Letter from the Superintendent: Response to Robb Elementary School

Norwich Public Schools

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Dear Norwich Public Schools Community,

A horrific tragedy took place yesterday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts are with the educators, students and families of Robb Elementary School, as well as the entire Uvalde community in Texas, during this incredibly devastating time. 

Student and staff physical safety is our highest priority. In 2021, we overhauled our District Crisis Plans and Procedures. All staff are trained in A.L.I.C.E. crisis response protocols in partnership with the Norwich Police Department. Should an emergency occur, we have a plan in place to handle the emergency and disseminate information quickly and efficiently.

During the school day, all building entrances remain locked and visitors must be buzzed in through the front of the building.  All non-staff visitors must sign-in at the front office using the RAPTOR system- a school safety software that enables us to screen visitors, track volunteers, report on drills and respond to emergencies. All school volunteers also go through the RAPTOR system and must pass a background check prior to volunteering in the schools.  This year we have added 3  School Resource Officers (SRO) to our staff. There is one SRO at each middle school as well as one dedicated SRO for the elementary schools.

We know that events like this are not only tragic and painful, but they can often lead to anxiety and fear felt by our entire community. We understand that our students and staff may need additional support during this time. The mental health of our students and staff is a priority.  We have mental health support services in place and available to those who may be struggling with yesterday’s tragic event. If you are in need of any support and are not sure who to contact, please reach out to our Director of Student Services, Jamie Bender or our Assistant Director of Student Services, Beth Hanlon. Included at the bottom of this  letter is a list of resources and support services available in Norwich. 

Social Emotional Learning is a large component in our K-8 curriculum. Norwich Public Schools is proud to work with the non-profit Choose Love Movement, a social emotional learning program started by Scarlett Lewis,  the mother of Jesse Lewis, a first grader who was killed during the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Through this program, Norwich Public Schools is part of creating safer and more loving schools, homes and communities. The formula for choosing love is to promote social and emotional education in schools as well as a consistent message of compassion in our communities. We have Social Emotional Learning Coaches who work with all teachers district wide in order to support SEL curriculum in classrooms,  coach teachers in classroom management and provide student behavioral support. In addition to our middle school counseling teams, we are adding school counselors to every elementary school for the 2022-2023 school year.

Norwich Public Schools is committed to ensuring both the physical safety and emotional well being of our students, staff and families. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any specific needs that have not been addressed in this letter. 

Very truly yours,

Kristen Stringfellow Ed.D

 

Local Mental Health Resources

  • Community Health Resources

    • 55 Main Street, Suite 410 Norwich, CT 06360, Phone: (860) 885-6054, www.chrhealth.org

    • Comprehensive, non-profit behavioral healthcare provider of services for children, families, and adults dealing with mental illness, addiction, or trauma. Specialize in PPP, great parenting program from 0-17 with a focus on a circle of security. No wait list.

  • The Connection Center for Behavioral Health

    • 101 Water Street Norwich, CT 06360, Phone: (860) 425-5258, https://www.theconnectioninc.org/behavioral-health-services/ 

    • Substance use and mental health treatment services.

  • Reliance Health, Inc.

    • 40 Broadway Norwich, CT 06360, Phone: (860) 887-6536, www.reliancehealthinc.org  

    • Partners with adults experiencing mental health, addiction, and developmental disabilities to enhance their quality of life.  Programs include community rehabilitative services, social rehabilitative services, residential services, outreach services, and continuum of care.  

    • Excels at dual diagnosis of parent and child.

  • Norwich Youth and Family Services

    • 75 Mohegan Road Norwich, CT 06360, www.norwichct.org 

    • Programs include youth development, juvenile justice, family involvement, mental health services, child welfare, teen pregnancy prevention, and community outreach.

  • Norwich Psychiatric Center

    • 108 New London Turnpike, Suite 1 Norwich, CT 06360, Phone: (860) 889-3052

    • Psychiatry, medication management, depressive disorders, post-traumatic stress.

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

    • 1030 New Britain Ave, Suite 201 West Hartford, CT 06110, Phone: (860) 882-0236, Email: admin@namict.org, www.namict.org

    • Provides support, education, and advocacy to people living with mental illness, their family members, friends, professionals, and the public at large.

    • Support group based service. 

  • Family Care Connections

 

General Resources Following Mass Shootings

  • The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) tips for parents and educators to talk with children about violence suggests adults:

    • Reassure children they are safe and review safety procedures. 

    • Create a sense of safety by returning to normal, predictable routines as soon as possible.

    • Make time to talk and listen to the concerns and feelings of children.

    • Limit the use of media consumption of these events to lower their stress and to maintain balance and perspective.

    • Acknowledge that sleep difficulties are common and can lead to fatigue and poor participation.

Mark Your Calendar

Never Miss an Event

2021-2022 NPS Calendar

First page of the PDF file: UPDATED2021-2022Calendar-Updated2-25-22
First page of the PDF file: nps-staff-committee-calendar_2021-22
2022-2023 NPS Calendar All Languages