September 12, 2023
Dear Montgomery School Families.
I wanted to reach out to you amid this difficult and unsettling situation and keep our community in contact. The search for the escaped convict in our area has undoubtedly caused anxiety and concern among our students, families, faculty and staff. I hope where you and your family are has felt comfortable and secure. This is an unprecedented situation for our school and local neighbors, and we will get through it together.
We will continue to monitor the situation and consult with officials about next steps with an eye toward getting safely back to normal. You will hear from us again this evening with an update. In the meantime, we understand situations like this can be difficult to navigate and discuss with your child. Dr. Conry and I would like to share this article and the following guidance by the National Association of School Psychologists to help provide support and direction:
- Do your best to keep the television off, or at least limit how much your child sees of any news event.
- Try to keep yourself calm. Your presence can help your child feel more secure.
Give your child extra comfort and physical affection, like hugs or snuggling up together with a favorite book. Physical comfort goes a long way towards providing inner security. That closeness can nourish you, too.
- Try to keep regular routines as normal as possible. Children and adults count on their familiar pattern of everyday life.
Plan something that you and your child enjoy doing together, such as playing a board game, cooking, watching a movie, etc. It can help to know there are simple things in life that can help us feel better, in good times and in bad.
Focus attention on the helpers, like the police, firemen, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and volunteers. It's reassuring to know there are many caring people who are doing all they can to help others in this world.
When we return to school, we will be focused on promoting a feeling of safety and focusing on our positive environment and routines. Naturally, children may come with questions or ideas about current events, and we will meet them in developmentally appropriate ways, bringing the focus back to school. Teachers and Dr. Conroy will also listen closely and offer additional individual support when needed. When talking with our children, it is important to keep explanations of the current events taking place developmentally appropriate. While every child is unique, this guide we’ve composed may be useful when you consider different ages and stages.
In these opening weeks and all year long, there are so many joyful opportunities for students to focus on their learning and fun school experiences. Lots of exploring we need to get back to! As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.
Head of School