Dear Springfield Public Schools Community,
Over the last two weeks, our nation has faced two terrible and terrifying events in Buffalo, NY, and yesterday in Uvalde, TX. Last night, as I watched our fifth graders perform for their families, I was struck by the sharp pain of grief from the senseless loss of lives.
Right now, many are weighing two fundamental questions, first, how do we know our schools are working to keep our children safe, and second, how do I manage my feelings and my child(ren)’s anxiety and grief around these terrifying events? Below, we are sharing information relating to both sets of questions.
Springfield Public Schools Security Measures
This school year we conducted a significant revision of our district and school crisis plans to strengthen our school-level emergency preparation. Throughout the school year, drills are conducted to ensure that the proper procedures are in place to respond to emergency situations. We are grateful for a strong partnership with the Springfield Police Department. Springfield officers visit our schools regularly in order to build strong and positive relationships with our students and staff while maintaining a deep knowledge of our school grounds and buildings. In addition, the police and fire departments are closely tied to our emergency management system, ensuring quick notification and response to any issues in our schools. Today, we are meeting with our local officers to further discuss and review our security protocols. Our officers will also be more visible today, as a reminder of their commitment to our schools’ safety.
These events lead to feelings of fear, grief, and anxiety, and it is important that we acknowledge our own feelings and those of our children. Our highly trained mental health staff, including school counselors, school psychologists, and outside clinicians will continue to be available for your children as support.
You can find a list of resources to support talking with your child(ren) about this news here: Robb Elementary, Uvalde, TX Grief Resources
The racially motivated violence in Buffalo was less than two weeks ago, and we are grateful for the resources provided by Dr. Toni Joanis, a Springfield parent, and psychologist who works with trauma. It can be accessed here: Coping with Race-Based Trauma and Stress Resource
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families in Uvalde and Buffalo, and together we grieve the loss of so many beautiful lives.
Please know, that we are committed to making sure your child(ren) feel safe and supported at school, today and every day.