In the aftermath of the tragic elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Shaker Heights Schools officials want to assure parents that the district has a crisis plan in place.
According to a memo posted this afternoon on the district's website, the district developed crisis plans in conjunction with the city's police and fire departments.
"These plans are reviewed and updated on a regular basis," the memo reads. "We hope that we never need to use these procedures in a real-life crisis, but if a situation arises, we will be as well prepared as possible."
Here is more from Shaker's memo to parents:
Our hearts go out to the students, families, and staff members of Newtown, Connecticut, in the wake of the shootings at an elementary school there.
Understandably, children may be upset and frightened by this tragedy. It is important for parents and teachers to be attuned to students’ behavior and concerns. Psychologists recommend that parents take the opportunity to talk and listen to their children, acknowledge that bad things happen, and reassure them that people are working to keep them safe. The downloadable article at the bottom of this page from the National Association of School Psychologists offers more detailed advice that you may find useful.
Parents are advised to limit children’s exposure to media reports of the tragedy and to be alert to signs that a child might be profoundly traumatized by the event. These signs might include a change in the child's school performance, changes in relationships with peers and teachers, excessive worry, school refusal, sleeplessness, nightmares, headaches or stomachaches, or loss of interest in activities that the child used to enjoy.
Also remember that every child will respond to trauma differently. Some will have no ill effects; others may suffer an immediate and acute effect. Still others may not show signs of stress until sometime after the event.
If your child may need support, please do not hesitate to call the school. Our administrators, counselors, and school psychologists can help.