It has taken some time to process the horrific events that occurred last week at Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Whether it is a concert in Las Vegas, a church in Charleston, a nightclub in Orlando, a movie theater in Aurora, or one of dozens of schools throughout our great country, we continue to be reminded that we can never stop being vigilant in protecting our fellow citizens, especially our children. The safety and security of our schools and children remain a top priority for me and our staff members!
In the Newton Public Schools, we believe our safety and security is heightened by living our core values. Our mission states, in part:
We believe in the value of care. Therefore, we put trust, respect, and support at the heart of our school culture, and safety, security, and sustainability at the center of our physical environment.
What is clear to us is how important our school culture is to a safe, secure physical environment. We practice these values every day in all aspects of our school program. We encourage our students and staff to report any suspicious or unusual behavior, whether observed in person or online. We take all threats seriously and act accordingly.
We may contact you with concerns about your child. Please don’t be alarmed or defensive: we want to err on the side of caution, and work together to prevent a situation from escalating and having regrets afterward.
Our mission also states:
We believe parents, teachers, support staff, and citizens must partner in order to help children achieve their highest potential. Therefore, we organize ourselves as community schools to ensure we allocate sufficient resources to the social, emotional, and physical well-being of our students as well as to their academic achievement.
To our parents, grandparents, and other significant adults in the community: you can help us by becoming aware of signs and symptoms of violence as published by the American Psychological Association in its guide to Warning Signs of Youth Violence at http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/warning-signs.aspx.
Anyone can report concerns to me directly by phone at 973-383-7392 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concerns can also be reported to the Newton Police by phone at 973-383-2525 or online at http://newtonpolice.org/crime-tips/. To report any crime in progress, please call 9-1-1 immediately!
Dr. G. Kennedy Greene, Superintendent