Bloomington Public Schools - District #271

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Crisis Response

This web page provides the district-wide response to emergencies and crisis. In the event of a school or district crisis, information will also be communicated through all available communication channels. 


Friday, Dec. 13, 2013
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT. We join countless others in remembering this tragic event, and offering prayers for continued healing.
 
The tragedy lead us to an immediate evaluation of our school safety procedures, and with it came a number of safety and security recommendations from our parents, staff and students. Thanks to your support of the Capital Projects Levy, our schools will become safer and more secure. These security measures will usher in changes for students, staff and parents alike.
 
Schools continue to be among the safest places for children. We are committed to keeping our schools safe and welcoming places for your children.

 


Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012
The week leading into the holiday break is usually a joyous time for our students and staff who eagerly look forward to time off to spend with family and friends.

Sadly, last Friday's tragedy in Connecticut changed the mood for most of us, as it did for families across the country. One of the complications of a school crisis of this magnitude is that it fuels anxiety in all of us, and that anxiety manifests itself in several ways.

We want to assure you that schools are among the safest places for children, but it takes all of us - school personnel and families - to reassure our children and help them feel safe. We are committed to keeping our schools safe and welcoming places for your children.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child's school principal. Thank you.


Monday, Dec. 17, 2012

Teachers, school administrators and support staff play an important role in helping students recover from traumatic events like the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Simply returning to school promotes the welfare of children and families.

District administration has met over the weekend to respond to the many parent messages, evaluate school safety procedures, and prep
are information for teachers and staff in anticipation of our students return to school Monday.

In traumatic events, proximity to the event is an important factor in predicting reactions from students and staff. In general, those closest to the trauma are the most likely to have experienced psychological harm. While this event was literally hundreds of miles away from our community, the media coverage brought it right into our homes and our lives. Additionally, as educators, we can all relate to the horror of this event as we try to place ourselves in the shoes of the teachers and principal who so valiantly sacrificed their lives to save children.

Because it is difficult to predict how anyone will react to a traumatic event, the best we can do is to be supportive and responsive to the children and their varied responses. Some children will have no reaction; some will be upset or anxious to some degree. Some may not have even heard of the event and others will have been immersed in the coverage on TV.

We are prepared for a wide range of possible situations.
In general, it is important to remember that the vast majority of students are generally resilient and should recover quickly from an event like this. However, those with previous history of trauma, such as loss of a family member to death, parental divorce, being a victim of a crime or serious injury, being in an accident, poverty or homelessness, or having a real or vicarious exposure to violence (video games?) are more vulnerable and may have a stronger reaction and a longer recovery period for this event.

For those students who are having significant reactions to the event, we will have mental health support available throughout the district from counselors, social workers and psychologists. Our school nurses will also be ready to assist as needed for health concerns that may arise.

We will look to learn what we can from this latest school tragedy and use that information over the coming weeks to determine if there are improvements we can make in security procedures.

Please continue to keep the community of Newtown and the students, teachers, staff and parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Friday, Dec. 14, 2012

Many of you may be aware of the tragic school shooting earlier today at an elementary school in Connecticut. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims' families and the many educators who have been devastated by this senseless act.

Please be assured that student safety is our top priority and that our schools and district have a comprehensive crisis plan in place to help avoid similar tragedies. Our schools are safe places, and our school staff work with parents and public safety providers to keep children safe.
 

Tips for Parent & Staff on Helping Children Cope

Here are some tips from the National Association of School Psychologists for helping your children cope with this news:

  1. Focus on your children today and over the next week.  Tell them you love them and everything will be okay. Try to help them understand what has happened, keeping in mind their developmental level.
     
  2. Make time to talk with your children.  Remember if you do not talk to your children about this incident someone else will. Take some time and determine what you wish to say.
     
  3. Limit your child’s television viewing of these events.  If they must watch, watch with them for a brief time; then turn the set off.  Don’t sit mesmerized re-watching the same events over and over again.
     
  4. Maintain a “normal” routine. To the extent possible stick to your family’s normal routine for dinner, homework, chores, bedtime, etc., but don’t be inflexible.  Children may have a hard time concentrating on schoolwork or falling asleep at night.
More helpful tips are provided through the National Association of School Psychologists website:
www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/terror_general.aspx

If you have concerns about your child's reaction to this news, please contact your child's principal or administrator, social worker or school psychologist.

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