered Apprenticeship Training Program is a modified apprenticeship program the permits a high school student to become an apprentice while attending high school.


A RAP apprentice accumulates hours on the job training as credit towards their apprenticeship and credit toward a high school diploma.


To begin a RAP Placement you must first sign up for Work Experience.


Cell Phones & Other Electronic Devices (AP 141): Inappropriate use of cell phones, cell phone cameras and other electronics devices can interfere with an individual‘s rights to privacy, the students right to a safe and caring environment and the teaching and learning process; therefore, the superintendent requires principals, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders, to formulate and implement appropriate procedures at the school site.


When students are not permitted to use cell phones during class time, they are expected to keep their cell phones away on silent or off. See teachers course outlines for cell phone expectations. Further, cell phone usage will not be permitted in the halls during regularly scheduled blocks as it serves as a distraction to student learning and the productive use of time. It is the opinion of school administration that cell phone calls during class time cause a distraction to the learning for all students.


Teachers may implement use of personal electronic devices as an instructional tool and they may ask students to use them at teacher discretion. Teachers will use their own discretion on the usage of other music devices according to classroom policies and practices. Wireless devices will have access to the school network on a secured basis and subject to students following technology usage guidelines. Teachers may confiscate misused devices to be returned at the end of the block; continued miss use or refusal to hand in a device to the staff member will lead to administration confiscation and or progressive discipline.


Classroom Cleanliness: A routine will be established with the students.  Students and staff are provided with sanitizing wipes to sanitize personal items and spaces.  These wipes are approved by the Division.  They are peroxide based and cannot be mixed with other cleaners. 

Clubs: Get involved! Students wishing to form a school related club should make their interests known to a teacher or administration. Efforts will be made to organize appropriate clubs if they meet Covid regulations.

Course Challenge Policy: Any senior high school student in Alberta who believes that they possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes for a senior high school course as specified In the program of studies, and is ready to demonstrate that achievement through a formal, summative assessment process, may initiate a request for course challenge to their high school principal. For diploma examination courses, this applies only to the school-awarded mark component, the student must still register for and write the PDE at an appropriate time.

The student who initiates the course challenge process must do so in writing to the principal, Samear Abougouche. He/she shall take responsibility for providing a body of evidence of readiness to challenge a course (ie portfolio, other collection, documentation of work and/or experience, a recommendation from a teacher). The principal shall make the final decision about the student’s readiness for the course challenge and request further evidence of competency.  The principal shall base this decision on the consultation with the student, parent(s) and the teacher of the course.

The senior high school principal shall assign the administration and evaluation of assessment for a course challenge to an Alberta certificated teacher who has experience in the subject/course.  The principal shall ensure that assessment for course challenges includes strategies that will assess the breadth and scope of the learning outcomes for the course, as outlined in the program of studies, in a timely and practical manner.

Course Withdrawal / Course Change: JA Williams High School believes that in order to maximize educational opportunities for students, they should be enrolled in the greatest number of courses or programs possible.  However, circumstances may occur that may not make this possible.

Course transfers must include input from Student Services Team and/or Administration.  Students can request a transfer by attending class and signing up with their teacher.  They can also email administration directly.




  1. Prior to the beginning of each semester, students will be provided with a tentative timetable for that school term.
  2. Grade 9 programming changes must be approved by the principal with parental involvement. Grade 10 & 11 students shall be required to register in a full program of studies (min 40 credits). Grade 12 students are required to register in a minimum of 30 credits or the number of courses needed to meet Alberta Education graduation requirements.  Grade 12 students will not qualify for spares unless minimum credit requirements are met. Students on spares who remain in the building must be in designated areas, practicing protocols for social distancing and safety. Refusal to comply may result in the loss of a spare. Any students wishing to take a course that is NOT offered in the regular schedule (such as an ADLC course) can see Mrs. Nowicki for information and registration.
  3. Changes to timetable may not be granted if not completed within the first week of each semester. A course transfer form will be used for changes made during the semester and consultation with administration, Student Services, and parents if required. Not all requests for changes can be granted.
  4. In withdrawing from a course, or giving other consideration to any program change, the following will serve as a guideline:
    1. Graduation requirements
    2. Teacher input
    3. Student input
    4. Parental input
    5. Student programming needs
    6. Class size
    7. Board Policies and Administrative Procedures

Withdrawals will be done on a case by case basis, after submitting a course withdrawal/change form.


