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Letter from the superintendent - November 30, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The senseless tragedy at Oxford High School this afternoon has impacted all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been directly impacted by this incident.

Utica Community Schools is truly a family. Our team is prepared to support students who have been affected by this incident. UCS staff members are skilled at helping to identify students who may be experiencing stress and need to talk about their feelings.

I also want to share with you a resource recommended by our special services team. We encourage you to talk with your children regarding any concerns that they may be experiencing. The attached resource – Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers – provides tips for adult behavior and what we can do to support children. Please reach out to your child’s principal or teacher if you need additional support.

Student safety remains a top priority for Utica Community Schools. We have a strong working relationship with our local police departments and meet regularly to strengthen our protocols, including:

  • The implementation of School Resource Officers from local police departments that are full time at our comprehensive high schools. Our local police departments check-in at our schools on a routine basis and have a regular presence on our grounds.
  • A district security team comprised of experienced law enforcement professionals that serve and support all of our schools.
  • Security protocols that limit access to schools, including locked exterior doors and windows, secure entry ways and security cameras that can be accessed quickly by local law enforcement.
  • Regular sharing of information with our municipal law enforcement officers on facilities, training, and security drills which will continue as scheduled in the coming days. We have worked with our law enforcement partners to develop a unified security and emergency plan district-wide. This plan is continually reviewed and updated.

As more information becomes available related to the incident at Oxford High School, we will work with our partners to take the necessary steps to strengthen protocols based on their guidance.

This incident, so close to us, brings home the importance of working together in support of our children and each other. I continue to be proud of our partnership and the strength and resolve of this community for our students.

Sincerely,

Robert S. Monroe

Superintendent of Schools