A note from the principal

December 16, 2012

Dear Irving Community,

I am sure that the events of Friday in Connecticut have weighed heavily on all of us over the past few days.  As Dr. Roberts indicated in the communication he sent out on Friday afternoon, the teachers, support staff and I will be working to assure that your children continue to feel safe and secure at Irving School.

Below are considerations and measures that will be in place when your children arrive to school on Monday, December 17th.

  • The age range of our children (from age 5-12 years old) indicates that parents, teachers, social workers and school psychologists engage in developmentally appropriate conversations to reassure students that they are safe at Irving.
  • Students will come to school on Monday with a wide range of thoughts and worries (from none to very anxious) stemming from how they came to know about this tragedy and how they’ve been able to process these events since Friday
  • Teachers will take stock of the opening of the school day with an eye on continuing ‘business as usual,’ but they will be prepared to talk about the ways we work together to maintain a safe environment each and every day.
  • While classroom conversations will remain about how we keep the Irving environment safe, a social worker and school psychologist will be available to talk with students privately or in small groups if they are worried or showing signs of distress, as well as for those students who are in need of processing this tragedy
  • Like previous lock-down drills, we will prepare for a ‘staff only’ drill after students are dismissed early on Dec. 19, and schedule a whole school lock-down drill soon with the assistance of the OP Police

I am including with this letter a link from the National Association of School Psychologists that I found helpful for parents and staff to have as a reference for helping children cope with violent acts. http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/talkingviolence.pdf

If you would like to speak directly to me or one of the district’s social workers or psychologists, please call the school office at 708.524.3090 or email me directly at jhodge@op97.org .

Working with you, our goal is to assure each and every student that they can continue to learn  in a safe environment at school.


John Hodge



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