May 26, 2022

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff:

I am saddened and appalled to write this morning of the events of a school shooting in Uvalde, TX. Parents and school staff have reached out to ask what to say, what to do. Sadly, there are no words to explain a school shooting or to express our sorrow and shock. Every child and every staff member deserves to be safe in school. Every parent deserves to know their child is safe when at school. Every staff member needs to know they have the skills to respond should the unthinkable happen. 

In RNESU, we utilize a variety of methods to respond to school safety concerns. These include a partnership with mental health and law enforcement agencies, school-based emergency operations plans, training in a threat assessment tool that is research-based, and a Run Hide Fight response to safety threats in school. We will be revisiting these tools immediately using age-appropriate drills before we end the school year. These skills are not only school-based, but can be utilized anywhere in the community. 

Students who are experiencing anxiety around this event or school safety events may reach out to our school counselors for support. Parents may let the counselor or principal know if you are concerned about your child. We are here to support you. A resource for parents and guardians on how to talk with your child about school violence is available on the National Association of School Psychologists website. You can also find resources for talking with children about traumatic events, as well as crisis help resources on the Department of Mental Health website. Employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program, a free resource, and I encourage you to reach out if you need support.

Please join us in taking action and remaining vigilant against acts of violence in our schools. It is important if you See Something that you Say Something, either directly to the school principal or to the VT Tip Line.

  • Call (844) 723-3488 or TEXT 274637, type in keyword SAFE4VT and provide your tip .

Take the time to contact your legislators about school safety and preventing such acts of violence. Senators Leahy and Sanders and Representative Welch are all available to hear your thoughts. 

Thank you for your partnership with us to support our children, our staff, our communities through this moment. It will take all of us to remain vigilant and keep our children safe. 

Jeanné Collins
Superintendent of Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union