To the editor,

[Editor’s note: The following letter was sent by School Superintendent Anthony DiCarlo to Mahopac families and the school community.]

We are all saddened by the tragic events that took place in Parkland, Fla., several weeks ago, Mahopac’s collective thoughts and prayers for healing and strength are directed toward the families and students of Parkland.

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I want to provide you with a safety update along with information about the student interest in expressing their feelings about the tragic event in Parkland, on Wednesday, March 14.

I wish to communicate our continued efforts to ensure safe and secure schools for our students. In Mahopac, we continually refine our safety procedures and protocols and work closely with Putnam’s Sheriff Department and New York State Police and Carmel Police to evaluate and improve our safety plans.

In addition, to support mental health, our counselors, psychologists and other pupil personnel staff are always available to students and staff to support them as they deal with their feelings in regard to the Parkland tragedy.

Also, it is important that the entire school community needs to come together to address and prevent threats. “If you see something, say something.” Tell your child to bring to the attention of authorities things that appear out of the ordinary.

Our goal is to provide our students with the opportunity to engage, learn and express their thoughts in an appropriate manner. We will work with them during this teachable time and teachers and staff will be ready to discuss concerns and questions from students regarding these events. Middle-school students will take part in meaningful discussions about social/emotional awareness. Any action taken by students in the high school would be student-initiated and administrators will take measures to ensure it is supervised in a safe, respectful manner.

Teaching and learning are what we do, but safety is our top priority. Thank you for your support and partnership as we prepare our students for an ever-changing world.