Dear Parents and Guardians,
As the events of yesterday in Uvalde, Texas unfold, we are all reminded of the prior incidents of school shootings, and it seems impossible to believe that another incident of gun violence has been perpetrated harming innocent children and those who educate them.
With the access to information being so broadly shared in the media and on social networks, many of our students will be aware of the incident from yesterday, as well as the recent shooting in Buffalo. It is important to convey feelings of safety to our children by engaging with them and understanding their concerns. However, research has shown that not overly emphasizing the tragic events of today can be very reassuring for children. For students who may request or who you sense are particularly troubled by the images and discussions being shared, please refer them to the school adjustment counselor at your child’s school. Expect that, as with all trauma, that children may express their feelings in a variety of ways even some attention seeking behaviors that may seem inappropriate. In some ways these children may have the greatest need for our compassion as they try to make sense of the world.
It is important to know that the school safety plans are diligently adhered to and the protocols for entry and exit procedures, scenario expectations for shelter-in-place and lockdowns, and “see something - say something” for concerning behavior will be reviewed with all staff. The district and school administration will take each occurrence of reported concerns seriously. The district safety team will be meeting with our community partners in emergency services this Friday morning and we will be reviewing the various plans that we currently use in light of this evolving tragedy.
I know that an email seems impersonal, but it is the most expedient way to communicate with all parents and guardians, and what I want you to know as your child enters the school and classroom today is that their safety and the safety of our staff is the highest priority.
Dr. Barbara Malkas
Superintendent of Schools