Nevada Association of School Boards
The Nevada Association of School Boards is a full-qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit Nevada corporation.
President's Message — March 2018
In the February issue of this newsletter, I explained NASB’s focus on school safety in all of its forms. Although NASB has provided a number of workshops and/or presentations on school climate, environment, and safety, the Association and POOL/PACT will offer a workshop on April 20-21, focusing on these issues.
Although NASB began planning for this School Safety Workshop back in November, it is even more important today in the aftermath of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims, their friends, and others in their communities who have been impacted by this tragedy.
In addition, from the NASB perspective, our thoughts and our prayers are with the Florida School Boards Association as it helps a district and community heal after the tragedy in Broward County.
One of the takeaways for me after any school shooting is that addressing school safety doesn’t simply mean responding to the latest horrific shooting. Districts have to put school shootings in perspective and understand where the threats are more likely to come from. Perhaps we need to place greater emphasis on an “all hazards” approach that considers the best responses to a variety of emergencies.
Working together, schools and community partners can focus their emergency planning using time-tested national guidance, including efforts to build school climate to establish relationships of trust and respect among students and staff in order to encourage them to share information about threatening behavior before an incident occurs. At the upcoming School Safety Workshop, we will focus on school climate and building a climate of trust that is conducive to information sharing.
Studies show that students who do not feel safe at school stay home. And when students aren’t in school, they don’t perform academically. In the long run, they miss opportunities that could bring them happiness and a stronger sense of self-worth.
Although we may think we have done enough, there is every chance that we have not. That’s why POOL/PACT and NASB are providing assistance for school trustees to become more proactive and more effectively prepared for the unthinkable—no matter its form.
One of the ways that we deal with tragedy is through humor. That gets me to the next part of this month’s Message. I want to share with you some little known facts about St. Patrick’s Day. After all, only once while I serve as your President do I have this opportunity. These are my favorite facts.
• Most importantly, St. Patrick was not actually Irish, he was English, born about 386 A.D.
• His given name was Maewyn Succat.
• If he had not legally changed his name during his religious journeys, March 17 would be known as Maewyn Succat’s Day.
• He was kidnapped at the age of sixteen and taken to Ireland as a slave.
• He tended sheep for ten years in Ireland before escaping to England and taking refuge in a monastery.
• During his years of captivity, he became deeply devoted to Christianity through constant prayer.
• He eventually became a priest and was soon sent by the Pope to Ireland where he spread the gospel to non-believers while also providing support to the small community of Christians already living in Ireland.
• After becoming a priest, he changed his name to Patricius, from the Latin meaning “father figure.”
• And, the rest is history, although he never rid Ireland of snakes because post-glacial Ireland is one of the few countries on earth that never had any snakes.
I could go on, but that’s probably enough.
I strongly encourage you to plan ahead to attend the workshop on April 20-21 jointly organized by NASB and POOL/PACT. Because of the limitations of space, registration will be capped at 55 participants, so you will want to make your arrangements early.
Our students depend on us to keep them safe at school and to balance their physical security with a range of resources that we as school trustees oversee and monitor with the superintendent. Learning more about how to do this work more effectively is crucial for each of us.