DANCE Rules: 

  1. Only JA William students are allowed to buy tickets for dances. However, each JA Williams student is allowed to purchase a ticket for one guest. Guest tickets must be registered and paid for in advance; guests will not be allowed in at the door the night of the dance. Guests must have completed a pre approval form with their school administrators written approval. JA Williams students are responsible for the behaviour of the guests and any damages they may cause. 
  2. Students who have been expelled cannot attend dances. Students who have been suspended, for any reason, from school in the semester that the dance takes place cannot attend dances without express permission of the principal. Students on contract for attendance reasons could have their dance privileges taken away.
  3. No alcohol or drugs will be tolerated at any JA Williams dances. Anyone suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be barred from the dance. If any students are, in the discussion of a supervisor, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, parents, guardians, or law-enforcement must escort them home. Any refusals to leave will call for the intervention of the police, a ban from the rest of the dances that year, and further disciplinary action as determined by the administration of the school.
  4. Jackets, coats, hoodies and bags must be checked into the coat room.
  5. Doors will close at 9 PM. This means that nobody except people picking up students/guests or dance supervisors will be admitted after 9 PM, unless special arrangements have been made with dance supervisors in advance. Dances end at 11 PM in compliance with the County’s curfew law.
  6. Guests must be between the ages of 13 and 20. Students registered in grades lower than grade 9 may not attend JA Williams dances. A guest approval form needs to be completed and submitted.
  7. Due to janitorial concerns, we ask that no sparkles will be worn by anyone attending the dance. Those who are wearing sparkles may be asked to either remove them or leave the dance.
  8. In accordance with school policy, there will be no smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco at any JA Williams dances.
  9. Once students enter the dance they may not leave the building and return again. For safety reasons, we want to avoid any students leaving the dance and returning. Once a student leaves, they may not re-enter without permission from the principal.


Supervisors – there will be at least four teacher supervisors and eight parent supervisors for each two hour shift and administrator should be present at all times. Parent supervisors will be found by Students’ Union.


Supervisor Duties:

  1. Check all jackets and bags at the door.
  2. Lock and check the doors closely after 9 PMs
  3. Regularly monitor activity on the dance floor and in the washrooms.
  4. Watch for alcohol and drug use.
  5. Report any unusual behaviour to the teacher supervisors/administrators.
  6. Make sure the doors and windows are closed. Dances are over at 11 PM.



Discipline: The philosophy of J.A. Williams High School is restorative justice. 

Administrative Procedure 350 Student Conduct:

The Superintendent expects all staff members to share the responsibility for supervising the behavior of students and:

  1. Look for opportunities to educate students in pro-social behavior.
  2. Model the behaviors students are expected to learn.
  3. Report violations of the established rules of conduct to the principal.

Within the first week of school, along with community building exercises, teachers are expected to review the JAWS Behavior Matrix, making sure it is visible in your classroom.  Please continue to reference this tool throughout the year.


The staff at JAWS will continue to ensure that students receive assistance, encouragement, praise, and specific feedback regarding their many positive behaviors and academic gains.  When either the classroom rules or the common sense behaviors expected of all students are violated, the staff will use natural, logical, or realistic consequences.  Students will know what is expected of them. They will also know what will happen if they break a rule or make an error in judgement.  The choice lies with the students!  The goal is to help students see themselves as responsible for and in control of themselves.


Most importantly, once you send a child to the office you accept whatever consequences the office sees fit to hand out to the student.


Dress Code:

Is it respectful?

Students are expected to dress appropriately. Any student who comes to school wearing apparel that is not appropriate (displaying vulgar, obscene, profane, drug related or sexually insulting messages or images) will be asked to either change into more appropriate clothing or turn the offensive clothing inside out.

  • Students are expected to dress appropriately for activities.
  • Gym clothes and running shoes for gym
  • PPE that may be necessary for field trips or school activities (usually provided by the school)


Examination Policy: The exam schedule will be released no later than one month prior to the commencement of exam week. All final exams must be written at the schedule times. In the rare case of students with exam conflicts, they must meet with administration who will determine an alternate assessment plan. Students taking more than one level of exam example grade 11 and 12 exams or grade 10 and 11 exams may have to write two exams in one day.


