NHS Principal Communications - February 15, 2023

Hello Clipper Families,

A primary goal for us over the years has been to improve our school climate by having a welcoming and safe school for all students and staff.  Each year after taking the MCAS, the state administers a school climate survey to our 10th graders.  This survey is called the Views of Climate and Learning (V.O.C.A.L).  Based on results from last year’s survey, we are close to a favorable school climate.  Our goal is to become exemplary in this area, and we will continue to implement different methods to improve our climate here at Newburyport High School.  

To monitor our climate more frequently, we will create a survey similar to the state’s V.O.C.A.L assessment and administer it across the whole school, as the state’s survey is only given to grade 10 students.  The information that we learn from this whole school survey will help us develop plans in areas in which we can improve. If you would like to opt your student out of the survey, please complete this form


Another area we are working to address is vaping that happens in our bathrooms. Two months ago, we started a pilot using an updated Vape Detection system through a company called Verkada.  This system was effective at deterring students from vaping in the bathroom where it was installed.  Due to this, we will be moving forward with installing detectors in all bathrooms across the school.  I am hopeful this will have an impact on this behavior as we are able to intervene with more students who are addicted.  Also, recognizing this behavior extends beyond the walls of the high school, here is a link that takes you to a virtual site highlighting different ways teens hide vape devices and other substances.  

I would like to thank the parents, students, teachers, and community members who are part of our school council for feedback they have offered in helping us build our improvement plan which includes school climate as one of our priorities.  Our members include:

  • Teacher Representatives:   Jess Buchman, David Clay, Hillary Lynch, and Jill Moran
  • Parent Representatives:  Anya Brunnick, Stacy Gijsbers, Laurie Kench, and Phoebe Lonborg-Lewis 
  • Student Representatives:  Riya Kaur, Emerson Leahy, Rourke Lee and Tuala Sullivan
  • Community Representatives:  Chris Cain, Dr. Ralph Orlando