Editor's Note: The following is a letter posted on the Cranford Public Schools' website.
To Cranford Parents/Guardians
The recent event in Newtown, Connecticut is a tragedy that has the attention of our nation. As educators, family and community members, we are all thinking about how the surviving children and families in the Newtown School District and surrounding areas are feeling at this time. They will certainly need a great deal of care and time to heal from their trauma.
Please join me in keeping these victims, their families and friends and the entire community of Newtown in your thoughts and prayers. To ensure that Cranford students, staff and families are comfortable returning to school on Monday morning, all principals will be meeting with their staff before students arrive to review age-appropriate procedures in responding to any student questions that may surface as a result of the Connecticut shooting.
If your family has a friend or relative that lives in or near Newtown that has been more directly impacted by this incident, please contact your child’s principal to make them aware of this situation and possible need for support.
Principals, assistant principals, supervisors and teachers will welcome students Monday morning as they arrive at schools and classrooms with warm greetings, smiles and reassuring welcomes to ensure a sense of comfort and security, recognizing that students will be returning to school with varying levels of awareness of the shootings that took place.
Teachers will begin their day in a routine fashion getting a sense of the needs of the children within each classroom. Teachers will be careful to respond to questions with this awareness and return to regular classroom activities swiftly.
Students with a greater knowledge of the incident and need to express their concerns will be allowed to go and speak with their guidance or Student Assistance Counselor. Parents of children experiencing such a need will be notified by their child’s school.
All administrators will be meeting with the Cranford Police Chief on Monday afternoon at 3:30p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to review our crisis lockdown procedures, relate them to the Sandy Hook Elementary School incident and to review our monthly emergency crisis drill schedule.
All parents/guardians and community members need to know that the safety of all Cranford students is the number one priority of the Cranford Board of Education, administration and staff.
Cranford Public Schools has a history of crisis preparedness and engages in drills specific to varying crisis situations, twice monthly, with staff and students. More importantly, we have been reminded of the dedication of educators proudly called to this profession and their response to the needs of children entrusted to their care. Consistent with our crisis procedures, we do wish to remind all persons wishing to enter our school buildings that they should be prepared to provide identification to be granted entry. On behalf of all Cranford staff, we continue to work together to maintain a safe school environment for our children. Thank you for your cooperation in this effort.
Dr. Gayle M. Carrick, Superintendent