Dear Briarcrest families,
I’m sure you found yourself experiencing many emotions after Friday’s tragedy in Marysville. It has become an all-too-common occurrence, and the past two years has brought it close to home, both geographically and within elementary schools. We have worked steadily within our district and school on emergency preparedness plans, in coordination with local police and fire departments. Our staff trains regularly on how to keep our children safe in the event of an emergency, and we conduct safety drills throughout the year.
Two years ago, we had a safety audit done at Briarcrest. As a result, we have been making the atrium the sole access point from the front of the school, and locking all of our perimeter gates during the school day. I would also like to remind our parents and vsitors of the vital importance of checking in at the office and getting a visitor sticker at all times, except during pick up and drop off. One of the most effective prevention tools we have is defining expected routines, so that we can then quickly notice when something is amiss or out of the ordinary.
Your child may have questions about the shooting in Marysville. Below are some suggestions and resources that I received as a parent from the Seattle School District:
· Maintain a normal routine.
· Stick to facts. Answer questions factually.
· Remain calm and reassuring. Children take their cues from their parents and adults.
· Be a good listener and observer. Pay attention to changes in behavior.
· Notice when children have questions and want to talk.
· Be especially loving and supportive; children and teens need you even more at this time.
· Take care of yourself. You are better able to help your child if you are coping well. If you are anxious or upset, children are more likely to be so as well.
1. Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for parents and teachers Also in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean
2. Coping with Crisis: Tips for Educators and Parents
3. Coping with Crisis: Helping Children with Special Needs
Principal | Briarcrest Elementary School