I had the opportunity to go around to every classroom today to meet with students about the crazy events of the week. In a manner that is age-appropriate with each class, I shared with students what happened and answered every question or concern they shared.
Dr. Doherty shared a comprehensive summary of what happened in his blog here: http://readingsuperintendent.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/barrows-update-via-connect-ed/
The key things I stressed with students were;
(1) They were and continue to be safe. The amount of time between the faulty equipment being turned on and the alarm going off were short, eliminating concerns of lenghty exposure. Additionally the levels within their working spaces were low enough to prevent students from having any side effects. Finally, the Fire Department continued to monitor our building throughout the week and would not have allowed us to hold school unless they cleared our building as safe to use.
(2) We were so proud of them. Even during situations that may have felt scary, overwhelming, or confusing, our students were so brave. They stayed so calm, helped each other out, listened to the adults, and were so respectful during our evacuation procedures.
I did also let students know that they may continue to have questions. I let them know that I would be available to them at any point, and if they had a question over the weekend (or if their parents did) they should ask you to send me an email, as I will be checking it throughout this long weekend stretch.
Please know I’m here if you have any questions or remaining concerns! Heather.firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-942-9166.
Thank you all for your continued support,