Student Agenda

Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School
1020 Dryden Blvd.
Whitby, ON L1R 2A2

Phone: (905) 666-2010
Fax: (905) 666-3035

Our bell times are as follows:

9:25 Music Plays

9:30 - 9:35  Homeroom (Announcements) 

9:35 - 10:50: Period 1 

10:55 - 12:10 pm Period 2

12:10 - 12:50 pm: Lunch

12:55 -  2:10 pm Period 3

2:15 - 3:30 pm - Period 4

3:30 pm - Dismissal 

Mission Statement 
We are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ. 
Core Values 

Our Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School community includes our parents, guardians, students, teachers, school administration, educational assistants, adult volunteers, secretaries and custodians. We invite all visitors to join with us as we grow in Christ through His words and actions.


We are called to LoveWe are called to Serve

Every member of our community is valued.

We will turn our beliefs into actions.

We will constantly strive to respect and love each other as Christ taught us.

We will take pride in who we are and actively show that pride in the daily development of our talents, our deportment, and our contribution to our community.

We will strive to recognize Christ in ourselves.

We will affirm each other through active kindness, courtesy, compassion, respect, patience, forgiveness, and honesty.

We will strive to recognize Christ in each other.

We will each actively participate in the responsibility of maintaining the buildings, grounds and spaces that we share, created by God for all generations.

We will strive to recognize Christ in His creation.

Safe School Environment 
At Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School, all students, parents/guardians, teachers, staff, trustees, volunteers, visitors, parish and community members have the right to be safe, and to feel safe, in their school community. With this right comes the responsibility to contribute to a positive school climate. 
Catechism of the Catholic Church in section 1807 

Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbour. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbour. "You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbour."

We promote the foundation of our faith through the Catholic Social Teachings and Catholic Graduate Expectations. The Durham Catholic District School Board and our schools focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the key to maintaining a positive school environment in which students can learn and teachers can teach. We offer various strategies and initiatives such as:

  • Student Success and character development;
  • prevention and intervention strategies to address inappropriate behavior; and
  • positive school climate that supports academic achievement for all students.

When inappropriate behaviour occurs, schools are required to utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate and include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, while focusing on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short term suspension may be a necessary tool. In the case of a serious incident, long-term suspension or expulsion, which is further along the continuum of progressive discipline, may be required.

Expected Behaviour of Students 

Our students display the following behaviours:

  • Responsible citizenship involves appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community.
  • Active and engaged citizens are aware of their rights, but more importantly, they accept responsibility for
       protecting their rights and the rights of others.
  • Members of the school community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict.
  • Physically aggressive behaviour is not a tolerated or responsible way to interact with others. The possession,
        use or threatened use of any object to injure another person endangers the safety of oneself and others.
  • Alcohol and illegal drugs are addictive and present a health hazard. The school will work cooperatively with
        police, drug and alcohol agencies to promote prevention strategies and where necessary, respond to school
        members who are in possession of, or under the influence of, alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Insults, disrespect, and other hurtful acts disrupt learning and teaching in a school community.
  • Members of the school community have a responsibility to maintain an environment where conflict and
        difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility.
  • Physical displays of affection are inappropriate at school.
  • "Rough housing" or "Play fighting" is not permitted.

Students at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School are expected to participate actively in the religious life of the school:

  • through attendance at school Masses, retreats and other exercises of the Catholic nature;
  • through a positive attitude toward religious studies which make up a part of each student's curriculum;
  • through the development of a caring, respectful attitude toward fellow students and teachers.
Safe, caring and healthy Secondary Schools 

The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes that a school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. With this right, comes the responsibility of all members of the community to work together to create a positive learning environment where all members feel supported.

Access to premises 

Parents and guardians are welcome to visit the school to discuss an issue with teachers or administrators. In keeping with the Board's Access to School Premises Policy, please remember that anyone coming into the school must first sign in at the office and obtain a Visitor's badge. All staff members will be wearing photo ID and will question anyone whose presence is not expected.

If a parent/guardian needs to pick up his/her son/daughter during the school day, this must be facilitated at the office. Members of the office staff will call the student down to the office to be signed out. If parents send a friend/relative/designate to pick up their child, please advise the school in advance and ask the designate to provide photo identification at the office. If the student returns to school before dismissal, he/she must sign back in at the office so his/her attendance can be monitored.

Attendance Matters 

Student achievement and success is dependent on a child's attendance at school.

Did you know?