Students missing an exam because of significant illness or bereavement, upon verification, will be awarded a mark based on the teachers formative and summative observations throughout the year. A medical certificate may be Required for illness. All others will be assigned a mark of zero on any final exam; an extraordinary circumstances, the principal may grant permission for a deferral, allowing the students to write at a later time, such as in the case with religious observances. In the case of a deferment, to ensure exam security, students may be required to write the exam as late as at the end of the school year; however, students will not receive credit or be registered into courses without completing the prerequisite. Family vacationing does not constitute an acceptable reason for exemption or deferral.


In the case of provincial achievement tests and provincial diploma exams, students are not able to be excused from writing the exam at the school level. Normally, students will have to defer to a later writing time in August, November, January, April or June. Students who are granted an exemption at the provincial level for PAT or PDE may still be required to write a teacher created final exam should the principal deem it necessary to assess evidence of student knowledge.


Should inclement weather cancel buses, students writing grade 9, 10 or 11 exams may be exempt in which case the teacher will determine a final mark based on formative and summative assessment data through the school year. PDE‘s are never cancelled for inclement weather; students who can arrive safely may write a schedule; if parents wish to keep students home, they may defer to a later writing date as described above.


Extracurricular Sports: The ultimate decision to participate in extracurricular activities rests with the individual and their parents. If a student is having problems in school or with the progress in the course, their involvement in extracurricular activities may be reviewed with the respective teacher, coach, school administration and parents.


Coaches may use the academic passport program so classroom teachers can verify the good standing of students participating in extracurricular events.


Fees must change based on the number of students and the number of events (games, tournaments)


Due to the current guidelines of stage 2 for Covid, there will be practices but no games, tournaments or events with regards to school sports at this time. As we find out more we will be keeping you updated. The cost for school sports cannot be determined at this time as we are unsure which ones, if any, will be involved in games and tournaments in the future.


If we do progress to a competition level fees will be charged. Arrangements may be made regarding payment of fees. Additional fees may result if travel costs become higher than expected.


If and when fees are implemented, all fees must be handed in with the registration form. Any player that doesn’t pay the fee or make arrangements with administration will not be registered and therefore will not play. Parent parents who work school council casinos or Bingos will qualify for a rebate for a portion of their fees.



High School Certificate of Achievement Requirements: To earn a certificate of High School Achievement, Alberta Education requires students to earn a minimum of 80 credits.  Certificate students must co-ordinate their program through Student Services and monitor their status continually throughout the year.


  1. Core Classes (5 credits each)


Grade 10                                 Grade 11                                 Grade 12

English 10-4                            English 20-4                            English 30-4

Social 10-4                              Social 20-4

Math 10-4                                Math 20-4

Science 10-4                           Science 20-4

Total               20 credits                               20 credits                               5 credits

  1. Grade Level Occupations (ie. Art, Foods, Cosmo)


Grade 10                                 Grade 11                                 Grade 12

Work Readiness 10-4 (req)    Two courses                           One course

One other course

Total               10 credits                               10 credits                               5 credits

                                                                        250 hrs WE                             125 hrs WE

Total                                                               10 credits                               5 credits


  1. Physical Education 10 (3 credits); CALM (3 credits)


  1. Knowledge and Employability

5 minimum of 40 credits from the occupational clusters:

  • Agribusiness
  • Business and Office Operations
  • Construction and Fabrication
  • Creative Arts
  • Natural Resources
  • Personal and Public Services
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • Transportation


High School Diploma Requirements: To earn a High School Diploma, Alberta Education requires students to earn a minimum of 100 credits, including:

  • English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
  • Social Studies 30-1 or 30-2
  • Mathematics 20 level (not including 20-4)
  • Biology 20, Chemistry 20, Physics 20, Science 20 or Science 24 (or Science 10 and any other 5 credit 20-level course)
  • Physical Education 10 (3 credits)
  • Career & Life Management (CALM) 20 (3 credits)
  • 10 credits in any combination from Career and Technology Studies courses, Fine Arts courses, Second Languages courses
  • 10 credits in any 30-level course (including locally developed) in addition to English LA 30-1 or 30-2 and Social 30-1 or 30-2

High School Graduation Policy: JA Williams high school believes that all grade 12 students registered at the school who wish to participate in the school graduation ceremony must meet certain minimal requirements.

