I wish my letter this week was not about yet another school shooting. They are, unfortunately, becoming all too commonplace. While our immediate response to these events is to review our safety and security procedures, another step we take is to reach out to our own “first responders,” our counselors, school psychologists, social workers and nurses, who provide emotional and health support for our students and families.
I want to thank them for being our unsung heroes in these times of crisis. Whether it’s a listening ear, or a referral to additional expertise, our counselors and health staff are the best in the business. We have been hearing this week from child development experts about the need for connectedness. Children need to feel connected … there are many ways our teachers and staff do that every day in our classrooms. But when a child shows signs of requiring additional assistance, of being at-risk in any way, we pull in our specialists who assess and provide guidance and help to our students and their families.
We encourage our students and families to reach out if they have concerns about any of our children. We are a village…we must help each other. I want to share the reminder that Dr. Miron sent to high school students and parents this week:
- Counselors and administration are always available for support & concerns.
- Speak up for friends and teammates who hesitate to do so.
- I can't emphasize enough to the rest of our students: our staff is here in times of need -- don't hesitate to contact us!
- The well being of our students - emotionally and physically - is of paramount importance. If you have information to share, concerns to relay or just need to talk: please come to us!
Some good suggestions for talking to your children about these incidents come from The American School Counseling Association, the Child Development Institute, Healthy Children.org and The American Psychological Association.
We are thinking about the students and families in Parkland, and share their grief from afar. I know there are township families who have friends and relatives in that community, and I send you, and them, my heartfelt sympathy.
* March 2 & 3: Get your tickets now for RENT.
* March 9: Millburn Schools Rock! See you there!
* March 14: Mark your calendars for our parent education evening with Dr. Robert Brooks about Raising Resilient Children and Adolescents.
*VOTE NOW: Hot off the presses … go online, beginning today, and vote for the drug-prevention songwritten by three of our high school juniors, Kyle Farscht, Danielle Benna, & Jessica Yeager. They are among 25 contestants in the New Jersey Shout Down Drugs Music Contest at the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.
Happy Lunar New Year and Year of the Dog!
Have a healthy and relaxing break!