  • Students should not miss more than nine days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track
        to graduation. That means no more than 4 ½ days per semester.
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a
        bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
  • Research shows that by Grade 9, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than
        Grade 8 test scores.
  • Missing 10 percent of a school year (or about 19 days), can drastically affect a student's academic success. 
  • Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
  • Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college or university and keep a

Make school attendance a priority

School attendance needs to be a priority at home.

  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day, make that the expectation in your family.
  • Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night's sleep.
  • Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.
  • Don't let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs of
        anxiety. Talk to your physician or ask someone at the school (guidance counsellor, principal or vice-
        principal, school social worker or child and youth counsellor) where to go for help.

Help your teen stay engaged

  • Find out if your child feels engaged by his/her classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats. Report
       any concerns to the teacher, principal or vice-principal.
  • Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers
        know how to contact you. 
  • Stay on top of your youth's social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without
        many friends can feel isolated.
  • Encourage meaningful after school activities, including sports and clubs.

Communicate with the school

Keep the lines of communication open with the school and your child's teachers.

  • Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at
  • Check on your child's attendance to be sure absences are not piling up.
  • Ask for help from school officials, after school programs, other parents or community agencies if you're
        having trouble getting your child to school.

"Regular attendance at school is critical for the student's learning and achievement of course expectation"
(OSS-Program & Diplomas Requirements 1999 p. 35). Students must accept responsibility for work which has been missed due to absences.

Absence reporting 

Parents must call the safe arrival parent portal to report all absences at 1-844-288-7628 or by simply downloading the phone app. Absences may be reported until 1:30 p.m. daily and may be made in advance of an absence.

  • When a student returns from an absence of two days, he/she must bring a note explaining the reason for the       absence to the attendance office before the student returns to class.
  • For prolonged absences (competitions, vacations) parents/guardians must notify the principal in writing
         regarding the absence before the event.
  • In the event of short or longer term absences, a designated guardian must be appointed in writing for school

Excused absence during the school day

Parents are encouraged to use the Safe Arrival Parent Portal to record an excused absence, i.e. early or late arrival, including signing out for appointments etc. Students may also present a note to the attendance secretary prior to 9:30 a.m. that morning. Should a student become ill during the school day he or she MUST report to the attendance office prior to leaving the school premises to receive a "sign-out" slip. Parents will be contacted prior to permitting a student to leave the school. While students will not be penalized for excused absences, they will be responsible for any work missed. This work should be completed in consultation with the classroom teacher.

Absences during exams

Should a student be absent from a final examination/culminating activity in a course, a doctor's note must be presented to the vice-principal upon the student's return. Only students with such medical certificates will be given accommodation regarding the missed exam. In absences of a medical certificate a mark of zero may be recorded for the exam.


Truancy is a non-excused absence from class or from school. Students who are truant will be assigned a detention or community service and parents will be notified. Subsequent truancies will involve parent contact and interviews, suspensions, referrals to the guidance counselor, the social worker or Child and Youth worker. Any work missed due to truancy must be completed on the student's time and to the teacher's satisfaction. If a student signs out, they must leave school premises.


Students are expected to arrive on time to all of their classes. Students who arrive at school after [time] must sign in at the attendance office. Persistent lateness will result in suspension.


Plagiarism is the act of passing off someone else's work as your own. A student who plagiarizes may receive up to a failing grade on his/her school work that was plagiarized. The expectation is that teachers introduce and review proper citation procedures with their students. Students are advised of resources to help with proper documenting.


Each student is issued his/her own locker. Lockers are not to be shared. Only Dudley locks, provided by the school on the first day of school are acceptable. Any other lock will be removed. Students are expected to leave their coats in their lockers. While the contents of a locker are a student's property, the locker is the property of the school and the administrators have the right to inspect a student's locker at any time. Students should not bring large sums on money or any valuable property to school. The school is not responsible for valuables left in a locker.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Participation in any extra-curricular activity is at the discretion of the administration. Students who participate in extra-curricular activities must represent the values of Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. At all times they have to show exemplary behaviour and respect for all persons or property at this school or any other location where they represent the school.

Retreats and Masses 

Retreats are part of the religion program for every student at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. Students in Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 will participate in the retreat program. Besides individual class Masses, we celebrate school wide Masses with the entire student body and staff. There will be a reconciliation service during Lent followed by the opportunity for individual confessions. The sacrament of reconciliation is also available on a weekly basis by consulting the Chaplain.

