Last week, we were all shocked and saddened by the horrific events that occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
On behalf of the entire Glen Cove family, we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the children and the entire Newtown community. Let us all remember them in our thoughts and prayers during these most difficult and troublesome days.
The safety and well being of Glen Cove’s children remain our highest priority. This week I met with all administrators to discuss the impact that the unspeakable tragedy had on our children and staff. We prepared responses to questions that children might ask of their teachers. In addition, we conducted thorough walk-throughs of every school to identify ways we can tighten security. Since children might have many questions and may feel frightened, parents are encouraged to take time to help the children appropriately process information they may have heard so that their fears may be lessened.
Below is a link on how to help children deal with this shocking experience.
The district’s administrators, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and teachers remain available to help parents and their children. If the district can be of any assistance to parents, please feel free to contact the principal of you child’s school.
The district will continue to evaluate its current safety protocols and procedures. The district is in full compliance with the Federal SAVE Legislation (Schools Against Violence in Education). Nevertheless, we assure staff, parents and residents that we will remain constantly vigilant in our efforts to identify ways we can strengthen and improve the district’s current school safety and emergency plans. In the coming weeks, we will partner with Mayor Suozzi and the Glen Cove Police Department to address issues of mutual concern and first responder protocols. In addition, the district will continue to conduct drills for all types of emergencies including lockdowns and lockouts. If an untoward incident arises, the district’s staff is trained in emergency response procedures. Be assured that the district has strategic plans which are simulated through emergency drills on a routine basis throughout the school year.
Ongoing evaluation of security and relevant district policies remain our greatest priority to ensure the highest level of safety in our schools. The protection of our children and staff will not be compromised in any way. The district and the family of Glen Cove share a common commitment to protect our children and staff so that education can continue in a safe environment free from fear. You may be assured that the district will never take anything for granted when it comes to the safety of our children and staff.
We are here to assist you in any way as we work together to safeguard the well being of our children and staff.
Joseph Laria is Glen Cove Superintendent of Schools.