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Communications changes at NNDSB involving school lockdowns

The Near North District School Board (NNDSB) is making changes to communication with families and stakeholders during and following school lockdowns.  

This after recent lockdowns at schools in the North Bay and Parry Sound areas and debriefing sessions. 

Changes include: 
– the communications team posting to the board’s social media accounts that the school is in lockdown
– the communications team sending an email and recorded message via SchoolMessenger to families of the school in lockdown when possible
– where possible, the board will share the social media posts of the police service involved, if applicable
– once the lockdown is over, the communications team will share that information on the board’s social media accounts and update the Board of Trustees
– a letter to families from the impacted school will be sent following the lockdown

“One issue that came to light during the debriefs was the number of students and/or families communicating with each other via mobile devices during the lockdowns,” states a release. “While we understand that the situation is excruciating for all during a lockdown, safety is of paramount importance. Receiving a notification could expose the location of staff and students, compromising their safety. It is imperative that messages not be sent or received during a lockdown.”

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The board also says another concerning issue was the amount of misinformation being shared on social media during the West Ferris Secondary School (WFSS) lockdown. 

“The erroneous online reporting of events and injuries necessitated additional investigation by members of the North Bay Police Service,” states the release. “This, in turn, lengthened the time WFSS was in lockdown.”

Overall, the board says it’s proud of staff and students for their handling of these tense and difficult situations and is grateful that no one was injured during these events.

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