School officials in Deerfield wasted no time communicating with families about safety and students’ emotional well being over the weekend in the aftermath of the shootings Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
In Deerfield Public Schools District 109, Superintendent Renee Goier sent an email to all families Saturday letting them know the efforts of the District over the weekend to be ready to help children with emotional and other needs today.
In particular, school psychologists and social workers will be ready to help students and will be looking for any signs leading them to believe a child needs attention. Parents who feel their children will benefit from meeting with a counselor should contact the student’s teacher.
“They (the psychologists and social workers) will be looking and listening for concerns, and they understand the best ways to talk to students about the situation,” Goier wrote in the email. Class discussion of the subject is not expected, according to Goier.
“Our school psychologists and social workers have found that those conversations tend to be difficult because students come to class with different levels of understanding and anxiety,” Goier wrote. “All of us throughout the District will be focused on keeping the daily routines that do so much to comfort children.”
Goier will be attending a meeting later today with Deerfield Police Chief John Sliozis and Township High School District 113 Superintendent George Fornero to review safety procedures. Fornero sent an email to Deerfield High School families Sunday assuring them about safety.
“There are many external and internal safety measures that we do and will continue to implement,” Fornero wrote in the email. “We work closely with the Deerfield and Highland Park Police Departments. We follow their lead in all school safety matters.”
At Holy Cross School in Deerfield, all faculty and staff are trained in FEMA procedures. This is a requirement of the Chicago Archdiocese, according to Principal Janice DiVincenzo. The school regularly conducts drills with local police and fire departments.