Dear Minisink Valley school community:
We are getting so close to the home stretch of this school year, and I’m sure this long weekend is welcomed by all of us.
At the same time, I know we’re all distressed by the very tragic news in Uvalde, Texas. This is so incomprehensible that there’s no words to adequately describe what happened or the feelings we all may be experiencing.
This resonates to all of us. We are parents and grandparents and members of families. The people who work here chose to work in an environment where they are preparing your children for successful, future lives. There is a particular joyfulness for all of us to watch our youngest students — your children — grasp important academic concepts, happily interacting with their peers and advancing to higher grade levels in their academic journeys. For the people who become teachers, I truly believe it’s a calling to devote one’s life’s work to preparing children for their futures. To see so many lives quickly end and the lives of their families forever shattered is beyond heartbreaking.
I know we’re all united on this: While the phrase “thoughts and prayers” is often overused, please do keep everyone impacted by what happened at Robb Elementary School in your kind and genuine thoughts and prayers. These impacted families are facing unthinkable stresses right now.
And, I believe we’ll all be hugging our children — no matter how young or old they are — and those we care about, a bit tighter.
Please know that the district has made tremendous investments in school security in recent years. We believe the physical changes in our buildings and our very strict protocols are among the best. We constantly review our policies and procedures and look at national/state/local best practices to ensure they remain as such. Our onsite school resource officers are top notch and put the safety of our students and staff as their first priority. Our relationships with our area law enforcement agencies are second to none. As you’ve often heard me stress: We place the safety and welfare of all our students and staff as our most important obligation to our community.
As a reminder, know we have resources to assist if you find yesterday’s unsettling events are impacting you. We are here to help.
You may also find these resources helpful:
- National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
- American Psychological Association: Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting
- National Institute for Mental Health: Coping With Traumatic Events
Please see other helpful resources available on the district’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) webpage.
Thanks to our lack of snow days, I’m glad we are able to provide our students with an extended Memorial Day holiday weekend. Best wishes for an enjoyable long weekend.
Brian C. Monahan