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A letter to our parents/guardians in wake of Uvalde tragedy

Dear Parent/Guardian,

In light of the tragic events this week in Uvalde, Texas, we wanted to provide you with some information below from the American School Counselor’s Association on how to support your child after there has been a tragic event. If your child needs additional support, please contact the school counselor or social worker at your child’s school.

  • Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
  • Limit exposure to television and the news.
  • Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.
  • Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.
  • Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
  • Families and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to a crisis and stress.
  • Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.

We also wanted to make you aware that all middle and high school students have access to the Say Something Reporting App where they can make an anonymous report if they have concerns of harm to self or others. A link is on each school's website, where they are connected to someone who can help them process the information they are sharing as well as alert the school or the 911 center if needed.

In addition, Chatham County Schools also partners with a safety management solutions firm to help support student safety and well-being when using school-provided devices and platforms. Through this partnership, CCS will be able to keep watch over content students produce on their school-issued accounts to identify those who are in need of help.

A combination of technology and human intelligence allows review of students’ use of online tools and provides real-time analysis of potentially concerning behavior or content. The search tool alerts school officials if students show signs of self-harm, depression, thoughts of suicide, substance abuse, cyberbullying, credible threats of violence against others, or other harmful situations.  This ensures that CCS is better equipped to proactively identify students who are struggling, provide support where needed, and foster a safer school environment.

As always, we thank you for your partnership with Chatham County Schools as we work together to keep our students safe and supported.