From Superintendent Dr. Hanke:
Dear Parents and Guardians:
We were all shocked and deeply saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred this morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We are all heartbroken for the families, the school district, and moreover the school community. We join with the entire country in praying for everyone involved.
As a sign of support and respect, and as a reminder for all of us to keep the families and staff members in our thoughts and prayers, flags throughout the district are being flown at half staff and will remain so until further notice. In addition, our crisis team of counselors and psychologists has been alerted and will assist school sites in helping children and staff deal with any emotional fallout from today’s tragedy.
The safety of our children is a top priority for us. In response to this tragic event, school principals will discuss with all staff the safety procedures regarding visitors and strangers on campus. In addition, we are carefully reviewing our procedures for conducting “lock down” drills at all of our campuses. We plan and conduct these drills on a periodic basis and have scheduled a drill in the near future. We will review the scheduling of that drill and communicate it to you as soon as we have confirmed the date and coordinated it with the Dublin Police Department.
We ask that you speak with your child about this event, re-assuring them that they are safe at school. We also ask that you stress to them the importance of following the directions of teachers, support staff and school leaders during emergency drills and whenever they are on campus. If you need assistance in helping your children deal with this tragedy, please contact your school principal.
In addition, “Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers” is also attached to this letter and will be available on the district website for future reference.
In deepest sympathy for the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut.
Stephen L. Hanke, Ed.D.