Experts are telling us that kids need the opportunity to share their thoughts and worries following a tragedy such as what occurred in Connecticut on Friday. Therefore, we will no doubt be spending some time in class discussing the matter and reassuring them that they are indeed safe when at school.
After and during any of our regularly practiced lockdowns, earthquake drills, and fire evacuations, I frequently remind students that they’re in what is quite possibly the safest building in all of Central Point. CPE is made of cement and built to modern earthquake standards. It has heavy steel doors, thick safety glass windows, and will soon have a video surveillance system. While the school has a plethora of emergency exits, during school hours there is but one entry point. CPE is also a block from the police station, a quarter mile from the fire department, and less than a mile from the State Police headquarters. Finally, there are all those previously-mentioned drills.
Let us also remind ourselves that despite what happened in Sandy Hook, at over 130,000 other K-12 schools in the U.S., students came, learned, and went without incident. For over 55,000,000 other students in the United States, Thursday was an ordinary day. Such figures reveal that the statistical likelihood of something like this happening to one’s own child is simply astronomical, especially when calculated over the long term (something like one in five hundred million when calculated over a year). The bottom line is that kids at CPE are safe, loved, and well cared for. I will do all I can to reassure them of that.
Meanwhile, we must carry on academically. In class this week students will be primarily focused on presenting, typing, and posting their elf adventure stories and wrapping up production of A Christmas Carol movie. We’re planning an in-class premier on Thursday at 1:00, and we hope to present it to the school at Friday morning’s holiday assembly at 8:30 a.m.. Family members are welcome to attend either one. We’ll also be starting a vacation novel project. Students will be choosing a chapter book they can read over the break and will be expected to create a presentation board upon their return to school in January. Our play, The Necklace, will likely be postponed until after vacation so that kids get more practice time. Finally, in math we’re continuing our study of angles and protractors. Here’s the homework for this week–much of it review material: Monday, December 17th; Wednesday, December 19th; Thursday, December 19th. Merry Christmas!