Dear Niskayuna families and staff,
The senseless shooting in Uvalde, Texas yesterday is difficult to process. Such acts of violence cause fear and harm far from where the incident took place. In these moments, it’s important that we lean on the work we’ve done together to create a healthy and safe learning community.
Resources are in place at each school for any student needing support. Counselors, school psychologists and social workers are available for students needing someone to speak with.
The Employee Assistance Program is available to all staff in need of counseling. I encourage staff to reach out to our principals or to my office if they need any additional support.
Our continued work around social-emotional learning, mental health, and diversity, equity and inclusion is central to creating a community that cares for each other.
The district has layers of safety precautions in place at our school buildings, including training and drills for a range of emergencies like the threat of intruders. Our collaboration with the Niskayuna Police Department is ongoing and stronger than ever. Our Safe Schools Against Violence in Education team, which includes a wide group of stakeholders, proactively focuses on violence prevention and addressing risk factors. Today, Police Chief Kochan is providing additional support and officers will be stationed outside each of our school buildings throughout the day.
I encourage you to check in with each other and our students today and do not hesitate to reach out if we can be of assistance to you or your family.
Juliette Pennyman, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent of Schools