Dear Parents and Guardians,
In response to concerns of late, let me assure you that our schools make safety and security their top priority and daily, follow, teach and practice safety and security protocols. Thank you for the respect you have shown for our safety and security procedures. Your support for these preventive protocols is helpful and much appreciated. Still, prevention practices are not the only way our education professionals assist our students and families, especially when there is an event that requires reaction such as the national focus on the school violence in Florida. Central to that effort is our work to create community.
As stakeholders in the work to build community, it is important that you be included in our work to support students to process fears, anger, and grief, and to learn to participate in the world around them. As trusted adults, our educators and student support professionals recognize that students and their families are not immune to these stressors and know that they must engage in providing the support individuals and families may need to overcome their concerns. We in schools have an obligation to address tough issues and give students the chance to develop age appropriate skills to deal with their world. With us, students can safely learn, grow and participate in making meaning out of their place in the world around them.
Toward more open understanding, I invite you to join a community conversation that will be hosted on April 4th at 6 pm. Held at Westbrook High School, the conversation will give us a chance to listen to students, parents/guardians, elected officials and school professionals discuss the role of schools and our responsibility to educate and facilitate learning in the civic arena. Plan to join us. In the interim, please check the information that has been placed on our school district home webpage that may help you in your own conversations with children of all ages around recent school violence events and the national discourse. I hope you will join our April 4th conversation and as always, please contact me with any questions or concerns.
Patricia A. Ciccone, Superintendent