Holiday Message to HMS Parents

The past two weeks have been very compelling for those of us in education. The events in Newtown have brought up many emotions especially for parents who are worried about their child’s safety as they travel to school everyday. With the events in Columbine in 1999 and the catastrophe on 9-11, our assumption of security vanished and now it’s happened again. For those of us who see our glass as half full, there are some positives that will arise from tragedy. School districts across the country are examining their safety plans and looking to tweak what already had improved over the last decade. We are also moving to the core of what’s important, pausing from our noisy lives, clutching our children a bit tighter and finding thankfulness in places we may have forgotten about.

I have received more parent emails in two week’s time than I have in years but every one of them has been constructive and positive. Many communiqués did not reference safety at all but focused on how thankful they are for their son or daughter’s teachers and the school itself. Your kind comments are powerful and validate the hard work that occurs throughout the district.

We still have work to do. In the next month, we will engage parents’ views on school safety and struggle ourselves with the fine line between keeping our schools as friendly, welcoming places of learning while maintaining a reasonable level of security. While we know that some safety measures may primarily bring only a feeling of security, we understand that there’s some value in that. In the meantime, we’ll be even more vigilant with not allowing visitors to move through the building without passes. We will keep the preschool doors open at the beginning and the end of the day for less time. There may be some minor inconvenience for some of you. It remains to be seen what the district will do in terms of greater measures that require significant investment. But know that the events in Connecticut have certainly gotten our attention.

Perhaps the holidays have come at an opportune time. We can recharge a bit and spend time with the people we care about the most. Teachers will return on January 3 and 4 for professional development on mathematics and assessment, plus we will use some of our time to review safety measures as a district.

I continually feel blessed to work with your children and in a town that cares about education so much. Have a wonderful holiday.

All the best,

Bill Carozza, Principal

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