A Normal School Day

Dear Fox Hill Families,

Today was an exceptional day!  It was exceptional because of the strength and courage demonstrated by every staff member at Fox Hill School throughout the entire day.  It was exceptional because kids came to school confident, happy and secure.  It was exceptional because it was a typical, normal school day.  I met with teachers this morning asking they be strong, confident and to follow the normal school routines.  If students asked questions or wanted to discuss this weekend’s events in class, I asked teachers to talk to students and answer their questions privately.  This request was to be mindful and respectful to parents who chose not to share Friday’s events with their children.  Mrs. Settelen, Mrs. Dwyer and I were available to talk to students if necessary but not one student needed our services today and very few students asked questions or commented about Friday’s events to their teachers.  If students need us tomorrow, we will be there and we will continue to be there for them just like their parents and just like their teachers are there for them everyday.  

Today there was police presence in the morning and those on bus duty did a great job as all kids walked into school just like they do every day smiling and saying hello to teachers and lining up in their designated areas.  Our dismissal was just as smooth.  All schools have protocol for different types and levels of crisis and Fox Hill School is no exception. Our safety protocol was developed in partnership with the Burlington Police Department and Burlington Public Schools.  I will be meeting with Fox Hill’s Crisis Team this week and reviewing and practicing our protocols in January similar to what we do every year.

Parents you prepared your children exceptionally well for school today. Our teachers were heroes today, and I was so proud and thankful for our school community.  Thank you parents for a job well done and thank you for your constant support for all we do at Fox Hill School.  It is reassuring to us that you care about us and support us.   If any staff member or I can be of any assistance to you or your family, please do not hesitate to ask.  Enjoy your evening and I cannot wait to see everyone tomorrow.

Here are a few tips from Dr. Michele Borba, a child expert, author and educational consultant:

  • Turn off the TV and media when kids are present.  Image can negatively impact children regardless of your zip code.
  • Talk to your children. Children need the right facts and you are their best source.
  • Children need to know it’s okay to share their feelings.  Be calm and give age appropriate information.
  • Only give information that children are ready to hear.  Be there to listen.
  • Your child’s anxiety will be lessened if you keep yours in check.  If you are calm, children will be calm.
  • Give information in small doses. Listen, watch their response.  Children need time to process information and do not need to know all the details.
  • Stick to family routines.  This creates a soothing and secure environment and despite tragedy, life continues on.

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