March 15, 2010

Do your kids feel safe at Walnut Creek Intermediate?

Apparently, the vast majority do, which is a good thing, despite the fact that the school has had to deal with five "student issues" in the 2009-10 school year, according to Walnut Creek School District Superintendent Patricia Wool. These incidents involved students bringing knives to school and being in possession of alcohol or marijuana.

Questions about the future of student safety and well-being have also been raised of last week's decision to eliminate one of two vice principal's positions at the 1,120-student school. 

Wool addresses concerns about WCI student safety in an e-mail she just sent out to parents Monday. She also cites results from the most recent California Healthy Kids survey. 

According to Principal Kevin Collins, to the question, "How safe do you feel at school," 16 percent of WCI seventh graders surveyed replied "very safe," close to 60 percent said "safe," and only 4 percent said "unsafe." 

Meanwhile, here is the superintendent's letter: 
Dear Walnut Creek School District Community,
At the start of the 2009-10 school year, WCI made a conscious decision to inform the community if there were any incidents or threats to our students, either on campus or to and from school.  We have informed the community about five student issues to date:  two students who brought knives to school, two students who possessed marijuana, and a student who possessed alcohol.  In addition, you received several reports about suspicious situations and possible abduction attempts in the region.  We inform the community so that you will be able to discuss these issues with your children and ultimately keep all children safe.  Some people worry that the notifications depict a changed campus.
When we look at data, there have been five incidents for 2009-10.  While we wish that there were no such incidents, pre-teens are working to develop good judgment and social skills.  Their judgments are sometimes not the best, and poor choices are sometimes made. It is our job, working with parents, to help all students make sound decisions for themselves.
In our WCI Parent Survey and the bi-annual Healthy Kids' Survey we gained important information about the safety at WCI.  The 2010 parent survey, taken by over half of our families, showed that 90% of families agree or strongly agree that their "student feels safe at school."  In the most recent California Healthy Kids' Survey taken by all 7th graders, 5% of students reported feeling "unsafe."  Because we want no students to feel unsafe, we are working with staff on this issue.
We are committed to providing a safe environment regardless of WCI administrative staffing levels.  A clear, specific reorganization will take place in the WCI Office if there is one vice principal next year.  We will ensure that student safety is a top issue and will be maintained no matter what the structure of the site administration.


Deborah said...

We love WCI. Our 3rd and final kid is in 8th grade there now. The key there that they nip in the bud anything and/or anyone if it's is a potential safety threat. None of our kids had any problems or issues there of that sort. And we are very grateful.

Anonymous said...

None of my four children had any trouble outside routine friend-drama either. I did volunteer lunch supervision at WCI and there definitely is a huge need for more supervision, not less. Parents play a role here too. Kids had alcohol at lunch last year also, it's nothing new. Glad they are being open about it now, maybe it will make parents and teachers more vigilant.

MickeyMartin said...

Only 5 incidents? JK