I am writing to check in with all of you at the end of what has been a difficult day for school families. Our school community is heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Texas’ Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District yesterday. We all share in the pain and grief that parents and educators across the country are experiencing and send our deepest condolences and love to the Uvalde community. The well-being and safety of children are central to our mission and have been and will remain a top priority at Ichabod Crane.
Robb Elementary and Uvalde are far away geographically, but something like this hits close to home for every family with school-age children. It is not only devastating to hear about families experiencing this but it is also frightening and puts many of us on edge when we send our children to one of the places they should be most safe. Please know that ensuring your children have a safe place to learn and grow is one of the most important things we do here.
These tragedies unfortunately make the need to maintain a high priority on school safety protocols all too clear. We take these precautions very seriously and want to remind you that each of our schools has a single, designated secure entryway for non-employees. Anyone who is not an employee must be in our school visitor software system (Raptor) or provide identification and be screened by the main office staff before they can come into our buildings.
Along with constantly reviewing and making improvements to our district-wide safety protocols, Ichabod Crane has a strong relationship with our local police departments and whenever there is even a suggestion of a threat or risk to our schools, we work with them to thoroughly and efficiently investigate. You may be aware that our former SRD (School Resource Deputy) left for another opportunity but this does not mean there is no security presence on campus. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Dept has an officer assigned to our district on campus every day that schools are open. All school offices are informed by the start of the school day who the assigned officer is and how to directly contact them. The Sheriff’s Dept is in the process of recruiting and training new officers and will provide us with a new designated SRD in the near future. In the meantime, there is always an officer on-site during school hours.
We have also built a strong network of mental/emotional support for anyone in our schools who needs it and, as a team, we are always looking to further enhance these resources. Thanks to these support systems and incredible counseling staff, we can assist our students during, or often before, there is an emotional crisis.
Events like this are not easy topics to talk about with students and likely some have already brought up Uvalde at home. I am sharing the attached resources to utilize as needed in the hope that it may help with discussions with your child on this or similar topics. Additionally, you can always reach out to your school’s counseling staff if you need additional assistance or if your child is struggling. Their contact information is available on the Counseling Center website here.
I want to take a moment to let you know how much we appreciate your trust in keeping your students safe, both physically and emotionally, and how seriously we take this responsibility. Please feel free to reach out to your school counselor, building principals or me, today or any day, if you would like to talk more about any of this.
Superintendent of Schools
Ichabod Crane Central School District