Processing the news from Ulvalde, Texas

By now, you have all seen reports that a gunman took the lives of at least 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The Uvalde community has been devastated by this violent, senseless act, and its impact is rippling across our nation. This hits close to home. My heart goes out to all of the families who will never get to hold their children, or their loved ones, again. My heart also breaks for the young students and educators who witnessed what no child or educator should ever witness or experience. I know thoughts and prayers are not enough, but as I’ve said before, it’s a start. As for me, I will continue to hold all those impacted by this tragedy in my thoughts and prayers as together we imagine and nurture a world that is kinder, safer, and more peacefully compassionate.  Please know that I stand with each of you as we process this horrible situation. 

The health and safety of our students and staff remain a priority. Earlier this evening I sent a message to staff reminding them of our safety and security protocols and sharing our expectations for keeping our school community safe.  I want to highlight several of the steps we have taken, including but not limited to:

  • We emphasized all staff are required to wear photo IDs and visitors are required to sign in at the office. 
  • All classrooms received new door locks districtwide.
  • We have just piloted a visitor management system that is planned to launch districtwide next year. 
  • Many of our school security cameras have been replaced and we continue those efforts.  
  • We also continue to add fencing to many of our campuses.

I've spoken with our Safety and Security staff who confirmed that each school has an emergency operation plan, and schools have practiced both lockdown and safe inside drills this year.

Students may need emotional support from mental health staff as well as an opportunity to talk with a trusted adult at school. Our counselors and trusted staff will be available to support our students as they process this news. In the meantime, here's a helpful resource from the National Association of School Psychologists, which provides a number of tips for processing news of this type of violence.

If at any time you or your student believe you have knowledge of any situation where danger is imminent, dial 911 immediately. During the school day, you or your student can contact any member of the staff or school administration. In situations where you do not believe there is imminent danger, you can also choose to use our 24-hour Safe Schools Alert System using the contact information below:

Thank you for your attention to this topic as we work to keep our Northshore community safe; together all things are possible.

Warmest regards, 

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

 

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