Plans for Monday, December 17, 2012

It is with profound sadness for the families and community of Newtown, CT, that I write to share with you our plans for Monday and offer you resources on how to process this event with your family.  While none of us have the answers to why the unthinkable occurs, we do have each other, and it is important that we find ways to support each other during this sad time.

Below are a number of useful links to articles about how best to support your child/children during this time.  The following themes are a quick summary:

  • Take care of yourself and give yourself some time to come to terms with the event before you attempt to reassure children.
  • Maintaining routine is important, so our kids can feel a sense of normalcy.
  • “Young people are remarkably resilient.  They may become quite upset, but given a chance to express what they feel, they usually resume their normal lives- and often do so more rapidly than we adults” (Evans).
  • Spend time with your kid(s).  Sometimes tough with teenagers, but take the time to be around to answer their questions and show them you care.
  • Each kid will handle this differently.  Some will talk openly about it, others may act out in unexpected ways, and some may not seem impacted at all.
  • Many experts recommend limiting your child’s television viewing of the event.

For a more complete discussion of these strategies, please see the links below.

On Monday, we will observe a moment of silence during an extended homeroom (please see a revised Monday schedule below).  Advisors and counselors will be ready to answer students’ questions after the moment of silence.  We will also have counselors available in their offices for the entire day for any student who needs additional support.

This type of tragedy inevitably makes us all re-examine our school safety.   Please know that we have taken a number of actions over the last few years to make Newton South a safer place and will continue to work to make South as safe as possible.

Finally, if you have any specific concerns about your child/children, please contact your child’s guidance counselor.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Newtown, CT extended community.

Thank you for your support, and for helping us to create and maintain a healthy, vibrant Newton South.

Schedule for Monday, December 17, 2012

Extended Advisory

  • A1       7:40 – 8:35     (55 min)
  • B1       8:40 – 9:30     (50 min)
  • *Advisory  9:35 – 9:50    (15 min)
  • C1       9:55 – 10:45    (50 min)
  • Remainder of day as usual

Useful Articles About Supporting Children

A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope — Tips for Parents and Teachers
www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/terror_general.aspx

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA12-4732/SMA12-4732.pdf

Helping Children Cope With Tragic Loss, Robert Evans, Ed.D
www.bigtent.com/usr/files/74707863_2_00_helpingchildrencopewithtragicloss_01.pdf