Message to Families & Staff re: Texas School Shooting

Dear Shrewsbury Families & Colleagues,

You likely have seen the news of the horrific elementary school shooting that occurred earlier today in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts are broken as we think about this tragic loss of lives and the impact on the Uvalde community and beyond.  Our SPS leadership team convened this evening to coordinate this communication, to provide reassurance and make you aware of how we will respond at school tomorrow.  Please note:

1) Our schools are very safe places, and we follow security practices and protocols to maintain that safe environment.  We have emergency plans that were developed in coordination with the Shrewsbury Police and Fire Departments, and we have regular drills with our public safety partners.  While awful news of this school shooting naturally creates fear and anxiety, please remember that these events are rare.

2) We have coordinated with the Shrewsbury Police Department to have enhanced police presence on our school campuses tomorrow as a measure of reassurance in the wake of this newest school shooting.

3) Most older students, and some younger students, will be aware of the news of this tragedy when they go to school tomorrow, and inevitably will talk to each other on the bus, on the playground, in the cafeteria, etc.  We will be prepared to process this issue with students as follows (staff will receive a separate email with details):

  • Teachers in grades Preschool through Grade 4 will not bring the topic up, but they will be prepared to address students' questions or comments if and when the topic is raised by students.  Their response to students who ask about it will be to acknowledge what happened without going into detail, reassure students that they are safe at school, and maintain the normalcy and routine of the school day.
  • Because virtually all students will know about the event at the middle and high school levels, the topic will be addressed first thing in the morning at Sherwood, Oak, and SHS by the principals with brief statements and moments of silence as part of morning announcements, and teachers will make a brief statement about the event following the announcement and provide a limited opportunity for an appropriate discussion based on the age of the students, with the same focus on reassurance and then maintaining the day's normal routine.     
  • At all levels, educators will monitor students, and those who express concerns or who are having difficulty with processing this news will be referred to a school counselor or psychologist.  If families feel their child is struggling in processing the news of this school shooting, please reach out to your school counselor or psychologist (contact information is on each school's web page under "Mental Health and Wellness Resources," or call the school office).

4) Given the access to technology so many of our students have, we expect that many of them already know about this tragedy, and parents and caretakers may want to have a discussion with them this evening.  The following links may be helpful to you in processing this kind of news with your children.

Thank you in advance to all of our families and staff for modeling calm and caring in supporting our children.


Joe Sawyer
Superintendent of Schools 


American Psychological Association: Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers


Printable, translated formats are below:


This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.