Community Involvement Hours

As part of a student's religion education, he/she will be given in-class assignment/ reflections that focus on the concept of Christian community service. This work will be evaluated and weighted at five percent for the final grade for religion education. Students require 40 hours of community service to graduate.

Ineligible Activities

The following activities do not count towards community service hours:

  • requirement for a course in which student is enrolled;
  • activities takes place during instructional time;
  • duties or obligations performed at home;
  • personal recreational activities;
  • work for a workplace or commercial business;
  • activities for a court-ordered program (e.g. probation);
  • work for a political party or individual candidate;
  • babysitting, except in cases of exceptional need which has been pre-approved by Religious Education Teacher
        work for payment, work normally done for wages by another person;
  • activities involving the operation of a vehicle power tools or scaffolding;
  • activities involving the handling of substances classed as "designated substances" by the Occupational Health
        and Safety Act;
  • activities requiring the knowledge of a trades person whose trade is Provincially regulated; and
  • activities involving banking or handling of securities, jewellery, works of Art, antiques, or other valuables.

Eligible Activities

Any service work for community agencies, churches, service organizations, or any activity pre-approved by the principal or designate, according to pastoral need.

School Uniform Policy 

The official dress code of Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School is a result of discussion with faculty, students, parent council and administration. Our school uniform is compulsory and is under review. All students are to wear the uniform during the school day. The school colours are black and red.  All Dress Code infractions will be addressed with discretion and respect.  

Students shall wear the uniform properly. The uniform shall be kept clean and in good repair and be warn neatly. Uniform clothing needs to be sized appropriately: neither too large nor immodestly tight.

For more information about the school uniform visit McCarthy School Uniforms.

Academic standard policy 

Research showed that academic success is linked to the amount of time a student is in the classroom.

  • Students must inform teachers of absence due to school sports games, trips, etc.;
  • Students are responsible for all work missed due to participation in extra-curricular activities; and
  • If a student, while participating in a school activity, breaches the school code of conduct, the student may be
        removed from participation in the activity by the administration.

The Durham Catholic District School Board provides bus transportation for all students living outside the non-walking zone as set by the Board. Students are responsible for their behaviour on all school buses in the same way that they are in class. The use of bus transportation is a privilege and students who abuse it may lose that privilege. 


All visitors to the school must report to the main office. Visitors on school business must sign the visitor book in the main office and wear a visitor pass. Students must not invite friends to the school. Any person on school property without permission is trespassing. Staff and students should report any strangers not wearing a visitor pass inside the school. Please report this person to the main office immediately.


Parking is available at our school. Students may not loiter in their cars in the parking area and must drive with due careAn annual cost for parking may apply. Parking privileges may be revoked at any time for unsafe driving.

Tobacco and Vaping

Smoking and smokeless tobacco are not permitted on school property at any time by anyone. Any use or possession by a student will result in a student being suspended by Administration. Students may be fined for violations by the Ministry of Health.


Students are not permitted to participate in gambling activities on school property - for example: dice/poker. Consequences for such behaviours will be dealt with according to the School's Code of Conduct.

Restorative schools

We believe that safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents. To foster these relationships, staff in the Durham Catholic District School Board use restorative practices, including classroom circles and small group conferences to build community within the classroom and the school.

What is restorative practice?

Restorative practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada's Native Aboriginal communities. It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them. When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behavior in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship. It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature.

Goal of restorative practice

The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed.

Catholic Restorative Schools will:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make
  • Provide a voice for the victim;
  • Use a common set of restorative questions both in and out of our classrooms to give the victim a voice and
        enable the perpetrator to determine the effect of his/her actions;
    • How do you think your actions had an impact on others?
    • What do you think you need to do to make things right?
  • Use circles, or small group conferences to build community, develop empathy and understanding, and when
        needed, to repair relationships;
  • Celebrate our Catholic community through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations; and
  • Use think papers and reflective discussion papers aligned with the restorative questions.
School Code of Conduct
The school's Code of Conduct for students in Grades 7 to 12 is available here.
School Code of Conduct on School Bus Vehicles

All school bus vehicles are considered an extension of the classroom and all school policies such as Safe Schools, and School Code of Conduct apply to the school bus. All transported students whether on a field trip or home to school transportation are expected to behave in a manner on the bus that ensures that everyone remains safe.  Since the bus is an extension of the school, students are accountable to the school principal who has the authority to ensure that student conduct on the school bus is appropriate.

Due to the nature of the activity of riding a bus, the following are expectations for all methods of school transportation as per the School Code of Conduct.