  1. To take part in the graduation ceremonies, the student must be enrolled and have a 50% or better average one week prior to convocation in each of the courses necessary to satisfy the requirement for an Alberta education high school diploma or certificate of achievement. To take part in the graduation ceremonies, the students must be enrolled as full-time students for at least one semester during the school year.
  2. Students carrying necessary correspondence courses shall meet the following two requirements:
  1. Have 100% of any necessary correspondence courses completed and sent to the distance learning centre one week prior to convocation.
  2. The final exam must be written by the last day of classes.
  3. The principal will have the authority to make decisions for the eligibility of students in extraordinary circumstances.
  4. Student conduct may lead to revoking the privilege of convocation to ensure a safe and caring environment for other graduates and their families; all decisions about convocation will be made by the principal.
  5. Students must pay the required graduation ceremony fee prior to graduation day.
  6. To provide information to grade 12 students and parents, the principal shall:
  7. Review this policy and regulation by November 1 with all grade 12 students.
  8. Provide a copy of this policy and regulation to all parents of grade 12 students.
  9. Inform students and parents of those graduates who have been placed on probationary list.



Inappropriate Technology Use (AP140): While J.A. Williams High School feels that the network has great potential as an information source and communication tool it should be used in a variety of ways the following will not be permitted: 


  • Sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures;
  • Inappropriate social media usage (Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, TickTock, Tumblr, whisper, omega, Twitter, etc.);
  • Harassing, insulting or attacking others;
  • Damaging computers, computer systems or computer networks;
  • Vandalism of accounts or systems, including hardware;
  • Violating copyright laws;
  • Use of a VPN or other tunnelling protocols that bypass network security;
  • Using others passwords or sharing passwords with anyone besides a staff member;
  • Trespassing in others folders, work or files;
  • Intentionally wasting limited resources;
  • Playing network intensive games or applications;
  • Downloading unauthorized, excessively large files or excessively streaming video;
  • Subscribing to inappropriate news groups;
  • Email or News group correspondence in appropriate educational purposes;
  • Any activity posing potential risks to oneself or to others;
  • Illegal activity;
  • Using abusive, vulgar, obscene or other inappropriate language activities that would violate the school handbook policy;
  • Failure to report known security problems;
  • Employing the network for commercial purposes;
  • Making purchases the charge back to the system;
  • Any inappropriate use or misuse of the system.


Inappropriate technology use may result in the following sanctions;

  • Denial of computer privileges temporary or permanent.
  • Additional disciplinary action determined at the school level in line with existing practice regarding inappropriate language or behavior.
  • When applicable, law-enforcement agencies may be requested to become involved. Criminal prosecution as detailed in the computer crimes provisions of the criminal code of Canada may be pursued.


Intramurals: The physical education department organizes a noon hour program of intramurals for the enjoyment of students. Check for activities, rules and playing schedules on the intramural board outside the gymnasium or talk to any member of the physical education staff. Students wishing to assist with the intramural program should speak to student services regarding credits and work experience or special projects.




Lates:  JA Williams High School believes that regular and punctual attendance at school

is an important aspect of the educational life of a student to succeed in their studies.  Further, this causes undue disruptions to the normal operation of a class and therefore diminishes the rights of other students to learn, and the teacher to instruct.

The school believes that punctual attendance is primarily the responsibility of the student and their parents.  However, when, in the opinion of the teacher, the lateness constitutes a disruption of the normal operation of the classroom, the lateness may be considered a discipline problem.  However, because we believe instructional time and learning are paramount, staff will avoid making use of disciplinary measures that cause the student to miss out on any further instructional time.  Students can be required to make up lost time and instruction due to habitual tardiness.

Habitually late students can be expected to lose lunch breaks equivalent to the lost instructional time; the teacher will ensure the time must be academically productive.  Defiance in complying with consequences can lead to increases in owed time.  Parents/guardians cannot excuse students from lunchtime consequences; under certain circumstances (such as a medical appointment), parents may request to defer consequences to a different day. Continuous tardiness will be addressed by staff as defiant behavior, and the administration and the student services support team will be involved.  Progressive discipline may result.


Library / Learning Commons: all students registered at JA Williams high school are accorded  privileges at our library which includes borrowing books, signing out textbooks, and accessing chromebooks, calculators and headsets based on availability of our Learning Commons Coordinator, Mrs. Mosich


Students are responsible for all materials signed out of the library, and may lose the privilege should books not be returned in a timely fashion. Signing out digital devices such as chromebooks, calculators and headsets may require leaving an item (phone, licence) as collateral. 


