Message from the Superintendent regarding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shootings (click for info)

Dear AUSD Staff and Families:
In the aftermath of the Florida school shooting, I find myself not only saddened by the senseless loss of the 17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and staff, but also angry at the impact that school shootings have had across our country and in Albany. Understandably, staff, parents, and students are concerned about school safety and wonder what they should do if they ever find themselves in similar situations.  No one should have to worry about whether this tragedy could occur on any of our campuses, and unfortunately, these conversations are becoming more necessary.
Our AUSD schools have safety procedures in place, and safety drills are routinely conducted. In the spring and fall of 2017, we completed safety assessments at each of our sites, and we are working with our principals to ensure that our campuses remain safe places to teach and learn.
The increase in school shootings is terrifying for everyone, and your student(s) may have many questions but may not know how to ask them or discuss their concerns. Below is a link to a resource from the National Association of School Psychologists which includes some tips on engaging children in safe conversations.
It will take everyone's efforts to help our children feel safe, and as we move into our mid-winter break, please take time to check in with each other and with your students/children. I think it goes without saying that our hearts and prayers go out to the families affected in theMarjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy, but it is our attention, careful planning, and caring for our AUSD children that will continue to keep them safe.
Thank you.
Valerie Williams
Albany Unified School District