March 2, 2018
Dear North Saanich Parents:
Bayside Middle School was on Lockdown for several hours yesterday after students noticed a suspicious looking stranger near the playground. The school and local Central Saanich police followed district, school and police procedures to ensure that all students and staff were safe. We were all pleased and relieved to hear that everyone at Bayside was safe. Today Bayside students and staff were supported by district counsellors.
At North Saanich, we visited all our classrooms to review our safety procedures and policies and to answer any questions or concerns. We explained how we make sure that NSMS is a Safe School. We started by talking about our fundamental philosophy of a Safe, Respectful and Purposeful school. We went on the talk about the reason we are a closed campus, take attendance, practice emergency drills, phone for safe arrival, have visitors and school staff and students sign in and out, how we spread out supervision and why we check in with our students in break-out rooms.
We also talked about social media and how students need to be careful and respectful when using online communication with friends. We all know that what is said online can be misinterpreted. We want to make sure that all our students are being kind and respectful online citizens. We also informed them that if someone is “Crying Out for Help” by saying that they are going to harm themselves or others that this is their way of asking for help. We asked our students to tell an adult they trust if they notice these types of cries for help. The research on past incidents in school around the world shows that these incidents can be prevented if we respond to cries for help with support.
This week we also celebrated and honoured Pink Shirt Day. We want all our students to feel safe and happy at school. This allows them to come to school and focus on learning and friendships. We have a very kind, generous and supportive student body and we don’t want them to be worried or concerned about their safety at school.
Please take some time this weekend to have a conversation with your children about our school routines and procedures and please let us know if they need support in feeling safe and comfortable at school.