All textbooks will also be checked out of the library. Students may be charged for textbooks not returned to the library.


Lockers: Lockers are not going to be available the beginning of September.  Students are asked to carry their supplies with them to their 2 classes.  We will provide lockers to students who would like to have one later in the month, when we determine the safest procedure to do so.




Masks: The start of a new school year is always a time of great excitement and anticipation. For many this means changes in routines for students, staff and families. This school year will be no exception as we adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic realities in our communities.


As we return to school, we all share a responsibility to follow safety measures for ourselves and others. While it might not be possible to eliminate all risks of COVID-19 entering our schools, as shared by Alberta Health Services, we know we can minimize the risk of infection and spread. To work towards reducing the risk, Northern Lights Public School has developed a School Re-Entry Plan that is based upon Alberta Education’s guidance documents as required.


Alberta Health Services has stated that wearing a mask can be an additional measure that students and staff can take to protect others by preventing respiratory droplets from contaminating people, surfaces and/or objects. Furthermore, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, through the CMOH Order 33-2020 dated August 29, 2020, has determined that students in Grades 4 to 12, staff members and visitors must wear a non-medical face mask in schools when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Masks are only one part of the risk mitigation strategy implemented in schools and facilities in the school division. The effectiveness of a risk mitigation strategy includes the use of a variety of approaches to reduce risk, including:

  • staying home when sick, isolating immediately if you have COVID-19 symptoms including cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat;
  • washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • practicing physical distancing and maintaining cohort integrity;
  • sanitizing hands and high-touch surfaces; and
  • wearing a mask (reusable/washable cloth masks or disposable non-medical masks).


Supporting Mask Use

As we move forward with wearing masks in schools as mandated by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we recognize that our students may have little or no experience with safety practices such as physical distancing and mask wearing. As we would with any other learning, school staff, administration and supervisors will assess each student’s level of understanding and provide them with the teaching, guidance, coaching, corrective behavior supports and encouragement at an age appropriate level, to ensure safety for themselves and their school community. It is our expectation that staff and parents/guardians will support all risk mitigation practices, including the wearing of masks as per school and Northern Lights Public Schools expectations.


In an effort to provide a high standard of care and a safe learning environment, the refusal to wear a non-medical mask as per the following guidelines will not be accepted. This is to ensure the safety of all individuals in Northern Lights Public Schools and our communities. In the event students repeatedly refuse to wear a mask, students shall face disciplinary action that may include but is not limited to: isolation, parental contact, suspension or expulsion.  In the event staff repeatedly refuse to wear a mask, they may face a variety of disciplinary actions up to and including termination. 


Mask Exemptions

According to Alberta Education, exemptions to mask requirement for staff and students in grades 4 to 12 include:

  • persons who are unable to place, use or remove a non-medical face mask without assistance
  • persons unable to wear a non-medical face mask due to a mental or physical concern or limitation
  • persons consuming food or drink in designated areas
  • persons engaged in physical exercise
  • persons sitting at a desk or table
    • within a classroom or place where the instruction, course or program of study is taking place, and
    • where the desks, table and chairs are arrangement in a manner
      • to prevent persons who are seated from facing each other, and
      • to allow the greatest possible distance between seated persons
  • persons providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a non-medical face mask would hinder that caregiving or assistance
  • persons separated from every other person by a physical barrier


In the event an individual is unable to wear a non-medical mask due to sensory, mental,  physical or other reasons, they may apply for an exemption using the appropriate form which can be accessed through the student's school or the employee’s supervisor. Northern Lights Public Schools will give serious consideration to each request and will make a determination on a case by case basis in as timely a fashion as possible. If necessary, the applicant may be requested to provide a doctor’s note.


School Principals will be responsible for deciding whether students should be exempt from wearing a non-medical mask. In the event a parent or student disagrees with the decision they should contact Blair Norton, Director of Human Resources and potentially follow AP 143 Dispute Resolution for Parents.


Employees requesting an exemption will inform their supervisor, the supervisor will forward the request and form to Blair Norton, Director of Human Resources for a decision. In the event that the employee disagrees with the decision they will follow AP 144 Dispute Resolution for Staff. 


Acceptable Masks

To be acceptable, a mask should fit securely over the nose and mouth and not have large gaps between the mask and your chin, cheeks or nose where droplets can escape. Face shields are not considered to be non-medical face masks. Face coverings such as scarves or bandanas are not considered to be non-medical masks. It is important to comply with other personal preventative practices such as frequent hand hygiene and physical distancing as much as possible. 


