Tue Oct 15 letter from the Superintendent

Oct. 15, 2002, midnight | By Kevin Fang | 21 years, 8 months ago

This seventh letter from Superintendent Jerry Weast comes the day after an 11th shooting in 13 days in the Washington Metropolitan area. The letter, however, focuses on commending school staff and ensuring school safety, and was sent home with students today.

October 15, 2002

Update #7

Dear Parents, Students, and Staff:

This would be a good time to do something nice for school-based staff. They have been managing their duties under a great deal of stress. Everyone who works in a school has been keenly aware of their heightened responsibilities in supporting our core mission of teaching and learning while taking care of the anxieties and concerns of children. Right now, this week, our school-based staff need the support of parents and community members who value the good deeds of the people who work each and every day in their schools.

All too often it is easy to take for granted the professionalism and dedication of teachers, instructional assistants, guidance counselors, media center staff, aides, cafeteria staff, building service teams, principals and assistant principals, office secretaries, security personnel, and other employees in our schools, including bus operators and aides. Each of these professionals has responsibilities that have become much harder in recent days. They need recognition from parents for a job well done, even if the recognition is a simple thank you.

Our continuing focus, of course, is on school safety. Today, schools operated on restrictions that prohibited outdoor activities during the school day. The prohibition was extended to include a cancellation of all outdoor student and community activities for the afternoon and evening. Football games that were canceled because of the ongoing emergency will not be rescheduled. No decisions have been made at this time about rescheduling other cancelled athletic events. Decisions concerning future games and events will continue to be made on a day-to-day basis.

The impact of this continuing crisis is taking an obvious toll in increased stress. As part of our ongoing effort to provide support for our school community, a special live call-in television program will be on Cable Channel 34 this week on Thursday, October 17, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. People can ask questions by calling 301-279-3234, and professionals in mental health issues will provide assistance, either during the show or in private discussions. Our emphasis that night and every day is to provide as much help as we can.

Jerry D. Weast, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

P.S. For the latest announcements, see our web site at www.mcps.k12.md.us/info/emergency.

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