All students must:

  • Respect other people’s property and belongings while waiting for the school bus;
  • Treat the driver with respect and follow his/her instructions;
  • Be courteous and respectful to others on the bus at all times;
  • Act appropriately in a manner that does not endanger the safety of oneself or others including, but not
        limited to:
    • Not engaging in any activity that interferes with the safe operation of the bus
    • Remaining seated at all times, facing forward while the bus is in motion
    • Keeping hands, arms, feet, head and belongings inside the vehicle until the student has exited at his/her stop
    • Not distracting or speaking to the bus driver except in the case of emergency
    • Refraining from inappropriate behavior on the bus, e.g., throwing items, swearing, fighting, or bullying
    • Not bringing alcohol, drugs or weapons onto the school bus
    • Not touching safety equipment or emergency exits except in the case of an emergency
    • Not eating or drinking on the bus

Our Chaplaincy Team Leader is available full-time to staff and students as a resource. He or she provides different ministries of Christ as the need arises. In particular, Chaplaincy will provide:

  • pastoral care and spiritual directions;
  • encouragement of sacramental life of school community;
  • crisis intervention and bereavement follow up;
  • support and act as a resource for parents and the surrounding community;
  • a link between the school and the surrounding parishes;
  • encouragement to the school community to be involved in activities of social action and Christian witness;
  • support and act as a resource to the religious education program of the school.
Program Support 

Program Support or Student Services are available to all students who require a quiet place to work or to receive assistance with assignments and tests. Peer tutors are available to assist as well as teachers. During class time, students must have permission from their teacher to go to Program Support.


Guidance provides programs and services for the entire school community that respond to the needs of students, parents, teachers and administrators.

The Guidance Resource Centre is available to students wishing to explore career and post-secondary educational options. Students are invited to visit the Guidance Resource Centre before or after school, during lunch or during their spares. The following types of information and/or services are available in the Guidance Resource Centre:

  1. educational (post-secondary);
  2. exploring apprenticeships and the world of work;
  3. getting experience;
  4. job searches;
  5. volunteer opportunities; and
  6. co-operative education.

As well, students have access to the computers in the Guidance Resource Centre for educational purposes only.

Youth Services

The Durham Catholic District School Board provides a support team for its family of schools. The team consisting of the following professions:

  1. Psychologist;
  2. Speech/Language Pathologist;
  3. Social Worker/Attendance Counsellor;
  4. Resource Teacher for Visually Impaired;
  5. Resource Teacher for Hearing Impaired; and
  6. Youth Counsellor.

The above resource staff are available to assist students at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School through a referral procedure.

Student Identification Cards

Student Identification (ID) cards are required to borrow books and materials from the library, use computers in the library, complete an Accelerated Reader test, go to school dances or purchase prom tickets.

If a student ID card is lost or missing, students can purchase a replacement ID card at the main office. A replacement fee will be charged.

Community Threat Assessment and Protocol

The Durham Catholic District School Board is committed to providing safe learning environments for all students, staff, school visitors and community members. When student behaviours pose a potential threat to safety or serious harm to self or others, all schools in the Durham Catholic District School Board follow the Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol (C-TAIP), which outlines how a school responds immediately to threatening behaviour.

This protocol involves supports from various partners, including community agencies, hospitals and police services. Personal information shared throughout this process will always respect and balance each individual's right to privacy while ensuring the safety of all. Visit our Board's Safe Schools web page for more information or speak to the principal.

Information on photo and video sharing

As we try to keep pace with social media that is so much a part of our students' lives, it is important to be reminded of people's right to privacy. While taking photos or videos at various school events, please be mindful that it is illegal to post/upload/share photos or videos of anyone other than yourself or your own child on the Internet or anywhere without the expressed consent of the person or their guardian. Sharing photos or videos of others without their consent is a privacy violation.

Concussion policy 

All school boards in the Province of Ontario are required by law to have a concussion policy and school board administrative procedures in place so that students, school staff and parents/guardians understand their role in preventing, managing and reporting suspected or diagnosed concussions.

What is a concussion?

concussion is a clinical diagnosis that is made by a medical doctor or a nurse practitioner. The definition of concussion below is adapted from the definition provided in the concussion protocol in the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines.