Provision of Masks

The Government of Alberta is distributing reusable cloth masks to students and staff. Northern Lights Public Schools is providing additional disposable masks to schools and the transportation departments, as well as providing additional PPE to schools to ensure safety protocols can be met. Students may bring their own masks provided they meet the standards of non-medical masks as described by Alberta Health Services.


Mask Use and Storage

Staff should educate students on how to properly put on and remove a reusable mask, emphasizing:

  • washing hands or applying hand sanitizer before handling
  • handling masks by the ties/ear loops/elastics
  • avoiding touching the mask once it is on
  • changing masks when they become wet or soiled

Reusable masks that are not damp or dirty that will be re-worn prior to washing should be stored in a clean, breathable bag or container.


Who must wear a mask?

  • school and district staff
  • students (mandatory for Grades 4 to 12, optional for Grades K to 3)
  • staff in Out of School Care programs
  • parents/guardians
  • guests
  • service providers
  • all visitors entering the school


Who should not wear a mask?

  • persons unable to place, use or remove a non-medical face mask without assistance (due to age, ability, or developmental status – see exemptions process)
  • persons unable to wear a non-medical face mask due to a mental or physical concern or limitation (see exemptions process)
  • persons consuming food or drink in designated areas
  • persons providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a non-medical mask would hinder that caregiving or assistance
  • persons engaging in services that require the temporary removal of non-medical mask (articulation, pronunciation skills, etc.) with other risk mitigation strategies in place


When must masks be worn?

Grade 4 to 12, Staff, and Any Other Visitors or Personnel in the Building:

  • while being transported on a school bus 
  • when entering and exiting the school building
  • while in shared school spaces and high traffic areas (bathrooms, hallways, etc.)
  • when any individual is engaging with an individual who is not part of their identified cohort(s)
  • when not seated in classroom or place of instruction in a manner where desks, tables and chairs are arranged to prevent personal who are seated from facing each other and allowing the greatest possible distance possible between seated persons
  • during brief, casual interactions where physical distancing is not possible or is unpredictable

Grades K-3:

  • while travelling on a school bus (strongly recommended)
  • when COVID-19 symptomatic students moved to an infirmary and supporting staff are waiting for the student to be picked up


When are masks not required?

            Grades K to 3:

  • masks are not required for Grades K to 3 students, but can be worn provided they are able to place, use, or remove a mask
  • it is expected that when Grades K to 3 students are in a classroom or place of instruction they will be seated, as much as reasonably possible and age appropriate, in a manner to prevent students from facing each other and allowing reasonable distance possible between seated students

Grades 4 to 12 and Staff: 

  • when seated in classroom or place of instruction in a manner where desks, tables and chairs are arranged in a manner to prevent personal who are seated from facing each other and allowing the greatest possible distance possible between seated persons
  • the teacher may remove mask to provide instruction provided teacher remains within a designated teaching space
  • during outdoor cohort recess breaks where the integrity of the cohort is preserved and other transmission risk mitigation strategies are used
  • during any planned mask break where other safety measures are implemented
  • when eating or drinking in their designation eating location (other risk mitigation strategies in place)
  • when engaging in an athletic or fitness activity (physical distance measures in place, or the guidelines from the Alberta Government’s Guidance for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation-Stage 2 document are followed)
  • when staff are working with students with special education needs where wearing a face covering would hinder the delivery of program (other risk mitigation strategies in place)
  • when separated from every other person by a physical barrier


What other risk mitigations strategies are in place to reduce transmission of COVID-19?

  • staying home when sick
  • isolating immediately if COVID-19 symptoms arise
  • physical distancing
  • washing hands with soap and water
  • sanitizing hands
  • practicing respiratory etiquette
  • sanitizing high touch surfaces
  • maintaining cohort integrity
  • limiting non-essential guests in the building
  • staggering entry, recess and lunch, and pick-up times
  • designating entrances and traffic flow patterns in hallways
  • displaying signage to support the above strategies



Peer Support Program: The JA Williams peer support program is based on the belief that in times when they need help, people naturally turn to others of similar age, experience, or interests. In an institution whose primary stakeholders are 13 to 19 year old youth, there appears to be significant benefit in having a team of supervised students trained to provide academic and personal support services to their peers. Therefore, the JA Williams peer support program is designed to meet the needs of students by:

  • Creating opportunities for participants in which experiences may be used to gain competence and confidence in their interpersonal skills;
  • Developing skills in participants to identify and help meet fellow student needs;
  • Encouraging all students to be independent and make responsible decisions;
  • Encouraging use of the support of peer groups to develop skills to manage a difficult situation; and
  • Helping create a positive, supportive, and caring environment for all stakeholders within the school.


