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Update from Superintendent Navarro — May 24, 2022

This update was sent to Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff, students and families on May 24, 2022.

May 24, 2022

Dear Parents, Guardians and Community Members:

Earlier today, the Uvalde, Texas, community experienced a heartbreaking and senseless tragedy as an armed gunman walked into Robb Elementary School and opened fire on staff and students. As of this evening, police have confirmed 18 students and one adult tragically lost their lives today. My heart hurts for the families of the victims and my thoughts and sympathies go out to the entire Uvalde community. As a parent, I know when school shootings happen that these incidents cause panic, stress, anxieties and fears.

Additional supports for students and staff will be in place at all schools tomorrow and for as long as needed. This includes additional counselors, psychologists, pupil personnel workers and administrators. The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is increasing police patrols near our schools and during other school-related activities such as our upcoming high school graduations and other school celebratory events. All Charles County middle and high schools have an assigned school resource officer on site daily, and additional security staff will be on site at all elementary schools for the remainder of the school year.

I have asked our school administrators to ensure school resource officers and staffs remain diligent in an awareness of their surroundings and visitors to our schools and buildings. All of our schools and buildings feature a locked door-entry system in which staff uses a camera to monitor visitors at main entrances. Staff also monitors exterior doors to ensure they remain locked throughout the school day.

We also have a dedicated Office of School Safety and Security of which the staff monitors local and national news, climate conditions in our communities, and work with school administrators and police to address and investigate any known issues that can impact the learning day for or safety of students and staff. I am grateful for the collaboration we have between the police, our school resource officers, and our school safety and security office.  

Resources are available for families, parents and staff about tragic events such as today’s school shooting. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers resources online at https://www.nctsn.org/resources/coping-after-mass-violence. Also attached is a resource from the National Association of School Psychologists that features tips for educators and parents in talking with others about sensitive topics such as school violence.

The safety and security of all staff and students is a priority. In addition to educating students, the protection, safety, welfare and overall well-being of all staff and children is very important to us. We remain committed to ensuring those in our buildings each day are in a safe and welcoming environment.

Sincerely,

Maria V. Navarro, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

NASP resource — Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents & Teachers