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Principal's Message

December 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I don’t like to begin my monthly newsletter writing about the harsh reality of the world we live in, but at this time, I feel it is necessary.  As you may be aware, there have been three separate incidents, at three separate schools in our District, in which graffiti was found warning about an impending shooting.  I want to address several things: first, it would be extremely rare that an actual shooting would take place after a written warning with a specified day and time. This is because once a threat is found, the campus is then flooded by law enforcement and District personnel.  It is important to note that every threat is always taken extremely seriously and we, along with our law enforcement partners will be ever diligent in identifying perpetrators who attempt to make us feel unsafe. Research however, tells us that warning signs are usually more covert, showing up as concerning verbal statements, text messages or other on-line writings.  I also want to address the proactive nature that we, as a District have taken in regards to the rise in school shootings in the U.S. over the past decade. Our safety plan includes four lockdown drills throughout the year, whole-staff “active shooter” trainings, and recurrent reviews of our evacuation and reunification plans. Additionally, we have an on-line anonymous tip line that, in the spirit of, “if you see something, say something” allows anyone to report anything suspicious.  

In this age of rampant shootings, we believe that being proactive begins with addressing the social emotional health of every student.  At Gale Ranch we have woven social emotional learning into every class and every tutorial. Beginning in January we will be taking SEL to a whole new level as we teach students to identify, track and learn from their emotions.  You can look forward to a Parent Presentation on January 23rd that will outline exactly what we are doing in this regard.

As we move into the rest of December and the beginning of a new year we will continue to unite together in celebration of the diversity that we share and cherish.  In a time where the hope for a peaceful holiday season is upon us, I urge all of you to wrap yourselves in the love and warmth of your family and friends.  Take time to give to others who may be less fortunate.  Providing socks, coats, etc. to the homeless and volunteering in a soup kitchen are just two ways to do this.  The act of giving is the best gift you can give yourself. 

  I am consistently impressed with how the teachers and staff do whatever it takes to spread goodwill within our community.  Whether it’s providing gifts for our “Adopt a Families” or offering extra support for our own students, the GRMS staff can be counted on—period.  They inspire me to go the extra mile each and every day!  If you are inspired and would like to volunteer some time here are a couple of websites that can help:

https://www.dosomething.org/us/campaigns/soup-something

https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/

 On behalf of our wonderful GRMS staff, may you have the most peaceful of Holiday Seasons.

Warmly,

Sue Goldman

 

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