Message from Dr. Walles for Monday, April 4

Parents and guardians, this is Principal Walles. While I know that you are needing time to process what has happened, I want to share some details about what school will be like on Monday so you can talk with your child and prepare them for school next week. These details will be send out in Backpack as well.

Before I go into those details, I want to say that the entire Tanglewood family is deeply hurting from the loss of one of our own. My prayers are with Jamari’s family, and we are prepared to support them in any way they need when they need it. Our entire Tanglewood family is also still reeling from the shock and devastation of what happened. While events always affect individuals differently, I know that every student and staff member had a very scary and traumatic experience. I can only imagine how terrifying it was for each of you as you heard from your children or the media about what was going on.  I want to assure you that the Tanglewood staff and the school district will do everything we can to support your children as they process what happened, grieve the losses, and try to heal.

Regarding Monday, we will resume as normal of a schedule as possible. Attendance will be taken so we know who is in the building from a safety perspective, but for early in the week, absences will be excused as needed. We know from our mental health experts that having students return to the building and resume as much of a normal and predictable schedule as possible will help them heal and lessen the long-term trauma. Please note that our goal is not to resume academics fully on Monday, but rather to get students back into a routine, and to make sure they know that school is a place full of people that care about them and a place where they can get supports that they may need. For first period on Monday, we will have two mental health specialists in each classroom to talk with all students about the shock of a trauma and resources available to them. They will also give them an opportunity to share their feelings and where they are in processing what happened if they are comfortable. The After Care team, which is made up of counselors and mental health specialists, will also be available to students to meet with them one-on-one if they choose.

Bus transportation will resume as normal on Monday. You will be able to walk your student to the front door, but you will not be able to walk your student into the building. As simply a reassuring measure, district staff will search each student when they enter the building using handheld metal detectors. We are doing this so each student will feel safe in the building on Monday. Also as a reassuring measure, there will be a significant presence of law enforcement and district security personnel on campus. The district will also have additional academics staff on site to support teachers in their classrooms if they need to utilize counseling and other support services themselves during the day.

Please talk to your child and remind them that the best safety measure is if they see something or hear something, they should say something to a trusted adult. Also please reassure your child that at Tanglewood, we care about them and we will be here to support them.

I am planning to send you a message after school every day next week to let you know how the day went and what to expect for the next day. If you have specific questions, please reach out to me or the administration. I know that we are all hurting, and we will get through this together. Thank you.