Letter from Superintendent Dr. Ellis on Texas Tragedy
May 25, 2022
Dear East Ramapo Central School District Families,
Good morning. By now you may have heard about the tragic school shooting that occurred yesterday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. As expected, there will be extensive media coverage of this horrifying incident.
Shocking events like this can lead to anxiety and fear felt by our entire community. As your Superintendent of Schools, I want to reassure you that the safety of our East Ramapo students is our top priority and that East Ramapo Central School District has a comprehensive threat assessment plan in place to help avoid tragedies such as this. The plan is reviewed and updated annually.
As you talk to your children about their educational environment, please emphasize that our schools are safe places. School administrators and staff work with parents and public safety providers (police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep students and teachers safe.
While there are no known threats against any of our schools or programs, the Town of Ramapo Police Department, Spring Valley Police Department, and the Rockland County Sheriff's Office will provide additional patrols to each of our buildings starting today.
Also, there are people throughout the buildings who can provide emotional support and reassurance to students. Our social workers are trained mental health professionals who assist with problems such as mental health and behavioral concerns and can provide tremendous support in times like these. Students can also reach out to their teachers, guidance counselors, family resource coordinators, principals and support staff.
As a reference, the National Association of School Psychologists provides helpful guidance on how to help children cope with traumatizing events such as this, and we recommend you review this article. This week, as parents and caregivers, be sure to focus on their behavior, make time to talk, read and interact with them, limit their exposure to coverage of the recent tragedy, encourage physical activity, and try to maintain a “normal routine”.
Most importantly, we work to promote a culture in which everyone has a responsibility to be vigilant and focused on safety. We ask that you talk with your children about the importance of sharing information that could be considered threatening to our community with a responsible adult.
Safety is our top priority. We plan to review lessons learned from yesterday’s terrible tragedy so that we can continue to be proactive. Our hearts are with Robb Elementary’s educators, students and families as well as the entire Uvalde community during this time of unconscionable loss and suffering.
Dr. Clarence G. Ellis
Superintendent of Schools