Office of the Superintendent
Donna Simpson Leak, Ph.D.
Dear Rich Township High School District 227 Parents and Staff Members,
On behalf of the entire Rich Township High School District 227 community, our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Newtown, Connecticut, community. Everyone there is either an emotional or physical victim, and our hearts ache for the lives lost and their families.
In light of the tragedy in Newtown, I wanted to outline for you some of the steps that we take, in District 227, to minimize risk and to provide you with tips in talking with children about school violence. This is certainly a deeply upsetting topic for all of us to consider, but we felt it was important to acknowledge the situation and provide you with some assurances.
The following are tips in talking with children about this type of situation, as provided by the National Association of School Psychologists:
The district will make psychologists and social workers available for any students who need assistance in processing this situation.
Rich Township High School District 227 takes the safety of our students, staff, and visitors extremely seriously. While there is no plan that can totally prevent a random act of senseless violence like this, our district has a school safety plan in place that has been developed in close partnership with law enforcement authorities and regularly practiced by our faculty and staff. The following are some features of our safety plan:
• Each year, staff who work in Rich Township High School District 227 receive training on how to facilitate potential for a violent situation. The planning includes involvement with our police and fire department
• Each year, Rich Township High School District 227 students and staff review and practice lockdown procedures, re-location procedures and shelter in place procedures.
• Rich Township High School District 227 schools are all equipped with interior and exterior video surveillance and have been working with our various police departments.
• Rich Township High School District 227 schools are all secured throughout the day and all who enter are required entry through secure corridors and must enter into the main office.
• Police officers from the local police departments work part-time in our schools.
We have lowered our flags to half staff as we do our best to grapple with this tragic situation. I want to emphasize that the safety and welfare of our students and staff is our top priority. It is with a sad heart that I write this message, and this tragic event reminds us all just how special our children are and how much the staff in our system appreciate the opportunity to serve the wonderful students in Rich Township High School District 227.
Dr. Donna Leak