Today, we mourn with our fellow school community in Highlands Ranch after yet another shooting where there was loss of life. I wanted to reach out to you because I know the school shooting yesterday at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Douglas County is affecting you, just as it is affecting me. Any incident at a school can bring out fears and anxiety, especially when the school is in a neighboring district. Many of us have friends, neighbors, or colleagues who work at the STEM School or whose children attend the school.
Dropping your kids off today was probably difficult for you. I want to reassure you that safety is the number one priority for us at Englewood Schools. We work diligently to make sure that our buildings are as safe as possible and that all of our staff are trained to respond to an emergency situation. Our partnership with Englewood Police ensures that we will have an increased police presence at and around our schools this week, and we will continue to have a police presence at our bigger end of year events as well.
We also know strong communication and watching out for each other is the best safety measure for our children, students, staff, and our entire community. Students can go to www.Safe2Tell.org or call 877-542-7233 to anonymously report anything that concerns or threatens them, their friends, family, or school community. Englewood Schools staff monitors this important source of information constantly to provide supports for students in crisis. As staff, students, parents and community members, we all have a responsibility to tell school administrators if we have information that may affect the safety of our students or staff.
Some families may be struggling to make sense of what took place yesterday. Talking to children about these kinds of events can be difficult. Processing and discussing the events can help with healing, so we encourage you to take time to talk to your students, and to reach out to friends, relatives, or professionals if you need support. Our social-emotional support staff are prepared to assist students who may need help working through feelings about this event and they are available to students in each of our schools.
Here are some resources that may help guide conversations:
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
- Tips for Talking to Children and Youth After Traumatic Events
This spring has been difficult. Incidents of concern and safety have been frequent. I’m so proud of and grateful for our staff members. I know that they care deeply for our students and their safety. I also know that they are enriching the lives of our students and making school a great place to be. I am also grateful to be part of the Englewood community and know that we can lean on each other as we move forward.
Wendy Rubin, Ed.D.