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A Message From our Superintendent

December 15, 2012

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 By now I imagine that most of you are aware of the terribly tragic school shooting incident that occurred earlier today in a Newtown, CT elementary school.  I know that all of our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who have died as well as to the entire Newtown community.   

 When a horrible event like this occurs it is natural that our sense of security becomes uncertain and that as adults in the community we find it difficult at times to answer both our own and our children’s questions about these devastating incidents.  None of us have all the answers and knowing exactly what to do as parents and educators in these times is hard. One thing that all of the experts do agree on is to limit our children’s exposure to the media about this event, especially younger children.

Below are two links that I believe will help, if you are struggling with identifying appropriate strategies and language to use in responding to your children’s questions and feelings. I have also attached a PDF version of these two documents.

 http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2011-12-27-helping-your-child-cope-deaths-friends#.UMuXp6Ov1-Y.mailto   

http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/talkingviolence.pdf

In response to this tragedy each of our schools’ Incident Management Team (IMT) held emergency meetings at the end of the day to review our own safety and security protocols.  Each school has also prepared talking points for our staff so that they will be prepared on Monday with appropriate responses should students come to school with questions and concerns. If your child exhibits any unusual fears that you feel his or her school should know about on Monday, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or principal. 

Winchester is a truly caring community that treasures our young people and all of us, school staff and parents alike, are committed to keeping them safe, secure, and happy.  Please let us know how we can continue to assist you as we continue our important work together. 

Sincerely,

 Bill McAlduff

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