Dear IUSD Community,
Our District is deeply saddened by the horrific school shooting in Texas today. Our heartfelt sympathies are with the victims and their families, as well as the community of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
While more details are still emerging about this tragedy, we know that people may process grief, loss and acts of violence differently. Therefore, we have several resources available that may be helpful in supporting our students, staff and families, which include:
- Coalition to Support Grieving Students Website
- Coalition to Support Grieving Students – Talking with Children (PDF)
- National Institute of Mental Health – Helping Children Cope with Violence
- Orange County Department of Education – Five Tips for Helping Children Cope with Violence
Please talk with your student(s), as you feel appropriate for your family. We also have supports in place on our school campuses. Students may reach out to counselors, school psychologists, and other mental health and wellness staff, along with teachers or trusted adults as needed. Additional services and supports are available by visiting our Prevention and Intervention webpage.
As we reflect on the events of today, please know that the safety of our students, staff and community is our top priority. Each IUSD school and all District facilities have safety plans in place, which are reviewed and updated in collaboration with the Irvine Police Department's Emergency Management staff, School Resource Officers and other local emergency responders. In addition, our schools regularly conduct safety drills with students and staff to prepare for a variety of potential situations. Drills include procedures for lockdowns; shelter in place; run, hide and act; and earthquake and fire procedures.
IUSD has a close partnership with IPD, which works collaboratively with the District on a daily basis related to all aspects of school safety, including threat assessments, student and staff trainings, and site-specific response planning. For more information, please visit our Safety Resources webpage. This comprehensive web resource provides information about IUSD safety initiatives, mental health and wellness resources, and information about what students and families can do to support safety.
Also, re-familiarize yourself with the District’s Stay Connected to IUSD campaign, which provides important information for parents, students and staff to stay connected to IUSD during an emergency.
As always, we want everyone on our campus, including parents and guardians to be empowered to report any unusual or suspicious activity. If you or your student see something, say something. In emergencies, always call 911. For non-emergencies, an additional resource available to our community is the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email and for your ongoing partnership and support.
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District