Hello Maple Run Community,
I write to you today with a heavy heart in the aftermath of yet another school shooting in our nation. This takes place on the heels of other recent shootings and violence in the news, and in the midst of students, families and staff preparing for the end of a tumultuous year.
While my first response is one of general sadness and frustration, I have important responses that are specific to certain roles I play; the first being that of a parent who wants to keep my children safe. This is a response that informs my duty as an educator and as your superintendent and I would like to assure you that we have systems in place at all Maple Run schools to keep our children safe.
With that in mind, parents and guardians may be looking for age-appropriate information or guidance on how to talk to children about this recent school shooting, I wanted to provide this guide from the National Association of School Psychologists, as well as this resource from Common Sense Media, and this tip sheet from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
The US Secret Service, which tracks school shootings and advises school districts, tells us that the best prevention measures for schools include fostering supportive relationships between students and staff, and amongst students, as well as ensuring that staff, students, and families, report alarming or concerning behavior as soon as they know about it. This is our first tier of protection for our children. If you see or hear something concerning from either your child or another student, please say something to a school staff member. Do not worry if the matter seems too minor. We say this consistently to our students to encourage communication with our staff.
Our schools employ a host of additional measures to keep everyone safe, including fostering our partnership with local law enforcement, collaborating with our district liaison officer, additional staff and services to support student mental health interventions, and training for all staff members.
In response to school shootings we all react and process differently, that is both normal and ok. As a school district we focus on providing the normalcy of a school day for all students, and responding to individual students, and groups of students, as their unique needs and desires surface. If you have concerns about support for your child, please reach out to your school counselor or principal directly.
Thank you for your partnership,
Superintendent of Schools