Dear APS Families and Staff:
Today is a sad day for schools and all of us nationwide as we all collectively mourn the tragic loss of life that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday. Late yesterday, we also learned of an incidence of violence closer to home in Alexandria where a high school student was killed. These events follow other recent tragedies in Buffalo and other communities.
We condemn these senseless acts of violence and offer our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones. I want you to know that the health and safety of our schools, and the students and staff in our care, remain our highest priority. We prioritize security in all our buildings, and our safety plans are reviewed by staff, in collaboration with local first responders, as we all work to maintain the safety and security of our schools.
We understand that our students and staff may need additional support during this time. We want to reinforce that we have support services in place and available to those who may be struggling with processing these events. School staff will be providing developmentally appropriate responses to students, and students should reach out to a counselor or other trusted adult if they need support. Staff should contact the Employee Assistance Program. Below are some resources that may be helpful during this time:
- 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
- Common Sense Media: How to Talk to Kids About School Shooting
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event
Let us continue working together to protect our children and community. Please remain vigilant and report any concerning behavior or other incidents you see or hear to your school administrator or supervisor.
Thank you for your partnership.
Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools