To the families of Tamarac Elementary School,
I hope the email finds you well as we swing into December. In the wake of the recent school shooting tragedy in Michigan, I want to remind our school community that lockdown safety drills are now more important than ever. We will have our next lockdown safety drill on Tuesday, December 7th in the morning. I don't normally share our lockdown protocols, but I feel it is important to know what is expected of our students in a lockdown.
1) The drill will be announced over the PA, and the drill does not end until all classrooms have been released (ie unlocked) by either law enforcement, administration or maintenance. Once a room is released, it is now considered to be a shelter-in-place activity. A shelter-in-place drill indicates that administration or law enforcement are in control of the building. A PA can be used during a shelter-in-place activity to share information but not during a lockdown.
2) During the lockdown drill, students are to be in the seats, quiet, and have no devices. There is no instruction occurring at this time. The door to the classroom must be locked and the lights in the classroom are off. Our COVID protocols do not require the students to shelter in a corner at this time, but students should be prepared to do so. A classroom door should never be unlocked by anyone inside the room - emergency personnel will unlock the doors with keys from the outside hallway.
3) Our goal is not to frighten or intimidate students, but to keep them safe, and for them to see the emergency responders as the "helpers" children are taught to look for in an emergency situation.
This school year we have talked about social-emotional learning (SEL), and have devoted many resources to this topic for our students. Our major resource for students is Mrs. Erika Farley, who is joining us as a school counselor with a focus on SEL. In my last update, I shared the following on SEL: What is SEL? Why is this important in our school? SEL is defined as the process through which children, youth and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and to make responsible decisions. The following is a link to a website that Mrs. Farley has created, with the following goal: this site is a one-stop shop for parents to understand what their children will be learning about during my classroom instruction as well as a way to contact me. There are links on this site that students and parents can review together, and if they click on Counselor's Corner, they can read about what each grade level is learning about each month. It is presently updated to the end of December, and will be updated again in January. The site is https://sites.google.com/brunswickcsd.org/tesschoolcounseling/home .
Stay tuned for more updates about the Elementary Holiday Concert, and for special holiday events and activities that are being planned by our students and our staff. See you next Friday.
Sincerely, Kelly Onorato and Rich Pogue
Tamarac Elementary School Administration