Other programs include:

  • Interact Leadership Club
  • Connections
  • SAAD
  • Community Helpers


The program seeks interested students who are able to:

  • be reliable/dependable; 
  • assume responsibilities, take initiative;
  • work with a group of students;
  • show a genuine concern for others;
  • be comfortable meeting new people;
  • make a time commitment to the program;
  • demonstrate a degree of maturity;
  • maintain confidentiality;
  • utilize some leadership qualities;
  • demonstrate good communication skills; and
  • present a positive overall attitude.


Permission to Leave School During School Hours: Students may be required to leave the school for a variety of reasons.  The school discourages the practice of being absent from any class, however, recognizes those circumstances may present themselves. 


Should a student be required to leave the school during class time, they are expected to remain in class until they are called to the general office to be signed out.  Students who leave during regular school hours must adhere to the following:

  • Students need to sign out at the office and notify their teachers.
  • If the student has arranged for pick-up, they are to remain in class until their transportation has arrived. Students may not wait for the ride in or around the school campus, as this leads to missed learning opportunities and unsupervised students.  The front office will call the student down when parents/guardians arrive.  Refusal to comply may result in progressive discipline.
  • Students must be picked up by a guardian or authorized replacement at the front office.
  • Student absences will be recorded as unexcused until the office receives parental notification.


Physical Education Policy: The philosophy behind physical education entails principles that teach students the mechanics of physical activity, why it's important, and how they can and should remain physically active on their own. 


For safety and hygienic reasons, it is expected that all students will change into appropriate gym wear during physical education classes and intramurals. Proper clean indoor running shoes are required when classes are held in the field house or other areas of the Bold Center.


Public Library: The Public Library is not school property.  Students are permitted to be in the Library when they are not required to be in class (lunch, breaks).  They are expected to follow the rules of the facility while in the building.  There will be some designated areas for eating but they must remember Alberta’s rules for Covid-19.  At this time, students will have to exit the school and enter the Library through the outside entrance.  This is to control the number of patrons within the facility and ensure proper protocols.  This may change throughout the year. 



Quarter Dates:

Quarter 1: Sept 1-Nov. 9

Quarter 2: Nov. 10-Jan. 29

Quarter 3: Feb. 1-Apr. 19

Quarter 4: Apr. 20-June 35

Exams days are tentatively scheduled for the last 3 school days of the Quarter.




Scholarships: Scholarships are available to students starting in grade 10. It is very important for students to realize that their academic record is calculated from the grade 10 year for some scholarships, such as the Rutherford.


There are many more scholarships students may apply for. Students who wish to apply for scholarships can find information at student services. All academic awards will be recognized during the awards ceremony in the fall or on a date to be announced.



School Safety Policy: When a serious antisocial, inappropriate violent incident occurs during the school day, a message will be sent to all parents informing them in general about the incident and emphasize the concern for safety, and the action that has been or will be taken to address the incident. A school day will consist of going to and from school and all school sanctioned events.


All school staff and students have a responsibility to report incidents to their immediate supervisor, or trusted adult with whom students feel comfortable.


Any students participating in antisocial, inappropriate, violent behaviour may be barred from school activities, non-curricular field trips, and extracurricular activities in the school. Any student receiving a suspension from extracurricular activities, the administration will determine if they are allowed to participate in activities. Progressive discipline may result.


Spares: Grade 12 students are allowed to have spares within their schedule.  While on a spare, it is not expected that they are in the building.  If they choose to be in the building they are not to be loitering, the library is open to them.


Student Appeals:  Decisions that address the educational interests of the students may be appealed within a reasonable time period.


  1. All appeals regarding classroom decisions must first be made to the classroom teacher.
  2. Prior to a teacher decision being appealed to the superintendent, it must be appealed in writing to the principal of the school. Prior to a principal/s decision being appealed to the board of trustees, it must be appealed in writing to the superintendent.
  3. Parents of students, and students 16 years of age or older, have the right to appeal the decision of the superintendent to the board of trustees of Northern Lights Public Schools.


