Dear Trumbull Parents/Community,
Our hearts are filled with deep sadness and overwhelming grief over the tragic events in neighboring Newtown. It is truly unconscionable that the sanctity of our schools again has been violated. As educators, parents, and adults, we must work together to provide our students and each other with the strength and support necessary to navigate through this tragic situation.
Also, please note the following:
- On Monday, all schools will observe a moment of silence and flags will be flown at halfstaff.
- An increased police presence will be deployed next week and TPD will be readily available.
- School Crisis Teams will be activated, and if additional support is needed, we will follow up with Dr. McGrath, Director of PPS.
- Our crisis/emergency procedures will be reviewed at your school on Monday, including “buzzer” access to the building.
- You should know that our Administration, the Town, and Police are working very hard to provide a safe environment and are meeting continually to monitor security measures.
- I am sure that you have numerous questions or comments about what the district is doing to ensure the Newtown incident does not happen in Trumbull -- even though the solution to school violence and safety lies beyond the boundaries of Trumbull, and even Connecticut. Please know that our protocols have been vetted, and I will be meeting again with Chief Kiely early Monday morning to review these procedures to determine if any modifications or additions are necessary.
Related, an increased number of you might want to escort your child to his/her classroom. Although we are sensitive to this, the flow of parents and others into the building must be minimized as SECURITY, NORMALCY, and ROUTINES will be our prevailing message. In such times, it is strongly recommended that we strive to keep routines as normal as possible, as it is well-known that children gain security from the predictability of routines.
A Community Committed to Excellence-- Please also note the following links, one from the National Association of School
Psychologists and the second that was posted on the Yale University website:
http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis safety/terror general.aspx
Please peruse the information on these sites as it is replete with solid data for staff and parents to help adults and children cope with such tragic situations. Extract what you are comfortable with and utilize where you deem appropriate.
Please know that we will not focus on the Newtown tragedy, but that any responses to student questions, concerns or anxieties will be responded to in an age and developmentally appropriate manner, particularly with regard to our elementary youngsters.
Finally, I have asked each principal to meet with their staff approximately 45 minutes earlier on Monday to review this situation, digest the information provided, and prepare for the day. Also, Dr. Michael McGrath will be in close contact with all of the schools and advises that PPS staff can be a valuable, daily resource for students, staff and community.
We will never forget our deep sense of loss for our fallen colleagues who gave their lives for children and to other staff whose valiant efforts and actions saved the lives of many others!
Ralph M. lassogna