Safety at NDS
Safety is always our top priority. We have technology and daily procedures in place to make sure New Dimensions operates smoothly and safely every day. Communication is open among students, families, teachers, administrators, and our school board. We want to hear from you in person, over the phone, through email, and in many other ways. We are all “stakeholders” with the same purpose.
As of January 2020, New Dimensions has deployed a new anonymous tip line, Say Something, that our middle school students and staff have available to them. New Dimensions joins schools around the state in the first roll out of this program. Say Something is a school safety program for students – developed by Sandy Hook Promise – that enables students to anonymously report tips about school safety concerns via a mobile app along with a phone call. The tips will be received by school administrators and law enforcement, who will respond appropriately based on the type of tip.
We want to be sure our students have a voice when it comes to feeling safe at school, and that’s why we want to be part of this promise. This app gives students the ability to remain anonymous while reporting instances of bullying or fighting involving themselves or others, or if they’ve seen a weapon at school, with assurances that their tip will be seen and investigated. The Say Something mobile app allows users (who can include students, teachers and parents) to provide tips in categories that include bullying, illegal drug and alcohol use, fighting, weapons and a report category for all other types of tips. Students can submit digital photos or videos along with text information from their cell phones directly to the school administrative team and school resource officer. The app allows students, if they choose, to bookmark a tip so that they can follow-up on the status of their tip, or anonymously text back and forth with administrators to provide additional information. Additionally, if a student has a suicide or mental health concern, they can reach out to trained professionals by using the app. The app is available for download from the Android Marketplace and the Apple App Store. You can also click the Say Something logo to the left to access the website for reporting or downloading the app.
Why it exists
The Center for Safer Schools, created in March 2013 as part of the N.C. Department of Public Safety, worked with Sandy Hook Promise in response to a concern noted by students, teachers, administrators and law enforcement during community forums, of a need for a standardized method for students to report safety issues to school administrators, teachers and school resource officers.
Over 160,000 school children miss school each day in the United States out of fear of being bullied. Being able to report their fears is paramount in reducing these absences. Over 90 percent of students say they would use an anonymous reporting tool if they had one available. This is also important because over 80 percent of school shooters tell someone before they act. An anonymous reporting tool could help prevent school shootings and other safety concerns on school campuses.
In 2013, one of the first activities of the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools (NCCFSS) was to tour the state and hold community forums at several schools. These forums included meeting with students, teachers, administrators and law enforcement in the afternoon followed by an open community forum in the evening. One of the concerns that arose from these meetings was that students needed a truly anonymous, standardized method to report their concerns to school administrators, school resource officers (SROs), and teachers. The NCCFSS heard this call for help and began developing a plan to find and implement an anonymous reporting application for students that could also be available for their parents and teachers. Say Anything is a tangible anonymous application for smart phones that has been developed with the needs of North Carolina’s school children in mind.
School Resource Officer (SRO)
Continuing the safety theme within our school, New Dimensions is pleased to announce our partnership with the City of Morganton to place a school resource officer (SRO) at our school. Officer Casey Kinard began as the New Dimensions SRO on January 15, 2020. Our students, staff, parents and visitors are in very capable hands.
Officer Kinard has worked for 11 years as a Public Safety Officer with Morganton Public Safety. He is currently the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) / Community Officer in the Community Services Division. In addition, Officer Kinard is the departments DARE instructor, senior post advisor for the Explorer program, and projects director for the grants program. He serves on the accident review board for the city and the awards committee, social media team and Chief’s Advisory committee for the department.
Officer Kinard is a member of North Morganton United Methodist Church and serves there as the chair of the staff parish committee and member of the missions and outreach committee. He is also President of the Morganton-Burke NC Fraternal Order of Police and past Secretary for the Lodge, Board Member for the Workforce Development Board for Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, and Alexander Counties, and Secretary on the Board of Directors for Safe Kids Burke County.
School Based Therapy
New Dimensions is excited to partner with Breathe Wellness to provide school based therapy for our students and families. We will be utilizing funds for students-in-crisis services to contract with a Caring Alternative to assist with the physical, mental, emotional, and social health needs of students and families. These funds will provide support to our students as they grow and achieve.
NDS Video Cameras
New Dimensions School has installed security cameras throughout our building and grounds. These cameras make an already safe school even safer. In addition, the NDS Administration and Officer Kinard will have 24/7 access to live camera footage from offices and mobile apps. This is another giant leap forward in making the safety of New Dimensions a top priority.