NHS Parents and Guardians,
The new semester at Newtown High School starts tomorrow (Wednesday, January 21st), and on behalf of the staff and administration, we are looking forward to an engaging and productive remainder of the school year for all students. In recent months, we have worked to ensure the goals of our school improvement plan are being met, including the implementation of a safe school culture and improved communication with all stakeholders. These are emphasized in Goals III and IV:
III. School Goal: We will develop and implement communication practices that build trust, improve relationships, and support students in their learning.
IV. School Goal: To increase a sense of social, emotional, and physical safety and well-being within the school community.
As Principal, I have met with students during focus groups and continued to have open dialogue with parents through morning breakfasts, PTSA meetings, and committee work. As a result, we have used advisory time to communicate and involve students in positive school-wide events, expanded areas for students’ quiet study, and developed strategies for the ongoing safety of all students.
One of the more urgent issues we have focused on in recent months is substance abuse. Our Freshman Forum and a future assembly with Chris Herron, former NBA basketball player, have and will continue to provide both awareness and information on the topic of drug use. While substance use goes beyond being a high school issue, as a school community, we want to place the highest priority on this issue as it relates to the health and well-being of our student learners. Therefore, the following strategies will be implemented as we enter the 2nd semester:
- Use of advisory time to engage students in positive school events and initiatives
- Police involvement, including the use of drug dogs (3-4 visits) in the coming school months, in order to promote a drug-free school and adherence to drug and alcohol polices and expectations
- Breathalyzer devices utilized for dances to ensure the safety of all student attendees and drivers
- Review of district and school survey data related to changes in substance abuse trends and discipline
- Soliciting the ongoing commitment of the Newtown community as this is an important issue requiring awareness, information, problem-solving, and persistence
We will keep parents informed as we initiate strategies in the best interest of our students.
Dr. Lorrie Rodrigue