Dear Upham Community,
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, school staff, community members, and emergency responders that have been affected by the unthinkable and unexplainable tragedy in Uvalde, TX. This situation is one that is unimaginable and many are left with unanswered questions. It is a challenge for the adults to comprehend so we are left wondering what our children are thinking and feeling.
Please know that on a regular basis, the safety of all students and staff is of the utmost priority and concern for all individual schools and the district as a whole. All our schools work collaboratively to discuss and review safety procedures and protocols for all our schools. Safety practices, protocols, and procedures are identified and created in conjunction with the other schools, the Wellesley Police Department, and the Wellesley Fire Department. We have routine drills and procedures in place that allow us to ensure safety for all.
Research suggests that providing a normal environment, which consists of regular routines and conversations, is the best way in which to support our children. Therefore, our number one priority is to do just that – maintain a sense of normalcy. Please note that we have made a unilateral decision that we will not specifically mention this to students as we are not clear as to how many students are aware of the events that occurred. However, if the topic comes up, we have identified a common language that will be used with students. Please see the common language below:
“The events that took place in TX on Tuesday were extremely sad and unfortunate. Please know that at Upham, we have many safety procedures and plans that are in place to make sure all the students and the adults are safe.”
If students are in need of immediate and direct assistance, our School Psychologist (Dr. Hoitash), school nurse (Ann Warmington), and I will be immediately available to assist students. This will be done with direct communication to families as you know your children best. I encourage and welcome you to call me directly if you have questions, concerns, or would simply like to share your thoughts about your individual child(ren). You are always welcome to do so.
The National Association of School Psychologists has some useful resources on how to talk to children about violence that I encourage us all to review.
Once again, please know that our number one priority is always the safety of all students and staff. We will continue to communicate, review, and reflect on existing practices to ensure we have the safest schools.
As always, your continued support, understanding, and compassion are appreciated. This continues to be a team effort and for that I am thankful. Please join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to the Uvalde, TX community.
Dare to Dream,