A concussion:

  • is a brain injury that causes changes in the way in which the brain functions and can lead to symptoms that
        can be physical (e.g., headache, dizziness), cognitive (e.g., difficulty in concentrating or remembering),
        emotional/behavioural (e.g., depression, irritability), and/or related to sleep (e.g., drowsiness, difficulty in
        falling asleep);
  • may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, or neck or by a blow to the body that transmits a
        force to the head that causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull;
  • can occur even if there has been no loss of consciousness (in fact most concussions occur without a loss of
  • cannot normally be seen by means of medical imaging tests, such as X-rays, standard computed tomography
        (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Our concussion protocol and tool includes responsibilities for Board and school staff, students and parents/guardians. Additionally, health units and sports and fitness organizations in Durham are using this protocol to raise awareness to help prevent and manage concussions.

It is important to note that all suspected concussions must be reported and a medical doctor or nurse practitioner make a diagnosis and participate in the Return to Learn and/or Physical Activity documentation process.

The concussion tool noted in the student agenda is a resource for school staff, parents/guardians and students. Parents/guardians and students are encouraged to contact your school principal for more details about the new concussion management and prevention safety protocols that exist to promote student safety and success.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Technology Agreement 

Our students are going to live and work in a world where people use electronic devices regularly. They need to learn how to use devices in a respectful, responsible and ethical manner. Our Board's Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) procedures, School Codes of Conduct and Catholic Graduate Expectations will guide teachers in the process of teaching students what it means to be good digital citizens.

Secondary acceptable use agreement

Secondary school students must complete the acceptable use agreement in order to use their electronic devices for educational purposes while at school.

  • I will respect the dignity of others and contribute to the common good.
  • I will only use social media in a manner that respects the dignity of others.
  • I will use the internet, computers and personally owned electronic devices in a manner consistent with the
        Catholic Graduate Expectations.
  • I will respect the intellectual property rights of others and not pirate or plagiarize.
  • I will protect my digital identity, my passwords, and others' right to privacy online.
  • I will only use personally owned electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, tablets, iPods) during class time when

         it is allowed by my teacher.

  • I will not take pictures, videos or audio recordings of people without their permission.
  • I will not use an electronic device in private areas (e.g., washrooms, change rooms, and administrative
  • I understand that inappropriate use of personally owned electronic devices make me subject to discipline as
        noted in the Board's Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technology Administrative Procedure,
        Code of Conduct Policy and Student Discipline Policy.
  • I will remember Jesus' message do unto others as I would have done to me.


Science safety contract 

Students enrolled in any science class must follow the safety rules as outlined in the Science Safety Contract below.

The following are general safety rules and guidelines associated with any and all science courses. Additional specific safety instruction will be delivered on an as needed basis. To participate in any science class, you and your parent or guardian must read, understand, and sign the agreement below. Failure to do so may restrict your ability to participate in experimental activities, and possibly result in disciplinary action.

  1. All students must wear the designated personal protective equipment (PPE) when requested by the teacher.
        No exceptions.
  2. Students must conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all times in the classroom and laboratory.
  3. Students must follow all written and verbal instructions carefully. If you do not understand a direction or part
        of a procedure, always ask the teacher for assistance.
  4. When entering a science classroom and/or laboratory, do not touch any equipment, chemicals, or other
        materials until you have been instructed by the teacher to do so.
  5. Absolutely no food or drink in the laboratory.
  6. Always keep hands away from face, eyes, mouth and body while using chemicals or preserved specimens. Be
        sure to wash your hands with soap and water after performing all experiments.
  7. If any chemical gets on your hands, or any other part of your body, alert the teacher and follow instructions
        (e.g. wash it off immediately).
  8. Clean with supplied materials (detergent), rinse and wipe dry all apparatus at the end of each experiment
        and return all equipment clean and in working order to the proper storage area.
  9. When transferring reagents from one container to another, hold the containers away from your body.
  10. Never return unused chemicals to their original containers. When in doubt, ask the teacher.
  11. Never remove chemicals or any materials from the laboratory area.
  12. Examine glassware before each use. Never use chipped, cracked, or dirty glassware.
  13. Carry glass tubing (especially long pieces), in a vertical position to minimize breakage and injury.
  14. Never attempt to handle broken glass. Alert the teacher immediately and follow their instructions.
  15. Never immerse hot glassware in cold water as it may shatter.
  16. Report all damage and accidents immediately to the teacher.
  17. If you do not understand how to use a piece of equipment, always ask your teacher before proceeding.
  18. Never place any hot apparatus directly on a laboratory desk. Always use an insulating pad. Allow time for
         the apparatus to cool before touching it.