Bedford Central schools Superintendent Jere Hochman has outlined what the district will do in the wake of the Newtown, CT shooting. The plans include dealing with the event in an age-appropriate basis and with moments of silence:
"Every principal has been planning and communicating all weekend with faculty to prepare for Monday," Hochman wrote in an email. "Most will start with a moment of silence and approach the day as “age appropriately” as possible with discussion where and when appropriate, tuning into individual student needs should they arise, and getting into school routines that are so important."
Below is a copy of an email that Hochman sent out to the community:
Dear Bedford Central Parents and Guardians:
This has been a trying and emotional weekend. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the children and families at Sandy Hook Elementary School and to those in our own towns who have family, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues in Newtown, Connecticut.
We will greet your children in the morning, be there for and with them, and begin routines of school so important at this time for children.
Depending on the age of your child(ren), I imagine the weekend has ranged from protecting them from the media and any facts to listening to them express their thoughts and feelings. Some children may know nothing. Some may know people are sad because some children were hurt but the adults are taking care of everyone. Others will know details or too many details. We will work to monitor conversations and keep everything age appropriate. Regardless, we know what children (and adults) need to hear is that “You are safe here, everyone here will take care of all children, and everyone will continue to take care of each other.”
All of your school’s principals have spent the weekend communicating with staff in preparation for Monday morning. Schools will recognize the events in Connecticut as age appropriately as possible and also work to keep school routines and lessons in place for normalcy. We want students to feel safe, secure, and confident in school and getting into classwork will be as important as listening when they express questions and feelings. You will receive information from your principal sometime by the end of the day Monday about our efforts for the week and please be assured, plans are in place.
I am holding a parent and community meeting on Thursday, December 20 at 9:30 a.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. to discuss school safety, to listen to and answer questions. I expect these to last about an hour. I will send more information about the location in another School Messenger message this week. Some schools will hold meetings as well or earmark time at their next PTO meetings to hear your questions and thoughts.
Monday - and this week - will be challenging for your child(ren) and you. I am quite confident in our teachers, administrators, and staff to listen, care for, and attend to children. Our teachers are as caring and sensitive as can be. Many have experienced difficult situations like this with children and all have been trained in our safety procedures. Our staff working in the buildings, in facilities across the district, and behind the scenes are as prepared and as focused on safety. Principals have prepared all weekend and shared information with teachers and staff. They will do so again in the morning and through the week.
As always, we will keep communications flowing to you in a variety of ways including principal newsletters, our eNews, on the websites, on Facebook BCSDNY, and on twitter @bcsdnotes.