Following are excerpts from a message sent to the WT Community today from Head of School Dr. Scott D. Fech.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" - Fred Rogers
Once again our hearts are heavy with a senseless tragedy that has claimed so many innocent lives. Rest assured that our efforts, first and foremost, are focused on the safety of our children – both physically and emotionally.
As the details of this tragedy continue to unfold, our Leadership Team has put together a plan for support and guidance for our entire community. Monday morning, before the start of school, our Division Directors will meet with their faculties and ensure that all teachers are prepared to provide age-appropriate support for our students.
The school day will begin with each Division holding morning meetings in their usual format with our. This will provide students the opportunity to discuss their feelings, concerns, or fears in a comfortable, familiar environment.
Students will also have access to counseling services. Teachers will be keeping a vigilant eye on students and will encourage any student to seek this extra assistance as needed.
Your children may be asking you questions as well. If you are looking for ways to address these concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to any of us here at WT. The bottom line is that children need to feel safe. The following resources can help guide your discussion:
- School Crisis Center: Talking to children about terrorist attacks and school and community shootings in the news
- PBS Parents: How to help kids feel safe after tragedy
- Anti-Defamation League: Table talk: Gun violence and mass shootings
- National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to children about violence
Another outlet that may provide comfort to you and your family is the Interfaith Vigil sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, taking place this evening at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Oakland at 5:00 p.m.
In an email I sent to employees earlier today, I noted, "The true strength of a community is measured in moments like this. Our deep relationships and genuine care for one another will carry us through this tragedy. We are the helpers that Fred Rogers mentions. And I am so grateful to be surrounded by so many wonderful ones who make this community so special."
Be good to yourself. Be good to one another.
Scott D. Fech
Head of School