Dear District 44 Families,
Our hearts are with the members of the Uvalde, Texas community, and the students, families, teachers and staff of Robb Elementary School impacted by the school shooting.
As you struggle with your own emotions as a parent, we know that you want to be able to address your child’s concerns. The National Association of School Psychologists offers resources to help parents address those concerns. Some key points include:
- Reassure children that they are safe. Emphasize that their school is very safe. We know you want to feel this reassurance as well. Please know that the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.
- Limit television viewing and social media exposure of these events. Be aware if the television is on in common areas and if your child is accessing social media. As you watch the news tonight, and discuss the tragedy with other adults, know that if your children are listening, they may be confused and concerned about what they hear.
- Make time to talk, and keep conversations developmentally appropriate. Let your child’s questions be your guide as to how much information to provide.
Further, we understand our families may have questions about our internal efforts to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
- Throughout this school year, a team of individuals from throughout the district has been meeting to develop a robust emergency plan. This plan, which was built alongside safety professionals and in consultation with the DuPage County Safety Taskforce, takes into account a wide variety of situations and scenarios. It provides direct guidance to ensure the safest and most effective response. This plan is something you will be hearing about much more in depth throughout next school year.
- We practice a wide-variety of emergency drills throughout every school year, which are supervised by police to ensure effectiveness.
- We have the BluePoint System activated in every building throughout the entire district, including the administration center. When pulled, it provides a direct line of communication to police and ensures the fastest possible response from emergency responders.
Another tip is to maintain a normal routine. That is exactly what our schools did today, and will continue to help students enjoy the end-of-year celebrations. Your child’s teacher, with the help of our guidance counselors, school psychologists and social workers, are prepared to address any student anxiety that arises because of the tragedy. If you have specific concerns about your child, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher, building principal, or any member of our administration. We are all here in support of your children.
Dr. Ted Stec