From the Superintendent of Pelham Schools
Our hearts are heavy as we once again hear the news that senseless violence has taken the lives of elementary students and an educator in Uvalde, Texas. Our prayers are with those who have experienced this tragic loss and we recognize that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to protect our students and staff in these turbulent times.
As you may know, we have partnered with Alteris as our school safety consultants. I had the privilege of working with many of their staff members when they were active law enforcement agents, so I know the caliber of expertise and commitment that they bring to the job and the partnership that they have established with our local law enforcement agencies in both the Village of Pelham and Pelham Manor.
Please know that in collaboration with Alteris we continue to review and revise our safety procedures and practices to ensure the safety of our schools. In addition to the infrastructure improvements that we have implemented over the past few years, including tightening single points of access to the schools, increased surveillance cameras, distribution of “Go Bags,” with supplies that would be needed during a crisis, and ongoing training and collaboration with local law enforcement on crisis management, we have provided threat assessment and crisis management training to instructional and clinical staff and worked with administrative staff to build capacity with all safety and support protocols.
In the coming days we will continue to evaluate these events and come to terms with the implications for our staff and students. We recognize that many families will want to process this with their children in a way that they feel is most appropriate to them. We hope these resources may be of assistance in those efforts.
• Talking To Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
• 10 Strategies for Talking to Children (www.psychologytoday.com)
Please know our school counselors, psychologists, social workers and administrators are ready and available should students need support. Our faculty and staff will remain attentive to students who may need additional support during the next days and weeks. Please reach out to your building principal or clinicians should you need to alert them to any specific concerns for your child(ren).
Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools