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Letter from the Superintendent of School: Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

December 15, 2012

On behalf of the entire Monticello Central School District, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to those families who have been affected by Friday's tragic events in Newtown, Conn. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Children in today’s world live in a very different world than when we grew up and we should anticipate that children in our community will have questions and concerns. For parents who are looking for help in dealing with their children, the following links will be helpful to you as you have these conversations with your children:

The safety of your children is our first priority as a school district. Keeping students safe requires us all to work together on many fronts. At school, we begin by emphasizing the importance of treating everyone with respect and telling a trusted adult if students are concerned about anything.

We also have a number of measures in place to deter school violence. These include: identification badges for staff members; visitation procedures that require visitors to sign-in and wear name tags in our buildings; and a traffic flow at all of our schools that brings visitors directly to the main office.

Over the next week our administrators in conjunction with our head custodians in each building will do more frequent walks around the buildings, grounds and parking lots.
Our district has an excellent working relationship with the Sullivan County Sheriffs Department, the Monticello Police Department and the New York State Police. We believe that Monticello students and staff members feel safe and are safe when they are in our schools. We will do everything we can to make sure that this remains true.

Please remember that it is imperative to pay attention and follow all district protocols especially when you enter and leave our buildings. Always stop at the office or greeters desk and state the purpose of your business. Please follow your specific building procedures when your child must be released early.

Our students’ well being is our utmost priority in Monticello. We will make our counselors available for any students who may be having difficulty coping with these terrible events and, of course, we will continue to provide as safe and nurturing a learning environment as we possibly can. Please feel welcome to contact your school principal for help.

I appreciate all of your continued support. May all of your families have a safe and happy holiday season.

Daniel A. Teplesky
Superintendent of Schools