May 25, 2022
Dear MAUSD Community,
Sadly, yesterday afternoon, another senseless and horrific act of gun violence devastated a school community. Please join me in sending thoughts and best wishes to the families, students and staff of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Every child and staff member deserves to feel safe at school. Likewise, every family should feel confident sending their children to school knowing it is a safe place. Acts like this reinforce the importance of taking all necessary steps to ensure our school buildings are secure and our safety protocols are squarely in place and practiced. In recent years MAUSD has invested significant resources into ensuring our school buildings have the needed security measures to help keep students and staff safe. This has included new or upgraded camera systems and new communication systems in all schools. Currently, Mt. Abe's front entrance is under renovation which will include a much more secure entry into the building. Beyond this, each school in MAUSD routinely practices safety drills and each school has an identified crisis team.
Perhaps even more important than the physical safety features and drills is ensuring each student feels a sense of belonging. Staff throughout MAUSD work hard to ensure that each student has a trusted adult at school that makes them feel valued, safe and understood. We have an incredibly strong group of leaders, educators, counselors, school clinicians, social workers, school nurses, and school psychologists who provide excellent support for the students in our community each day. Please take time to talk to your child about their trusted adults at school and encourage them to share any concerning behavior or words they see at school, on social media, or elsewhere with any of these adults.
Please know we are here to help. If your child needs any support in processing the event in Texas, or any other event, please reach out to your school principal or school counselor. I encourage staff and parents/guardians to visit the National Association of School Psychologists website to learn more about talking to children about violence. I also want to remind staff that the Employee Assistance Program is a free resource, and encourage you to reach out if you need support.
As a father and as a school leader there is nothing more important to me than ensuring the safety of the children that enter our school buildings each day. No family should ever have to endure what was experienced yesterday in Uvalde, Texas. I am thankful for the support shown by our school board, community partners, and the MAUSD community in helping to keep safety as our top priority.
Patrick J. Reen
Superintendent of Schools