Student Expectations: Follow Behavior Matrix to be safe, respectful and responsible..

Breaks: Breaks are staggered daily to allow distance to be maintained and promote continued cohorting. Teachers in each quadrant will coordinate with each other as for when their class will take the break (10 min breaks between 10 & 11, 2 & 3). Masks will be worn for moving about the school or room.  Masks will be required in the Bold Center and all common areas. Students will be encouraged to stay in their quadrant and respect the fact that other classes are running.

Bussing:  Students will be dismissed in 3 rounds

  1. 3:25 Buses 126, 120, 147, 113, 114, 111, 104, 130
  2. 3:26 Students with rides, own transportation or walking (Not riding bus)
  3. 3:27 All other buses

Grades:  Students are responsible for handing in assignments and accessing PowerSchool regularly to monitor their progress.

Lunch: Dismissal will be staggered to allow distance to be maintained and promote continued cohorting.  Supervisors are placed around the school and 4 classrooms will be opened to allow for more spaces to physical distance.  It is an open campus so students will be permitted to leave the building at lunch. Masks will be worn for moving about the school or room.

Payment of Fees (If School Cash Online is not utilized):  All monies for payment will be handed to Mrs. Waine.

Student Services: J.A. Williams High School student services includes two student advocacy counsellors for individual or group personal counseling, two career and academic counselors, and FNMI graduation coach, and an inclusive education coordinator.


Their efforts are complemented with the service of external agencies such as mental health counselors, addictions counselors, behaviour specialists, occupational and speech therapists, and local law-enforcement agencies.


Students may seek advice on school programming or career counselling as it relates to their program and their goals. Personal counselling is available by all members of the department through referral. Students are requested to make appointments with the counselling staff, and are encouraged to avoid missing class to access counselling services. However, if it cannot be avoided, arrangements with the classroom teacher may be made prior to the appointment.


Students may be referred to group sessions such as body image and self-esteem, grief and loss, anger management or others.


Students Union / Spirit Team: The Students’ Union/Spirit Team of J.A. Williams High School organizes a number of activities for students such as Mardi Gras week, school dances and other fundraising activities, which promote a safe and caring school.


Membership is voluntary, with students being strongly encouraged to join. In addition, students are invited to participate in the peer support program coordinator through student services.


Executive positions are president, vice president, secretary, staff advisors and grade reps.




Tobacco Policy (AP 352): JA Williams High School believes in the need to be a healthy role model in the community. Further, because of legislation (Bill 208] prohibits anyone under 18 years of age  to be in possession of tobacco products and NLPS prohibits smoking on school property, there’s to be no smoking, no vaping (tobacco or otherwise) and no chewing tobacco on J A Williams High School property.


The school will consider any offences as a discipline issue that could result in suspension and subject to a municipal fine. Progressive discipline may result.



Use of Drugs and Alcohol (AP 352): Northern Lights Public Schools believes student use of alcohol, cannabis and non-prescription drugs is detrimental to the learning process and is therefore prohibited. Student abuse of solvents has a damaging effect on the normal development, well-being, and academic performance of students.


The superintendent expects schools to have a student education program which deals with the effects on the individual and on society of alcohol/drug use and abuse.


The Division prohibits the possession and/or consumption of alcohol or non-prescription drugs on Division premises. Regardless of age, alcohol and recreational cannabis use will not be permitted at school or school related functions. Progressive discipline will result. Parents and guardians are asked to respect and support the school policies and model positive behaviours by avoiding alcohol and drug consumption for all school related functions. Students under the influence may not ride the bus home and must be released to a guardian or designate; failure to comply may result in RCMP or peace officer involvement.



Weapons Policy (AP 353) Northern Lights Public Schools is committed to providing a safe environment for students and staff within Division schools and during school related activities. The Division expects schools to have a student education program which deals with the effects of violence on the individual and on society. The Division prohibits the possession of a weapon on a students’ person or in a student's locker or desk. Progressive discipline will result.


Definition: a weapon is anything used, designed to be used, or intended for use in causing death or injury to any person, or for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person.



Yearbook Committee: Each year students and staff work together to produce a record of the activities that took place at JA Williams high school over the course of the school term.


Interested students should contact Mr. Dyck, the staff advisor to the yearbook, for possible meeting times.