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Principal Message

Dear WHS families: 

The safety--emotional and physical-- of all members of our school community is a top priority. Every single day, administrators, teachers, staff, and students play a critical role in ensuring that our high school remains a safe learning environment. To help keep our building and the individuals in it safe and secure, please be mindful of the following items: 

Emotional Safety: It is our intent to promote a safe and supportive school, family, and community learning environments in which children feel valued, respected, and connected to and engaged in learning; these goals can be utilized within families and the community as well. 

Here are some emotional safety tips we employ within WHS that you may find helpful (adapted from the National Center for Safe Supportive Learning Environment) 

1. Self-awareness: students can recognize their emotions, describe their interests and values, and accurately assess their strengths; they have a well-grounded sense of self-confidence and hope for the future. 

2. Regulate emotions: to persevere in overcoming obstacles, better manage stressful situations, or control impulses students learn to set and monitor progress toward the achievement of personal and academic goals; and, are able to express their emotions appropriately. 

3. Socially aware: When students are able to take the perspective of and empathize with others and recognize and appreciate individual and group similarities and differences they are better able to focus on the task(s) at hand. They actually begin to contribute to their community in positive ways-- this can strengthen character. 

4. Good relationship skills: students can establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships based on cooperation. They resist inappropriate social pressure; constructively prevent, manage, and resolve interpersonal conflict; and seek and provide help when needed. 

5. Responsible decision-making: Students can practice this at school, at home, and in the community. In making decisions, they consider ethical standards, safety concerns, appropriate social norms, respect for others, and the likely consequences of various courses of action. They apply these decision-making skills in academic and social situations and are motivated to contribute to the well-being of their schools and communities. 

Physical Safety reminders: 

1. Threats: a threat is someone or something that could cause harm, or trouble; or, the possibility that something bad could happen.

2. Intruder: someone who enters a building with the intent to harm or posing a threat. 

3. Be Alert: report threats of any kind to a staff member or adult. We receive reports from students often and administration acts on these reports.
 
4. Follow directions at all times: teachers and staff go through a review of our school’s safety and security protocols; teachers and staff are your best resource in the event of a crisis.

In ongoing attempts to keep our school safe throughout the year we have conducted or will conduct safety/security checks involving personnel from Westborough Police, Westborough Fire, Massachusetts State Police, K-9 officers, and Emergency Medical Technicians. 

Also, later in the newsletter under the section ‘Center For Student Success/School Counseling I share excerpts from a publication by the National Association of School Psychologists relating to a trending popular Netflix television show called, “13 Reasons.” I ask that you read the text. It is important to talk with your child about the topics depicted in the show if you feel it’s necessary. The biggest concern we have with the show is the potential of students watching it without processing the show’s content with an adult family member. It may be true that many adolescents are able to handle the show’s content and can differentiate between a TV drama and real life; however, engaging in thoughtful conversations with them about the show is vital. Doing so presents an opportunity to help them process the issues addressed, consider the consequences of certain choices, and reinforce the message that suicide is not a solution to problems and that help is available. It is our hope that if your child is watching the show that there be time allotted for you and your child to debrief to discuss its impact on your child. 

Please continue to encourage your child to take their emotional and personal safety and school security very seriously. 

Best,
Brian Callaghan