May 25, 2022
Dear Riverbend Community,
It is unfortunate that we have to communicate to you all in times of national grief. We are heartbroken for the families of Uvalde, Texas.
Some of our older students are aware, to varying degrees, of the horrific event, and we do not presume how much understanding or exposure to the news our students have, as that is the purview of families. Today some of the older students had questions, and those discussions took place based on the age of the group.
We are all mindful that Riverbend does not operate in a bubble, so the School has and continues to take safety precautions. We have had a relationship with ALICE (preparedness education program) over the past three years, and during that span the faculty and staff have received training and had updates of the latest response methods in the event the school is the target of a violent event. We started this year by inviting the Natick School Safety officer, Beth Heffler, to address the faculty and staff at our opening meetings in August where safety protocols were reviewed.
Upon hearing the news late yesterday afternoon, an email went to the faculty/staff reinforcing the procedures we have in place. Part of our protocol is to always carry a walkie talkie when we are out of the building with the children in the event we need to communicate/receive instructions, or alert people of suspicious activity. All entry and exit doors are locked at all times unless monitored by an adult. Lastly, we reviewed the decision making process each teacher must make about how to best keep the children who are in our charge safe, based on their age and location on campus.
These are not easy topics to tackle, but unfortunately these types of incidents are becoming more commonplace. We will continue to update and reinforce our safety protocols. Please reach out if you have any questions.