Dear Parents and Guardians,
Earlier this evening, I shared with you information related to the awful events of today’s tragedy in Newtown. At that time, it had not yet been confirmed that one of the victims was the Sandy Hook Elementary Principal, Dawn Hochsprung.
Ms. Hochsprung left the Region in June of 2010 after serving as principal in both of our elementary schools and made many friends and deep connections with our entire school community. Our community grieves her loss.
Moments ago, I met with our district’s administrators to review today’s events and prepare for Monday. Our mental health staff stands ready to support the needs of our students and staff and will be deployed where the greatest needs arise. In addition, we are prepared to call in additional supports as needed.
At Monday night’s Board of Ed meeting I will inform the Board that we will conduct an immediate review of our school security and procedures related to ensuring the safety of all members of our school community. In doing so, we will continue working with our local and state police forces.
When tragedy strikes, the results are traumatic both for those directly affected and for those who identify with them. Although we cannot control the fact that a tragedy has taken place, adults can do a great deal to help children regain their emotional safety. It is important for families to help one another after a tragedy by talking, listening, and expressing their feelings and concerns.
Depending on your child’s age, let him/her know it is okay to grieve, be sad and/or even angry. These feelings may be expressed in many ways. As a result, your child may ask questions about this event. It is important to acknowledge your child’s feelings and let her/him know that these feelings are a normal reaction to a difficult circumstance. Understand your own limits; keep your schedule; plan family time.
Given this tragic event, parents should exercise extreme caution in allowing their children exposure to the media. Please consider the needs and age level of your child and use parental judgment. Our support staff is available to assist. Please feel free to call your child’s school if you need additional guidance. We will be posting links on our website to provide you useful information over the next several days.
Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Together we will help each other get through the tragic events of today.
Jody Ian Goeler
Regional School District #14