I am pleased to inform our community of Academia Cotopaxi’s commitment to the safety and care of each of our students. We have a strong program in place which informs our student body about the dangers of early alcohol and drug abuse, how these substances affect an adolescent’s brain and which prevention methods are most effective. Our Health and Physical Education faculty teach this information each year through HPE classes. In Biology, students learn how these substances affect their bodies. Academia Cotopaxi also has developed a relationship with the organization Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) to help us have this information stick through powerful educational opportunities. FCD will be with us from November 20-22 this year.

In a further effort to protect your child and care for his/her safety, Academia Cotopaxi will begin a program of bag and locker checks. Students will be randomly chosen to open his/her bag and locker, in a discreet and safe place, so that our security guards can ensure that there are no illegal substances on our campus. We believe these prevention measures will help keep all of our students safe.

According to Ecuadorian guidelines, students do not have to open their bags for searches. Lockers, because they are school property, may be opened at anytime by school authorities and we will do so with the student present. I would like to be clear: if your child refuses to open his/her bag, we will not open it. We will report to you, the parents/guardian, that your child refused. If we have a reasonable doubt that your child has substances at school, we will inform you of our suspicions and we will check the locker.

Our hope is not to catch students. Our hope is to ensure our campus is safe for all students all the time. Please speak to your child about this program. We will speak to all of our students as well informing them of our plan, procedures and the reasons behind the initiative. Safety first!

Thank you for your support of our Alcohol and Drug Prevention Program.

We hope to see you all at our FCD Parent Workshop which will be held on November 22 at 6:00 p.m. in our Auditorium.

Garth Wyncoll
High School Principal