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District Statement on Newtown, CT

posted Dec 17, 2012, 8:33 AM by
Andrew Community,

I write this with a saddened heart after the events in Newtown, CT on Friday, December 14. The horrific shooting hit very close to home to all parents, students, and educators of elementary buildings. We would like to express our condolences to all the families of Newtown, CT. Sandy Hook Elementary will be in our thoughts and prayers throughout the rest of this school year. 

We consider Andrew Schools a safe and positive place for children to attend everyday. Our students safety is the top priority for us each day. We have implemented many measures over the past twelve months that increase security in our building. We will continue to seek out new strategies to ensure that our kids and staff are always safe and secure in our building. We currently have emergency strategies for numerous events and we will continue to review them to make sure they are updated and easily implemented within a moments notice. 

We encourage parents to talk with their children about the events on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary. Here are some tips to help you with the conversation: 
  1. Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.  Continue to reassure that school IS a safe place to be.
  2. Limit exposure to television and the news. Children often have difficulty understanding that the news footage is being replayed, and fear the incident is recurring.
  3. Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.  Keep explanations simple and easy to understand (“Someone shot some people at a school in Connecticut”).
  4. Listen to kids’ fears and concerns. Share your feelings and validate that it is very sad and being upset, scared or angry are normal responses.  Encourage children to share those feelings or thoughts readily.
  5. Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.  Encourage kids to ask questions, and answer what you can even if the answer is “I don’t know. “
  6. Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress. Kids will pick up on adults fears and anxiety.  Remain calm as possible, and take care of yourself in the meantime.
  7. Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.  Especially at this time of year, it is most important to keep those we care about close to us.

The holiday season is a special time of year for all of us. Enjoy the time with family and friends. From the Andrew family to yours, we want to wish you a happy and safe holiday season. May 2013 ring in new beginnings and cheer for all. 

Andy Crozier

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