Dear District 58 Community,
By now you have likely heard of the horrific elementary school shooting yesterday. Like so many of you, I am angry and sad that we are once again confronted with a terrible and senseless act of violence against children and school staff. Our hearts are with the Robb Elementary School community in Uvalde, Texas.
As we continue to process yesterday’s events, I would like to reiterate to our staff and families that we have a plan in place at each of our schools for emergency situations. We work with the Downers Grove Police, Fire and Emergency Management departments, neighboring school districts, and the DuPage Regional Office of Education to prevent and prepare for emergencies. We regularly practice our safety procedures with students and staff through age-appropriate discussions and emergency exercises. While no amount of planning can guarantee that a tragedy such as this will not occur, we are doing everything possible to keep students and staff safe while at school.
With safety procedures and a crisis plan in place, we continue to encourage vigilance when it comes to locking all access doors, monitoring student release, and requiring visitor check-in at all school offices. Through our Master Facility Plan, we have plans to build more secure entrances, in addition to other safety updates, at each of our schools.
For additional guidance on talking with children following a tragedy, please review this article from the National Association of School Psychologists. Our school psychologists and social workers will be available to help students who may be in need of additional support. Additionally, we have provided our school administrators with resources on how to speak with children when they have questions about acts of violence.
As a reminder, District 58 participates in Safe2Help, which allows students to safely and confidentially report a crisis or threat involving themselves or someone they know. Safe2Help is monitored 24/7 by trained crisis professionals. District 58 staff will receive an alert after the Safe2Help professional provides support. Learn more about Safe2Help here.
While events of this nature are incomprehensible and the connection to schools and the educational system bring the horror so deeply to light, we share with you our ongoing commitment to maintaining a safe and secure environment for our District 58 learning community.
Dr. Kevin Russell
Superintendent of Schools