Tue Oct 8 letter from the Superintendent

Oct. 8, 2002, midnight | 21 years, 7 months ago

According to the Montgomery County Public Schools website, the following leter was to be sent home with students today. Blair students did not receive this letter for an unknown reason. The letter addresses today's continued Code Blue, and methods for coping with the recent tragedies.

The letter reads as follows:

October 8, 2002

Dear Parents, Students, and Staff:

First of all, please accept my gratitude for your support, patience, and continuing courage during this most difficult time. I know that you share in my condolences for the parents and students in Prince George's County who suffered through yesterday's tragic shooting and for those members of our own community who have suffered the loss of a friend or family member.

Our decision today to continue the implementation of Code Blue restrictions was intended as a precautionary measure, in light of yesterday's event. All outside activities by both students and the public at our school facilities and athletic fields were canceled today, as well. Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 9, our schools will be closed for students because of previously scheduled staff development activities for teachers, principals, and support staff. Some extracurricular activities are scheduled on Wednesday, and we will make decisions on those events tomorrow.

One of our main concerns is the mental health needs of our school community, not only students and parents but also our school system staff. Many resources have been developed to help all of us cope with the ongoing events, but one in particular may be helpful to parents. This "Parent Tips for Helping Children Handle Tragic Events" is now available on our website in both English and Spanish at www.mcps.k12.md.us, and translations into other languages will be made available soon.

We ask parents and families to remain vigilant and well informed. Information about the school system is updated frequently on the website and through the news media. We also ask parents and families to take extra care for their children, to volunteer in place of student safety patrols at street corners and crosswalks when we reopen on Thursday, and to help students understand why so many changes are being made at their schools. Children need our constant love and support, especially as we seek explanations ourselves about these difficult circumstances.

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

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