March 28, 2023
NWSS New Cameras and Safety Update
I hope you’re returning from Spring Break feeling rested and ready to take on these last few months of the school year. There are lots of exciting events and things to celebrate as we look forward. But first I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some on-going work we’ve been doing, and to ask that all of you, as parents and caregivers to students here at our school, take a moment to have some important conversations with your children as well.
As you know from a series of correspondence this year, school and district staff are continuing work to address the destructive, intrusive and risky behaviours we’re seeing in a small number of students. These actions have impacted all of us, and they need to stop.
Following the message I sent in November about this, I’m happy to update you on measures that we’ve invested in, as one part of that work. This week students will notice:
- The new video cameras we were investigating have been purchased and installed over Spring Break. These new cameras, located in strategic public locations that have been identified as needing additional coverage, will provide us with thorough and detailed footage that can be reviewed in the case of any future incidents. This includes being placed in locations that can monitor the outside entrance to washrooms that have been previously vandalized.
- The Facilities Team have installed telephones into every classroom, to ensure fast and dependable access for support.
- Vape detectors have now been installed and are working in key washrooms that were proving harder to monitor previously.
We also continue to have conversations about being respectful of all our Codes of Conduct at school, as another part of the work we’re doing. But, it’s important that those conversations and expectations be reinforced at home as well. As we set ourselves up for a strong last few months of this school year, we ask that you have conversations at home about being good citizens at school.
Above and beyond the behavioural issues, we’re also concerned for the health and well being of the students we see engaging in vaping. We ask that you take a few moments to learn about some of the harms of vaping, so that you can have vital conversations at home about the risks. Here’s a great resource that can provide a quick overview about vaping and it’s connection and overlap with cigarette smoking, as well as providing resources to support people in quitting: https://quitnow.ca/quitting/thinking-about-quitting/learn-about-vaping
Any student who might need support or resources related to quitting vaping, or managing any kind of substance use, can also connect with Kat Davidson, the prevention worker who is available to students through the Wellness Centre.
We’ll continue to update you on this work we’re committed to doing, as we work to ensure we’re creating and supporting a safe and healthy working and learning environment for all.
Principal, New Westminster Secondary School