After the heartbreaking and disturbing reports surfaced Friday about the killings of 26 children and adults at the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, Swampscott Superintendent Lynne Celli directed school principals to reach out to parents and faculty through emails and conversations.
The message, in part, was that the district is prepared in the event of a crisis and that its crisis plan is available for parents to see.
The other important part of the message was that school staff — including nurses and psychologists — are available to address questions from students and parents.
Friday was a difficult day and it has been a difficult weekend, the superintendent said.
"We are distraught," she said. "I am heartbroken."
Monday will be difficult, too.
Counseling will be available for those who seek it, and administrators and teachers and other school employees will be watching students for signs of trauma and stress.
School Committee Chairman Larry Beaupre said that he expects Monday will be hard day, especially for children.
Adults are also at risk for worry and anxiety.
Principals will watch for signs of stress in teachers, the superintendent said.
The superintendent said she and school principals have been conversing over the weekend with parents worried about security at schools.
This morning the superintendent and town officials will review the district's crisis plan. The superintendent, town administrator, police chief and fire chief will meet at 9:30.
At 2 p.m., administrators and others on the district leadership team as well as the school resource officer will meet at the middle school to review how the day went and to go over the district's crisis plan.
In the meantime, several links are available on the superintendent's page with information about coping with tragedy and talking to children about tragic events.