September 17 to 21 marked the 14th annual Safety Week at the Durham District School Board (DDSB). John Bowyer, Project Superintendent of Safe Schools/Mental Health and Well-Being, explains, “The intent of Safety Week is to provide support, resources, and up-to-date information for schools to continue to create and sustain positive learning environments.”
Throughout the week, the Safe Schools department in the DDSB offered educators and students various opportunities to expand their knowledge of health and safety.
Fire safety first
On September 18, Grade 3 and 4 students from Robert Munsch Public School walked over to Whitby Fire and Emergency Services on McKinney Drive. Students sat in the driver’s seat of a fire truck, toured the fire hall, and met Molly the education dog, all the while reviewing potential fire risks and the life saving measures that can be taken.
Fire Prevention Officer Terry Von Zuben says, “Parents/guardians need to have working smoke alarms on every level of their home, and students in this age range should know the importance of calling 9-1-1.”
Taking precautions for outdoor education
On September 20, secondary teachers participated in Wilderness First Aid Training at Purple Woods Conservation Area in Oshawa. Teachers learned key processes such as: performing a primary assessment of an unconscious individual, making a stretcher out of a tarp and wood, how to treat a person suffering from hypothermia, and more.
Phil Matsushita, Principal of Pine Ridge Secondary School and organizer of this event, highlights the importance of wilderness first aid training, “We’re supporting both students and staff by having these tools available, so that staff can provide safe and supportive experiences for all students.”
Open house provides public information
In honour of Safety Week, the Safe Schools staff also held an open house at the Education Centre in Whitby. Community partners set up booths in the atrium, and Safe Schools staff discussed Ministry of Labour resources and updates with educators.
The Durham District School Board (DDSB) is responsible for public education in the rural settings of Uxbridge, Brock and Scugog Townships and the urban settings of Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa. The DDSB employs 7,600 teaching and educational services staff. With 132 elementary and secondary schools and learning centres, the DDSB accommodates more than 70,000 regular day students and thousands more who take advantage of a wide variety of continuing education and adult credit courses. More information can be found on the DDSB’s website at www.ddsb.ca. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @DurhamDSB and YouTube at DurhamDSB.