Good Morning Raider Community, 

As we begin our day today, each of us is trying to recover some sense of normalcy as we try to comprehend and begin healing from the horrendous events at Sandy Hook Elementary this past Friday. 

This morning, shortly after school started we held a moment of silence to honor those who were impacted by the tragedy in Connecticut.  Afterwards, students were reassured we have a crisis plan in place and that part of that plan includes all the drills that we do.  We also communicated that we have counselors on hand to help any student who might be having a difficult time. 

It is imperative that we provide a safe and effective learning environment for your students each and every day. Please know that we take the utmost precautions to safeguard your young adults while they are with us and to return them home safely to you each afternoon. Our crisis plan is up to date and all of the drills we hold are designed to ensure the safety of our students. We will continue to have all outside doors locked and have visitors check in at the office. As always, we appreciate your continued support in honoring our safety protocols and diligently taking the time to report any concerns. In the next few days and months, we will continue to be vigilant and there will be extra police patrols around our school.  We have also asked students if they see someone without a visitors badge or ID badge to inform an adult as quickly as possible. 

No matter what our age or amount of life experience, tragedies such as this confound our efforts to wrap our minds around them and stir strong, often overwhelming emotions within us. For many of us, as we struggle with this experience, there are others depending on us to help them work through this. This seems daunting as it is difficult to do this even for those who are trained in counseling, social work, and psychology. The School Social Work Association of America offers an excellent resource for parents, school officials, and educators to guide themselves and others through dealing with such a tragedy.

It can be found at the following link with resources listed under particular roles (parent, educator, etc.): http://sswaa.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=500 

As we enter the holiday season, let’s take this opportunity to hug our children a little closer, a little more often, and a little longer. President Obama said it well last night when he shared that someone had once said having a child is like walking around in the world with your heart on the outside of your body, exposed to all the good and bad in the world. For us as a leadership team at North this captured how we feel as parents about our own children, and about our students as a school leaders. Our sense is that you share this feeling about your own children. In reflecting on Friday’s events, the best way for us to heal as a community and a nation is to strengthen these hearts, our children, so that they are resilient, capable, kind, and as prepared for the challenges of life as we can get them. We are grateful that our community, our staff, and our students collaborate to make this happen on a daily basis, and we would invite you to join us in rededicating our efforts in supporting our students to build a better, kinder, and brighter future. 

Sincerely,

Principal Joe Greene