Suspension Process


“Students, parents, teachers, support staff, principals and [regional centres] share responsibility for creating a school-wide approach to maintaining a positive and inclusive school climate where all students are supported to develop healthy relationships, make good choices and achieve success in their learning.” -  Nova Scotia Provincial Code of Conduct

About Suspensions at CCRCE

At CCRCE, we put relationships at the core of our work. We strive to be an educational system that uses a relational approach to help ensure the work we do is culturally responsive and restorative. This is why our suspension processes reflect a focus on relationships and what is best for students in our schools.

As per the Education Act, it is the duty of every student enrolled in a public school under jurisdiction of a regional centre to:

  • Participate fully in learning opportunities
  • Attend school regularly and punctually
  • Contribute to an orderly and safe learning environment
  • Respect the rights of others
  • Comply with the discipline policies of the school and the regional centre

It is the duty of every Principal to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to create and maintain a safe, orderly, positive and effective learning environment. Principals are also to investigate and respond to reports of unacceptable behaviour of students, and, where the principal believes the well-being of a student has been endangered as a result of the unacceptable behaviour of any other student, and notify the parents of the student.

When a suspension may occur

A suspension or other action may occur where a student enrolled in a public school engages in unacceptable behavior

  1. On school grounds, on property immediate adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school- related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop or on a school bus; or
  2. At a location, activity, function or program that is off school grounds and is not school-sponsored or school–related, if the behaviour significantly disrupts the learning climate of the school.

The Principal or the person in charge of the school may take appropriate action as specified in the Provincial School Code of Conduct Policy including suspending the student for a period of not more than 10 school days.

For more details on suspensions, please visit the Provincial Code of Conduct  or the Nova Scotia Education Act.

Suspensions Up to 10 Days

The length of the suspension up to 10 days is determined by the Principal. When a suspension occurs the Principal or person in charge will immediately notify, in writing or by electronic means, the student, the student’s parents, the student’s teachers and the regional centre of the reasons for the suspension.

If a parent would like a review of the suspension, they must contact the Family of Schools Office within 5 days of receiving the suspension notice. It is important to note that while the suspension is being reviewed, the student will still serve the suspension.

  • Celtic Family of Schools
  • Trenton Office
  • 902-755-8132
  • TurnbullRJ@ccrce.ca

  • Chignecto Family of Schools
  • Springhill Office
  • 902-597-4207
  • BruceMG@ccrce.ca

  • Cobequid Family of Schools
  • Truro Office
  • 902-896-5737
  • MacLeodIM@ccrce.ca

  • Nova Family of Schools
  • Shubenacadie Office
  • 902-758-3908
  • WhelanSM@ccrce.ca

If a suspension review is requested, a Review Committee will examine if proper procedures were followed by the school while issuing the suspension. The committee cannot change the length of the suspension. They can confirm or revoke the suspension.

Suspensions of More Than 10 Days (Extended Suspensions)

When a Principal determines that a student should be suspended for longer than 10 days, an Extended Suspension Committee must consider this recommendation. After considering the recommendation, the committee can decide to dismiss the principal’s recommendation or extend the suspension of the student for a period of greater than 10 school days.

Using a restorative approach within our Extended Suspension process, does not mean we replace consequences for students. Instead, we consider if we can replace, or reduce, the need for consequences that may interrupt the student’s learning, attachment, or connection to the school community. We know that our students do better when they are connected to a school community. We focus on helping them get what they need to feel that connection and be successful.

Our focus is on rebuilding any harm done to relationships and help move all involved forward in a positive manner. The Extended Suspension Committee reviews the underlying factors of the student behaviour, supports that have been tried and could be tried next, as well as elements of the incident that would be considered positive in other contexts. The committee looks at the impact the situation has had on others and what needs to be done to make things as right as possible moving forward.

What to Expect during the Extended Suspension Process

As part of the Extended Process, all participants (administrator, student, family member and support person) are provided with guiding questions before the meeting. Participants are encouraged to think about their responses beforehand.

As per the restorative process, the room for the conference will be set up in circle. This fosters a feeling of community and equality. Tables in the middle of the circle can act as barriers to the feeling of “coming together.” The facilitator of the conference will welcome the participants, remind everyone of the guidelines.

The restorative questions are asked to the participants in the following order:

1. Student

•    What happened that is bringing us to conference today?
•    What were you thinking at the time?
•    Who has been affected by what has happened? How have they been affected?
•    Is there any other information that would help us in making the right decisions for everyone involved? (past events, attendance, academics)
•    What needs to happen to make things as right as possible?
•    What do you need to help you have a more successful experience at school?

2. Administration

•    What happened that is bringing us to conference today?
•    What was your reaction when you heard of what happened?
•    Who has been affected by what has happened? How have they been affected?
•    Is there any other information that would help us in making the right decisions for everyone involved? (past events, attendance, academics if relevant to the goal of the conference)
•    What needs to happen to make things as right as possible?
•    What do you think needs to be done to help (student’s name) have a more successful experience at school?

3. Parent/Guardian


•    What was your reaction when you heard of what happened?
•    Who has been affected by what has happened? How have they been affected?
•    Is there any other information that would help us in making the right decisions for everyone involved?
•    What needs to happen to make things as right as possible?
•    What do you think needs to be done to help (student’s name) have a more successful experience at school?

4. Go to support person for studentt


The purpose of the support person is provide the opportunity for the student to have an adult present (in addition to possible parent or guardian) who can speak positively about the student and act in a supportive role.

The criteria for this person should be an adult who has a personal relationship with the student and who may act as a mentor (coach, employer, family friend, SchoolsPlus Facilitator, etc.) This person should be able to speak to the strengths and positive qualities of the student.

Due to the potential sensitive nature of the meeting, this person should understand that the discussion will be confidential and signing a confidentiality form will be required.
•    What can you share about (student’s name)?
•    Is there any other information that would help us in making the right decisions for everyone involved?
•    What do you think needs to be done to help (student’s name) have a more successful experience at school?

5. An opportunity for participants to say something else:

Is there anything else you would like to add? (student, administrator, parent/guardian, support person)

6. Questions From the Committee

Any additional questions from the committee are brought forward.

7.  Review of suggestions and recommendations.

The committee, student, and parents/guardians review the suggestions and recommendations for next steps. 

8. Committee meets privately to discuss decision

Ask the family, support person and administration to step out.

9.  Invite

Invite family, support person and administration back in and share the committee’s decision and review the plan moving forward.

If the recommendation is in support of the extended suspension, the student will still remain supported by the regional centre and its school. We know that our students do better when they are connected to a school community. Our focus is on helping them get what they need to be successful.

Connect Centres are a resource available for students with extended suspensions.

Our Connect Centres focus on keeping students connected with their school, Schools Plus supports, and any community agencies, if needed. Students receive both academic support and one-on-one connections to discuss any social-emotional and well-being concerns. This wrap-around approach ensures students not only advance in their academics, but build a relationship with their school and CCRCE as they prepare for their adjustment back to a learning environment.

Appeal of an Extended Suspension

Any student or parent/guardian wishing to appeal an Extended Suspension must contact the Regional Executive Director within seven days of receiving the decision of the Extended Suspension Committee. The student and parent/guardian will be notified of the time and place of the hearing to be held within 10 days of the notice of appeal. The decision of the Suspension Appeal Committee is final and binding.